Create a Bing Custom Search

I detailed in a previous article how I had created a custom search:

A dedicated Microsoft Cloud Search Engine

The benefits were that I could target it to a specific set of URL’s to search through when producing a result. It also eliminated many of the commercial elements you see in common search engines. This makes it much cleaner and faster.

The good news is that you too can easily go and create your own custom search. Before you do so however, you will need to have an Azure subscription as there are generally costs that are incurred depending on the functionality you desire. the Custom Search capability is found under Cognitive Services in Azure. However, the easiest way to start creating your own custom search is to visit:

and sign in with your tenant credentials.


You’ll come to the above screen first. Simply select I agree and then the Agree button below to continue.


You can go through he Welcome messages if you wish.


Next, select the Create new instance button at the bottom of the page.


Give your instance a name (here Demo) and select Ok.


You’ll then end up on the above page where you can input the URLs you wish to have be part of your custom search.


Just keep adding the URL’s you desire. As you do you’ll notice a yellow banner appear at the top of the page as shown above. This is a reminder that you need to Publish your results for them to be visible to others.


When you do elect to publish you will see the above dialog. Press the Publish button to continue.


You should begreeted with a successful result, as shown above. You can return and keep editing the environment or you can select the Go to production environment option.


In the production environment, if you now select the Host UI menu option on the left, the windows on the right will show you a dialog box towards the button as shown above. Copy this URL.


If you Paste this URL into a new browser window, you should see your custom search engine as shown above.

Pretty easy to get going right?


If you navigate to the Azure portal and search for Cognitive services you should see your new Bing CustomSearch as shown above, along with any other services that utilise Cognitive Services (here a Q and A bot).

You can go in here and customise different aspects of your Custom Search, which I’ll cover off in up coming articles. However, hopefully, you see how easy it is to get started creating a Custom Search in Azure. Remember, you can always test out what I have created using this here:

Need to Know podcast–Episode 245

FAQ podcasts are shorter and more focused on a particular topic. In this episode I speak about what Office 365 Alerts is and provide some best practice suggestions.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2020

Take a listen and let us know what you think –

You can listen directly to this episode at:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.


CIAOPS Patron Community

Office 365 Alerts


MVP for 2020-21


It is with pride that Microsoft has again graciously awarded me as a Most Valued Professional (MVP) for 2020 in the Office Servers and Services category. This makes it now nine awards in a row for me. I thank Microsoft for this special award and acknowledge the responsibilities it entails.

This award is not possible without members of the community out there who take the time to do things like read and comment on my blog, watch my YouTube channel, attend events where I speak and more. Thanks everyone.

It is great to see the growth in recent years of the Microsoft Cloud technologies and the increasing number of people adopting them. It is something that continues to add so many new features it is hard to keep up. For me, that makes it really exciting and something I am always keen to be involved with. I enjoy the constant challenge of staying on top of everything in the space. I’m also keen to share that journey with others and help others solve problems and make the most from their technology investments.

The end of the past twelve months has been a very different place from the initial. The world we live is now a very different place from what it used to be. It has changed dramatically and we must all adapt to the new environment that has been forced upon us. Success in this new world will be with the help of others. That means being part of a community and working for the collective good. Being an MVP is being part of a unique worldwide community of very dedicated and smart people who truly love to share their knowledge. They are the benchmark that I aspire to, both technically and professionally. I therefore take the opportunity to also congratulate all those who were also awarded for this year. It is a great community to be part of and I am honoured to be a part.

Again, I thank Microsoft for this honour and will work hard to live up to the expectations it sets again for 2020-21, for without them and their technology, this award would not be possible.

CIAOPS Need to Know Microsoft 365 Webinar–July


Getting everything done in today’s modern world is a challenge, but Microsoft 365 has your back. Chief amoung the tools you can use to get organised in your business is Microsoft Planner.  This month I’ll take a deeper look at Microsoft Planner and show you how to set it all up and make best use of it as well as integrate with other task management options inside Microsoft 365. I’ll also have the  the latest Microsoft Cloud updates plus open Q and A as well.

You can register for the regular monthly webinar here:

July Webinar Registrations

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – July 2020
Friday 31st of July 2020
11.00am – 12.00am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron which you can do here:

or purchase them individually at:

Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session and I look forward to seeing you there.

Need to Know podcast–Episode 244

Sarah Young from Microsoft joins us again to talk about Azure Sentinel. We run through what it is and why you should be using it to protect your IT environments. Brenton joins us as well to cover off the latest news and certifications he has achieved. Listen in for all the details.

This episode was recorded using Microsoft Teams and produced with Camtasia 2020

Take a listen and let us know what you think –

You can listen directly to this episode at:

Subscribe via iTunes at:

The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:

Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show.


Sarah Young



L400 Sentinel Ninja Training

MS Tech Community Sentinel blog

Sentinel GitHub repo

Sentinel documentation

MS Security Community webinars

Defender ATP for Linux now GA

Defender ATP for Android

OneDrive Roadmap Roundup – May 2020

PowerPoint Live is now generally available

What’s New: Livestream for Azure Sentinel is now released for General Availability

Azure responds to COVID-19

20 updates for Microsoft Teams for Education, including 7×7 video and Breakout Rooms

Outlook for Windows: Signature cloud settings

Configure new Edge to allow Exchange PowerShell MFA module download

One of the challenges with MFA and PowerShell is that you need to basically go into the Exchange management console and download a special PowerShell module that supports MFA. The need for that MFA module when connecting to Exchange Online with PowerShell is largely being negated by using the Exchange Online PowerShell V2 module (yeah). However, if you want to connect to the Security and Compliance center online with PowerShell and MFA you are still going to need to install this special module MFA from the Exchange Admin center in the portal (damm).


To do this, you’ll need to navigate to the Exchange admin center as shown above and select Hybrid from the items on the left. you’ll then need to select the lower option that is then displayed on the right hand side, which allows you to download the special MFA PowerShell module.

That should commence an automated download for you. This automated download “should” work in both the older Internet Explorer and the new Edge (chromium based) browser.


That download process should look something like what is shown above. However, if for some reason you can’t get it working with the new Edge (chromium based) browser navigate to:



and Enable the ClickOnce Support option as shown above, if not already enabled. Most of the time it is set as Default, which you will need to change to allow the download to commence.

The browser will need to reload, but after that you should able to run the file in the Edge (chromium based) browser to get the Exchange Online MFA module installed on your local machine.

An easier way to connect using PowerShell

If you visit my Office 365 GitHub repository, you’ll find a whole of scripts there you can use for free. A subset of those scripts are designed to make connecting to the various Microsoft Cloud service easier. For example the script:

allows you to easily connect to Exchange Online using the version 2 module.

While all of this helps, it can still be a bit trickly for people to know what to run when to get connected. So, with that in mind I have created this script:

which when run by simply typing


in the PowerShell command line


will now pop up a dialog as shown above and allow you to select which service which wish to connect to.


Even better, you can also select multiple services in this same window. You simply use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to select multiple item, just as you do in any Windows desktop application (like Windows Explorer for files say).

After you have made your selection, those individual service connection scripts will be run.

Of course, the assumption is that you have all of my scripts (including the individual connection scripts) in the same directory. If not, then the connections will not be made. However, if you have ‘cloned’ what I have into a single location on your machine, then you should be all good.

I also created this short script:

which you can run at the PowerShell command prompt via:


to remove any currently loaded PowerShell sessions as well, quickly and easily.

Hopefully, this new ‘master connection’ script will make it easier for people to connect to the Microsoft Cloud services they need.

Make you you check back regularly to my Github repository for any updates and additions