Earlier this month I reported that SharePoint SP1 had been pulled off the market due to an issue with the update package. This has now been resolved. According to Bill Baer from Microsoft:
Customers with Service Pack 1 Deployed
For customers who have previously deployed Service Pack 1, download the updated Service Pack 1 and install over the existing Service Pack 1 running PSConfig or PSConfigUI immediately following.
Customers without Service Pack 1
For customers without Service Pack 1 deployed, download the updated Service Pack 1 package and deploy as per the KB documentation.
See Bill’s full blog post here.
Download links for SP1
SharePoint Server Language Pack
SharePoint Foundation Language Pack
Office Web Apps Server
When deploying AD FS for Office 365, the ideal deployment scenario is to have the userPrincipalName (UPN) value in Active Directory configured to match the user’s email address; at a minimum, your UPN suffix needs to be a publically routable domain. For many organizations, changing user UPNs is a fairly easily scriptable change with little to no impact. However, for some organizations, existing applications are using the current UPN values and making the recommended change would require significant effort.
A recent update to AD FS 3.0 (Windows Server 2012 R2) and updated guidance for Directory Sync now allow for using an “alternate login ID” with AD FS and Office 365. The end result is you can now use a value such as “mail” as the user’s login in Office 365 and avoid changes to the on-premises Active Directory objects.
The instructions for this configuration are somewhat buried in two links so I’ve consolidated them in the article below.
Read the rest of this post »
Companies now have several options when it comes to Microsoft’s enterprise-ready unified communications platform, Lync – from Lync on-premises, hosted Lync, to Lync Online with Office 365, or even Lync in a hybrid environment. I’ve been using Lync for over three years, and can attest to its ability to provide a more connected experience, enabling me to interact with colleagues and partners in a way that is collaborative, engaging and accessible. Lync does this by providing a single solution that unites voice, IM, audio, video, and web-conferencing.
In the last year or two, the cloud has definitely been a game changer. If you are reading this, you are likely interested in what a cloud-based UC server such has Lync Online has to offer. Lync Online can be purchased as a standalone service, or as part of Office 365 for enterprise suite, which, in addition to Lync Online, also includes Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Professional Plus, and Microsoft Office Online.
If you want to learn more about your options with Lync, and specifically, what Lync Online and Lync hybrid entail, and how they differ from Lync on-premises, join us next week, on Wednesday, April 30 at 1 p.m. CDT for a complimentary webinar, “Lync Online: How the Cloud Is Changing the Way We Communicate.” Read the rest of this post »
On Wednesday, we hosted a live webinar, “Yammer External Networks: Engaging Partners & Customers,” where my colleague Rich Wood, Director of Web & Social Collaboration at Perficient, dug into the potential that Yammer offers when it comes to engaging those outside your company, and how it is truly redefining what we’ve come to know as a traditional external network.
Rich kicked it off with a quick discussion around the common ground between an enterprise social network and an extranet. He pointed out, that with all the benefits of an enterprise social network, it sure would be nice to share these benefits with your customers, partners, even vendors, right?
He then reviewed how extranets work, use cases, and why our reflex for an extranet tends to be on-premises SharePoint (secured behind SSL, Active Directory, strict governance). But, the cloud has really changed things, and due to that, he talked about why your organization should consider using Yammer as an external network. Read the rest of this post »
As Microsoft continues to improve its cloud offerings, there has been a stead stream of updates to the product lines. Since there is so much to keep up with, I wanted to collate all of these updates together for you! Below you’ll find information and links to all the recent updates to Office 365, Office Online – Word, Excel, and OneNote.
The biggest update in the last month came from the Office for iPad announcement. This has been a very popular release, our customers are thrilled to have Office available on all devices.
A second announcement came this week that Microsoft is now selling Office 365 Personal licenses, which will unlock editing on the iPad. For customers who downloaded the Office for iPad app, but you did not have a corporate Office 365 subscription, you could view files, but not edit them. This new offering is for $69.99 a year or $6.99 per month, which will give you 1 PC/Mac and 1 Tablet. If you want a family option, the Office 365 Home licenses is available for $99.99 a year or $9.99 a month and will give you 5 PC/Mac and 5 Tablet licenses.
For more information, here is a nice review of Office for iPad.
Here is a really large update to Excel Online features, including:
Here is a recent update covering PowerPoint Online: improved performance, text editing, and Tell Me
After meeting them at SharePoint Conference 2014, I recently accepted an invitation from ViewDo Labs to publish the occasional musing on their enterprise social blog. ViewDo is a company formed by the former Axceler braintrust to focus on enterprise social analytics, and they have a great and growing product already out there for Yammer.
This is a something I jumped at, because it’s a community blog featuring some of the people I personally read regularly; being included in their number is an honor.
My first post for them came out yesterday, and is focused on a familiar topic: Yammer External Networks. This introductory post makes the same case I’m making in a webinar this afternoon– that Yammer External networks (I’m torn on whether or not to call them “YEN”) elevate the formerly staid concept of the Extranet into a social, more truly collaborative space. Check it out and let us know what you think!
SkyDrive or OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, lync - where to start? what to install for users? Which to use when? Many of us go through these questions when facing customers or when looking to provide the best service to our internal users. So much information is flowing around the web but its always tough to assimilate in one place and get a holistic view of all these services. So I thought, why not create a series on Office 365 explaining each of these services in depth helping our technical and business users to make informed decision.
As first part of this series I wrote about how moving to Office 365 can help you utilize various channels and services. And today I am going to dive deeper into the benefits, limitations, features of OneDrive for Business (ODFB) and many things you didn’t know even existed.
What is OneDrive for Business
A cloud service which provides personal library intended for storing and organizing your work documents.
Where can I get it?
It comes part of SharePoint 2013 on premise or if you are on Office 365 you can buy subscription plan. Remember even though it comes part of on prem SP 2013 the service still runs on Microsoft cloud. Check the table below for latest pricing and comparable features of OneDrive personal and OneDrive for Business.
Space & Features
OneDrive for Business
|Initial Space||7GB Free||25GB for $2.50 user/month|
|Additional||up to 10GB Free (by activating camera roll backup and inviting friends)||$0.20 per GB|
|+50GB||$25 annually||$0.20 per GB|
|+100GB||$50 annually||$0.20 per GB|
|+200GB||$100 annually||$0.20 per GB|
|Desktop Syncing, Mobile Access, create/edit office docs in browser, integration with office desktop, automatic versioning and history of documents||Available||Available|
|Auditing & Reporting, advanced administration||No||Available|
|MFA (multi factor authentication)||No||Available|
Tell me more about OneDrive for Business and how can I integrate it within my business?
Last week Microsoft announced a standalone version of ODFB. This actually makes it a very strong contender for piloting new businesses with the standalone version and later upgrading to comprehensive plans. here are some interesting facts you probably did not know:
But just like any other product, ODFB also have limitations. The good news is that Microsoft has most on their roadmap for this year.
Hopefully you were able to see the horsepower and value OneDrive for Business adds to your business in form of sharing & collaboration while maintaining the parameters of security and compliance. At the end of the day we all need to realize that the real value of these products lies in utilizing technology, process, and people to build a community where collaboration can thrive.
Hybrid SharePoint environments combine deployments of SharePoint on premise with SharePoint Online. There are many different flavors of hybrid scenarios. In this post I will walk you through some of the terminology and explain the different options.
The goal of any hybridization is to leverage the strengths of both parts, while minimizing the components’ weaknesses. Hybrid SharePoint environments enable organizations to realize a higher degree of flexibility than forcing a choice between either an on-premises or cloud model. Organizations can start to achieve the benefits associated with the use of cloud computing coupled with the customization, flexibility, and tight data governance of an on-premises system; while delivering a consistent experience to users.
Although cloud solutions are most certainly recommended, the cloud simply does not work for every organization and every scenario. There are going to be workloads that are not perfect fits for the cloud. In those instances, it’s totally ok to leave those workloads on premise. Here are some scenarios where hybrid solutions are useful:
SharePoint Online offers many features which can aid an organization in deploying a robust hybrid environment. Most hybrid environments today will utilize SharePoint 2013 on premise. All of the information you will find on TechNet will be specific to the 2013 version. For purposes of this post, that’s where we’ll focus, however we do have customers utilizing hybrid environments with SharePoint 2010 and 2007.
A hybrid SharePoint environment can enable enterprise users to:
Additionally, a hybrid SharePoint environment can provide greater flexibility in your content management strategy by allowing you to keep sensitive data on-premises while migrating other content to the cloud.
Microsoft supports 3 types of Hybrid topologies for SharePoint:
|One-way outbound||SharePoint Server 2013 Search services can query the SharePoint Online search index and return federated results to SharePoint Server 2013 Search.|
|One-way inbound||SharePoint Online Search services can query the SharePoint Server 2013 search index and return federated results to SharePoint Online Search.|
|Two-way||Both SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Online Search services can query the search index in the other environment and return federated results.|
A one-way inbound hybrid topology enables SharePoint Online to request data from a SharePoint Server 2013 web application. In order for inbound data connections to occur, a web application in the SharePoint Server 2013 must be published to the Internet with an internet-routable URL. This requires the deployment of a reverse proxy device that is configured to securely accept the inbound connection and relay the request to SharePoint Server 2013.
Conversely, a one-way outbound hybrid topology only supports trusted connections from SharePoint Server 2013 to a SharePoint Online web application. Because web applications in SharePoint Online are already configured with an internet-routable URL, SharePoint Server 2013 can connect directly through an existing corporate firewall or forward proxy like any other request to an Internet server.
One-way outbound: An outbound authentication topology lets the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm make authenticated connections to SharePoint Online. Connections to SharePoint Online that originate from SharePoint Server 2013 are referred to as outbound connections.
One-way inbound: An inbound authentication topology lets SharePoint Online make authenticated connections to the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm. Connections to SharePoint Server 2013 that originate from SharePoint Online are referred to as inbound connections.
Two-way: A two-way authentication topology lets SharePoint Online make authenticated connections to the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm, and lets the on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm make authenticated connections to SharePoint Online.
Each available hybrid solution requires a specific hybrid topology. Your choice of which hybrid topology to use is based on a combination of what you need to do, the solution you need, your on-premises SharePoint architecture, and the desired user experience. For example, if you want users of your on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 farm to see both local and SharePoint Online results, you might only need a one-way outbound hybrid topology. If you want users to see both sets of search results regardless of the location of the search portal, you will need a two-way topology.
Before you make a decision, collect and consider the information that will frame your business requirements, such as:
As is true for the rollout of any major technology solution, the successful deployment of a hybrid environment is largely dependent on the thoroughness of the design and planning process. You should carefully consider and clearly define your requirements and business goals, and review the constraints of your existing SharePoint environment. Also, take time to consider the technical requirements of deploying and managing the different hybrid topologies. Informed by this information, you can decide which SharePoint hybrid solution or solutions are appropriate for you, and which topology is required to support them.
For more information, contact Perficient and one our certified cloud specialists can help you deploy a SharePoint Hybrid environment. Also, visit TechNet for more details on the above information. Stay tuned to this blog for more information, I’ll be writing more in depth blogs on Hybrid Architectures.
The Yammer team continually measures user interaction on their web site. Analysis of this data and suggestions for improvement lead to minor updates to the user interface over time. You can read more about their process here. Through their A/B testing and rapid deployment process thanks to their cloud infrastructure, enhancements essentially appear overnight instead of through service packs. This week, Yammer released an updated user interface. Here is a quick recap of some of the changes as features have moved.
One last note on the More menu item. The information above is only for the More menu item located in the first post of a thread. There is still a More menu item in each of the replies. This reply specific More menu contains Email Me and Delete only.
Here is a screenshot of the new look Yammer page.
Overall, I like the new look. I also think the location of the functionality is more in line with how additional, but seldom used contextual items are displayed in Yammer and the rest Office platform.
Now that the 2014 Microsoft Build conference is over, we can look back and analyze the announcements made at this event. Sure, there was plenty of cool stuff announced: Windows Phone 8.1 with all of it’s amazing features (Cortana is looking to dominate the personal assistant market), Windows 8.1 update 1 which is bringing many improvements to traditional desktop users, new Azure pricing levels, open sourcing of .NET compiler and more. But I think the most important announcement of all was the new Windows pricing.
Fort the first time ever, Windows (all flavors of it, including Windows Phone) will be available to OEMs for free, as long as the size of the device screen is less than 9 inches. This announcement is definitely a seismic shift in the way Microsoft conducts business. For many years, Windows was a cash cow for Microsoft and now Microsoft is letting this cow run free (at least for smaller devices). So, why Microsoft is doing this?
In the past couple of years Microsoft proclaimed itself to be a “devices and services” company which represents a major shift from Microsoft’s past as a software development corporation. That direction is definitely getting even more support from Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella. As a device and services company Microsoft should be driving more revenue from devices (Surface series, coming Nokia phones) and services (Azure, Bing, Office 360, Sharepoint Online).
By making Windows available for free for smaller devices Microsoft is enabling OEMs to directly compete with Google’s offerings (Android and ChromeOS) which Google also give away for free.
Another announcement which goes hand-in-hand with free Windows is the introduction of a “universal Windows apps”, allowing developer to build applications which will run on Windows, Windows Phone and even the XBox. Combined with less expensive Windows devices these universal apps should contribute to the expansion of a Windows ecosystem, increasing demand for Microsoft services and boosting Microsoft revenue.