This is a follow-up to my 2015 post about the recommended IE Internet Security Zone settings for maximum user authentication happiness.
On the post https://tuomi.ca/2014/06/23/overcoming-sticky-logouts-office-365-azure-windows-intune-web-browser/, I tried to rationalize IE security settings relating to Office 365.
Here’s a good explanation of why we should care, as quoted from the more recent MSFT post:
“Starting with Windows Vista , Internet Explorer has a new security zone protection feature, called protected mode, and that is set up by default for Internet, Intranet and Restricted Security zones.
Understanding and Working in Protected Mode Internet Explorer
The effect of the protected mode is that the sites in these zones will not have access to the folders available to other application (i.e. data available in other zones). This means the cookies available for one session for a site in a Protected mode zone will not be accessible to a site that resides in a separate zone (and the other way around), which will trigger behind the scene repeated authentication attempts.”
Net result: persistent login prompts, hair pulling, annoyances. The fix? Either manually or through group policy, apply the following settings to your Windows workstations:
Trusted Sites Zone:
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/victorbutuza/2016/06/20/o365-internet-explorer-protected-mode-and-security-zones/ – Latest new URL’s added e.g. PowerApps.com
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2507767/problems-when-signing-out-of-office-365–azure–or-intune-in-a-web-bro – Original official reference.
You just know you’re in a complex business when even having a good oversight of the major tangents of what you do, is hard to come come by. In Office 365, we have a lot of new services being added on to plumbing/infrastructure backbone of the already massive SharePoint framework.
Conversely, recent changes to SharePoint itself have consolidated some of the user experience scenarios, addressing BIG day to day problems for information workers – file collaboration, CMS-style content publishing and getting away from a “one-size fits all” intranet scenario.
So what IS the mile high perspective? Naming the services is one thing, but showing their intended relationship with each other is crucial. It’s said you don’t really understand something unless you can explain it in simple terms- here’s two awesome takes on it:
..and here’s a different perspective, from Ben at ShareGate:
The ability to create custom tiles in your Office 365 tenancy has just been pushed to a much wider audience as of July 22.
In Office 365, you can quickly and easily get to your email, calendars, documents, and apps using the Office 365 app launcher (learn more). The tiles in the app launcher are those that have been promoted, or pinned, from the My apps Page (learn more). The My apps page includes all of the apps you get with Office 365 as well as custom apps that you add from the SharePoint Store or Azure AD.
In addition to these, you can add your own custom tiles to the My apps page that point to SharePoint sites, external sites, legacy apps, and more. Once there, you can pin them to your app launcher and instruct your users to do the same. This makes it easy to find the relevant sites, apps, and resources to do your job. In the below example, a custom tile called “Contoso Portal” is used to access an organization’s primary SharePoint site.
Tip To perform these steps, you must be an administrator with access to the Office 365 admin center.
Add a custom tile to the My apps page
- Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.
- Select the app launcher icon and choose Admin.
- Choose Company Profile in the left navigation.
- Choose Custom tiles.
- Choose to create a new custom tile.
This opens the Add or edit a custom tile window.
- Enter a Tile name for the new tile. The name will appear in the tile.
- Enter a URL for the tile. This is the location where you want your users to go when they select the tile.
Tip If you’re creating a tile for a SharePoint site, navigate to that site, copy the URL, and paste it here. The URL of your default team site looks like this: https://<company_name>.sharepoint.com
- Enter a Description for the tile. You see this when you select the tile on the My apps page and choose App details.
- Enter an Image URL for the tile. The image appears on the My apps page and app launcher.
Tip The image should be 50×50 pixels, stored in SharePoint Online, and shared with everyone. You can, for example, put it in a library on your team site then generate an anonymous guest link and use that as the URL. If you can’t generate an anonymous link, make sure external sharing is enabled in SharePoint Online.
- Choose Submit to create the custom tile.
Your custom tile now appears on the My apps page for you and your users..
To add the custom tile to the app launcher
- Select the app launcher icon and choose My apps.
- Select the ellipsis and choose Pin to app launcher.
Important Both you and your users need to perform these steps to promote custom tiles from the My apps page to the app launcher.
Edit a custom tile
- In the Office 365 admin center, choose Company Profile in the left navigation.
- Choose Custom tiles.
- Select a custom tile and choose Edit tile.
- Update the Tile name, URL, Description, or Image URL for the custom tile (see earlier description).
- Choose Submit.
To delete a custom tile, follow steps 1-3, choose Remove tile and then Delete.
In addition to adding tiles to the app launcher, you can add app launcher tiles to the Office 365 navigation bar (learn more). To customize the look and feel of Office 365 to match your organization’s brand, see Customize the Office 365 theme.
Here is my presentation from last weeks Victoria Office 365 User Group in Victoria, BC.
“Microsoft’s Ignite Conference in Chicago last month was a huge event- 23,000+ attendees -and a lot of genuinely interesting technology news came out of it . I’ll share with you here my take on the big items of the event, flavoured through my lens of SharePoint/Office 365.
The core concepts: Microsoft is taking a mobile-first, cloud-first approach with three top priorities: to usher in an era of more personal computing, to reshape work and productivity with enhanced products and processes, and to build trust in a reliable, extensible cloud service offering.
What’s more, for us here in Canada, a lot of these announcements take on huge new relevance as Microsoft just announced on June 2 (http://reimagine.microsoft.ca/en-ca/) that they are opening data centers located on our soil. This opens up the doors to a Government and Private industry base that previously had been not able to leverage these services.
I will talk a bit on the upcoming on premise version of SharePoint 2016, the latest in Office 365 (including Delve/Office Graph), and more. ”
Speaker: Keith Tuomi, FCV Interactive
Duration: 30 minutes
Audience: Business Professionals (Managers, Project Managers, etc.)
Technical Level: 200
Last day of the MS Ignite conference for me. Let’s take it to the bridge:
Another metaphor? You betcha:
– Cloud vs on-premise
– Microsoft as Service Provider vs Shrink Wrapper
– Unified experiences vs Diversified devices
– People-driven Intranets vs Intranet-driven people
– Windows OS as a true personal & biz life and productivity platform vs Windows OS as a 900 pound gorilla
My top picks for Day 4 in the SharePoint/Office 365 realm (with a little .NET 5 in there to maintain my Dev street cred):
My last-day sessions:
JEA: A PowerShell Toolkit to Secure a Post-Snowden World
When asked what to do about corporate hacking, Ex NSA Director Michael Hayden replied, “Man up and defend yourselves.” Edward Snowden then rocked the world by disclosing privileged NSA information. JitJea stands for “Just In Time, Just Enough Admin.” It’s a Windows PowerShell toolkit that admins use to perform functions without giving them admin privileges.
MVP Panel: SharePoint On-Premises, Online and Everything in Between
Imagine five great minds coming together to talk about Microsoft SharePoint across the board, be it within Microsoft Office 365, in Microsoft Azure, on-premises and certainly hybrid. Via a panel Q&A format, these MVP experts expose how online and hybrid improvements increase both deployment scenarios and value. This session is designed to help ITIs and ITDMs find the right cloud formula to deploy based on practical business and technical considerations. This is a must-not-miss session for any IT pro!
How to Decide When to Use SharePoint and Yammer and Office 365 Groups and Outlook and Skype
Your users may struggle with these questions: Should I share a message via Skype for Business instead of Yammer, Office 365 Groups, or Exchange? Should I collaborate on data using an Excel sheet or a SharePoint list? Should I share a file in Outlook, in a meeting, from OneDrive for Business, on Yammer, in a Group, or in a SharePoint site? This session is the ‘How To’ user’s guide What happens when your users can’t decide what technology or feature to use? They use what they know, or what’s easy; even if better options exist. In this session, Richard and Kanwal help you maximize the value of your Office 365 investment by providing the guidance you need to help your users make better, more effective decisions on how they get work done.
Experts Unplugged: Office 365 Security
OneNote for OneLife: From Notes to Productivity and Platform
OneNote is awesome. Really. Knowledge, learning and info on the bleeding edge benefits from structure – but not too much structure. We all need a place to inscribe understanding, without having to go overboard on the word-processing end of things. I’m always thrilled to hang out with the OneNote crew as I sometimes wonder if they know they have the future of Education and Wikis in their hands.
Microsoft OneNote gives you one place for your notes and other content with you, anywhere now that OneNote is across all platforms and devices. Write by hand, type, record, snap a picture, clip from the web, or use a growing number of other partner apps and devices and OneNote saves it. Organized or not, you can easily find your notes in any form (text, writing, picture, or audio) with OneNote search. This session demonstrates end-user productivity scenarios at work to give you a clear understanding of how OneNote can help drive adoption of Office 365 with cross-platform, real-time collaboration, and extensibility with OneNote API. You’ll walk away wanting to use, evangelize, and build on OneNote personally or for your organization.
I’ll kick off Day 3’s post with another imprint of pure experience. Scale- On-premise, Cloud, Global, Local. The rush/distraction/tunnel vision of being one of 23,000+ people moving through the Microsoft Ignite conference, contrasted with simple but essential logistics like bio-breaks and food, are a big parallel for me to the distinct juncture we are at in technology: empower everyone at a mass scale, but make sure the human details are taken care of, and that everyone has a voice.
The entrance hall may resemble a slightly above average shopping mall scene for most, but in context, on the ground, it was more like the entrance to a spaceship waiting to take off:
Existential experiences aside, I waited a full 5 minutes for cell phone guy to abandon his hostile takeover of Microsoft (pleading eye contact included), and finally realized that was 5 minutes I would never get back, so I snapped my obligatory “largest Expo Hall ever” pic:
Really, words don’t help much with describing the scale of this event. 23,000 of the world’s finest Microsoft-oriented IT professionals in not one, but two Conference centers daisy-chained together. Being from Canada, the SCALE of business in America is always impressive- this time it was the hammer of Thor (axe of Abe Lincoln?). There were numerous, well-attended core educational/interactive groups with all the best of the Microsoft team providing direct interaction with attendees. These were no tradeshow stunt doubles, but really the actual program leads and people who make things move at Microsoft. Super high quality interactions all over the floor.
TechNet is my bible, which would make Joanne & KC here (Senior Content Writers for Microsoft), pretty high up in the toga-wearing department:
Aside from the separate, colossal pool of core Microsoft and Partner & Vendor talent present in the Expo Hall, here’s the top sessions from day 3, on the SharePoint/Office 365 tip (with some guest appearances from OneNote & Visio, as I love both):
Whats New for IT Professionals in SharePoint Server 2016
“Engineering paths directly influenced by SP Uservoice” See: https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/282887-customer-feedback-for-sharepoint-server
“Durable Links- permalinks based on resource ID. Move Docs freely, URL stays the same”
“No downtime CU patching”
“OneDrive integration big priority for Engineering team”
This article describes initial investments made in installation and deployment of SharePoint Server 2016: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wbaer/archive/2015/05/12/what-s-new-in-sharepoint-server-2016-installation-and-deployment.aspx
MinRole for the win!!
Embrace the BYOD Revolution: Effectively Manage a Multi-Device, Multi-Generational Workforce
A major business transformation is brewing in the enterprise today. Mobile technologies, business velocity, geographically dispersed and multi-generational workforce are converging to deliver the promise of responsive organizations. Organizations that miss this paradigm shift will face dire consequences. How can you effectively manage this shift, ensure that it will be sustainable and reap the benefits of being a responsive organization? In this session, learn how to apply practical steps and effective techniques to manage your multi-device and multi-generational workforce.
MVP Panel: Sample Apps and Intelligent Solutions Showcasing Office Graph and Delve Extensibility
Preparing for a meeting, but not sure what documents are relevant? Writing a proposal and looking for similar documents to help you out? Interested in what your colleagues are working on to stay updated? With the new Office Graph, answers to those questions are within your reach. In this demo-packed session, we show you how the Office Graph works and how it can be used when building custom apps and enriching existing solutions and portals. All scenarios are backed up by real-life solutions that you could use in your organization.
Day 2 started off with a walk to the shuttle bus under the looming John Hancock building. Infrastructure into the Cloud, this pic worked out well as a deep ol’ metaphor 🙂 :
Here’s some of the most awesome SharePoint/Office 365 sessions from Day 2:
There are over 150 Day 2 sessions available for immediate viewing.
Source: Microsoft Ignite Day 2 Sessions On-Demand
Here’s my takeaways from the sessions I had scheduled:
Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap
“It’s not an email, it’s a conversation.”
Dynamics CRM and Group’s integration.
Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session provides an overview of Office 365 Groups, demonstrates its capabilities today, and provides a roadmap for future investments.
Designing and Applying Information Architecture for Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365
Provide Clear Guidance
Make it Easy
Keep it Simple, Stupid
Define > Design > Implement > Govern
This session demonstrates a proven process for defining, designing, implementing, and governing your information architecture (IA). IA is more than just columns and metadata. Learn how the different components available in SharePoint and Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged to their fullest potential and your users’ ultimate benefit to content organization and discovery.
Managing Change in an Office 365 Rapid Release World
Selective First Release! Roll out first release changes to selected users only. ’nuff said.
Before moving to Microsoft Office 365, your team planned each and every change or update before your users saw anything new or different. Now in a services-first world, changes are introduced at a rapid pace, sometimes before you or your help desk may be prepared. Office 365 provides communications to help you manage change, stay informed, and inform your users. Learn how to best use the Office 365 Message Center, Roadmap.office.com, and Success.office.com to get ahead of updates and help your business take advantage of the latest and greatest Office 365 has to offer.
Microsoft Office 365 Groups Deep Dive
Office 365 Groups helps you collaborate by easily bringing together your colleagues and the applications you need to get work done. Office 365 Groups leverages a standard definition for team membership and permissions across Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and later Skype for Business, Yammer, and the rest of Office 365, managed through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. This session follows the introduction session “Microsoft Office 365 Groups Overview and Roadmap,” and covers the following topics: architecture, administration, security and compliance, and extensibility.
All in all a great day- I was also lucky enough to be able to work at the Microsoft MVP Booth (in the “Microsoft on Microsoft” section of the Expo Hall). Very rewarding to answer questions about the MVP program and connect with people from around the world.