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Entries for October 2009

Posted in: Bpositive

by host

There are some settings in the sing on tool such as "save password" on the options tab that are stored in the registry. As such, they can set using group policy. There is a .ADM file to assist in this process located at http://blogs.technet.com/msonline/archive/2009/02/09/microsoft-online-sign-in-client-adm-group-policy-object.aspx . While unsupported, this file could be quite helpful when configuring sign on client settings using group policy.

-brett

 

Posted in: Bpositive

by host

In the just announced service release, you'll find a mention of the following powershell commands.

  •  Enable-MSOnlineUser
  • Get-MSOnlineSubscription
  • Set-MSOnlineUserPassword

Q: What do these do?

These can be used together or sepearlty to help manage a migration or adminster your accounts.

Typically, you would run Get-MSOnlineSubcrtption to return a a GUID associated with the type of liscneses available. This determines what kinds of services can be activated for users, then you use that GUID do Enable-MSOnlineUser. If you assign  an Exchange Online lisence the user will have a mailbox assigned. At the same time, one of the parameters allows you to set the password for the user. In addition, you can set the password later for any user with the Set-MSOnlineUserPassword script.

 Q: Why are these needed?

When you use directory synch to create users, users need to be activated before they can use mail or other services. This script provides an automated way of activating users and is faster than usin the admin console. Since it's a script, you can add code to intelligently scope the activation.

 In addition, when activating uses, you can set the password to a known or generated value and add code to have the user emailed about the activation.

Finally, the set password script allows a BPOS admin to change a users password from powershell rather than having to login to the admin center. Very handy.

Q: When can I use them?

The scripts willl be implemented in a new version of the Migration Tool which is scheduled to be shipped when the deoplyments are completed. This should be by the end of October at the latest.

 Q: Where can I get details on the syntax and use

When the migration tool is released, the scripts will have built in help that shows the syntax. We are planning on some demos and the like to be released soon. As a tip, you might want to check the Microsoft Online documentation as that could be udpated any time with details on the scripts.http://www.microsoft.com/resources/Technet/en-us/MSOnline/bpos/html/1843e98e-1c13-409d-8d56-c67f0cb87f5e.htm

Also, I might add that you can expect more powershell fun in the future.

Posted in: Bpositive

by host

Upgrades and Enhancements    
The following features and capabilities are included in the October Service Update:


Bulk Activation of Users
PowerShell commandlets will be added to streamline the activation process, enabling administrators to easily automate the activation of a set of users. Most commonly, these commandlets will be used to activate a set of users that have been migrated from an Active Directory forest to Microsoft Online Services via the Directory Synchronization Tool. Previously, administrators were required to activate users one-by-one with the User Administration tools in the Microsoft Online Services Administration Center.
Commandlets added in this Service Update are:
  • Enable-MSOnlineUser
  • Get-MSOnlineSubscription
  • Set-MSOnlineUserPassword

A new version of the Microsoft Online Services Transporter Tool supporting these commandlets will be available for download at the Microsoft Download Center upon completion of the deployment of the October Service Update into production data centers for all regions.


POP Mail Clients
Supported e-mail clients for Exchange Online are being expanded to include POP-based clients. Previously, Exchange Online supported only Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 and 2007.


To enable POP e-mail client support for your organization, have your administrator contact Microsoft Online Services Technical Support to open a Service Request.


Please note: Service Requests for POP enablement will be accepted upon completion of the deployment of the October Service Update into production data centers for all regions. Please reference the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog for deployment updates.

Support for 30,000 Users

The Microsoft Online Services Administration Center will support as many as 30,000 users, improving management and administration for larger organizations. Previously, Microsoft Online Services supported up to 10,000 users.


Please note that SharePoint Online will retain previously established limits (e.g., 20 sites per site collection, 50 gigabytes (GB) per site, and 1 terabyte (TB) per company).

Enhanced Support for Mac OS
The October Service Update includes several enhancements that will provide a more efficient communication and collaboration experience for organizations with Mac users.


A new Sign-In Client for the Mac OS provides a single sign-in experience and auto-configuration of Office for Mac applications and the Safari browser for use with Microsoft Online Services.


Other Mac features in this Service Update include:

  • Support for Entourage 2008 Exchange Web Services (EWS), including Global Address List (GAL), Calendar Free/Busy Lookup, and Out-of-Office notifications
  • Global Address List support for Entourage 2004 and 2008 when using the Sign-In Client for Mac
  • SharePoint Online support for Document Connection for Mac to improve the collaboration experience for users
  • Improved Firefox and Safari support for My Company Portal
The Sign-In Client for Mac will be available for download at the Microsoft Download Center upon completion of the deployment of the October Service Update into production data centers for all regions. Please reference the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog for updates on the availability of the Sign-In Client for Mac.


Timeline
Deployment of the October Service Update into production data centers has started, with deployment to all regions anticipated to be complete by mid-October.


The deployment schedule is subject to change. Updates to the deployment schedule will be announced via the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog as well as the RSS Feed from the Microsoft Online Services Administration Center.


Additional Information
All service upgrades in the October Service Update will be performed on your behalf. These changes are a mandatory upgrade for all users, so it is important that you are aware of them and understand how they may impact you.


If you have additional questions, there are several resources at your disposal. Click here for information about how to contact Microsoft Online Services Support. You can also read the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog for the latest news about the October Service Update, or participate in technical discussions on the Microsoft Online Services TechNet Forums.
    

Thank you!
Thank you for choosing Microsoft Online Services to host your business productivity applications. We look forward to delivering additional enhancements and capabilities that improve your service experience and help you focus on your core business initiatives.

Sincerely,
Microsoft Online Services

Posted in: Bpositive

by host

One of the most interesting aspects of working with services as opposed to a bits on disk product group, is that we update capabilities all the time. That's really different than releasing service packs for features updates. One of the updates we released was adding Outlook 2003 as a client for Exchnage Online. Since Outlook 2003 was released before autodiscover was created, it is missing free/busy capability and GAL lookup when used in the online environment. Well, that just won't do.

There is currently a beta of the Outlook 2003 free/busy connector that you can sign up for. See the link below for details.

http://blogs.technet.com/msonline/archive/2009/09/24/do-you-want-to-use-outlook-2003-with-exchange-online.aspx

 

Brett Hill

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