Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Installing the SBS Essentials Office 365 module

Microsoft recently announced the open beta of the Office 365 Integration Module for SBS 2011 essentials. In a nutshell this allows you to easily provision and manage your Office 365 accounts from your SBS 2011 Essentials server. It does not provide the ability to do Single Sign On (SSO). It will however provide the ability to sync local account passwords with those in Office 365 PROVIDED the account names are identical.

 

In this post I’ll run through the installation of the integration module on SBS 2011 Essentials.

 

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Once you have downloaded the software to your SBS 2011 Essentials server double click on the file to launch. Select Yes to install the feature pack.

 

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Click on I Accept to accept the license agreement. Remember this is still beta (pre-release) software.

 

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Allow the update to install on your server.

 

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When complete you will need to reboot your server.

 

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When the server has rebooted launch the SBS 2011 Server dashboard. On the front page at the bottom you will see a link Set up Microsoft Office 365 Integration. Click this to continue.

 

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This will run the integration wizard. By default, the wizard will assume that you have not already obtained an Office 365 license. If you do already have an Office 365 license simply click the option I have a subscription for Office 365 at the bottom of the screen before proceeding.

 

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If you proceed without selecting the option indicating you have an Office 365 subscription you will be taken to the page that allows you to select which subscription you may wish to purchase or trial.

 

It is interesting to note here that clicking any of these options takes to a page that runs javascript which can’t normally be displayed in the browser on the server due to security restrictions. Also, it appears that it takes you to an international subscription page for Office 365 which is not how you obtain licenses for Office 365 in Australia for 25 seats and under.

 

Thus, the best advice would seem to be make sure you have already obtained your Office 365 subscription prior to running this module and check the option in the previous step.

 

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If you proceed after checking the option that you already have an Office 365 subscription you will see the above window prompting you for an administrator login for your Office 365 account. Enter the appropriate details and press the Sign in button to continue.

 

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The details will checked and the system configured appropriately.

 

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When successfully complete you should see a screen like shown above. Press the Close button to complete the wizard.

 

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When you now view the SBS 2011 Essentials console you should see an additional Office 365 button at the top right of the dashboard. Clicking this should display a screen like shown above with information about your Office 365 subscription.

 

I’ll more details on how to use the Office 365 Integration Module with SBS 2011 Essentials in upcoming posts. However, remember that it is still beta software and the final product may differ from what is shown here.