Friday, April 20, 2018

Entries for November 2011

by Brett

Microsoft has announced important updates to Office 365 that have been deployed. Updates include:

  • Office 365 Global Expansion: 22 New Countries
  • Admin self-serve password reset
  • Source of authority transfer
  • Lync client for Mac
  • Mac unified downloads page
  • Official support for OS X Lion added
  • Improvements to the “Add a Domain” experience
  • Client access control improvements
  • Directory Synchronization tool 64-bit support
  • Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Troubleshooting support tool 
  • SharePoint Online access for external users via a Windows Live ID
  • SharePoint Online addition of Business Connectivity Services (BCS) via WCF endpoint
  • SharePoint Online improved ability to recover SharePoint site collections
  • SharePoint Online support for IE 9 and Chrome
  • Office 365 Global Expansion: Brazil
  • Office 365 Global Expansion: New language support
  • Office 365 Global Expansion: Russia and Korea

Be sure to check the post at
for details. I'll be reviewing some of these of the near future starting with the administrator password reset already posted.

by Brett

Microsoft recently updated the Administration  portal to include a new feature – unattended  password reset for administrators.  This feature has been a LONG time coming and I’m sure the support staff at Microsoft is happy about it. Until now, you had to call Microsoft tech support to get the admin password reset.

Here’s how the password reset works.

The administration portal now has a new field for administrator’s – alternate email address:

 To start the process, you can request a password using the sign in page by clicking on Forget your password?


This link has been present since the release of Office 365 but just went a page that said you need to contact support.

Also, you can encounter this link if you try to sign in too many times with the wrong password. This is new as well:


Clicking on Forgot your password takes you to:


If you are not an administrator, you see a page message that says to contact your administrator. So this feature only works for Office 365 admins. Let's hope that adding this for users is on the roadmap.

Next you prompted to provide your email address and solve one of those fuzzy-number-and –letters-jumbled-up-so-you-can-almost-not-make-it-out puzzles. They kind of went wild on this one with an 8 character puzzle and case seems to matter as well. BTW, check out the audio puzzle. It’s interesting.


You’ll get an email sent to your alternate email address.

There is evidently a short timeout on the provided link so reply promptly or you have to start again.

Now we see part 2 of the reset plan. “Have your mobile phone ready, you will receive a text message for resetting your password”. Where do they get the mobile phone number?  All users have a mobile phone field in the user settings in the Office 365 portal. So take a note: THE MOBILE PHONE FIELD FOR ADMINSTRATORS MATTERS.

After entering the Security Code sent to you phone via Text message, you are allowed to change your password.


After this you are back to the login page and can now sign in with your new password. Yeah!

Thanks Microsoft for continuously rolling out improvements. They continue to add value and that’s a good thing  for everyone. But I must add that it’s kind of bittersweet to say “hey, the self service password is a great new feature of Office 365” -  as it begs the question,  “you mean you couldn’t do that ?”

by Brett

Wouldn't it be cool to assign a drive letter to a document library? You could then use command lines and code to interact with your SharePoint Online documents as if they were a local drive. For those using the E plans, you can do this pretty easy!  Amaze your friends and cusomters with this simple but useful tip.

Office 365 Connector for SBS Released (Beta)

by Brett

There is some big news today with the release of the Office 365 service connector for SBS essentials.

The SBS team has been busy creating some tools for SBS Essentials that include features like bulk user creation and get this - Password synchronization.  I just wish that password synchronization was a service available to all users of AD. Why it's not is a complete mystery to me as Microsoft knows how to do this, but just doesn't. (AD-FS is a good answer for enterprises, but not for the massive small business market).

The connector also includes (quoted from the blog entry below)

  • Subscribe to Office 365 or configure the server to use an existing subscription.
  • Perform the following Office 365 account management tasks from the Dashboard:
    • Bulk create Office 365 accounts for network user accounts.
    • Assign new or existing Office 365 accounts to network user accounts.
    • Manage the Office 365 account assigned to a user account throughout the lifecycle of the user account. For example, deactivating a network user account also deactivates the Office 365 account that is assigned to the user account.
  • Synchronize passwords for network user accounts and Office 365 accounts. This allows network users to sign in to Office 365 using their Windows password.
  • Link a professional Internet domain that you have set up on Window SBS to Office 365.
  • View information about your Office 365 subscription.
  • Access your Office 365 management portal from the Office 365 page of the server Dashboard.

    Kudos to the SBS team. Hopefully they'll extend the reach futher with more integrations in the future.
  • Brett Hill

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