Month: January 2012

Interesting Office 365 Links (18/01/2012)

Below are several links to interesting Office 365 specific content that I found in the past few weeks.

In no particular order:

Directly from Microsoft:


Blog posts from other people:

Updated Office 365 for Enterprise Service Descriptions–What’s new for SharePoint Online?

Microsoft released updated Service Descriptions for Office 365 for Enterprise on 13 January 2012. Below, I will list the major updates to the Service Description for SharePoint Online. Also available are the updates to the Exchange Online and Exchange Online Archiving Service Descriptions.
Changes were compared with Word 2010’s Compare feature:


Subscription Plans

Each user who accesses the SharePoint Online service must be assigned to a subscription plan. SharePoint Online offers threemultiple types of plans: SharePoint Online Kiosk, SharePoint Online (Plan 1), and SharePoint Online (Plan 2).. See Table 4 below.
Table 4. High-level usage rights comparison across user subscriptions plans

Note: One very important change in this table (which lists the actual changes to the document) is that SharePoint Online E1 and E2 have set Enterprise Features from Yes to No.


Key Features and Specifications

External Users (PALs)	50 PALs are included per tenant. Current Feature Preview allows for usage rights of up to 1000 external users without requiring additional PALs. Microsoft reserves the right to charge for additional PALs beyond 50 at the time the next major Office 365 update.


Site Collections

The base routing Unified Resource Locator (URL) structure for SharePoint Online sites is based on the name of your company provided at time of sign up. Example, if your company name is Contoso:



Business Connectivity Services (BCS): Enable connections to external data sources via Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Web Services endpoints -in both read and write modes. These are often line-of-business (LoB) applications that sit behind your firewall, or are transitioning to the Cloud, like SQL Azure. You can create SharePoint external lists and data columns, the BDC service for WCF connectors and the Secure Store Service is partitioned at the tenant level within the SharePoint Online Administration Center. Learn more about BCS here on MSDN.



Users with Office Web Apps edit rights can create new Office documents via the Office Web Apps in conjunction with associated document library content type(s) and do not have Office installed on the desktop. Per licensing, these are the K2 and E2-4 users.



.	Recently uploaded documents may not immediately show up in search results. This may be due to the interval for which the search crawler is set - this is currently set to crawl every 5 minutes. After content is crawled it will appear in search results.


.	External sharing: The external sharing capabilities in SharePoint Online enable a company to simply invite external users in to view, share, and collaborate on their sites. Once a SharePoint Online Administrator enables external sharing, a site collection administrator can activate external sharing for the site they manage, and then invite external users to collaborate on sites, lists, and document libraries. An external user has access rights to only the site collection they are invited into. Please also note the external user use rights as explained in Table 4 above. Learn more about external sharing here on .	Every Office 365 SharePoint Online customer (at the tenant level, not per subscription) includes 50 Partner Access Licenses (PALs) that can be leveraged for external sharing. Customers are not currently required to obtain additional PALs for external sharing beyond 50 users with a limit of 1000 until the next major update of the Office 365 service at which time Microsoft may choose to make it available as a paid add-on. .	Microsoft supports invited external users signing in to the service using a Microsoft Online Services ID.  External sharing also supports Windows Live ID, including, and user names, plus regional derivations of LiveID user names.  .	EasiID, the portion of LiveID that allows external users to associate their business email address (ex: to the LiveID system, is not supported at this time.

.	The public website does not grant use rights to leverage the SharePoint publishing portal components. These features are only supported for intranet sites within the private site collections created in the SharePoint Online Administration Center. The public website is configurable by use of the built-in Site Designer ribbon<br />
tool. .	Editing the Public Website with SharePoint Designer is not supported.


Custom Development and Extensibility

While SharePoint Online offers many opportunities to building customized solutions, the service does not yet support Full Trust Coded (FTC) solutions or what is sometimes referred to as farm-level solutions. The SharePoint Online development patterns and practices are currently targeted at site collection level solutions. Server Resources quota, what are used to determine amount of processing power available to Sandboxed Solutions, is determined by the number of licensed user seats in a company39;s tenancy. To calculate server resource quota in Office 365, you can use the following equation: (seats x 200) + 300. For example, in a typical 25 seat license, the available server resources quota would be 5300

Updated Office 365 for Enterprise Service Descriptions–What’s new for Exchange Online?

Microsoft released updated Service Descriptions for Office 365 for Enterprise on 13 January 2012. Below, I will list the major updates to the Service Descriptions for Exchange Online and Exchange Online Archiving. Also available are the updates to the SharePoint Online Service Description.
Changes were compared with Word 2010’s Compare feature:



Microsoft Exchange Online for Enterprises Service Description

Access to Exchange Online

Outlook Web App now integrates the Office Web Apps into the attachment previewing experience for Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.  When Office Web App attachment preview is enabled, users see an Open In Browser link next to the Office Web App document type in Outlook Web App.  By clicking on the link, the user can open the attached document using the Office Web Apps to get a high-fidelity preview of the Office document in a web browser window.  By default, this feature is enabled in Exchange Online.  It can be disabled through Remote PowerShell (Set-OwaMailboxPolicy Default -WacViewingOnPublicComputersEnabled $false -WacViewingOnPrivateComputersEnabled $false).


Transport Rules

The maximum number of transport rules that can exist in the organization is 100. The maximum size of an individual transport rule is 4,000 characters. The character limit for all regular expressions used in all transport rules is 20,000. The maximum number of recipients added to a message by all transport rules is 100.



Microsoft Exchange Online Archiving Service Description


Size of the Recoverable Items folder Quota An Exchange Online Archiving email archive receives unlimited quota for the recoverable items folder. A quota is set on this folder that is large enough to accommodate reasonable use, and has a default of the equivalent of an estimated 7 years of recoverable items.    The default quota for the Recoverable Items Folder is 30 GB for Exchange Online Archiving users. In the unlikely event that a user reaches this quota, a call to Office 365 support is required.


Multi-Mailbox Search

Find out who of your Outlook contacts may use Lync Federation

Using Office 365, you also get Lync 2010, and additional you can activate Federation which means you can add external contacts (who are not part of the same domain) if they also use federated Lync.

Today, Loryan Strant tweeted the following:

Naturally, I got very curious and wanted to find out who of my Outlook contacts might be a potential contact for my Lync.

If you follow through various links, you end up at the Microsoft website where Matt Landis provides a free tool named “Who Can Federate”. Installation is quite easy, simply download the ZIP file, extract its contents, and run Setup (no need to configure anything). Once you start the tool, the UI is fairly simple. It allows you to select whether you want your Outlook Contacts or Suggested Contacts (only Outlook 2010), and start the scan. Once you start it, it verifies all the domains of your contacts for potential Lync Federation capability, and lists all matches:

Finding a match does not guarantee that adding this contact to Lync 2010 will work and that you can chat (text/audio/video) with him, so to find that out you still need to add that contact to Lync (needs to be done manually, cannot be done from the WCF Tool).

The huge benefit of this tool is of course that it provides you very easily with potential Lync contacts from your existing email contacts. No need to configure a lot, just run it and get the results! Perfect!

PS: Add me at rene @

Office 365 TechCenter now available

For a few days now, the Office 365 TechCenter is now available. Lots of good information there, but the highlight for me are clearly the (currently) 10 available virtual labs that cover preparing the move (so ADFS, and preparing for hybrid environments), Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online: image