Creating and Configuring Resource Mailboxes

  1. Create and Configure a Resource in Office 365 Admin

  2. Create and Configure a Resource in Exchange Online Admin

  3. Create a Resource with PowerShell

Create and Configure a Resource in Office 365 Admin

  1. Open your browser and navigate to http://portal.office.com
  2. Enter the account associated with your Office 365 tenant

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3. Navigate to the Admin Center by clicking the Waffle and Admin

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4. Expand out Resources and click on Rooms & equipment

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5. Click on + Add to add a new resource

6. Leave it set to type Room and then fill out the rest of the information: Name, Email, Capacity, Location and a Phone Number

7. Click Add at the bottom

8. You should now have a new resources added to your list.

9. Set the scheduling options by clicking Set scheduling options

10. This will show the room details you can configure around accepting requests for this resource.

11. You can either click save or Cancel.

You now have a new room added to your Office 365 tenant that is available for users to book when creating a meeting in Outlook.

Create and Configure a Resource in Exchange Online Admin

1. In the Office 365 Admin Center, expand out Admin Centers and click on Exchange

2. This will take you into the Exchange Online Admin Center. From here, click on resources under the recipients heading.

3. Here you can see the resources created earlier. To add another resource, click + and then click Equipment mailbox

4. This will popup a dialog box where you can enter the Equipment Name and E-mail address. Fill out the two text boxes and click Save. If you have multiple domains in your tenant, you can also select the FQDN for your mailbox.

5. You now have your new equipment resource created. Let’s edit this resource by double clicking on it.

6. Double click on the resource, it brings up all the additional information you saw when working with a resource in the Office 365 Admin Centre.

7. Click on booking delegates, this is where you can disable auto acceptance of requests and specify a delegate the must manually approve or deny resource requests.

8. Click on booking options next. Here is where we see those options that were available to us in the Office 365 Admin Center around configuring what is allowed or not allowed when booking a resource.

9. Uncheck Allow repeating meetings and click Save

10. Now, if any meeting requests come in that are recurring meetings to book this resource, they will be automatically denied.

Create a Resource with PowerShell

1. Log into a Windows machine with PowerShell installed

2. Open a PowerShell Console

3. Establish a new Exchange Online remote PowerShell session by running:

$UserCredential = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange `
-ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ `
-Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session 

4. Get what’s available. You can review existing resources by running the following PowerShell.

Get-Mailbox | Where {$_.ResourceType -eq "Room" -or $_.ResourceType -eq "Equipment"} 

5. Your window should like the one below:

6. Now, to create a new resource. Run

New-Mailbox -Name "PowerShell Room" -Room

This will create a new Room resource that will immediately show up when looking at the Office 365 Admin Centre or the Exchange Online Admin Centre. However, unlike the two mailboxes before, the Auto accept meeting requests will be Off.

7. Now that we have our new mailbox, run the following PowerShell again.

Get-Mailbox | Where {$_.ResourceType -eq "Room" -or $_.ResourceType -eq "Equipment"} 

You should see all three resource mailboxes now.  Let’s configure the one we just created.

8. First, let’s turn on Auto Accept with this PowerShell cmdlet

Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity "PowerShell Room" -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept 

9. Next, let’s configure a setting you can only set in PowerShell

Set-CalendarProcessing -EnforceSchedulingHorizon $false

If this is set to false, as long as a recurring meeting is scheduled to start on or before the window specified in the settings, the meeting request will be accepted rather than denied.

Fleanser – improves our productivity in migrating file shares to SharePoint Online

HuonIT excels in File Share migration projects with the introduction of custom developed cleansing and mirroring tool. Internally named Fleanser v1.0.

Our tool replaces part of the functionality provided by ShareGate solutions in migrating file share to SharePoint online environment.

Fleanser runs, various analytic operations in file paths to cleanse and shorten them intelligently when required. It also generates various analytic reports during cleanse process to back track on action applied against each file/folder members.

We tested our first version of this tool (functional edition) today for a client and we immediately saw the value we could add to our customers.

Proud to be a creator of this tool. We have already planned to add more functionalities to this tool in the subsequent releases.

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Sending email from SharePoint on-premises via Office 365 – Client SMTP Submission

Installing a local SMTP Relay

The first step is to install an IIS SMTP server that will be used for relaying messages from SharePoint. This can be accomplished by using the ‘Add Roles and Features’ wizard, after completion will add a new option “Internet Information Services (6.0)” in the Server Manager ‘Tools’ menu. This is the interface by which we’ll configure the SMTP server, pictured below:

 

Configure SMTP Virtual Server Settings

By default the server listens to all addresses on port 25 which is the default SMTP server port, and Anonymous access is enabled; no changes are required to either of those items for our scenario. However, to ensure that we don’t relay messages from any machine we’ll limit the systems that are able to connect to and send through our server. From the “[SMTP Virtual Server #1] > Properties > Access” tab, click the “Connection” button which brings up the following window:

 

Be sure to specify the IP Address of each of the servers from which messages will be sent. Typically, multiple IP addresses are bound to each SharePoint server to support SSL bindings – be certain to list each of the addresses. In this screenshot, we’ve configured the SMTP Server to allow connections from two of our SharePoint servers.

Next, we’ll also ensure that only our two systems are allowed to relay messages through the SMTP server, which is accomplished by clicking on the “Connection” button on the same “Access” tab of the server properties. Note that we have the same two IP addresses listed, allowing only those two machines to relay:

 

From here, we need to configure the Office 365 mailbox username/password that the SMTP Server will use when sending messages. This is configured in the “Delivery” tab, using the “Outbound Security” button. Be sure to enter valid credentials for your Office 365 user, and if it’s a newly-created user make note that you’ll need to change the initial password on first login. If you don’t do this, mail will not send despite your best efforts!

 

Next we need to tell the server to use TCP port 587 when attempting to connect to Office 365, which is set in the “Outbound Connections” option of the “Delivery” tab:

 

Lastly, we need to specify which server to send mail through, and we do this by clicking the “Advanced” button on the “Delivery” tab. Be sure to specify the smart host as smtp.office365.com and clear the option to “Attempt direct delivery before sending to smart host”: this will ensure that all outbound mail will be sent via Office 365:

 

Configure Outgoing E-Mail Settings in SharePoint

Finally, we need to let SharePoint know about our new SMTP Server, which is done via Central Administration > System Settings > Outbound E-Mail Settings, as pictured below. Note that I’ve blurred out the values to protect the innocent, but you need to be certain to specify the servername, and your Office 365 mailbox user in the From address.

 

At this point, we’re ready to test our configuration and we’ll use PowerShell on the SharePoint server to do so. This way we can be sure that each component in our configuration is working, from the SharePoint settings through to the Office 365 mailbox. Open a SharePoint Management Shell and run the following PowerShell snippet:

$sdo = new-object System.collections.specialized.stringdictionary $sdo.add("to","raymond@dynamicowl.com") $sdo.add("from","sharepoint@office365domain.com") $sdo.add("Subject","Test message from SharePoint") $web = get-spweb "https://intranet" $messagebody = "This is a test message from SharePoint on-prem" [Microsoft.SharePoint.Utilities.SPUtility]::SendEmail($web,$sdo,$messagebody)

The output of the command will return “True” (and you’ll receive an email message) if it was successful; “False” indicates that something has gone wrong and the message was not delivered.

When things go wrong

In our experience, there are a few items that you’ll want to verify if outbound email is not flowing as expected, including:

  • the SMTP Server service is set to “Manual” start by default; be sure to change this to “Automatic” so that the service starts upon a reboot of your server
  • the Windows Server may require a server certificate in order for TLS to be used; this will generate an error in the Event Log and be evidenced by the SMTP Server Properties “Secure Communication” section of the “Access” tab indicating that no certificate can be found for TLS

Conclusion

E-mail is still a critical communication method in today’s business world, and moving email services to the cloud is more common than ever. We can still send email from an on-premises SharePoint server via Office 365 by setting up a local relay and sending mail from an Office 365 mail-enabled user.

Office365 (SharePoint Online) Website Custom Branding – Using Custom Master Page

When subscribing to a Microsoft Office 365 P1 plan the website that gets created for public facing does not directly allow custom branding. For this plan Microsoft does not enable publishing feature as well.

The master pages found in the masterpage library are not used for the public website. The default master page is called root.master and can be placed in the root of SharePoint. Click ‘All Files’ in Sharepoint Designer 2010 to see the file hierarchy of SharePoint and you will find the Root.master at the bottom of this listing.

We cannot modify root.Master, instead a new master page could be uploaded and set as default master page.

You could try the following to test this out:

1. Use a starter master page found at: http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/

2. Use SPD to upload the new master to “_catalogs/masterpage”. Then right click the new master page you just uploaded and “Set as Default Master Page”. Then inside each of the pages “pages (web Pages)” you will need to edit the “MasterPageFile="~site/root.master"” to be something like “MasterPageFile="~site/_catalogs/masterpage/myCustomMasterPage.master"”. This will allow your site to use the new master page.

Note:

One additional thing is you will need to add the content placeholder office 365 pages use. It’s not the same as the standard SharePoint master page content place holder.

Add the following to just above or below the SharePoint content place holder (PlaceHolderMain) in your new master page:

<div id="IWS_WH_Elem_Content" class="MSC_Body">
<asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="IWS_WH_CPH_Content" runat="server"></asp:ContentPlaceHolder>
</div>

 

A site like below could be easily created on a P1 plan:

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