Author: Jon Orton_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Today we’ll look at how Office 365 Small Business Premium helps you work together with others. If your business is like most small businesses, you not only need to collaborate with people inside your company, but also with customers, clients, suppliers, and partners. Office 365 helps you do this more effectively, giving you easy ways to share documents, manage projects, conduct meetings, and connect with others. Sharing documents Office 365 includes a password-protected portal called a team site that lets you share large, hard-to-email files both inside and outside your company. It serves as a single location for the latest versions of documents, no matter how many people are working on them. Everyone has access to the most up-to-date materials, so there’s no need to email multiple versions back and forth. To access your company’s team site, click the “Sites” link on the Office 365 navigation bar. A set of getting started tiles makes it easy to customize your site. For example, if you click “What’s your style,” you can choose a template to change the site’s look and feel. Other tiles in the getting started section help you adjust who can access the site, as well as add apps to make the site more useful. Getting files into your team site is easier than ever. You now have the ability to drag and drop files into the site directly from your desktop. Once the files are there, they are accessible by the other people in your company, and you have the option to share them with people outside of your business. Inviting external people to work with you on documents has been greatly simplified. You can share an individual document directly from any Office application, by choosing “Share” and entering the person’s email address. Or you can share documents from the team site, where you now get an embedded preview of the document you are about to share, so that you can make sure it is the right one. If you are working with a customer or a partner on a project that involves multiple documents, you can create a sub-site within your team site. That makes it easy to keep all the relevant documents in one place and manage who has access. If the people you are sharing documents with don’t have Office installed on their computers, that’s no problem. Using just a web browser, they can view Office documents, edit them, and even co-author documents with you in real-time using Office Web Apps. To learn more, see Get started with SharePoint . Managing projects Your team site can do more than just store and share files. It also can help you manage group projects. To add project management capabilities to your team site, click the “Working on a deadline” getting started tile. This will add a tasks application and a shared calendar to your team site. As you create tasks and assign them to people, Office 365 builds a timeline view that gives everyone an easy-to-understand picture of the project plan. The task view includes a timeline of the project, a countdown to the next milestone, a list of late tasks, and a list of upcoming tasks. The project management capabilities are built-in, easy to use, and fully integrated with your team site. Learn more about how to get started with a project site . Online meetings In the Office 365 Preview, online meetings with your customers and partners are simpler to set up and more interactive. You can easily move from instant messaging conversations to ad-hoc online meetings that include audio, video, and screen sharing with just a few mouse clicks. Whether your meeting is spur-of-the-moment or scheduled ahead of time, you can enjoy high-definition video conferencing and share notes in real time to keep everyone on the same page. Guests outside your company can join meetings from a web browser, using Lync Web App. They can enjoy a first-class meeting experience, including multi-party HD video/audio, instant messaging, and desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing. Learn more by reading Set up Lync Online . In summary, Office 365 Small Business Premium makes it easier than ever for you to work together with team members, customers, and partners. You can share document, manage projects, and meet in high definition, so that everyone stays connected.
Author: Jon Orton_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. Our tour of Office 365 Small Business Premium begins with a look at how you can work from nearly anywhere using familiar Office applications. You probably already know that a key benefit of Office 365 is the ability to access important documents and data even when you are out of the office. What’s new in Office 365 Small Business Premium is that you get the power of Office desktop applications as well. It’s the best of both worlds: anywhere access to your email, calendar, contacts and documents, plus the most up-to-date versions of rich and familiar applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Let’s take a look at how these capabilities show up in the Office 365 Preview. Wherever you are logged in to your Preview account, you’ll notice a blue navigation header at the top of the page: The links here give you web-based access to your Outlook inbox, calendar, and contacts; your personal newsfeed; your SkyDrive Pro document storage; your internal team site, and your public web site. You’ll also notice a gear-shaped icon, which takes you to your settings page. From this page, you can update your profile information, connect a phone or tablet to Office 365, and download software for your computer. Clicking “Install software…” takes you to the Office installation page. From this page, you can install the latest version of Office on up to five of your PCs (for example, on your desktop machine as well as your laptop). If you are running an older version of Office, that’s not a problem. The new Office runs side by side with older versions, so you don’t need to uninstall anything to try it out. After you install Office, be sure to sign in with your Office 365 account. Once you are signed in, your Office settings and preferences will roam with you and you can store documents in the cloud. Your Office 365 Small Business Premium account gives you two places to store documents: – SkyDrive Pro: A personal storage area for documents that don’t need to be shared with everyone in your business. – Team site: A group storage area for documents that multiple people share and edit. Documents that you store in SkyDrive Pro or your team site can be accessed remotely from any computer that has a web browser and an Internet connection. Here’s what the web page view of SkyDrive Pro looks like: If you are on a computer that does not have Office installed (for example, a library kiosk) you can edit Office documents using a web browser with the new and improved Office Web Apps . Or, if the computer is a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, you can use Office on Demand to stream a full version of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to that computer in seconds. When you are done, both the application and the files you were working on are removed from the local computer. The documents that you store in SkyDrive Pro or your team site can be accessed even when you are offline. By clicking “Sync” on the upper right corner of the page shown above, you can create a folder on your PC that constantly synchronizes changes to and from your cloud storage. This way, you have local copies of all the documents, so that you can access them on your computer even when you don’t have an Internet connection. A key requirement for working on the go is the ability to stay in control of your email and calendar. Web-based access to your email, calendar, and contacts gets even better in the Office 365 Preview, with a new version of Outlook Web App that is optimized for phones and tablets. It also is easier than ever to send instant messages and participate in meetings when you are away from your computer. Lync mobile lets you use your phone to send an IM or join a meeting with just one touch. The new Lync Web App lets you join a meeting from a web browser and enjoy multiparty HD video, instant messaging, and desktop sharing. That’s a brief summary of what’s new in anywhere access. The bottom line is that you get the flexibility to work at the office, at home or on the go; you can respond to customer questions faster; and you can act on your business wherever you are. Next time we’ll take a tour of the features in Office 365 Small Business Premium that help you work together with others .
Are you a fan of the free weekly 15 minute Office webinars? Let me ask a different question. Do you know about the free weekly 15 minute Office webinars? Doug Thomas and the Office.com Help and How To writers put these on every Tuesday from 9:15 am to 9:30 am Pacific time on Tuesdays. There’s a live Q&A session afterwards. See Free Office webinars every Tuesday, watch videos anytime for the webinar calendar and more information. Now that you know about these weekly webinars, you’re probably wondering how you can watch videos of previous webinars, and keep up with new ones, to help you get the most out of Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, and other Office applications. The Office team just released a Windows 8 app and a Windows Phone 8 app to help you do just that! You can download both of these apps from the Windows Store. Read Windows 8 apps available for Office Webinars for more information. We’d like to hear what you think. Sign in and leave us a comment or suggestions for new webinar topics below.
As a consultant for Microsoft Project, often we have to give demos to potentials clients to show the amazing things that Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server can do for them. The Project Server Demo image (2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine) created by Microsoft is excellent in terms of showing important features with rich demo data. The Problem Open Project Web Access site http://project.contnso.com/pwa Click on Business Intelligence and then Corporate Dashboard (from Quick Launch) Select Any report from KPI, Summary Dashboard, Project Status, Timesheet Dashboard Two reports “Forecasted Cost” and “Risks and Issue Count” will display data However report on the right had side “Project Cost Per Department” and “Resource Availability by Role” will always display “Loading” I was able to reproduce this issue every time I built a new Hyper V machine using setup files from below (For Project Server we need only Virtual machine “a”) http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=27417#overview This issue is not specific to these customized reports. It can be reproduce using sample reports as well. Below is the screenshot of the Summary Dashboard Report Following are the screenshots of the issue Summary Dashboard If you enable Internet Explorer Developer Tools by pressing F12 key, the following error is displayed on the Script tab. (Make sure to refresh Excel report after launching developer tools) A similar error is displayed on the Summary Dashboard report Troubleshooting After enabling verbose ULS logging for Excel Calculation Services, you will see error similar to the one below: Exception ExcelService.PostProcessRequest: Excel Server Exception: System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServerApp’ threw an exception. —> System.IO.FileLoadException: Loading this assembly would produce a different grant set from other instances. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131401) at Microsoft.Office.Server.Diagnostics.ULS.SendWatsonOnExceptionTag(UInt32 tagID, ULSCatBase categoryID, String output, Boolean fRethrowException, TryBlock tryBlock, CatchBlock catchBlock, FinallyBlock finallyBlock) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServerApp..ctor() at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServerApp..cctor() — End of inner exception stack trace e.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServiceBase.SafeSetContext() at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServiceBase.BeginProcessOperation(CommandParameter parameter, WebMethodBehaviorAttribute webMethodBehavior, WebMethodType webMethodType, AsyncCallback callback, Object state, UserOperation operation) at Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer.ExcelServiceSoap.BeginGetHealthScore(AsyncCallback callback, Object asyncState) at AsyncInvokeBeginBeginGetHealthScore(Object , Object , AsyncCallback , Object ) at System.ServiceModel.Dispatcher.AsyncMethodInvoker.InvokeBegin(Object instance, Object inputs, AsyncCallback callback, Object state) System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for ‘Microsoft.Office.Excel.Server.CalculationServer ExcelServerApp’ threw an exception. —> System.IO.FileLoadException Cause Existing Excel Service Calculation Service application is corrupt Resolution Fixing this issue is a three stage process A. Create root (/) site collection for PWA site (which is currently not present) B. Provision new excel service application, Change the association with web application C. Re -configure the excel services settings for new excel service application A: Create root site collection for PWA site In the first step we need to have a root site collection for PWA site http://project.contoso.com , log on to SharePoint Central admin Navigate to Application Management and click Create New site collection Click on the dropdown and then Change Web Application Select Project Enter Title and make sure that root site (/) is selected for http://project.contoso.com . You may also select any template B: Second step , After creating root site collection, we need to create new Excel Service Calculation Service application. From Central admin click on Application Management from left pane and then Manage Service Applications located under Service Applications section Click New from ribbon menu and select Excel Services Application Enter name for new excel service application and also make sure to create new application pool Once new Excel calculation service application is created we need to change the association and set as “default” Click Application Management from left pane and then “ Configure Service Application Association ” Click Default Application Proxy group Clear the check box for existing Excel Service application and check newly created Excel Services Application 2 Also click Set as default for Excel Services Application 2 New setting will look like this C. Third step is to re-configure trusted file locations and Trusted Data connection libraries settings for new excel service application. From Central admin, click Application management , Manage Service Application and then Excel Services Applications 2 or the one which you have created earlier. Click Trusted File Location Click Add Trusted file location In the Address box type http://project.contoso.com/PWA/ProjectBICenter In the Trust Children section, confirm that the Children trusted check box is selected In the External Data section Allow External Data section, select the Trusted data connection libraries and embedded option. In the Warn on Refresh section, clear the Refresh warning enabled check box Leave the remaining options at their default value, and then click OK. To set up trusted data connection libraries, In Central Administration, in the Application Management, click Manage Service Applications Click the Excel Services service application 2 Click Trusted Data Connection Libraries . Click Add Trusted Data Connection Library In the Address box , paste following URL and click ok http://project.contoso.com/PWA/ProjectBICenter/Data Connections for PerformancePoint/English (United States)/ Once again click Add Trusted Data Connection Library and past following URL in the Address box http://project.contoso.com/PWA/ProjectBICenter/Data Connections for PerformancePoint/English (United States)/DEMO2010A – ProjectServerDemo/ Click OK Next steps is to refresh secure store configuration by accepting existing settings. In Central Administration ,Click Application Management , then click Manage Services Applications Click Secure Store Service and then ProjectServerApplication Click next to accept existing settings. Click OK From Secure Store home page , check “ProjectServerApplication” and from the ribbon menu click Set credentials Enter user name Contosoadministrator and password for the same Whenever we make changes to Excel Services or Secure store, restarting Excel Calculations and Secure Store service helps to force the changes immediately From Central admin , click System Settings and Manage Services on Server The result is Dashboard pages that load properly: Once both the services are restarted validate the result by accessing Summary dashboard report and other reports which we discussed Hrishi Deshpande Senior Consultant @ DeltaBahn
Project Server: April 2013 CU Announcement–and important information on the March 2013 Public Update
Just posted the April 2013 Cumulative Update announcement for Project and Project Server 2013 and Project and Project Server 2010 on the Project Support blog . No updates for Project or Project Server 2007 – but I have included the WSS and MOSS updates. Also an important posting concerning the March 2013 Public Update for Project Server 2013 where you will get an error at the conclusion of the SharePoint Configuration Wizard that ‘Task upgrade has failed with a PostSetupConfigurationTaskException’ and in your upgrade logs you will see EventID ajxnf and errors like ‘WARNING Project Web Instance ‘SharePoint – 80:PWA’ can only be upgraded once its database ‘ProjectWebApp’ has been upgraded. ERROR Cannot upgrade [ProjectSite Name=f959de76-c4e9-4fa7-91a5-d9d9e287714b]. 38c20f9c-fdcc-b07a-f785-09836d46c179. The resolution is described in the post on the Project Support blog – and requires the April 2013 Cumulative Update for Project Server 2013 – details of which can be found in the April 2013 CU posting mentioned above.
The new Office Garage Series: Recap of the Garage Series Live! Show with Paul Thurrott and Early Adopters
This week our hosts, Jeremy Chapman and Yoni Kirsh, recap the Garage Series Live! where they discussed and demonstrated the new Office with author and tech journalist, Paul Thurrott, early adopter customers, and Office engineers. They were joined Patrick Wirtz from the Walsh Group, Marvin Correa from Sephora, and Sebastian Stein from HhpBerlin along with Jefferson Criddle and John Hoegger from the engineering team. This hour long special episode was filmed live on April 3rd. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/garage to check it out.
OK I know it has been a very, very (very!) long time since I posted. No excuses. Everyone is busy and I should have been keeping up. I hope to do better with that in the coming weeks and months. To that end though I am happy to announce that Hrishi Deshpande will be contributing blog posts starting tomorrow. Hrishi is a coworker of mine at DeltaBahn and spent several years working at Microsoft in the Premier Support team that specialized in Project Server. He is a super talented Project Server architect and will bring some badly needed architectural and technical expertise to this blog.
The Grid is full of Office 365 experts that are brimming with great information. The Grid User Post blog series will expose some of The Grid’s best content to the entire Office 365 Community. Are you interested in contributing to The Grid? Send JoshT_MSFT a private message to apply. Our latest Grid User Post comes from Scott Cameron . You can read the original post here . Traditionally, we think of Office 365 for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. There’s another new (well, sort of) feature that more and more customers are interested in though – SkyDrive . Microsoft tells us that it’s for personal file storage and is integrated with Office and Windows. It synchronizes our files and settings between computers too. But what is SkyDrive Pro, and how *do* you use Office 365 for file storage? There are three storage “buckets” in Office 365: Exchange, SharePoint Online and SkyDrive Pro. Here’s how much storage you get: Bucket Storage Exchange Online Mailboxes: 25 GB (plus archive on some SKUs) Public Folders: 25 GB per folder (max 100 folders) SharePoint Online Pooled 10 GB + 500 MB per user SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint Online 7 GB per user Storage Mediums in Office 365 Exchange Online Mailboxes – let’s start with Exchange mailboxes. They are good for storing, well, e-mail. Your mailbox isn’t the right place for file storage. As a matter of fact, you should minimize sending and receiving files through e-mail to maximize the amount of e-mail you can store. There are much better places for both storing and sharing files. Put your file in a SharePoint document library to share it with internal users or store it on SkyDrive Pro and share it via public link with external users. In either case, you can still send an e-mail with a link to your file. You can even subscribe to or follow a document or library to get automatic e-mail updates when files change. More on these options in a bit… Exchange Public Folders – where do I start? We thought they were dead and were told we’d never see them again. Exchange 2007 and 2010 did their best to put public folders to rest, but like a bad zombie movie they’ve come back after two point-blank shots to the head. In Exchange Online you now can create up to 100 public folders, each with a 25 GB storage limit. Theoretically that’s 2.5TB. Realistically, because it’s not possible to fill each of the mailboxes perfectly, you should be able to store around 1TB total. What are Exchange public folders good for storing? E-mails, contacts, & calendars that you want to share mostly. You can mail-enable them as well. That makes them function very much like a shared mailbox. To be honest, the GUI for managing public folders at this point is functional but isn’t what a larger organization would like. You can use PowerShell to administer Public Folders and there are some more options there. See the article here for more on PowerShell with Public Folders. SharePoint – this is where Microsoft has been trying to get Public Folder users to move their data ever since Exchange 2003. I think they were originally just trying to sell SharePoint but with it included now in Office 365, there’s no reason not to go ahead and start using it. SharePoint is a great place to collaborate on documents. You can store most file types in SharePoint, but there are some limitations . One of SharePoint Online’s great new features is that you can perform light editing for many Office files directly within your browser via the Office Web Apps regardless of whether you have the full Office Suite installed on your computer. You can also use click-to-run to stream a full version Office program to your desktop – say on a borrowed computer in a hotel or anywhere you don’t have your regular PC with Office installed. When you’re done with the application you simply close it out and don’t have to worry about licensing and leaving behind software. There are several ways to store files on SharePoint Online: Post a file to a document library Use a document set to automatically create several files from templates Synchronize a document library to your local computer and put files in the locally sync’d version Some file types can sync/import directly to SharePoint lists… Excel spreadsheets and Access databases for instance Move content in to wiki pages or lists Your Office 365 account gets 10 GB of base storage in SharePoint plus 500 MB per user account. You can purchase additional storage at $.20 per GB per month. At that price, storage is pretty cheap to add. In previous versions of Office 365 and SharePoint Online you had a separate My Site with your own, individual quota. I think it was 500 MB or so. You now will get a Personal Site, but the storage feature there has been upgraded to… SkyDrive Pro Previously the My Site storage feature (called My Documents), SkyDrive Pro isn’t to be confused (although many do) with consumer SkyDrive. SkyDrive is a storage service provided by Microsoft as a spiritual successor to Windows Live Mesh and Windows Live Folders. SkyDrive Pro also integrates the essence of functionality from SharePoint Workspace (and Live Mesh) of the past to synchronize files for offline editing. SkyDrive Pro currently allows up to 7 GB. There is currently no way to increase this limit although rumors are that Microsoft is working on it. I would assume a price similar to adding storage to SharePoint. You can put whatever files you like on your SkyDrive Pro. Documents and folders in SkyDrive Pro can be shared both with internal and external users from your SharePoint Online environment. For more on sharing from SkyDrive see here . By the way… according to Microsoft, you can have both a personal SkyDrive and a SkyDrive Pro running side by side. The Right Tool for the Right Job With all the storage options on Office 365 there’s a solution for most situations, but don’t retire your old file server just yet. If you have applications on-premises that require local access to shared file storage… think Autocad or a document management system that ties in to a large format printer… you’ll still want some network attached storage (NAS) or an actual file server. You can supplement that file storage using these methods though and use a tiered storage plan. Maybe you keep large binary files (ISOs, software install packages, etc.) on your file server, your documents on SharePoint and personal files on SkyDrive (instead of your network My Documents). You’ll want to evaluate the costs of the various storage options as well and look at what gives you the right features for the price. Keep in mind that when storing data on Office 365 you get highly-available cloud-based storage with continuous backups and built-in disaster recovery to an alternate data center. What you lose in the cloud is the ability to restore to a point in time (unless you are using versioning for documents) for long-term archival. You also lose direct control of the data. The certifications, inspections, compliance and other features in Office 365 should allay most all fears that customers have with regards to the security of their data, but for some things, cloud services still may not be the best answer. Audience: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses Office 365 for enterprises
Author: Jon Orton_MSFT Originally published to the Office 365 Preview blog. More than 90% of Office 365 customers are small businesses. Small business owners must balance a wide range of priorities every day: coming up with fresh ideas, winning new customers, delivering great service, paying the bills, and doing whatever else it takes to help their businesses grow. Unlike large companies with IT departments, they can’t spend much time thinking about technology. As a result, they often end up with a patchwork of out-of-date collaboration tools. For these business owners, switching to Office 365 is the technology equivalent of an extreme home makeover. They suddenly have a set of modern, cloud-based productivity tools that are built for business. With these tools, they can respond more quickly to opportunities. They can look more professional when communicating with customers. They can act on their businesses from anywhere. Not many of them have heard of Exchange, SharePoint, or Lync, but thanks to the economics of the cloud, they get these enterprise-class products at a small business price. With the next generation of Office 365, the story for small businesses is getting even better. We’re introducing a new subscription offering called Office 365 Small Business Premium. This includes the essential services found in today’s Office 365 small business plan—including email, document sharing, a public web site, and online meetings—updated with new capabilities like high-definition video conferencing. Plus, the subscription includes the latest version of Office desktop apps – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and more. Users get familiar Office tools, plus essential business services, in an easy-to-manage solution that requires no specialized technical knowledge to set up. I’ll highlight the features of this new service in a series of blog posts this month. In the meantime, whether you run a small business yourself, or you are an IT consultant who works with small businesses, I encourage you to sign up for the Office 365 Small Business Premium Preview . Take a tour and give us feedback, or just watch the welcome video . I think you’ll love what you see. Jon Orton Product Manager, Office 365 Small Business
Available on Demand: Garage Series Live! Real-world adoption tips, tricks, and secrets of the new Office
Watch as we connect with well-known technology analyst, author and blogger, Paul Thurrott and other special guests, including early adopter customers and top Office engineers. In this special 60-minute episode, our adventurous hosts reveal lesser-known adoption secrets, demonstrate new Office touch and Lync experiences, and more. Watch the video at www.microsoft.com/garage .