Summary: The New BPOS Provisioning Guide is an awesome document that has a ton of useful information
The BPOS team has released a major new document called the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite Provisioning Guide . This is essentially a revision to the previously released BPOS Deployment Guide but has a significantly expanded scope.
For example, the first guide was called the BPOS Deployment Guide really only focused on the Exchange Online. The new guide includes Exchange, SharePoint, OCS and Live Meeting. You will also find details on how to cleanup AD, deploy dirsynch, and use powershell with the services.
The new guide is significantly improved in other dimensions as well. There is a focus on planning and executing a plan for migration as well as plenty of technical details on directory synch, migration, using powershell and other details.
Even the appendices of this guide are useful. ‘Solution Alignment Workshop Questionnaire”, “Sample E-Mail Migration End User Communications”, “Post Migration Services Test Plan”, and a “Live Meeting Needs Assessment Worksheet”.
While the guide is for all practical considerations pretty comprehensive, it does not include deploying the Single Sign on Client, which is required for the service. Seems like if this is a provisioning guide, and you can’t actually use the services without the Sign In client (effectively), that this topic is in scope. Also, I noticed some dated information included in some part of the instructions. For example under “To verify ownership of a domain” it says at one stage to “Copy the part of your Microsoft Online Services CNAME information before the first dot (similar to C9D882D-8A55-4700-9B0B…)…” But the CNAME is nothing at all like that. It’s like “ms99706361”. Yeah I know – GEEK ALERT.
Since I’m geeking out - there are instructions on using SPF records and Autodiscover in the guide that are overbroad. In general you do not need these entries. Even so the guidance for SPF records is “If you plan to use a domain that you created in a customer’s Microsoft Online Services account to send e-mail, you should modify [DNS] to include an Autodiscover SPF [record]” In practice the most common need are when required by your ISP or when using SMTP relay.
No need to flip a parity bit over ways this guide could be better – I’ve ALWAYS got a lot of ideas about that. The key point is this: The New BPOS Provisioning Guide is an awesome document that has a ton of useful information. The most recent revisions have expanded the scope to include planning and important details about all the services. REQUIRED READING for anyone involved in BPOS deployments.
Note the guide is does not appear to be available except to Microsoft Partners.