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Office 365 – My wave 15 / 2013 service upgrade experience

About 3 weeks before the upgrade took place, I received e-mails informing me about the upcoming update. It included the plan date and also mentioned I could postpone the update. As the date of the upgrade approached I also received mails with information of new features and what had to be done.

The upgrade itself took place on the date that was communicated to me and when it was done I got a mail informing me that the upgrade had been completed. When I logged on to the Office 365 admin center (https://portal.microsoftonline.com/) I immediately found this to be a big improvement. It also showed me some alerts containing links to information about changes and tasks that still needed to be performed like upgrading SharePoint sites.

I didn’t expect any big issues, but I was a bit worried if my SharePoint customizations would keep working correctly:

It is possible to leave the SharePoint site the way it is (at least with this upgrade), but you can also upgrade it and take advantage of the new options. If you are considering upgrading the SharePoint site, you can perform a health check and you can also request an upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection before you actually upgrade.

Probably because of my customizations, the Site Collection Health Check found some problems related to Customized Files that could result in unexpected visuals or behavior.

For now, everything seems to be working fine though on my upgrade evaluation copy of the site collection, so I’ll probably upgrade my site collection soon. If you want to, you can take a look at both the pre-upgrade SharePoint site and the post-upgrade SharePoint site. The evaluation post-upgrade version will only be available until the 23rd of June.

What I did notice, is that the interface of the services have improved and have also been changed to better suit for touch devices. By example the white space between navigation items seems to have increased and everything is a bit bigger.

After the upgrade, I also had to restart some Office 2013 apps once.

Of course the upgrade to Wave 15 provides many more advantages, but in this post I only wanted to share my service upgrade experience without really changing anything. All in all, I think the upgrade experience went very well.

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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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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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Office 365 beta exams experience

Exam experience

Today I took the Office 365 beta exams:
70-321 Deploying Office 365
70-323 Administering Office 365

In my opinion the 70-323 was pretty tough, while the 70-321 was a lot easier. I expected it to be the other way around though. Now unfortunately I have to wait for the results (normally within 8 weeks).

Quick exam reminders I studied before the exams

  1. Deployment phase
    1. Office 365 Deployment Phases
    2. Office 365 Deployment Schedule
  2. Plan phase
    1. Key activities
    2. Office 365 Enterprise License Plans
    3. Office 365 Administration roles
    4. Exchange Hybrid Solution Infrastructure overview picture
    5. High Level Tasks For Exchange Hybrid Deployment
  3. Prepare phase
    1. Key activities
    2. Update schema for Exchange 2010 :
      cd c:\exchangeserver2010sp1 and then setup /preparead
    3. Office 365 ports, ips and urls
    4. Exchange Hybrid Deployment Domain and Host Names Worksheet
    5. Configure SSO with ADFS:
      Connect-MsolService –Credential $cred
      Set-MsolAdfscontext -Computer <AD FS 2.0 primary server>
      New-MsolFederatedDomain –DomainName <domain>
    6. Configure dirsync (separate server and when less than
      50.000 objects SQL 2008 Express will do).
    7. Mail migration types and explanation E-mail migration overview (virtual labs)
  4. Migrate phase
    1. Key activities
    2. Post-deployment services testing plan

Resources used as preparation

 

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