Vol. 23, #8 - February 26, 2018 - Issue #1170

WServerNews: Spotlight on Office and SharePoint

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 

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SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

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Editor's Corner

Last week's newsletter opened a window on what's up with Windows 10; this week we do something similar by shining a spotlight on Office and SharePoint. We also have two new Ask Our Readers questions that has Your Editor stumped so maybe someone in our community of newsletter readers can help out the questioner. And of course we have some tips, tools, links, and fun stuff.

I don't know about you but I don't like standing in the spotlight, I'd rather be hiding in the shadows or behind the curtain. But all the world's a stage and we're merely players that have an entrance and exit. That may not be as you like it of course but…sorry that's a pretty feeble Shakespeare joke. 

One individual who definitely does like being in the spotlight however is Dogbert, the intrepid sidekick of Dilbert. Here's an example of his soliloquous musings:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/wl3m3zsd/

OK so soliloquous isn't in the dictionary, but there is a font with this name:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ujo8phhy/

Makes you think, doesn't it? Or at least it makes you mutter to yourself.

 

Ask Our Readers - Task sequences missing in MDT 2013 (new question)

Brian, an IT Infrastructure Engineer working in the UK, has experienced an interesting issue with Microsoft Deployment Toolkit that's got me stumped. Maybe one of our readers has an idea how to resolve it?

Hi Mitch, I am using WDS & MDT 2013 on Server 2012 R2 to deploy a Windows 7 Pro image. Regardless of what architecture I use for the boot image, the deployment wizard does not display any task sequences. I have tried removing and re-adding the WDS role and completely rebuilding that side of things but still no luck. Any ideas please?

Email your suggestions to me at [email protected]


Ask Our Readers - Camera memory card won't work after latest Windows 10 updates (new question)

A reader named Daphne sent me the following plea for help:

Dear Mitch, I wonder if you could helped me and I would be so pleased if you could as I have tried everything and you helped me once before. I have Windows 10 on a desktop computer. It was working fine until the updates of 13 and 20 Jan. After that it simply would not start. I struggled and struggled and eventually, after countless hours and restoring to a previous time, it is now working but my DCIM E drive is not working at all and I cannot download photos from my camera card or flash drive. Everything works perfectly from my old desk top that is still running Windows XP and from my husband's laptop. I am sure it is a setting or maybe the file name letter E? I would be so grateful if you have any answers as I have tried two technicians and they have no answer. Thank you and best wishes to you.

Can any readers who have digital cameras and Windows 10 confirm this problem or suggest how Daphne might resolve it? I told her she might try asking for help on one of the following Windows 10 user forums:

Microsoft Answers

http://www.wservernews.com/go/3m6zsqk7/

Windows10Forums.com

http://www.wservernews.com/go/2u1hc8i6/

TenForums.com

http://www.wservernews.com/go/juix9m3r/

WindowsCentral

http://www.wservernews.com/go/96ft8p0t/

But I also told her I'd ask our readers to see if anyone has any ideas what might be happening. FYI if anyone is wondering what "DCIM" means I found the following explanation helpful on Lifewire.com:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/66ebgfsb/

If you have any ideas how to resolve Daphne's problem please email me at [email protected]

 

Ask Our Readers 

WServerNews now has over 400,000 subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]


From the Mailbag

In last week's newsletter I mentioned how we're planning on testing LibreOffice 6.0 in-house in the near future because of some clients we work with who use it. This immediately generated several responses from our readers:

I am not sure which version we are presently using Libreoffice on our 300 clients servers under a domain to cut costs and no problems. --Bob, a network engineering contrator who works with a large US government agency

Personally I've been using LibreOffice and Mozilla Thunderbird for a number of years and I love them both. I have both a Windows 7 and a Red Hat Fedora Linux workstation that I have LibreOffice and Thunderbird running on them. Using them on either workstation and accessing the files on my Windows 2008 R2 Server has been working great. When in the applications you can't tell which OS you are working in. I have tried to switch my customers to this combination also and a very few also like them, but again some have me come and switch them back to Microsoft Office. I haven't tried the new version 6 of LibreOffice yet, but I will soon give that a try. I will continue to switch users to this LibreOffice/Thunderbird combination. Over the past couple years I have also been switching my customers from Microsoft Windows Servers to custom built Servers running FreeNAS which has been working very well. --Nat, a Compute Systems Consultant working in North Carolina, USA

An anonymous reader also pointed us to the following news item which we missed covering when we looked through the window on Windows 10 last week:

Microsoft Finally Documents the Limitations of Windows 10 on ARM (Thurrott.com)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/l0uqm6bs/

After reading Paul's article you may have second thoughts about deploying Windows 10 on ARM if you'vethinkingabout this at all. 

And now on to the main topic of this week's newsletter…

 

Spotlight on Office and SharePoint

Let's start off at the SharePoint end of the equation. Building workflows is a big part of doing business and running organizations, and it's something we do here a lot even though our business is small. Workflows fall under the Quadrant II heading in Stephen Covey's Time Management Matrix, that is, defining business processes is an activity that is important but not urgent and hence a valuable one as far as productivity (and earning power) is concerned for businesses. If you're not familiar with Covey's Matrix you can find a good explanation in this article on Planet of Success:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/0tcuail1/

That's why I found this article by Greg Zelfond (a.k.a. The SharePoint Maven) quite helpful as it describes four things you should do before creating a workflow in SharePoint and Office 365:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/rr36bu2j/

Another good article I can across recently is this one by Stephanie Donahue who discusses how you should structure your SharePoint sites to optimize their usefulness for teamwork and collaboration, particularly when your users are using Office 365:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/050x76sd/

As always, good planning is essential to ensure success, and that applies to building SharePoint sites as well as any other aspect of running a business or managing an organization. A related article on this subject is this one by Mark Kashman on the Microsoft Tech Community site:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/0iv0v9p1/

Readers can let me know if you find any other related articles by emailing me at [email protected]


And for Office 365…

On the Office 365 side of the equation, security guru Aaron Margosis has announced on the Microsoft Security Guidance blog that the final release of the guide outlining the security configuration baseline settings for Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus 2016 apps has now been made available both as a standalone download and as part of the Microsoft Security Compliance Toolkit:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/4yznemhv/

Organizations planning on deploying Office 365 (and those who already have it deployed) should examine this guide carefully to ensure that your deployment is as secure as possible. 

A few other Office 365 blog posts also caught my eye recently as something worth passing on to our readers:

Use Groups in the Outlook mobile app; Outlook Groups app is retiring (Microsoft Tech Community)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/cnzb5bat/

Shared Office codebase for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android means more features for more users faster (Microsoft Tech Community)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/hvpb8uv0/

Enhancing Security Admin Capabilities and the End User Email Experience for Office 365 (Microsoft Tech Community)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/4cntx1ht/

Monitor External Mailbox Forwards in all Office 365 Customer tenants (GCITS)

http://www.wservernews.com/go/r9wsob6l/


Some videos

For readers (watchers?) who like to learn from videos instead of text we found two interesting YouTube vids from Microsoft:

How Microsoft leverages Office 365 eDiscovery capabilities

http://www.wservernews.com/go/uwtdbd8k/

AI in Microsoft Office apps

http://www.wservernews.com/go/sojac8ye/

If you find any other interesting vids on Office 365 or SharePoint you'd like us to share with our readers, just email the links to me at [email protected]


From the other side

Finally, amidst all the trumpeting about Office 365 that goes on by Microsoft and its partners and supporters, it was interesting to come across this article on the VMware Blogs that explains how VMware IT successfully migrated its legacy systems to O365:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/1viof3db/

I thought their observations about things that can trip up O365 migrations are spot-on and provide a helpful counterbalance to Microsoft's messaging of "click-click-and-it's-done" (my words) i.e. about how simple and easy O365 migration will be. But it's not--at least not always.

How smooth was your own migration to Office 365? Tell us what you learned and share your expertise with our more than 400,000 subscribers. Email us today at [email protected]

 

Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]


Recommended for Learning

Free ebooks on Microsoft Office and the cloud

Cloud-IT has free PDF ebooks describing new ways to work in Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint, and how to improve collaboration, organize your inbox, and work smarter in the cloud:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/t2m3xzcw/

 

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Sharing Content Securely: Managing and Governing SharePoint and Office 365 at Microsoft

In business, employee collaboration with colleagues inside and outside of the company is the name of the game. Finding a balance between readily sharing files and protecting corporate assets is crucial. At Microsoft IT, we get it. With more than 400,000 SharePoint team sites, intranet portals, and OneDrive for Business sites, we have a lot to manage. In this IT Showcase session, learn how Microsoft uses custom solutions, organizational policy, Office 365, and Azure Active Directory to help manage, govern, and protect our data in a highly collaborative environment. Get an overview of the Microsoft IT landscape, see how to choose which type of sharing to use, explore data protection in the cloud, and much more.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/eb3tfaox/


Factoid of the Week - Slow lane on the information superhighway

Last week's factoid and question  was this:

Using commas can be confusing. (I gave several examples to illustrate this fact.) Question: How would you punctuate the following sentence which is supposedly a dedication from some book (though it may be fake): "To my mother, Ayn Rand and God."

Unfortunately this question must have been too difficult for our readers as we haven't received any responses for it yet. Or maybe the intersection between the set of all IT pros and the set of all grammar mavens is null. In any case, we got no, that is, no interest, in commas, whatsoever. 

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: The world wide web is quickly becoming a frustrating slow lane on the information superhighway. What I mean is, web pages for many sites are loading more and more slowly because of excessive redirects, too many scripts, poor image optimization, and so on. In addition may web pages use body text fonts that are thin, tiny, or lack contrast with the background. Meanwhile making web pages mobile-friendly often leads to headings that use huge fonts. Then as soon as you start scrolling down a page to read the content on it, an in-browser pop-over window suddenly appears asking you to subscribe to something or purchase something. And as you scroll further down the page, suddenly a video appears and begins automatically playing. 

Source: http://www.wservernews.com/go/455ffo50/

Question: What do YOU hate most about how web pages are evolving today? 

Email your answer to us at [email protected]

Until next week, 

Mitch Tulloch

 

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

A self-study guide for learning SQL Server fundamentals. It includes the history & technical basics. Concepts provided in the white paper will form the solid foundation of your future DBA expertise.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/8vf1polt/

Mailscape 365 - Gain real-time visibility into on-premises Exchange, Hybrid, & Office 365. It monitors your entire hybrid environment in real-time and provides 100+ reports.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/y40x2yse/


Get the definitive guide from Hyperfish on how you can build your own employee directory with Office 365 or SharePoint:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ahiq7act/


Watch how Sapho delivers a modern portal experience to Microsoft Office 365:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/2xag3jy1/


If the challenges and opportunities of using a SaaS application like Office 365 are a top concern for you, you should view this webinar from Commvault:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ycnhd4zx/



This Week's Tips

Office 365 - Protect against illicit consent grants

The blog of the Office 365 Security team at Microsoft has a post to alert organizations using Office 365 to an emerging threat involving adversaries who create an Azure-registered app that requests access to customer data:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/0i7opctv/


Office 365 - Using retention policies

The blog of Microsoft Education NZ has a post explaining the Retention Policies feature that is part of the Office 365 Security and Compliance Centre:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/843luknm/


Accessibility - Windows 10 and Office 365

The Assistive Technology Blog at Microsoft has a helpful post that lists all accessibility features included in Microsoft Windows 10, and Office 365:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/cugnh6vk/



Events Calendar


Microsoft Tech Summit on March 5-6, 2018 in Washington, D.C. USA

http://www.wservernews.com/go/0m7itxkw/

Microsoft Tech Summit on March 14-15, 2018 in Paris, France

http://www.wservernews.com/go/9nxkp7j8/

Microsoft Tech Summit on March 19-20, 2018 in San Francisco, California USA

http://www.wservernews.com/go/gm14cqd2/

Microsoft Tech Summit on March 28-29, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

http://www.wservernews.com/go/jeua5kvf/

Microsoft Ignite 2018 on September 24-28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida USA

http://www.wservernews.com/go/f6gtgfpp/


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]


New on TechGenix.com

Next-gen security training for next-gen security risks

Hackers and cybercriminals are leveraging technology to create new and scarier attacks. If your security training is not ramped up to meet the threat, you will become a victim.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/vtj3fikt/


Still soaring: Cloud computing trends for 2018

The cloud computing industry is quickly growing and advancing, but it is also changing. Which cloud computing trends will be hot in 2018?

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tzl37vd4/


Biased bots: AI tools can be just as prejudiced as their makers

We like to think that the AI tools we use in an ever-expanding range of applications are free from bias. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/7r7757yw/


Easy IAM security best practices for a more secure AWS cloud

By following the few easy steps detailed here, your IAM security will be enhanced and your AWS cloud will be more secure.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/73sagli1/


Keeping an eye on the clock with time servers

It's about time, isn't it? Actually, it's about time servers, as without these working properly your Active Directory network might grind to a halt.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/6zrjxck2/

 

Tech Briefing - SharePoint

SharePoint Tidbit - Enabling license enforcement

From Wondering mind

http://www.wservernews.com/go/w81bath9/


Choosing a CDN for SharePoint client-side solutions

From Bob German's Weblog

http://www.wservernews.com/go/of33122j/


Unable to delete file in SharePoint Online

From Wondering mind:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/922ufyi9/


How to build a SharePoint farm using DSC…my first Github project

From Wondering mind

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tgmors21/


SharePoint Tidbit - SharePoint Migration Tool

BlogFrom Wondering mind:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/leie42ys/

 

Other Articles of Interest

Top Windows 10 backup & restore utilities to know heading into 2018

Even though Microsoft offers a built-in tool, IT may want to go with a third-party utility for a consistently reliable Windows 10 backup. Discover those here…

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ow4rlj8o/


Five Windows 10 2018 resolutions to follow

IT pros should make these five Windows 10 2018 resolutions to improve security and user experience, as well as to solve Windows Update problems and more. 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/or4tvjxq/


Android BYOD should be easier in 2018 (and in 2019, and in 2020...)

Android enterprise (Android for Work) OEM support has been mandatory since Android 6.0, so it's finally spread enough to make the jump.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/zg9ymtn0/


Top four VDI trends that dominated 2017

With a new year getting started, these are the top four trends in VDI leading the way. Uncover why user experience and data rich apps took over in 2017.

http://www.wservernews.com/go/ogi6u8hd/

 

WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Office 365 may be a great tool for some businesses, but there are lots of other things that happen at the office:

Funny Office Prank

From the Canadian silent comedy show "Just For Laughs Gags", shot on location in Montreal, playing silly tricks on unsuspecting subjects while hidden cameras capture the people's response:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/tu6lf046/


World's Fastest Office

Never be late for work again, with this slightly ridiculous office-shaped car...which has a top speed of 90 mph:

http://www.wservernews.com/go/70g56w56/


"Hey Look, It's A Free Copy Of Microsoft Office!"

Their reactions are priceless! What would you do in such a situation? See how it turned out for these people. 

http://www.wservernews.com/go/igznuihv/


Microsoft Office 2019

A clip from a presentation by Microsoft's Business Division president Stephen Elop at the Wharton Business Technology Conference (2 Mar 09).

http://www.wservernews.com/go/xlep55si/

 

WServerNews - Product of the Week

Free Tool for Monitoring Exchange Server Status & Performance 

Image

SolarWinds® Exchange Monitor is a free tool that allows users to monitor Microsoft® Exchange™ Server 2013 and 2016. Get basic information about the server’s metrics, services, and database availability group (DAG) status. Add as many Exchange Servers as you wish. Simply click the “Add Server” button and fill IP address/domain name and credentials.

Download Free Tool

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his  outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.