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Monday, October 24, 2016

When to Use What in Office 365 +
What Can We Share Externally in SharePoint Online?

On October 4th I gave a presentation at the Microsoft Technology Center in Houston on When to Use What in Office 365. It was part of a free roundtable seminar series offered by Protiviti. We had a great turn out and a lot of really good questions. Thank you to everyone that came and my sincere apologies for the delay in posting this presentation.  I wanted to share my slides with the attendees and anyone that reads my blog, and answer a particularly interesting question that came up during the presentation.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Synchronizing Custom AD Attributes to Office 365 - Part 3

This blog is the 3rd in a 3 part series on synchronizing and working with custom AD attributes in Office 365. In this post we continue with our final step, showing you how to customize the AD Connect synchronization rules.  This will allow your custom AD attributes (customized by extending your AD schema) can be stored in extension attributes in Office 365, so that you can retrieve and work with them.

So, how do we get our custom on premise AD attributes into Office 365 extension attributes so that we can use the Windows Azure AD Module for PowerShell to actually read them?

Synchronizing Custom AD Attributes to Office 365 - Part 2

This blog is the 2nd in a 3 part series on synchronizing and working with custom AD attributes in Office 365. In this post we continue with showing you how to retrieve attributes in Office 365 using PowerShell.

PowerShell can be used to both verify that your custom attributes have actually been synchronized to Office 365, and it can be used to actually accomplish things with those attributes, like having them sync'ed to your user profile in SharePoint Online (but that's for another article).

Synchronizing Custom AD Attributes to Office 365 - Part 1

Synchronization of identities has come a long way since the early days of DirSync.  We've now seen 2 major releases of the latest generation sync tool, Azure AD Connect, and it has introduced a long list of new features.  End of support for DirSync and Azure AD Sync are scheduled for April 13, 2017 (announcement).

If you're looking for a list of the benefits of upgrading to the latest version of AD Connect, please see my blog on that topic here: Why upgrade DirSync to Azure AD Connect.  One of those great new features is the ability to synchronize directory extension attributes or even custom attributes from an on premise Active Directory environment to Azure AD within Office 365.  This post is about some of the limitations still in place around custom attributes, and some suggestions on how to deal with them once they've been synchronized.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How Secure Is My Data in Office 365?

A few weeks ago, on September 21, I gave a session at the DFW user group meeting called How Secure is My Data in Office 365?  Thank you to all those that attended and my apologies for the delay in posting my presentation.  Life has been busy.

I actually get asked this question quite often from clients that are concerned about migrating their data and workloads to Office 365.  Organizations tend to have an easier time when it comes to moving Exchange to Office 365.  However, the question tends to come more from clients considering moving SharePoint team sites or OneDrive for Business to the cloud.

Its important to consider the question from various angles.  Here is a summary of the points I make during my session to help answer the question...

How secure is my data in Office 365?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Office 365 Nightly PowerShell Scripts: Encrypting Admin Credentials

When using remote PowerShell to perform tasks in Office 365 we typically need to provide our administrator credentials to create the initial connection.  These are typically a Global Administrator's username & password, or at least an Exchange or SharePoint administrator's username & password.  These are highly privileged accounts and we need to ensure that the username and password associated with these accounts do not get compromised or stolen.  So, when we need to run remote PowerShell scripts on a nightly automated basis, without administrator intervention, how do we secure those highly privileged credentials?