Month: September 2011

Adding video to your Office 365 public website

Sometimes you may want to add a video to your Office 365 public website. While you could for example upload your video to a service such as YouTube and use the provided HTML code to embed it with the Video Gadget, more than often you may prefer to host the video within your own site.

What you need to do so is your video in a suitable format (e.g. .mov, .flv, .wmv, .mpg, .avi, etc.) and Flowplayer, a free JavaScript library.

Download the latest version of Flowplayer, and unpack the contents of the ZIP file to your documents. Next, open your Office 365 public website, click on Member Login, and then on Documents, and upload the following files to it:
flowplayer.controls-3.2.5.swf, flowplayer-3.2.6.min.js, flowplayer-3.2.7.swf, and style.css (Note: depending on the latest version of flowplayer, the file names may be slightly different). Also, upload your video file to the library (I uploaded a file called flowplayer-700.flv), and you should have the following:

The second step is to add the video to your page. Click on Web Pages, and click on the Page on which you want to show the video. Insert a HTML Gadget at the desired location, and paste the following code:

<SCRIPT type=text/javascript defer src=”/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.6.min.js”></SCRIPT>
<LINK rel=stylesheet type=text/css href=”/Documents/style.css”>
<A style=”WIDTH: 260px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 165px” id=player href=”/Documents/flowplayer-700.flv”></A>
<SCRIPT defer>
flowplayer(“player”, “/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.7.swf”);

Note: update the WIDTH and HEIGHT values accordingly, and replace flowplayer-700.flv with your own video.

That’s it! You now have a video embedded in your page:

Flowplayer offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to its controls and the design, have a look at the documentation for further details on how you can add a preview image to the video, don’t play it immediately by default (use flowplayer(“player”, “/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.7.swf”, {clip: {autoPlay: true}}); )    , and others.

Lastly, if you want to add multiple videos on a single page, do the following:
Add multiple A tags with different IDs (here, player1 and player2), and call them separately in the bottom JavaScript code:

<SCRIPT type=text/javascript defer src=”/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.6.min.js”></SCRIPT>
<LINK rel=stylesheet type=text/css href=”/Documents/style.css”>

<A style=”WIDTH: 260px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 165px” id=player1 href=”/Documents/flowplayer-700.flv”></A>
<A style=”WIDTH: 260px; DISPLAY: block; HEIGHT: 165px” id=player2 href=”/Documents/flowplayer-700.flv”></A>

<SCRIPT defer>
flowplayer(“player1”, “/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.7.swf”);
flowplayer(“player2”, “/Documents/flowplayer-3.2.7.swf”);

Free Office 365 ebook now available in mobile formats

After I wrote my review of the book “Microsoft® Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime” by Katherine Murray, Microsoft made it available for free in PDF format.

After it was promised that additional formats will be available soon, you can now download the ebook in the formats .epub and .mobi (the latter is the format you need to read it on your Kindle; most other devices should be able to read at least the epub format):

Presentation: SharePoint Online Features and Branding

The presentation  I gave today at the Singapore SharePoint Community (though most of it was demo on Office 365 directly, thus very few slides):

Speaking at Southeast Asia SharePoint Conference in November

SEASPC2011After last year’s great success, the Southeast Asia SharePoint Conference is coming back to Singapore (as well as a first time visit to Hong Kong!) in November.

You can find all the details on the official website:

I will be giving a presentation again, here are the details:

Multi National Case Study
Come and hear about how our company started of with different intranet homepages in different countries and how we merged them into a single regional homepage. Goal of this consolidation was to create a single homepage for all employees in Asia Pacific, together with a news section (regional + local news) and several other employee-engaging features. Adding to the complexity of this endeavour was the concurrent upgrade to SharePoint 2010. The processes and technologies used during this consolidation will be explained, and lessons learned will be shared


So, what I will basically talk about is how we got from our old intranet sites:

to our brand new consolidated intranet for all employees in Asia Pacific (including lots of new features such as company news, polls, webcasts, .):

Hope to see you there!

Presenting at the Singapore SharePoint Community: SharePoint Online Features and Branding

I’ll be presenting this Thursday (September 15) at the Singapore SharePoint Community, find the details below and register here

Hi All,

sspcThis month the focus of our meeting will be on Office 365 and specifically SharePoint Online. You’ve all heard a lot about it from Microsoft announcements, friends, family, and strangers you meet on the street who just can’t stop talking about it. Come to this session where we’ll separate the fact from the fiction about Microsoft’s new cloud solution.

Session 1: SharePoint Online Features and Branding

Rene Modery, Landis Gyr

In this session, Rene will present an overview of Office 365 and the role that SharePoint online plays in it. The session will explain how SharePoint Online is, and is not, like SharePoint 2010 and what you can expect from it. Rene will then go into the Public Website feature of SharePoint Online and demonstrate the branding possibilities as well as how to break out of the basic site design and use full master pages for branding.

Session 2: SharePoint Online Development

Milan Gross, Synergy

In this session, Milan will discuss the options available to developers to extend and automate SharePoint Online sites through custom code. We’ll discuss both the limitations placed on Office 365 sites by the cloud architecture and the opportunities of offered by the new platform. In this session we’ll demonstrate the use of sandbox solutions to deploy compiled components and where those can be usefully applied. We’ll also explain the use of Silverlight and the client-side object model for interacting with SharePoint data and extending the user interface.

We’re less than two months away from the SharePoint Conference in November!

There is an Early Bird discount of $100 off the normal price for the first 250 registrants and there are still a few tickets left.



Changing an administrator’s default email address in Office 365

After your registered for Office 365, you need to choose a prefix for your “initial domain”. This prefix will be added to, giving you a username for your administrator with the format of Afterwards, you may want to change this logon to something else after you added your own domain, such as But wait! When you want to change it, you realise that it’s impossible, and the dropdown box with the domains is deactivated:


Changing your own account’s login cannot be done!


The solution? Use a second admin account!

Sidenote: You don’t need to use a license for the second admin account, which can be just a temporary account.

Create a new user (e.g. called tempadmin), and assign him Admin rights while creating him. Once you log in as this other administrator and view the first admin’s profile, you can see that the previously grayed out user name selection can now be edited:


Make your change, save it, done!

The first administrator can then add the previously used email address as an alternative email address (e.g., if you used before, and afterwards, you can add the first email address to the account so that emails sent to either will be received).


Once you’re done, you should either delete the temp admin, or at least remove his admin privileges.