The awakening (again!)

Finally! After a few years in the dark, offline and without the time or energy to migrate my crashed blog I have now finally done it! Kind of restored my backups that is..

The blog itself is up, most of what I could find in my backups are also migrated, most of my old posts are also imported, but still missing a few years and lots of Graphics, broken links and so on. Also, some years I decided to do blogging in Swedish so will be a bit confusing when you read them because I have just auto-translated them.

Using different plattforms have not exacly made my life easier when it gets to migration from all the scattered backups, but atleast its now happening anyways.

Will be updating some old sourcecode also as we go along and bring that online again, most of it is pretty old now but I will have the most requested projects up.

How much is Office 365 used?

If you have an Office 365 agreement and wonder what and how much you use, it’s possible to check out using the long-awaited Office 365 content package that has now been published. The package shows how many different services are used, how many messages are posted on social functions, but there are limited places in this pilot and you must apply by email. Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/10/announcing-the-preview-of-the-office-365-adoption-content-pack-in-power-bi/

Azure Information Protection is now GA

“Information wants to be free” is the stroke of many bad people out there, but completely untrue it is not. Or, at least, it’s not the idea that information wants to be mobile. A tough difference. For this I have always propagated RMS (Rights Management Services) as protection. It protects the document itself, no matter where it is. It is a cornerstone of information security – that we can actually protect. The problem with RMS has long been just how to attack to actually classify, set permissions and crash work with RMS. It has been more or less insurmountable. Now, Microsoft has taken a leap and released AIP, which includes our former hero RMS, but also the new fighter we received when Microsoft bought the Secure Islands. AIP is about how we classify, follow up, and enable sharing of information.

Certainly not an Office 365 product without an Azure product, but it solves so many problems we’ve had on the productivity page so it’s impossible to talk about it. It builds on and above all, the new way of working is amazingly amazing. Read more at https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/enterprisemobility/2016/10/04/azure-information-protection-is-now-generally-available/

Yammer is a part of Groups!

In the department of some older news, I would like to remind you of an incredibly important news that really shows Microsoft’s investments on Yammer as a platform. So for those who believe that Yammer has taken their last breath, or is heading for safe death, believe wrong. We have one of the greatest possible development plans in our history of Yammer, and it’s a social network for companies that actually develop and adapt to new modern tools and working methods.

Soon, we can now use all SharePoints strengths when we handle files in Yammer, that is, version management, document management principles, and all security features. Easy access to Planner, OneNote and more for users, competent management and control through Office 365 and its admin center.

Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/yammer-strengthens-team-collaboration-through-integration-with-office-365-Groups/

Staff Hub

There are some issues that are recurring for an admin; one is just how to handle users who are not always employed or may not have their own computer. Shared computers have always been the answer. It works really well with all the technology currently available like Azure Domain Join, Intune, Office 365 mm. But somewhere you need more.

Microsoft recently released a great portal for these cases, a portal where you can manage meeting invitations, files and, in particular, scheduling and changing passes. The solution might not suit everyone but it’s a great starting point. Read more about Staff Hub here: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/26/announcing-the-public-preview-of-microsoft-staffhub-the-new-app-for-deskless-workers/

Silence..

After a couple of years of silence , I thought once more to get me behind the keyboard again. It’s both fun and scary,  it’s enough time now. Here you will find general about Office 365, Microsoft’s productivity platform, but also about other things that relate to it. All through the eyes of a technician, ie me. Also thought to concentrate on what’s new, some Swedish links to otherwise quite globalized information. Well, then you’ll get affected by contacting me!

Hur testar jag nya funktioner enkelt?
VYou have started to “nag” a lot about advanced security features in the past. One of the problems I often hear is that it is difficult and difficult to set up tests and how to conduct tests on Microsoft’s online platforms. A simple solution to at least how to test these new security features can be found in the Office 365 Test Lab Guides. It’s simple step by step guides that will guide you through how to best set up and evaluate the various features. Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/03/demonstrate-enterprise-features-with-the-office-365-test-lab-guides/

Datacenter in Hyperscale
One of the first things I had the privilege of doing when I started at Microsoft was to visit a couple of our data centers. I thought so well before I thought it would be fun to see Dublin and Amsterdam more than maybe the data center ..; P .. because I have seen my prone part of data centers over the years. How awesome could it really be? I was not only surprised, impressed and seduced. I was completely resigned. The scale that Microsoft’s data center is built and operated in means that you can not really understand it until you walk through the floor, hundreds of feet on each floor. Crazy impressive. We sometimes have the privilege of bringing customers on tours in the data center, talking to your customer manager if you’re crazy, but it’s often a pretty big process. If you now can not, have time or have time to go there with your customer team, you can see more of Microsoft’s data center to learn more about here: https://blogs.office.com/2016/10/03/take-a-guided-tour-of-a-microsoft-datacenter-to-learn-how-microsoft-delivers-your-cloud-services/

Office App Launcher
The last thing I was thinking about this time is Microsoft’s new applauncher, located in Office 365, a product that you can actually use for really. Right now we have concentrated on making it useful to users, that is, they can move, fix and arrange the menus as they wish. Most features are available to you who use Exchange Online, including tabs, and the ability to move things if you do not have Exchange Online. Later we will build on more administrative functions, there is already ongoing work on this. Read more at https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/27/introducing-the-new-office-365-app-launcher/

The daily overkill?

I still have not decided, is it really overkill or just very nice? Or is it not solving the issue at all or is actually quite useful? I got a mail from an internal mailing list about getting some quick feedback on code that was written to retrieve disk free space from a single or several machines. The actual question was somewhat directed towards a one-liner, but why would I write something that is not reusable? So while not exactly an answer to the question, but using some simple tricks I think the script itself is pretty nice and actually uses some intelligence to retrieve information, fixing some stuff with objects etc. Ah well, just enjoy and use if you can! It retrieves the disk free space in GB and in %.

 

C2RUtilities.psm – Click-to-run help in PowerShell

Here is a quick utility module for PowerShell I threw together to make some task regarding C2R (Click To Run) deployment of Microsoft Office Pro Plus easier. The module have no external dependencies but a bit rough around the edges and is adapted very much for a couple of tasks at hand. This is as usual my own work and is not supported by Microsoft and I leave no guarantees what so ever.

Get-C2RSetupFile
Downloads the latest version of Setup.exe. It downloads the installer, unpacks the Setup.exe file and then throws everything that is not needed away. Clean and easy way of making sure that Setup.exe always is up-to-date.

Get-C2RDistributableFiles
Downloads all the files for C2R Office Pro Plus, as according to configurations, one or multiple. This is primarily to populate a local distribution point first time around. It supports multi-version and multi-language.

Save-C2RMultiConfig
Saves a bunch of config files at the same time. Used when bulk-creating multiple version or multiple shares for local distribution points.

New-C2RConfigXml
Creates a configuration file for used by the out-of-the-box installer Setup.exe that you downloaded earlier. Supports most common options of adding, removing and languages. Should be pretty straight forward to use.

Get-C2RVersion
This will download and parse the list of available builds on the CDN. This is useful for when populating a local distribution share.

Example
The following example will download a list of all available versions in the CDN, create deployment config in Swedish, German and US English using standard options but with a local update path, save the deployment configs to the share for use later when deploying and lastly actually download all the bits.

 

PowerShell Library and PowerExe Builder updated (again!)

This evening the PowerShell Library was updated to version 5.2.5.0. Use Update-SPELComponents to update, then restart PowerShell.

  • Added support for icons for PowerExe Builder and changed infrastructure for SelfHostedPS Icons to handle raw images instead of temp files.
  • Removed support for commandline arguments as introduced in 5.1.0.0 (manually specifying arguments, manifested as variables inside the running application)
  • Added support for standard parameter sections: PARAM. It supports all data type attributes for all .net built in primitives, mandatory parameter setting, and the parameter name and help message attributes. It will however try honoring all unkown data types but will warn when building if not supported and it might not work.

Also, PowerExe Builder, have been updated (to 1.1.0.0) to reflect the above changes. This can be most noted in that the parameter setup windows have been removed as this magic now is done in the background by the library at runtime and no manual intervention is needed. Also two minor cosmetic bug fixes have been implemented.

PowerExeBuilder_1.1.0.0

 

Announcing PowerExe Builder

Today I have the great pleasure of announcing a stand-alone version of the SelfHostedPS parts of my PowerShell Library. It has a nice GUI and everything you need to produce simple EXE files from PowerShell scripts. Some features are not yet supported if you compare the two edition but as this basically lives on-top of the PowerShell Library features will be added moving ahead, and some unique features such as automatic parameter mapping will be added in future versions.

PowerExeBuilder

Version 1.0.0.0 released here.