Microsoft

Microsoft Bookings for E3 and E5 Customers

There’s a few Office 365 features that were released only for Business customers; there’s a nice list of all the Office 365 Features and what subscription they sit under on Technet. The good news is that they’re coming to Enterprise customers too!

The first service to be available is called Bookings which lets you build a booking system for your customers to use. There’s actually a lot to it – you can set rates, who’s available, what times to book, what sort of appointments customers can choose.. I can see it being a big benefit to a small business to have a very easy to configure and professional booking system.

I can see why Microsoft originally didn’t let Enterprise customers have this product – it’s not going to work well if you have 1000 staff that can be booked using it, and have more complex requirements.

Regardless, I’m sure many Enterprise customers want to at least have a look at a new free addon that’s part of their subscription.

There’s a few steps to getting access to Bookings, and it’s different to other products such as Teams. Again, Microsoft have a Technet Guide on getting Bookings but here’s the abbreviated version;

In Office 365 Admin, go to Billing > Purchase Services. Find Business Apps (it’s near the bottom), and follow the bouncing ball from the ‘Buy Now’ button which shows up when you hover over or click the Business Apps tile. It’s a bit strange to go through a purchase process for an E3/E5 subscription.

Although there’s an option to “Automatically assign to all of your users with no licenses” I found that at the end of the process, nobody actually had the license applied. You’ll need to follow your normal license allocation procedure (which at the basic level, can be choosing a user from the admin console, going to Product Licenses, finding ‘Business Apps’ and changing the switch to ‘on’).

I also hit an issue when going through the purchase process when choosing to pay. I had the message ‘Sign-in required For security reasons, please try signing in again. If you receive this notification again, a specific browser setting is preventing you from utilizing this page. Please follow this support article to fix the issue.’ Trying again ended up going in a loop to see that message. Google Chrome I couldn’t resolve this; Internet Explorer however, set your browser settings as per the support article but then completely close all IE windows, or it doesn’t seem to work.

Once you’ve purchased, it only takes a minute or less for the licenses to appear. As above, make sure you’ve then checked and applied the license to an account you plan to test on. The app itself may take longer to show up in the dots menu, but you can go direct to bookings.office.com and you will hopefully see a page like this:

From there, you can start to check out settings and configure it up!

Default Printer At First Logon via Group Policy

Deploying a network printer via Group Policy is pretty easy. In Group Policy Management Editor, you go to User Configuration > Preferences > Control Panel Settings > Printers and right click to create a new Shared Printer. Configure the options which are pretty straight forward.

Something doesn’t go right though, if you use the option ‘set this printer as the default printer’. The printer won’t actually be set as default for the first login. As it’s set to Update though, this will get fixed next time Group Policy runs.

However, if you have the Action set to ‘Create’, it only gets one chance to set the default printer – at the time of creation. That fails, and it doesn’t get a chance to set the default printer again.

Why does it fail to set the default printer at first logon? You’ll see an event viewer application error like this:

The user ‘HP Printer’ preference item in the ‘Define Printers {XXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}’ Group Policy object did not apply because it failed with error code ‘0x80070709 The printer name is invalid.’ This error was suppressed.

There’s a clear Microsoft Support Article that explains why – in summary, Windows isn’t ready yet to change something on the printer between the time it creates the printer, and then tries to make it default as they’re two separate actions.

However, we can work around this by deploying a registry entry that sets the default printer. This 11 year old article is still correct in that it shows the registry value to change:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

REG_SZ - Device
Value - \\adamfowlerit\printer,winspool,Ne04:e

Setting this via registry as an ‘Apply once and do not reapply’ with any other logic matching your printer deployment policy, should end up with the printer as a default on first logon.

This is a problem that’s been around for many years, but the first time I’ve hit it!

Removing Unwanted SMTP Records From Exchange Hybrid

I’m still new to Exchange Online and Office 365 mailbox management, but got stuck on this scenario for a bit.

After testing an E-mail Address Policy, I wanted to remove what the policy had done. I’d already discovered that taking an address off a policy itself doesn’t remove it from the accounts, and run this simple script to remove the unwanted SMTP record off each account. However, accounts that had been migrated to Office 365 didn’t change and still had the unwanted SMTP record.

I checked on Exchange Online itself, and the address I’d added hadn’t flowed through. I believe this was because it was using a domain that Office 365 didn’t know about – but that also meant that I had no records to change at that end. I could however go into the mailbox itself via the Exchange console and remove the unwanted record.

It turns out, that I had to use the ‘Get-RemoteMailbox’ and ‘Set-RemoteMailbox’ command in place of the ‘Get-Mailbox’ command. Although I was working with Exchange PowerShell on-premises, the mailbox type is “RemoteUserMailbox’. ‘Get-Mailbox’ against any migrated item will not find those objects that live in the cloud.

 

If you want to see which Exchange objects have a particular SMTP record in Exchange 2010, regardless of what mailbox type they are or where it lives, there’s an easy way.

Make sure the ‘Recipient Configuration’ tree option in the Exchange Console is selected, and filter with E-Mail Addresses > Contains > your unwanted SMTP record:

This will make sure all object types (including groups, contacts etc) don’t have the unwanted SMTP record.

Office 365 Extra Features Overview

In September 2017, I presented at the user group I co-own with Brett Moffett on the topic of Office 365 Extra Feature Overview. I wanted to show some of the key parts of Office 365 beyond Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business. Here’s a recording of that presentation:

 

Forms is still my favorite ‘quick win’ feature, which I previously covered along with a sample form and results.

If you’re ever in Adelaide and want to come along to our monthly catchups, here’s our Meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/preview/Adelaide-Microsoft-ITPro-Community

 

 

CIAOPS Podcast – Adam Fowler

I’ve been a bit quiet here this month. One of the reasons was having a Microsoft Premier Field Engineer (PFE) onsite for a week for an Azure Fast Track. It’s a program provided by Microsoft to give you someone that can help you start onboarding to the product of choice. I’ve done a few Fast Tracks now and they’ve always been valuable – having a great tech sent onsite and pretty much doing whatever you want to focus on around the topic.

By sheer luck, that Microsoft PFE was Marc Kean, co-host of the Need To Know Podcast. That meant I had the opportunity to go on the podcast, which went live this week. It was great having Marc over, and we also caught up with Brett Moffett who co-runs the Adelaide Microsoft IT Pro Community with me.

I’d mentioned the podcast and CIAOPS only at the start of the month here, and this was before I knew I’d be spending a week with Marc, and even be on it. Funny how these things happen sometimes. I also said I’d have these links on my site by the time the podcast went live, but I missed that by a few days :)

Hopefully I’ll have some more techy posts up soon, there’s a lot of different things I’ve got happening so I’m sure it won’t be far off.

Also, if you’re ever visiting Adelaide and either want to attend or even present at our user group, please join the Meetup group and come along!