Exchange Unwashed Digest – September 2015

September 2015 included a visit to Las Vegas for IT/DEV Connections, a conference that I value greatly because of the quality of the speakers, the content, and the audience. One of the things that happened this year is that the agenda emphasized the holistic nature of Office 365. By this I mean that we tried to stay away from “Exchange” or “SharePoint” sessions and put a huge value on sessions that addressed Office 365 as a whole rather than as a loose set of applications. Too many conferences that purport to cover Office 365 remain very SharePoint-centric, which is fine in its own way, but you have to remember that moving SharePoint workload to the cloud is often quite difficult, so it’s generally not the first workload to migrate. In any case, I look forward to next year’s event, which will take place in the ARIA Hotel on Sept 19-22.

Here’s what happened in my Exchange Unwashed blog during September 2015.

Office 365 Groups, transport rules, and network tweaks (Sept.30): This post covers a pretty bad bug in Office 365 Groups in that transport rules are ignored when posting to a group conversation. Microsoft is fixing the issue, but they were lucky that this bug was reported before large companies started to use Office 365 Groups in earnest. Also in the post I cover the relaunch of the Exchange Exposed Podcast, the launch of the 2nd edition of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals“, the availability of ExpressRoute for Office 365, and a nice DNS tip from Priasoft.

Growing Office 365 numbers make Microsoft’s SLA calculation less valuable (Sept. 29): I made the point at Connections that the growing numbers of Office 365 users makes the SLA performance reported by Microsoft less valuable, at least in the eyes of individual tenants. This post explains why…

New APIs make Office 365 monitoring easier (Sept. 24) Because the overall SLA for Office 365 means nothing in terms of what happens for an individual tenant, some other method is required to allow tenants know what’s really going on. Fortunately, Microsoft has made some nice APIs available that are now being used by ISVs to create products to do just that.

Outlook (Office 365) Groups app appears for mobile devices (Sept. 22) Office 365 Groups are a pretty nice way to enable collaboration, but they have suffered due to the lack of any mobile apps. Now we have three: Windows Phone, iOS, and Android. But they’re called Outlook Groups to confuse and bemuse. Or, as the marketing people say, to reinforce brand awareness. Quite.

All the Exchange news from IT/DEV Connections 2015 (Sept. 17) A wrap-up post to let those who couldn’t get to the IT/DEV Connections conference know some of what happened at the event. We can’t tell everything because that would be too embarrassing for some!

Updates lay the foundation for the launch of Exchange 2016 (Sept. 15) The world and its mother should know by now that Exchange 2016 is due very shortly. Very, very shortly. So it should be no surprise that Microsoft launched Exchange 2013 CU10 and Exchange 2010 SP3 RU11 to co-exist with the new software. But only when Exchange 2016 is released. Soon. Very soon.

Office 2016 – great for Office 365 but not so good for on-premises customers (Sept. 15) This post disappointed some of my friends at Microsoft and some of their PR people too. I wasn’t negative about Office 2016, which I like, but I did think it worthwhile to point out that on-premises customers won’t gain any value from the snazzy bits that are included in the new release. So I did.

Moving back to Windows Phone 8.1 (Sept. 14) I used Windows Mobile 10 for a while and then gave up and reverted to Windows Phone 8.1, which made my Lumia 1020 much happier. Then Microsoft went and issued a new build that is apparently quite good and made this article seem pretty dated. Oh well…

The acceleration of cloud email (Sept. 10) It’s really hard to get firm numbers about the number of cloud-based mailboxes, so a company called Bitglass started to monitor network connections across the Internet to see if they could make sense of what’s happening. We still don’t know exactly, but we can say that there’s lots more cloud-based email today than there was in 2014. Anyone want to bet that there won’t be more in 2016?

Do other options exist if you don’t like Office Delve? (Sept. 7) Delve gets a lot of good press, which is due because it is a nice application. But it’s limited insofar as Delve can only use Microsoft data (apps that run inside Office 365 and some data from hybrid deployments) to do its stuff. Other applications exist that do much the same (maybe less pretty) but with more sources of data. So they might be worthwhile checking out.

Father of PowerShell promoted to Microsoft Technical Fellow (Sept. 3) This was the most popular post of the month as it reported that Jeffrey Snover, the person most responsible for driving PowerShell and automation into pretty well everything Microsoft currently does for Windows servers, was promoted to Technical Fellow. It’s well earned.

Basic features in Exchange Online undermine case for third-party backups (Sept. 1) While I am not saying that third-party backups are useless for Exchange Online, I do make the case that you should exploit the native features and extract maximum advantage from the software before you rush to spend money on extra products. See what you think.

As each month goes by, I seem to have more to write about. I guess that’s good, but it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on from time to time. Enjoy October and stay reading Exchange Unwashed, or follow me on Twitter @12Knocksinna

Posted in Cloud, Email, Exchange, Office 365, Outlook, SharePoint, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Launching “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” (2nd edition)

Yesterday, we seized the opportunity of having the three authors and our esteemed technical editor together for the IT/DEV Connections conference in Las Vegas to launch the second edition of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals”. Binary Tree kindly sponsored a reception and once the 50 or so folks who came along had a drink, we shared some stories about the struggles of eBook publishing, especially when the subject matter changes so quickly, which is certainly the case with Office 365, and then distributed copies of the book on USB key that were also provided by Binary Tree.


In the halcyon days of print publishing, a book launch was an opportunity for those who attended to get a copy of the book signed by the author. It’s pretty difficult to sign an eBook, but we came up with the idea of signing the USB key with a Sharpie. I have no idea of how long these signatures will last, but creating an assembly line to have the four of us sign each USB was a bit of fun.

A signed (USB) copy of "Office 365 for Exchange Professionals"

A signed (USB) copy of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals”

Binary Tree also printed off a paper copy of the book that we signed. The photo below shows the writing team (Jeff Guillet, me, Michael Van Horenbeeck, Paul Cunningham) and three from Binary Tree, including Justin Harris and Gary Steere (both Exchange MVPs), and Val Vasquez.

Look! A signed copy too...

Look! A signed copy too…

Those who weren’t able to attend IT/DEV Connections, which by the way is an excellent conference focused on practical issues involved in managing applications like Exchange, SharePoint, and Office 365, can now get the PDF and EPUB versions of the second edition at If you signed up to become a member of and bought the first edition, you’re eligible to update to the second edition for $10. Otherwise the price is $38.20 until the end of September at which time the price will revert to $44.95.

We are preparing a Kindle version too. The Kindle version of the second edition of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” is available for pre-order from Amazon and will be released on September 30. Some additional formatting work explains the delay in release. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a discount for the Kindle version for reasons that are too many and too boring to explain. Sorry.

Alan Byrne, the co-founder of Cogmotive (an excellent reporting solution for Office 365), reviewed the second edition on his blog. It was great to have Alan read the book and tell us what he thinks because he has been living the dream of creating an ISV product for Office 365 and using tools like PowerShell and the Office 365 APIs to extract information from the service for the tenants he supports. As such, he knows what he is talking about.

Of course, Office 365 doesn’t stop changing just because a new book is available. We know that we have work to do to keep pace with new updates, features and functionality that appear in Office 365. A third edition is planned and will probably appear in time for the Ignite 2016 conference next May.

Thanks to everyone who supported the first edition; the second couldn’t have been possible without your help and feedback. And special thanks to Binary Tree for providing the necessary financial sponsorship to allow us to dedicate sufficient time to producing the second edition. We have over 150 pages of new content and have extensively revised many of the chapters from the first edition. That takes time, energy, and a little bit of money.

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Exchange Unwashed Blog Digest – August 2015

It’s taken me too long to get around to collating the Exchange Unwashed digest for August 2015. I plead vacation, the need to manage the submission of session presentations for this month’s IT/DEV Connections conference in Las Vegas, and the final preparation of the second edition of “Office 365 for Exchange Professionals” in mitigation. However, better late than never, so here’s what happened during August.

ESEUTIL – even more evil for DAGs (August 27): A continuation of a previous article outlining why the ESEUTIL utility can be problematic when used to process mailbox databases that belong to a Database Availability Group (DAG). Quite a few people responded that they liked using ESEUTIL and consider it part of their toolkit. That’s just fine, as far as it goes, assuming that you understand what happens when ESEUTIL processes a database and what might occur when you bring the database back online. A brain surgeon can cut into your central cortex with confidence, but would you allow some guy off the street to do the same?

SharePoint’s interesting hybrid cloud search service (August 25): There’s no doubt that I am writing more about non-Exchange elements of Office 365 and this is a good example. But the technology is interesting as it allows for the tons of documents and other data held in on-premises SharePoint servers to be exposed to tools like Delve running inside Office 365. At least, I think it’s interesting…

Removing on-hold items from Exchange and SharePoint: unsupported but doable (August 20): Despite what some of their spokespeople might imply, Microsoft does not have the answers to all the technical requirements that companies might have. At times, little gaps are left that are either filled by a third party product or by a workaround. In this instance, it’s the latter – a set of steps that can be taken to remove on-hold items when required. The key is to do so in a way that will stand up to legal challenge – and that’s the hardest bit.

Windows 10 Build 10525, PowerShell, and Office 365 (August 19): Everyone knows that Exchange uses remote PowerShell to manage its services, but in an Office 365 environment you have to connect to different endpoints to access different services. The Compliance Center is one of those, but running PowerShell to connect to the Compliance Center on any Windows 10 build after RTM is guaranteed to be a frustrating experience. I’ve complained to Microsoft but no one seems to be able to fix the problem. The other PowerShell endpoints work quite happily.

New report slams Office 365 compliance features unfairly (August 18): Independent reports about product functionality serve a useful purpose by holding vendors like Microsoft to account and providing potential customers with a view as to whether the products will actually work for them. I received a report authored by Osterman Research and didn’t think it was accurate enough and contained too many broad generalizations to be useful, so I said so. You can read Michael Osterman’s response to my comments too. We haven’t fallen out – I think!

Frenetic pace of change continues in Office 365 (August 13): Microsoft told us that they had made 450 changes to Office 365 in the last year. That’s a staggering number. Think of how you would manage such a volume of change in one of your own IT systems – it would be terribly difficult, if not impossible. Now think of scaling up for tens of millions of users. Uuugh.

Office 365 numbers growing but report identifies some bad user habits in SharePoint and OneDrive (August 11): It’s difficult to believe, but users don’t suddenly acquire good working habits when they move to use a cloud system. A report released by Skyhigh Networks explained that many of the documents now stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business contain sensitive data that isn’t very well controlled. Sounds just like on-premises storage…

Tony’s surprising session choices for IT/DEV Connections 2015 (August 6): With IT/DEV Connections just around the corner, I like to examine the sessions to decide what ones I would attend if I had the choice (as I’m a conference chair, I’ll probably be running around too much to get to many sessions). This year I selected some of the sessions that go into detail about SharePoint Online, the Office Graph, and Delve because I think these will help those who are moving to the cloud to maximize the value they get from Office 365. I hope I have made the right choice!

The unnecessary renaming of Outlook Web App (August 5): Microsoft is making an attempt to convince the user base that the old OWA name should be modernized to “Outlook on the web” (note small w for web). I think it’s a silly exercise. What do you think?

Power BI’s odd integration with Office 365 Groups (August 4): The news that the Power BI team had enabled Office 365 Groups as a way to manage workspaces seemed like a great idea. But the integration work is not well done and leaves many holes that should be filled. And now Microsoft wants a Power BI Pro license before you can use the integration. Fortunately, the Power BI team acknowledged that they should have done better and are working to improve the situation. Hopefully, we’ll see the result of their work soon.

September has already proved interesting and I anticipate even more to talk about once I meet with my MVP buddies and other technologists at Connections in the Aria Hotel next week. I look forward to meeting those who attend Connections. It’ll be a fun time.

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Announcing the 2nd edition of Office 365 for Exchange Professionals


When Paul Cunningham, Michael Van Horenbeeck, and I set out to write the best possible book covering all aspects of Exchange Online and the other parts of Office 365 that administrators should understand, we knew that the old publishing model of write-edit-print could never keep pace with the development cadence used by cloud services. We therefore resolved that we would update the content frequently and issue new versions to make that content available to readers.

Our first version was released at the Microsoft Ignite conference in May and spanned some 630 pages. We learned a lot about the process required to take raw text and bring it together to make an eBook. We learned even more about formatting and layout to support the EPUB and Kindle formats. And then we found out that we had a lot of work to do to understand, assess, and write about all the new information released by Microsoft at Ignite.

Now we’re done and the second version is almost ready. We plan make the eBook generally available at a reception sponsored by Binary Tree at the IT/DEV Connections conference in Las Vegas at 5:30PM on September 16. Naturally, if you are at Connections, we would love for you to come along and join the party. Please RSVP if you’d like to be at the event.

The second edition contains 150 pages of new content together with a heap of changes, updates, refinements, and responses to questions asked by readers. We have extensive coverage of Office 365 Groups, Delve, the Compliance Center, and the Import Service and consider the eBook to be up to date with the current state of Office 365 – or as close as we can make it. But given the nature of Office 365, we know that we have even more work to do to keep pace as Microsoft releases more updates over the next few months. That work will be seen in the third edition, due in April 2016.

The full price for the second edition is $44.95. However, if you bought the first edition from the site and took out membership of the site, you’ll be able to update to the second edition (PDF or EPUB formats) for $10. The upgrade offer will be available from September 16 to September 23 and after that date site members will have to pay the usual price. We will not be able to extend the update offer to you if you didn’t buy a PDF or EPUB version from However, to launch the second edition, we will make the book available to everyone for $38.20 (a discount of 15%) until September 30.

If you bought the book from, please wait until we send email to you with the discount code to obtain your copy of the second edition for $10. Otherwise, if you’d like to buy at the reduced rate of $38.20, you can place your order now.

Unfortunately, we are unable to create the same type of upgrade offer for Kindle purchasers. There are multiple reasons for this, including the fundamental points that Amazon doesn’t support the kind of model that we would need to be able to provide a discount to previous purchasers plus the large percentage of income taken by Amazon for their royalty.

In fact, the Kindle version of the second edition of Office 365 for Exchange Professionals will be treated by Amazon as a completely new title that has no relationship to the first edition. We could release the second edition as an update to the first, but that doesn’t make commercial sense as we would then be giving away the new edition for free to all who bought the first edition. Believe me, no one does books like this to make their fortune. Technical books do not sell in the same quantity as bestselling novels! We have some work to do to prepare the Kindle version so the second edition will not be available on Amazon until September 23.

Creating this eBook has been both terrific fun and a real challenge. It’s fun learning, but it’s a challenge to keep tabs on what’s happening inside Office 365. At times, we almost think that the engineers are playing with us when a new and unexpected feature turns up to throw our carefully managed schedule into disarray. But that’s the world of the cloud and it’s the reason why we are publishing in the manner we are.

Stay tuned for more news about Office 365 for Exchange Professionals. We hope that you enjoy the second edition and that it justifies the same kind of reviews we received for the first edition. And thanks again for all the support received from friends, fellow MVPs, and readers.

Tony Redmond, Paul Cunningham, Michael Van Horenbeeck, and Jeff Guillet (our esteemed technical editor)


Reviews posted on Amazon for the first edition of Office 365 for Exchange Professionals

Absolutely Fantastic Book!

By Ryan M. on June 3, 2015

I’ve been working with Exchange for as long as I can remember and I’ve read many-of-book on the subject from the authors of this particular book. I’ve always found books written by them very, very useful on all areas of the chosen subject. This book adds to that great collection – if you’re looking for something that really explains the ‘What’s, If’s and How’s of Office 365 – get this book! Even if you think you know the subject inside out I bet there’s something written in here that will even surprise YOU!

Great technical resource on office 365

By Peter Day on June 11, 2015

There is plenty of technical depth to the book – there are at least 15 pages on Active Sync, for example. However, this is not merely a dump of technical information and specifications. The authors use practical examples to illustrate scenarios you are likely to encounter. There are many examples of PowerShell commands and code that relate to the discussion in the body of the text. Potential readers should note, however, that this is not a book about PowerShell, and the syntax of the commands is not explained (-one example of why this is not a book for beginners). Overall, the explanations tend to be clear and precise, but some technical knowledge is assumed, and even then the book is over 600 pages. This book would be suitable for someone who had intermediate or advanced knowledge about email systems, which to be fair, accords with the title of the book itself. Another good attribute is they explain why some things might not work as expected / predicted, which is not always easy to find out. While it is not written as a study guide, there is plenty of technical material in the book that is relevant to studying for the Microsoft exams on Office 365, especially exams 70-346 and 70-347. As someone who has worked with Office 365 since when it was called “BPOS” I can heartily recommend this book to email administrators and technical staff working with Office 365

great material from the author

By Efrain on June 3, 2015

As always, great material from the author! I carry this book with me on my phone as a quick reference. Great tool!

Probably One of the Best Books on Office 365

By Lewis Noles on June 3, 2015

I’ve been reading the eBook version of this work. From what I have read thus far, I have to say it is the best book on Office 365 that I’ve seen. I have read a lot of books on Office 365 and from the index this looks to be the most comprehensive. I own the eBook version, but if I what I have found continues, I will probably order a copy of the print edition

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Visiting Utah Beach


In June, I wrote about a quick visit to Omaha Beach and the WN62 strongpoint. Normandy has five D-Day beaches and I visited Utah Beach, the second landing point for U.S. forces, the following day. It’s just taken me a while to get around to writing about the visit!

The Utah landings were not as bloody or chaotic as those at Omaha, but the beach and surrounding area is still very interesting to history buffs because of the combination of landing by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division and the preceding airborne landings by the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions to seize the causeways leading inland from the beach and some of the key towns in the area such as Sainte-Mère-Église and Sainte Marie-du-Mont. As with his book on Omaha Beach, Joseph Balkoski’s book “Utah Beach: The Amphibious Landing and Airborne Operations on D-Day” is well worth reading before you visit. The first couple of episodes in the TV series “Band of Brothers” also provide some insight into how the fighting for the paratroopers dropped before the landings occurred, including the famous assault by the 101st at Brécourt Manor to eliminate a battery of 105mm howitzers firing on Utah Beach from about three miles away.

D-Day was dull in comparison to the unusually bright and sunny weather that I experienced in June. That being said, I have visited Utah Beach a number of times previously and have enjoyed all sorts of weather there. Normandy is a place where the weather can change in the blink of an eye…

Utah Beach with the D-Day museum visible in the dunes in the background

Utah Beach with the D-Day museum visible in the dunes in the background

The beach is freely accessible through a number of roadways cut through the dunes. Most people head for the D-Day museum, which is reasonably interesting and worth the EUR8 admission. However, a museum is a museum and walking the ground over which an action was fought can be even better. Above you can see a view from the beach towards the museum, which is located at the position of a German strongpoint (WN5) at the Grand Dune (exit 2). This is where the landings actually happened as the inbound boats were affected by a strong current and drifted off their intended mark as shown in the U.S. Army map below. The tides and currents in the area are unpredictable and the beach goes from a wide expanse of sand over several hundred meters at low tide to being right up against the dunes at high tide.

Planned and actual landings at Utah Beach (U.S. Army)

Planned and actual landings at Utah Beach (U.S. Army)

The U.S. forces were fortunate in that some of the heavier German guns were located close to where the landing should have happened and were unable to target the invading forces. A short stroll down the beach will bring you to several strongpoints where guns faced away from the American landings onto the place where the boats should have come ashore. The view from the gun port gives some idea of the commanding range of fire that was available to the defenders.

Gun port of beach position overlooking original landing zone for the 4th Infantry

Gun port of beach position overlooking original landing zone for the 4th Infantry

The external view of these positions shows the damage done by allied ships in the pre-invasion bombardment. Nevertheless, the strength of the positions is also evident by the fact that they are still standing and almost seem ready for guns to be reinstalled over 70 years later.

Battered German gun position on Utah Beach

Battered German gun position on Utah Beach

Unlike Omaha Beach, the defenders did not have the advantage of cliffs or bluffs upon which to site their weapons. Dunes and flooded countryside behind the beaches were the only physical features available to the Germans, so the actual fighting at the beach was over relatively quickly. However, several batteries of long-range artillery were able to fire on Utah Beach for most of D-Day to inflict casualties as troops and supplies landed following the initial struggle for control.

Looking at some of the defences such as the “Tobruk” machine-gun position built into the sand dunes (see below), it’s easy to imagine that the defenders might have felt pretty lonely and vulnerable when they faced the allied armada that carried the invasion forces to Utah Beach.

Tobruk machine gun post facing towards the point where U.S. forces came ashore

Tobruk machine gun post facing towards the point where U.S. forces came ashore

Utah Beach is well worth visiting if you are in Normandy. The beach itself is wide and flat and a nice place to walk. The war ruins occur along the coast and seem to be at odds with the holidaymakers who come to the beach for all the reasons why people like going to beaches. And if they tire of the beach, there’s always the assorted military hardware to explore, such as the M-4 Sherman tanks that are a common form of commemoration in the region.

M-4 Sherman Tank at Utah Beach

M-4 Sherman Tank at Utah Beach

Apart from Utah Beach, other nearby places to visit include the Airborne museum in Sainte-Mère-Église or the D-Day Paratrooper Historical Center at the splendidly named “Dead Man’s Corner” near Saint Come-du-Mont. On the German side, there’s the battery at Crisbecq, which gives some idea of the kind of fortifications built in this part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.

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Exchange Unwashed Digest July 2015

Sorry for the delay in publishing the July 2015 digest for my Exchange Unwashed Blog on A small detail called vacation (hot sun, cool pools, and chilled rose wine) got the way. C’est la vie. In any case, here’s what happened during July.

Exchange transport pipeline not quite so much of a chokepoint as before (July 30). Exchange 2013 was supposed to make sure that every single message on a server went through the transport service. No workarounds, even for messages delivered from one mailbox to another in the same database. And then we find that some exceptions exist, including a pretty big one for the Clutter function in Exchange Online, which is able to inject its messages direct into mailboxes. Curious!

Why I can’t get my head around the Send App (July 28): Microsoft’s “Garage” incubator thinks that we need yet another way to communicate. Email is too complicated and perfectly incapable of transmitting single line messages to a single recipient. So we need a new app to do the job. I disagree… do you?

Exchange 2016 (preview) now available for testing  (July 22): The big news of the month for many as the new version of Exchange appears in preview form. It’s really much more of a service pack for Exchange 2013 than a rip-roaring new release of the kind seen in the past. But that being said, there’s still a heap of goodness in the new software.

Microsoft says bring your data home as the Office 365 Import Service ingests everything (July 21): I think some folks missed the strategic import (no pun intended) of this development. Microsoft has built a general purpose import service to ingest information into Office 365. Sure, PSTs are important and the first target for Exchange people, but SharePoint libraries and file servers are interesting too… and all that other stuff that Microsoft is going after, like corporate Twitter and Facebook feeds!

What you should do to secure mailboxes when employees die (July 16): Based on feedback, it didn’t seem like many people enjoyed this article, but it is a subject that affects all of us. So it needed to be written as a companion piece to the articles discussing securing mailboxes of terminated employees. Now it’s done I don’t have to cover it again.

Microsoft announces new top-of-the-range E5 plan for Office 365 (July 14): When a conference comes around, you better have some good stuff to announce. Otherwise why have a keynote. So Microsoft launched their new E5 plan at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and threw every piece of functionality they could find into the recipe. No news yet on how much it will cost.

Securing an Exchange Online mailbox after an employee is fired (July 9): Another popular topic, so here’s how I approach the problem of how to quickly secure a mailbox of a terminated employee.

Securing an Exchange on-premises mailbox after an employee is fired (July 7): Some differences exist (naturally) in the steps that can be taken to preserve information when you’re dealing with on-premises mailboxes over their cloud counterparts. So here’s my take on the topic.

Google’s Undo Send feature is better than Outlook Recall Message, but still not totally effective (July 2): Google marketeers are good at their job and they launched the Undo Send feature for Gmail with some panache. It’s a better implementation than what we have in Outlook, so maybe Microsoft can take some pointers from Gmail. But it’s by no means perfect. Ah well, seeking perfection does take time.

That’s the lot for July 2015. The most popular post was the one covering Exchange 2016 Preview and we will hear a lot more about this release in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information here.

Oh, and by the way, Paul Robichaux and I have parted company with Penton Media over the production of our Exchange Exposed quarterly podcast. There was no malice in the parting, just a realization that we probably don’t need each other to do the work. So Paul and I are working on a new series that will launch soon with the help and backing of some very good sponsors.

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Posted in Cloud, Email, Exchange, Exchange 2013, Office 365 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Connecting to SharePoint Online with PowerShell

In my last post, I covered the basics of connecting to Exchange Online with PowerShell, including some optional modules to handle Azure Active Directory Rights Management and the Rights Management service.

Another module you might have to load allows you to manage SharePoint Online. I don’t use this very often because the PowerShell support for SharePoint Online (including OneDrive for Business) is a lot less functional (IMHO) than the Exchange equivalent. Thus, I find that most SharePoint management operations are directed towards the GUI.

The first thing to do is to download and install the SharePoint Online management shell. This package appears to assume that it will run on its own and not inside a PowerShell session where other tasks are performed. To get the SharePoint cmdlets to load, you need to include a line like this in your session (or PowerShell profile).

Import-Module “C:\Program Files\SharePoint Online Management Shell\Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell”

Once that’s done, you can connect to SharePoint Online with a command like this:

Connect-SPOService –URL “” –Credential $O365Cred

Notice that I use the same variable containing my Office 365 credentials as I use to connect to Exchange Online and Microsoft Online Services (see the previous post).

A list of the SharePoint Online cmdlets is available in TechNet. Don’t get too excited now..

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