Office 365 ProPlus: Upgrading Customer Preview (4128) Clients to Release (4454 or 4481) Clients, Plus Deploying Release Clients and Office for Mac…

It’s been a while since I have blogged in the Office 365 Technical Blog and if you haven’t had a chance, check out our TV-like series of client video blogs at  In this post, I want to answer a few questions we are getting frequently pertaining to the Office 365 client apps… 1. How do I upgrade Office 365 ProPlus Preview clients to release versions? 2. If my Office 365 tenant hasn’t been upgraded, how do I get the new Office clients for PCs and Macs? Let’s start with the first question. A lot of people think the Office 365 ProPlus apps are radically different compared to their MSI-based brethren, but once installed they are practically indiscernible. Likewise, as almost every Beta release of software from Office to Windows and others, there isn’t usually a direct “upgrade” path from a Beta (or “Preview”) release to a production build. Usually this is because it isn’t a mainstream supported or tested path. In the same sense, upgrading from a 4128 Preview branch build to what was a 4454 Release branch build does not work. This scenario requires uninstalling and reinstalling Office clients. We would recommend the same for Click-to-Run packages or MSI-based installation packages. In fact, even when you go from Office 2007 to Office 2010 or Office 2010 to Office 2013, the recommended approach in an IT-managed environment is to do an uninstall and reinstall of the Office client applications. This practice will lead to higher installation success rates and user configuration settings are maintained, so you end up with an “upgrade-like” outcome. Like with Office MSI-based packages, there are offscrub scripts available for Click-to-Run packages if uninstallation does not complete as planned. I will walk through the uninstall and reinstall steps in this post and also talk about the way you would script this using the Office Deployment Tool with your application deployment tools. The first thing we need to check is which build of Office is installed. There have been three primary build numbers for Office 365 ProPlus Preview: 15.0.4128.1014, x.1019, x.1025. I tend to refer to these as “4128 builds.” To identify the build you are on, you go to %ProgramFiles%Microsoft Office and open VersionDescriptor.xml. If you don’t see this file or folder structure, chances are you have Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview (MSI package) installed. If you do have and open the XML, you should see something like this: You can also go to the backstage of any of your Office apps – like Word – by clicking the File tab, then Account and you will see the version number: I highlighted the XML above compared to the somewhat friendlier user interface because it contains a detail that determines when updates are possible, notice this line: That is similar to the cversion.ini in Windows we all know and love and like cversion.ini’s MinClient property it gates updates only as far back as the 4446 build branch. If you are an avid Office enthusiast, you may be asking yourself, “But Jeremy, that build number is quite a bit higher than the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Office Professional Plus or Standard 2013 (MSI). Those were 15.0.4420.1017, so shouldn’t we be using a 15.0.4420.1017 build of Office 365 ProPlus?” Truth is with Click-to-Run and Office 365 ProPlus (plus every other non volume SKU) monthly updates will see new build numbers for each and every build. Our General Availability (GA) build branch on February 27th for Office 365 ProPlus was 4454 and now we are at 4481… and counting. Because your Office 365 ProPlus Preview is 15.0.4128.1025 (usually), it is lower than the “RequiredClientVersion Build” property value and therefore cannot be “updated” to a 4481 build. But why exactly? The Preview builds use a different and parallel activation service with Preview tenants and accounts, the virtual file system plumbing for Click-to-Run is also quite a bit different, and as mentioned before Preview/Beta-to-RTM isn’t a mainstream scenario as an upgrade path. So as with pre-release Office versions in the past, an uninstall and reinstall is required and recommended. Let’s walk through that now. Uninstalling Office 365 ProPlus Preview There are really three ways to uninstall the Office 365 ProPlus Preview clients; manual uninstall, removal via the Office Deployment Tool or stronger removal via Offscrub support tools. In most cases, simple uninstall via the Windows Control Panel will suffice. Going to “Control PanelProgramsPrograms and Features” manually in Windows will display Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus (and even the build number again): If you have a few installs out there and need to automate the uninstallation of Office, you should download the Office Deployment Tool for Click-to-Run Preview . If you search the Microsoft Download Center for the “Office Deployment Tool” (ODT), you will see a Preview and a release version. Rule of thumb is if you are installing/uninstalling the Preview client, use the Preview ODT. You will need to download the setup.exe and the configuration XML file. To uninstall Office 365 ProPlus Preview, use the Remove property in the XML. You will ultimately run: setup.exe /configure path_toconfiguration.xml Here is an example of the XML file – I called mine remove.xml: The Display Level=”None” property will make it a silent uninstall and if you thought the Click-to-Run installation was fast, the uninstallation is much faster. Finally, there is a nuclear option to completely remove Office Click-to-Run packages using the Microsoft Fix It tool found in KB2739501 . This tool is great if you experience any uninstallation issues, but the manual or ODT-driven uninstalls will typically be enough. Between those three options, you should have no problems uninstalling Office 365 ProPlus Preview. Installing Office 365 ProPlus Release Build… and the answer to “If my Office 365 tenant hasn’t been upgraded, how do I get the new Office clients for PCs and Macs?” Now that you are familiar with the Office Deployment Tool, it’s time to use it to install Office. This is also how to get Office if you currently have a Pre-Update Office 365 tenant with rights to Office Professional Plus. You are using a pre-upgrade tenant if your site still has the orange flourishes around the top of the portal page. IMPORTANT NOTE: Use the Office Deployment Tool release version – not the one with “Preview” in it’s title. Now on the same machine you just uninstalled Office 365 ProPlus Preview, we will install Office 365 ProPlus’ latest build (which is now 15.0.4481.1005) using the release version of the ODT. To do this, you need to make small changes to the sample configuration.xml file. You can remove the SourcePath if you want to install straight from the Internet. Here is what my configuration.xml file looks like: Then from the folder where I extracted the Office Deployment Tool, I run the following command from an Administrator Command Prompt: Of course there are many, many more options to use with the configuration.xml file and everything is described in painstaking details on TechNet. Now all you have to do is sign in with your active Office 365 tenant credentials – and those can be a pre-upgrade tenant with Office Professional Plus rights, an M, E3, E4 or Office 365 ProPlus standalone new tenant. But there is still one more thing I want to cover… How Do I Get Office for Mac 2011 with a Pre-Upgrade Tenant? Pre-upgrade Office 365 tenants will not expose links to end users for Office 365 ProPlus or Office for Mac 2011. If you want to use Office for Mac 2011 with Office 365 activation, you can download the DMG installation package from this link . That will download an English-US version of Office for Mac 2011 SP3 which will activate against an Office 365 tenant Pre- or Post-Upgrade for users with rights to Office Professional Plus or Office 365 ProPlus desktop apps. These will also count against the five installations per user and the interface to manage deactivation of Office apps will be available to users once pre-upgrade tenants have been upgraded.   Thanks and that’s a
ll for now. Be sure to tune in to our Garage Series Live! webcast on April 3rd 9AM PST at .   See you then, Jeremy Chapman Office Deployment Team    

Project Server 2013: February 2013 Cumulative Update delivered with March 2013 Public Update

Just posted over on the Project Support blog about the March 2013 Public update for Project Server 2013, which includes the fixes that were due to be delivered in the February 2013 Cumulative Update.  The link is here – and I have also updated the more general CU release blog.   Please note that this release of the March Public Update becomes the new baseline for CU installation – meaning that any future CU installations will require the March Public Update to be installed.

What, exactly, do you get in an Office 365 plan?

Are you looking for more details about Microsoft Office 365 plans? Perhaps you’ve compared Office 365 plans and pricing and narrowed down your options, but you need more specifics. What exactly can you do in one Office 365 plan that you can’t do in another? What’s the best plan for your organization’s needs?  Are you in an IT team trying to understand the features of the online service compared to what you use today in your datacenter?   If this sounds like you, then the Office 365 Service Descriptions are a new reference here to help. These online articles detail which features are available in which Office 365 plans, such as Office 365 Enterprise E1 and Office 365 Enterprise E3, across all of the individual services, such as Exchange Online and Office 365 ProPlus.   The Office 365 Service Descriptions have been recently updated to better support the continuously updated Office 365 service.  The new service descriptions support continuous publishing so that they always reflect the most up-to-date version of the service.  Now that the documents are available on the web, we’ve added links from within the service to help admins compare and understand certain features in the context of the task they are performing.   Later in the blog post I’ll show you how to print a customized PDF file with the Office 365 Service Description content. And if you’re looking to filter out the columns and rows you’re not interested in, I’ll show you how to copy and use this data into Excel .   Updated Office 365 Service Descriptions now available A few weeks ago Microsoft announced the new Office 365 general availability release . In conjunction with the new release, we’ve updated the Office 365 Service Descriptions. Feature availability information is now available to you online, making it easy to access and link to. There are seven service descriptions available on .   Office 365 Platform includes information about the Office 365 hosted solution platform that is common across the other services.  The Office 365 Platform service description is where you’ll find details about Office 365 user management, support, service updates, privacy and security policies, and other operational details that apply across the individual services and are part of the core Office 365 service.  Exchange Online is a hosted messaging service offered in some Office 365 plans that web-based email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. In the Exchange Online service description, you can easily see which Exchange features are available across Office 365 plans. In addition, you can compare Exchange Online feature availability to an Exchange Server 2013 on-premises environment. SharePoint Online is a hosted website service offered in some Office 365 plans that provides intranet sites, file storage, enterprise content management, social and collaboration tools, business intelligence solutions, and more. In the SharePoint Online service description you can easily see which SharePoint features are available across Office 365 plans. In addition, you can compare SharePoint Online feature availability to a SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises environment. Office Web Apps  allow you to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents in your web browser. Office Web Apps make it easier to work and share Office files from anywhere with an Internet connection, from almost any device. In the Office Web Apps service description, you can easily see what you can and can’t do in the Office Web Apps versus the installed new Office desktop apps such as Office 365 ProPlus. Office 365 ProPlus is the full Office desktop suite that is available in many of the Office 365 plans.  Office 365 ProPlus is the full Office desktop applications that you’re already familiar with, such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint delivered as a cloud-based service that provides a monthly subscription tied to a user account with the ability to install Office on 5 different PCs and Macs. In the Office 365 ProPlus service description, you can easily compare the subscription license version (e.g. Office 365 ProPlus) to the perpetual license, one-time purchase version (e.g. Office Professional Plus 2013) of the Office desktop suite. Project Online is a hosted project portfolio management (PPM) service that works in conjunction with SharePoint Online. Project Online enables team members to work and collaborate on their projects from anywhere with an Internet connection. In the Project Online service description, you can easily compare Project Online service-level features with a Project Server 2013 on-premises environment. Lync Online  is a hosted communication service offered in some Office 365 plans that gives users access to presence, instant messaging, audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities. In the Lync Online service description, you can easily compare Lync Online service-level features across office 365 plans.   Want an easy bookmark? Use this shortened URL to quickly access the Office 365 Service Descriptions, .   Feature availability tables for each service Go ahead and dig into any of the product service descriptions. You’ll find each top level service description has a table comparing feature availability across SKUs. For example, if you click the SharePoint Online Service Description you’ll find a SharePoint feature availability table. Use the table to compare feature availability across Office 365 families and SharePoint Server 2013—the on-premises solutions for customers that want to deploy and manage their own servers.    Click on a blue link in the Feature column to read more about that feature. For example, when you click the Ask me About me you’ll be redirected to an article that provides an overview of what the feature is and how it works, and includes links to product help content that explains the feature in even more detail. You’re able to get an overview of the service and decide which features are relevant for further investigation by you or someone else who needs to administer the service.  We’ve done our best to help you discover all that our services have to offer.   Print Office 365 Service Descriptions Printing a topic from any of the service descriptions is simple and easy. Whether you’re printing a single topic or multiple topics, you can always be sure that you’re downloading the most updated information about the Office 365 services.   1. From any Office 365 Service Description article, click the printer icon in the top-right corner of the TechNet page. 2. Select Print This Topic or Print Multiple Topics . 3. If you’re printing multiple topics, then click Start . You’ll see a new toolbar appear at the top of every TechNet page. 4. If you find a topic that you want to add to your list of topics to print, click Add This Topic . 5. When you’re ready to print, click on Collections Topic(s) to see the list of topics you selected to print. 6. You can drag and drop topics around in the list, if you want a certain topic to go above or below another.   7. When you’re ready to print, click Generate . Note: At this point, if you’re not already, you’ll need to sign in to TechNet with a Microsoft account, such as your Hotmail, SkyDrive, Xbox, or username and password.    8. When the PDF document is complete, you’ll see a blue link to Download Your Document . Now you can save, email, and print that PDF document. Use Microsoft Excel to filter and sort large feature tables Every service description includes a feature availability table. The table allow you to easily scan for what you want to know — is a feature available in the Office 365 plan you’re interested in?   Sometimes when doing a comparison of the different Office 365 offerings  you might find it easier to copy and paste the tables into Microsoft Excel. This will allow you to customize your view, by hiding columns that aren’t valid to your needs and by filtering rows to focus on the features you’re trying to compare
across plans. With Excel, you can search for a feature by name and quickly jump to that row in the table. Excel maintains the help article links, so you can always find more information about a particular feature.   Keep in mind, we’re continually updating the service descriptions to match the current state of the service. If you create an offline copy of these tables, you won’t see those changes.   If you have comments or questions about the Office 365 Service Descriptions, we’d love to hear from you. Just send your feedback to Office 365 Service Description Feedback . Your comments will help us provide the most accurate and concise content.

New Office 365 launch webcast & Yammer video

In case you have missed the launch webcast last week on February 27th to mark the general availability of the new Office 365, here is the link . In particular I’d like to highlight the Yammer demo that starts at 16:30 and ends at 19:00. Also check out this video released on YouTube that provides and overview of Yammer: Yammer: Transforming the Way We Work

The new Office 365 general availability

Today Microsoft is announcing the generally availability of the new Office 365.  Learn more about this exciting announcement from the official Office 365 Blog .  Customers who sign up  today will receive the new Office 365. Existing Office 365 customers can get more information about the service upgrade at their respective center for  Small Business and Enterprise . Some enhancements, like the updated Office Web Apps, are available to existing Office 365 customers today. The service upgrade includes new features and enhancements across all of the different services and here are a few select highlights: Office 365 ProPlus – Your Office as a service Office 365 ProPlus is your full Office suite offered as a subscription service.  It is the Office 365 equivalent of the volume-licensed Office Professional Plus 2013 and includes the same full apps: Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Lync, Publisher, and Word.  Office 365 ProPlus can be installed on up to five different devices per user, unlike traditional Office which is licensed per device.  Office for Mac is also included through Office 365 ProPlus, so you can easily have Office on all of your devices. Even though Office 365 ProPlus is a cloud-based service, these Office programs aren’t running up in the cloud. Instead, you download Office 365 ProPlus from the Office 365 portal and install it on your computer, so you can use Office when you’re offline, just like previous versions. Office 365 uses Click-to-Run technology to make the download and installation of Office 365 ProPlus fast and simple. Click-to-Run uses virtualization technology to run Office 365 in a self-contained environment on your computer, which allows you to run Office 365 ProPlus side-by-side with an earlier version of Office.  For more information, see the Office 365 ProPlus system requirements . New Outlook Web App The Outlook Web App (OWA) is updated with a fresh, modern look similar to the new Office suite.  The new look simplifies the navigation and interaction to help you focus on the content and get work done faster.  The new redesign also helps bring touch and screen-size specific experiences to OWA optimized for phones and tablets! Take a look at the same inbox viewed across three different sized screens:   First, you can see the new OWA on a traditional browser. The refreshed, clean look uses accents and just-in-time information to reduce clutter. For example the blue highlights unread messages and you can see contextual options (Delete & Flag) on the selected message, but not for the other messages until you hover over them. Also, with the new reply inline feature, you can reply to a mail without opening a new window to help streamline your email responses. Second, we have the tablet optimized experience. Notice the touch-friendly buttons around the edges for common tasks such as, creating a new mail, switching to calendar and contact, searching, and refreshing your inbox. To move between conversations, just tap the mail you want to view.   Third, we have the phone optimized experience. Designed for the vertical orientation, the bottom navigation is consolidated for the smaller screen. You can still see your full inbox, quickly search, and see similar email statuses like the [Draft] label to let you know you have an unfinished message. Swipe left to right across a message to get four message management options, to mark a mail as either read/unread, file to a folder, flag, or delete. You can also bulk select mail and apply these same mail management options to multiple emails at once. SkyDrive Pro SkyDrive Pro is the new name for the MySite document library. Your default storage is increasing from 500MB per user to 7GB, or a 14x storage increase for free! Another part of that is the SkyDrive Pro folder sync feature that lets you sync your SkyDrive Pro with your computer for offline copies that automatically sync with Office 365 when you make changes. The folder sync works with team sites and their documents as well. The new SkyDrive Pro shows you all of your documents and lets you quickly see if they are shared or locked to you. You can also see the last person to update the file. To sync offline copies to your computer just click the Sync button up in the top right-hand corner below your name. Clicking on the three dots by a file brings up a preview of the file using the Office Web Apps and quick actions you might want to take such as start editing the file, sharing it with co-workers, or copying the URL to embed in an email or presentation. Lync makes meetings more personal A large part of how people communicate is non-verbal, yet for many people today most work is done over email and through voice only conversations. Lync is designed to help people communicate and now you and your colleagues can feel like you’re in the same room with the new Lync multi-party HD video conferencing. Up to 5 live video streams can be viewed at a time and if the meeting has more people with video, Lync will automatically switch to the person talking. Now whether you work in a global organization or you’re a road warrior traveling to meet with clients you can be a part of the conversation and not miss a moment. We want to hear from you. Sign in to the community and leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

Lync-to-phone: What It Is and How It Works

Lync-to-phone for Office 365 gives your business the power of a complete communications system without having to install any costly equipment. With an appropriate Office 365 service plan and a Lync-to-phone provider , you can give your users a complete unified communications experience: Make calls to, and receive calls from, any phone number, using your laptop with full support for Lync-optimized PC peripherals like speakerphones or headsets .  Includes full support for IP desk phones with Lync Phone Edition Get the calling features you need to stay in touch and stay productive wherever you go: Lync-to-phone feature Description Make calls to, and receive calls from, any phone number Extend the reach of Lync Online by connecting  to the traditional telephone network Forward calls Simultaneous ring Forward calls to another number, or have another  phone ring at the same time as your work number Transfer calls Transfer the call you’re on from your computer to your mobile phone or any other number Caller ID You can screen calls, and identify yourself to outside callers Call via your work number on your mobile device With the Lync client installed on your smart phone or tablet, you can display your work number to the person you’re calling Delegate calls to an assistant Set up an assistant to make and receive calls on your behalf Delegate calls to your team Define a group of colleagues who can pick up your incoming calls Access voice mail from Lync or Outlook With Exchange Online Unified Messaging, you can check your voice mail directly from Lync, and receive transcriptions in email. Requires Exchange Online Plan 2. Set up Unified Messaging access numbers If your business requires it, you can set up an external number that people can use to access their voice mail if they can’t get to a computer or mobile device. You can also add an auto attendant number for automated routing of incoming calls. The first qualified Lync-to-phone provider is Jajah Voice for Office 365 , with phone numbers currently available for the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). Additional providers are currently under evaluation but there is no immediate timeline available. IMPORTANT : Lync-to-phone is not available in organizations with a hybrid server/service deployment. Service Details Your Lync-to-phone provider connects you to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). You can Re-use your existing phone numbers Get new local numbers Purchase domestic and international calling plans IMPORTANT : Lync-to-phone service is billed separately from Office 365. You’ll receive two bills: one from Microsoft for Office 365, and one from your Lync-to-phone provider for telephone network connectivity. Lync-to-phone is available with the following Office 365 service plans Office 365 service plan Additional licenses required Midsize business and enterprise plans E1, E2, or E3 Lync Plan 3 Exchange Plan 2 Enterprise Plan E4 None Service Coverage The first qualified Lync-to-phone provider is Jajah Voice for Office 365 , with phone numbers currently available for the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). US and UK numbers can be assigned to users in other countries, or used by businesses located in other countries, as long as those countries have Lync Online audio service available, and can provide a US or UK billing address. Location of your business or your users Lync-to-phone numbers available US and Canada US numbers United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (with some exceptions ) UK numbers Emergency services All emergency calls are routed by your Lync-to-phone provider to a national emergency dispatch center. The dispatch center first determines if the caller is at the location of record for that phone number, or at another location, and if necessary, updates the callers location. The call is then connected to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (in the US) or British Telecom (in the UK).  How it works Lync-to-phone for Office 365 is a cloud-based voice solution that’s fully integrated with Lync Online and Exchange Online.  This makes your job as an admin much simpler: the network connectivity and routing has already been taken care of, and the Lync-to-phone service provider delivers full data-center resiliency. Once you’ve contacted a Lync-to-phone provider and purchase new phone numbers—or arranged to have your existing phone numbers ported over—all you need to do as an admin is Get the necessary licenses and assign them to users If you’ve purchased new phone numbers, assign them to users Set up your Lync-to-phone service provider in the Lync admin center Set up an Exchange Unified Messaging dial plan and assign it to users See Administering Lync-to-phone for details. Signaling and Media Flow Signaling for call setup and control flows between the Lync client and the Lync Online infrastructure. Call media flows directly between the Lync client endpoint and the target of the call, as shown in the following figures. In calls to or from the traditional telephone network, media flows between the Lync client and the Lync-to-phone provider’s PSTN gateway. Figure: PSTN call flow In a conference call, as shown in the figure below, media flows between Lync clients, PSTN callers, and the Lync Online conferencing server. Figure: Conferencing call flow Planning for Lync-to-phone Review and complete all the Lync Online configuration tasks . Of particular importance: You’ll need to make changes to your firewall and domain name servers for Lync and Lync-to-phone to work correctly. For best audio quality, order “Optimized for Lync” audio devices like speakerphones and headsets. IMPORTANT : If you plan to re-use your existing phone numbers with Lync-to-phone, make sure you complete the configuration steps in the following section before the ported numbers are activated. Administering Lync-to-phone Use the Office 365 portal to complete all of your Lync-to-phone configuration tasks: Assign licenses and phone numbers Access the Lync Online Control Panel and Exchange Control Panel Figure: Office 365 admin home page Once you’ve set up Office 365 and purchased Lync-to-phone service, complete these tasks to get up and running: Figure: Lync-to-phone set up overview Learn more: Download: Lync-to-phone Setup Checklist Video: Configuring Lync-to-phone for Office 365 Video: Configuring Lync-to-phone with Exchange Online Unified Messaging for Office 365 Where to go for support Both Microsoft and your Lync-to-phone provider are available to support their respective services.   In general, Microsoft should be contacted first for support unless there is a problem specific to PSTN calling or the associated billing. Contact Microsoft for these types of issues: Error when assigning phone number Call features not working – transfer, forward, simultaneous ring Exchange Voice Messaging not working Exchange Auto Attendant and Outlook Voice Access not working Audio Quality issues Contact your Lync-to-phone provider first with these kinds of issues Incoming calls not completing Outgoing calls not completing Caller ID issues Call transfer to a number fails and the user is always returned to the original conversation Call forward to a number fails with a disconnect tone Gets disconnected in the middle of the call Keypad commands (DTMF signals) aren’t recognized Billing questions

Understanding the Access Denied Error Message when Mapping a Network Drive to SharePoint Online

  by Brian Petersen, MSFT SharePoint Online provides users the ability to map a network drive to a document library allowing a user to navigate to and open files directly from Windows Explorer. This blog is intended to direct users to a Knowledge Base article that’s been published to help not only setup and configure mapped network drives, but also address common issues and steps to resolve.  In the More Information section of this blog you’ll see a link to the KB Article, but you’ll also see more details around the most common scenario we see in support.  Note This blog and the KB article do not apply to Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses.   More information: The Knowledge Base article entitled “How to configure and to troubleshoot mapped network drives that connect to SharePoint Online sites in Office 365 for enterprises” can be found here: KB2616712 . Ensure all the steps are completed in the KB, but also note the comment about the cookie expiring in the first set of solution steps. The comment in the KB states “Be aware that the cookie will eventually time out”. Certainly, having the WebClient started in your client machine’s Services, along with adding your SharePoint site to the Trusted Sites Zone of your Internet Explorer browser, are both important solutions to Mapped Drive issues. However, you will continue to encounter an Access Denied error periodically – mainly after rebooting the computer or when you haven’t logged in (authenticated) to SharePoint Online over an extended period of time, generally 8 hours., One common scenario is when a user locks the computer at the end of the workday, returns the next day, and logs in to their work computer. If that worker tries to access the mapped drive he or she will get the following error. Path is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. Access Denied. Before opening files in this location, you must first add the web site to your trusted site list, browse to the web site, and select the option to login automatically’ The user receives this error because the session cookie  for SharePoint Online has expired and must be “refreshed” in order to successfully access the mapped network drive again.            

Hello Social, goodbye Project! #msproject #yammer

Dear Microsoft Project Community, It’s with emotion and excitement that I’d like to announce a career change from the Project marketing team to the SharePoint marketing team as the Social product manager effective on December 10th. Looking back it’s been a fun 5 years on the Project marketing team and it’s hard to find words to summarize the amazing journey I’ve lived during that time… Some random stats: launched two product releases, a TFS connector, delivered over 80 sessions at various Microsoft events (TechEd, SharePoint Conference & Project Conference), released a dozen CodePlex solutions including the famous timesheet statusing code sample, wrote over 700 blog Project posts since December 2006 on various MSFT blogs, responded to countless emails/Forum posts/Twits, spent hours talking to customers and partners, compete, and more… Bottom line you have kept me busy, smiling, and most importantly I have learned something new every day from you all, so from the bottom of my Project heart THANK YOU/MERCI! You might be wondering why leave now with a historical Project Online release just around the corner and plenty more Project Portfolio Management (PPM) innovations from Microsoft in the future. The answer revolves around two factors: new challenge and timing. As you might have noticed I am fairly passionate and I felt I was ready for a new challenge & learnings in my career and like many things in life the timing was right to make this move now. Following SharePoint conference, Microsoft’s Yammer acquisition last summer and the general trend around Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) in the industry, I felt I had a very good new challenge in front of me that I had to take. Au revoir Project et Bonjour Social, Christophe, November 29th, 2012. PS: if you or know someone who knows their PPM and is interested in joining an awesome marketing team with a leading product and a landmark release please let me know ASAP, we are hiring.

Microsoft Project Online frequently asked questions #ProjectOnline #Office365

Following the recent worldwide Project Ignite tour my colleague Jan Kalis organized as well as presentations at events like SharePoint Conference 2012 last week, please find below a summary of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Microsoft Project Online I have been asked by customers and partners. Before I start please note that this is a journey and I’m sure you have plenty more questions and yes we will have plenty more answers and content to help you understand the value of Project Online and how it can bring value to your organization. Also please note that the 8 questions below are not sorted in any specific order, and yes if you have additional questions please leverage the Project Online forum on TechNet . Delivers full Project Portfolio Management (PPM) in the cloud Yes Microsoft Project Online delivers full project portfolio management capabilities in the Office 365 cloud. Project Online delivers all key scenarios/functionality expected from a PPM solution such as demand management , resource management, financial management, time management, collaboration & social, etc. As mentioned during the Ignite tour the product team only built and shipped one product called Project Server 2013 which gets delivered in different channels like online in Office 365 or on-premise like TechNet & MSDN subscribers. So yes there is full PPM functional feature parity in Online and on-premise whether you want to be firing on all 12 cylinders with a maturity level 3 or if you are just starting with a PPM system. We are also working on document that will be published on TechNet that describes some of the technical differences. Achieve on-premise to Online migration A very common request from many customers, how can I move to Project Online from my existing PPM system whether it’s an older version of Project Server or whether it’s from a online competitor? Again we will provide guidance, but at a high level you can either do it manually once depending on the amount of data, or you can automate the process using third party tools such as: FluentPro Cloud Migrator Pro ( Want to test-drive Project Online? How to migrate data from on-premises to Online? ); please also remember that you will also have to migrate the SharePoint content to SharePoint Online (plenty of tools available today to help you achieve this, BING them!). Connect Online to on-premise Line Of Business Apps Moving to Project Online does not isolate you from your mission critical on-premise line of business applications such as an ERP, CRM, ticketing, etc. SharePoint Online and Project Online provide a very rich extensibility model to help you connect the two world regardless of your needs. It could as simple as leveraging existing API such as OData or CSOM, or you could leverage Business Connectivity Services for instance. We are working on whitepaper that will get published early next year that will demonstrate the integration (how to push data from on-premise to Online and how to retrieve data on-premise from Online) and provide starting points to enable it. Track using ODATA and customize using CSOM In an Online world we cannot give you direct database access for obvious security reasons! and hence the protocol/mechanism to access all your beloved PPM data (yes including timephased data) is via the OData protocol. To build apps and do any custom code the API of choice is CSOM, please check the Project & SharePoint Software Development Kit (SDK) on MSDN to learn about each. Preview is for temporary use only (see Preview FAQ ) The preview has been available since July 16th 2012, when Steve Ballmer disclosed the new version of Microsoft Office (which Project desktop, Project Server and Project Online is part of!). The Preview is free but it’s for temporary use only until the commercial service is available, you read the Preview FAQ and navigate to the very end which says: “the Preview will expire approximately 60 days after the next version of Office becomes available in your market. As the date approaches, you will receive notifications in the Office applications alerting you to the pending expiration. Once the Preview has expired, the applications enter read-only mode, which means that you can view or print documents only, it isn’t possible to create new documents, edit, or save them. You must uninstall the Preview version of Office before installing a newer version of Office.” So yes, please kick the tires, try it out, check out some some of the cool new scenario and features (I love this one …: Microsoft Project Online on Xbox ) but please remember that at the end of the Preview all the data will be lost unless you save it locally. With that in mind and specially with a PPM system, a lot of learning and processes needs to be put in place before a production rollout, so treat this as a free proof of concepts environment! Office 365 is an evergreen service. Customers need to stay current What started with a Preview in our Office 365 worldwide data centers (aka a beta/pre-released version of Project Server 2013), and since the RTM announcement last month and the availability of the products on TechNet/MSDN/Volume Licensing/Trials, the online service has been updated with the RTM products during the past month. So yes it’s a Preview offer but with the latest version of the product! Yes we are still all learning and we are continuously updating the services until it’s ready for general availability (GA). So back to my point earlier, please try it out because it contains the latest fit and polish not to mention the latest bug fixes. In the end, one of the key value of online is that it will always have the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s PPM, and that includes Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Office, hence think of the “evergreen PPM”! Azure VM (IaaS) vs. Project Online (SaaS) Azure Virtual Machine (VM) which a preview was disclosed last May, is an upcoming offer from the Windows Azure team which will give you the ability to purchase CPU, memory, and storage in the cloud to run your application in a virtualized environment such as  SharePoint and Project Server for instance. As announced last may, SharePoint 2010 is supported on Azure VM (see SharePoint Deployment on Windows Azure Virtual Machines ), and yes Project Server 2010 will also be supported initially and later 2013 will be. The question one need to think about is whether to go with Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or other options such as software as a service (SaaS) or partner hosted or on-premise. Bottom line, Microsoft PPM is about choice and we will provide plenty of options to deploy and use it! Again we are working on a white paper and guidance on these options and how they can fulfill your needs today and tomorrow. Use the Project Online Forum and Wiki for Questions & Answers As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’ve only covered a few question above and I’m sure you have a few more based on some the answers provided above and also based on other Project Online questions you might have so from this point forward I want you to start leveraging the following resources to get answers: Project Online forum , yes it’s monitored by Microsoft product experts, by Microsoft support personnel, by Microsoft Project MVPs and many others so don’t be shy, it’s free! Project Online Preview Wiki Portal , going forward our wiki will get richer and richer with key service information. Other valuable Microsoft Online resources : Steve Ballmer’s letter on October 9, 2012:  TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS, CUSTOMERS, PARTNERS AND EMPLOYEES Global Foundation Services (and their blog ) Office 365 Trust Center (check out the industry standards for instance) Service Updates for Office 365 for enterprises (check out monthly updates)

Project Server 2013 Requirements to build an OLAP Cube

There appears to be an error currently on our TechNet documentation at indicating that the version of the Analysis Management Objects required when building an OLAP cube from Project Server 2013 depends on the version of SQL Server you have running Analysis Services.  In fact it does not – and like previous versions of Project Server we actually require a specific version that our code talks to – regardless of which version it will actually be building the cube on.  For Project Server 2013 we require the ‘10.xx’ release so anything from RTM SQL Server 2008 Analysis Management Objects – version 10.0.1600.60 through to the SP2 of the SQL Server 2008 R2 10.50.4000.0 will work.  The only one that does not work in my testing is the SQL Server 2012 version. If you have the 2012 version, or if you haven’t loaded any Analysis Management Objects then you will see the following error when trying to build a cube.   [11/12/2012 10:17 AM] Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: The attempt to build the OLAP database on server BriSmithSQL failed, the SQL Server Analysis Services Analysis Management Objects (AMO) client software may not be installed on this server, please install/update the client on this server and retry. The underlying exception was: Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.AnalysisServices, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified. The SLQ Server 2008 R2 SP2 version is the most recent and can be found in the feature pack at and you are looking for SQLSERVER2008_ASOLEDB10_amd64.msi (which is the x64 version).  Direct download link is here . I haven’t tried building a cube against a SQL Server 2008 instance – that may need to use the earlier SQL Server 2008 feature pack – most recent is SP2 if you find the R2 version above doesn’t work. For those still having a hard time finding where we have hidden the cube building option (I admit it – it took me a while…) can find it either by going to Central Administration, Manage Service Applications, Project Server Service Application (or whatever you have called yours) and then use the drop down for the specific PWA site you are interested in and click Manage which will take you to the following page – and OLAP Database Management is the link you need: Or Central Administration, General Application Settings, and click Manage under the PWA Settings header. If you go this root you may need to change the PWA site in the upper right hand corner. And if you are using the preview of Project Online (or you are reading this after the full release) and can’t find the link to OLAP cubes it is because that feature isn’t available in the online version.