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Category Archives: Lync Online

Milestone of 50.000+ views reached !!! Thanks everybody.

My blog reached 50.000+ views. Thanks everybody, this really exceeded my expectation and motivates me even more to keep going. Special thanks go out to my fellow bloggers in my blogroll and to those who shared my posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Even though my blog exists since January 2012, I really started to blog actively around August and ever since I’ve tried to keep posting on a regular basis. At the start of 2013 I even intended to blog every day. I was able to keep it up for a short while, but it was just too time consuming. Now I try to blog something at least once every 5 days. The blog post count is now at 170.

Personally I think Microsoft is on the right track. I’m really looking forward to all new Microsoft product (preview) releases including Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and you can expect some blog posts about this in the near future.

Popular posts

From the stats, it turned out these are the blog posts that are being viewed most, if you’ve missed any of them you might want to take a look at them:

Stats

For those interested in the view stats, here they are:

Views

Comments and suggestions

If you have suggestions about what I can do to improve, please let me know. Also if you’d like to see some things covered more or in more detail, just leave a comment.

 

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Microsoft – Resources to get more familiar with Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

Nowadays more and more work, communication and collaboration involves multiple external parties. This can involve by example employees, customers, partners, suppliers, cloud providers/platforms/applications.

This means it is becoming increasingly important to have proper authentication and authorization methods in place for single sign on (SSO) so users can be more productive. Besides the ease-of-use It can also lead to better security.

Microsoft’s Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) will make this possible. For more information on ADFS, here are some resources. Keep in mind though that while some information may be outdated, it will give you a broad idea of the concept and the inner workings. The current version of ADFS in Windows Server 2012 is 2.1 , while Windows Server 2008 uses 2.0

PS: Microsoft is moving more and more towards claims based authentication. Examples include Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control and also SharePoint 2013 that has switched to claims based authentication by default now.

If you have some other resources that might be useful, please let me know so I can add them as well.

 

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Microsoft – System Center Universe videos and presentations are available now

The System Center Universe videos and presentations are available at http://www.systemcenteruniverse.com. I’ve only been able to browse through them a bit, but it seems very promising.

Also if you’ve missed it in the past, you might also want to take a look at the NIC 2013 (Nordic Infrastructure Conference) session at http://nicconf.com/

 

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Event – Free Microsoft IT Camps

On a regular basis Microsoft and its partners host Free IT Camps. In the past I’ve blogged about them because I really think they’re a good way to quickly get up-to-date on products and technologies. Besides that it’s also a good way to get to know other people.

On the Microsoft Events website you can see which future events are available and not just IT Camps events.

Also should you not be able to attend an IT Camp, for Server 2012 you can also use IT Camps On-Demand.

 

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Great overview of Microsoft certification paths

There are many Microsoft certification paths and in my opinion a good overview was missing to determine what exams you need to pass. That is until now, because the overview shown below is great:

For more information, read the original blog post at borntolearn : http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/microsoft_it_academy/b/weblog/archive/2012/11/20/infographic-microsoft-it-academy-certification-roadmap.aspx

Also if you’re planning to pursue a certification, please leave a comment what your plans are and why.

 

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Office 2013 including Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint has been released to manufacturing (RTM)

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, Microsoft is working hard to get new and better versions of their software released as soon as possible.

Last week Microsoft announced that the Office 2013 suite reached released to manufacturing (RTM) including:

  • Office 2013 for workstations (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, OneNote, Project, Visio)
  • Server software (Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013, Project 2013, Lync 2013, Visio 2013)
  • Cloud versions of the above mentioned software (Office 365).

The availability is dependent on the platform and your licensing type. More information about this can be found here:
http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/11/office-reaches-rtm.aspx

I have to admit I didn’t expect them to reach RTM status already. I also hope that beta exams won’t be released anytime soon, because then I won’t have enough time to properly prepare 😦

 

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My RSS feeds for keeping up with ICT news/developments (Microsoft, VMware, Cloud and gadgets)

Currently, there are many technological advancements taking place every day. To keep up with them is already very hard. To make it a bit easier I use RSS feeds to quickly filter what I think might be of importance to me.

A list of the RSS feeds I currently use can be found here , but you can also download an XML export of my RSS feeds here for easy import to your preferred RSS reader (assuming it supports XML import). I also advise you to check Microsoft’s RSS feed index so you can customize it to your own needs.

I personally use Google Reader for my RSS feeds because then my RSS feeds will be accessible from everywhere as long as I have a browser and an internet connection. When you are often on the road without an active internet connection, a dedicated client with cached articles from the RSS feed might also come in handy.

PS: The Microsoft blog rss feed had many articles added daily and can be hard to keep up with, but you can pretty quickly weed out duplicate articles and articles in foreign languages.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

 

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Jump start videos for the new exam 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses.

Office 365 has been available for quite some time and there have also been two exams available:
70-321 Deploying Office 365
70-323 Administering Office 365

These exams focussed on larger enterprises and features corresponding with this use. More information about these exams can be found in my previous blog post. Keep in mind however that Office 365 is an ever evolving service and that things might have been changed since I wrote this blog post. Even Microsoft has retired and replaced some of their learning content.

Recently a third exam became available that focusses on smaller businesses 74-324 Administering Office 365 for Small Businesses. At the end of August a Jump Start event was held and now the recordings of this event have been made available on Technet Video.

I hope this is useful to you and that it will help you leverage Office 365 better.

 

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How to get access to free Microsoft beta exams

When Microsoft creates new (versions of their) software, they also create new exams to become certified. Part of this process includes testing the exams, determining the passing score, getting feedback and improving the exams based on the feedback (deciding which questions to use, removing questions, re-phrasing, etc.). More information can be found here.

To get feedback, Microsoft offers access to these beta exams for free. They do this publicly using by example the born to learn blog or privately using mail to select subject matter experts (SME) based on their profiles on Microsoft Connect. So if you’re interested in taking beta exams, update the information on the Microsoft Connect site to get private invites to the latest beta exams that are relevant to you. More information about the invite procedure can be found on the Born To Learn blog. Also keep in mind that public invites might be limited using a first-come, first served principle so check on a regular basis.

Advantages and disadvantages of taking beta exams:
+ It is free if you received an invite. Nowadays you can also take beta exams if you haven’t had an invite, but then you need to pay for the exam.
+ You have a chance to become one of the first people to become certified for the new software.
+ If you pass a beta exam, you passed it legitimately because there are no answers to download online.
+ Even if you fail the beta exam, you’ve still learned a lot about the new (version of the) software.
– In general there are no books available yet and you have to get all your information from hands-on experience, blogs, technet, websites, etc.
– The time frame you have to prepare for the exams can be (very) limited. For example with the last invites for the Server 2012 beta exams I had only 2 weeks to prepare for multiple exams.
– After you’ve taken a beta exam, it might take 2-3 months before you get the result.

Beta exams I’ve taken recently include those for Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Office 365. I expect the next beta exams to cover mainly Office 15/Office 2013 related products like by example Sharepoint, Exchange, Lync. So if you’re interested in these beta exams be sure to keep a close eye on the beta exams and start working with and learning about the products already.

I hope this was informative and that it well help you and/or your company gain a competitive advantage.

 

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