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Integrate Office 365 with Windows Server Essentials

Updated: January 13, 2014

Applies To: Windows Server 2012 Essentials

The Integrate with Microsoft Office 365 task on the Home page of the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard extends the features of the server by providing seamless integration with Office 365 services. When you integrate Office 365 with the server, you can:

  • Subscribe to Office 365, or configure the server to use an existing subscription.

  • Perform the following Office 365 account management tasks from the Dashboard:

    • Bulk-create Office 365 accounts for network user accounts.

    • Bulk-create network user accounts for Office 365 accounts.

    • Assign new or existing Office 365 accounts to network user accounts.

    • Manage the Office 365 account assigned to a user account throughout the lifecycle of the user account. For example, deactivating a network user account also deactivates the Office 365 account that is assigned to the user account.

  • Synchronize passwords for network user accounts and Office 365 accounts. This allows network users to sign in to Office 365 using their Windows password.

  • Link to the Office 365 professional Internet domain that you have set up on Windows Server Essentials.

  • View information about your Office 365 subscription.

  • Access your Office 365 management portal from the Office 365 page of the server Dashboard.

noteNote
You can configure Office 365 Integration at any time after completing the server installation.

This documentation includes the following topics:

To successfully configure Office 365 Integration with Windows Server Essentials, you must complete the following steps in the order listed.

  1. Step One: Prepare your server

  2. Step Two: Set up Microsoft Office 356 Integration

  3. Step Three: Link your professional Internet domain to Office 365

  • Make sure that you connect the server to the Internet.

  • Make sure that you install the most recent critical and important updates on the server and client computers.

  1. On the Dashboard Home page, click Email, click Integrate with Microsoft Office 365, and then click Set up Microsoft Office 365 Integration.

    The Microsoft Office 365 Integration Wizard appears.

  2. On the Getting Started page of the wizard, do one of following:

    • If you do not yet have a subscription to Office 365, click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard to subscribe to Office 365 or to sign up for a trial subscription.

      noteNote
      After you subscribe to Office 365 and then sign in, you can return to the Microsoft Office 365 Integration Wizard and continue the setup. It is not necessary to perform any of the tasks that appear in the Start here section of the Office 365 portal. For information about how to use the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard to create and manage Office 365 accounts, see Manage Office 365 user accounts.

    • If you have an existing subscription to Office 365 that you want to integrate with the server, select the I already have a subscription for Office 365 check box, and then click Next. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

If you registered an Internet domain for your small business, you can configure the domain to work with Windows Server Essentials, and then link the domain to your Office 365 subscription. After you link your professional domain Office 365, you can receive email that is addressed to mailboxes at your professional domain.

  1. In the server Dashboard, open the Office 365 page, and then click Link a domain to Office 365.

  2. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

If the Link Your Domain to Office 365 Wizard detects that your domain name is not managed by the server, to complete the configuration, you must manually configure the required DNS records. A list of DNS records that you must configure is saved on the server at %username%\NewDNSRecords_(n).txt (where “(n)” is a random number).

Contact your domain name provider and ask them to help you configure the domain name records properly. Refer to the TXT file for detailed configuration information.

After running the Link Your Domain to Office 365 Wizard, a message appears informing you that your DNS records must be verified by the service provider before the Office 365 services are associated with the domain. However, no further manual action is required for domain verification. Do not attempt to log on to the Office 365 portal to add or make any further changes to the DNS records.

noteNote
It generally takes about an hour to replicate your changes across the Internet. However, it can sometimes take longer. To view the domain status, go to the Office 365 page of the server Dashboard.

noteNote
If you are migrating email, do not assign a preference of '0' to the new MX record. Make sure the value for the record is greater than the value that is assigned to the current MX record. When the email migration is complete and you are ready to change the email server to Office 365, contact your domain name provider and have them reset the preference value of the new MX record.

When you complete the Set up Microsoft Office 365 Integration task, the Office 365 section appears on the navigation bar of the server Dashboard. The Office 365 Integration feature adds several new administrative tasks in the Dashboard. These tasks make it easy for you to manage your Office 365 accounts directly from the Dashboard. Additionally, the Office 365 Integration feature seamlessly integrates with the following user account management tasks:

  • Add a user account

    The Office 365 Integration feature adds a page to the Add a User Account Wizard that allows you to create an Office 365 or assign an existing Office 365 account for the new user.

  • Deactivate the user account

    When you use this Dashboard task to deactivate a user account, the Office 365 account assigned to this user is also deactivated. The Office 365 license assigned to that account is removed, and that account is blocked from logging on.

  • Remove the user account

    When you remove a user account, the account assigned to the user account is also removed. All data associated with that Office 365 account, including email, is handled in accordance with the established Office 365 retention policy.

After you integrate Office 365 with your server, you can:

If you have not yet created Office 365 accounts for your network user accounts, you can create Office 365 accounts for them from the Dashboard. It is not necessary to log on to the Office 365 website to add new Office 365 accounts.

  1. In the server Dashboard, open the Users page.

  2. In the Users Tasks section, click Add Office 365 Accounts.

  3. Follow the instructions in the wizard to add Office 365 accounts for users that do not already have an account.

noteNote
User accounts that already have an Office 365 account do not appear in the list.

Network users must reset their Windows password before they can use the Windows password to sign in to their Office 365 account.

If you have existing Office 365 accounts for your network users, you can choose to import the existing accounts from Office 365 after completing the Integrate with Microsoft Office 365 task on the Home page of the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard.

  1. In the server Dashboard, open the Users page.

  2. In the Users Tasks section, click Import accounts from Office 365.

  3. Follow the instructions in the wizard to create user accounts on the server.

When you use the Dashboard to assign an Office 365 account to a server user account, the Windows Server Office 365 Integration Service automatically synchronizes a user’s Windows password with their Office 365 account. This means that a network user only needs a single password to access both the resources on the server, and their Office 365 account. Furthermore, users can also use their Office 365 user ID as the name for their Windows Server Essentials user account.

Password synchronization occurs immediately and automatically when a user changes their Windows password from a domain joined computer, or by using Remote Web Access.

noteNote
If Office 365 is integrated with Windows Server Essentials, users should not use the Office 365 website to change their Office 365 password. Doing so will break the password synchronization.

The Office 365 Integration feature adds a page to the Add a User Account Wizard that allows you either to create a new Office 365 account for a new user account, or to assign an existing Office 365 account to a new user account. The wizard also allows you to choose not to assign an Office 365 account to the new user account.

  1. Open the server Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Users.

  3. In the Users Tasks pane, click Add a user account. The Add a User Account Wizard appears.

  4. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

  5. On the Assign an Office 365 Account page, select Create a new Office 365 account and assign it to a new user account, type an email name for the Office 365 account, and then click Next.

  6. Follow the instructions to complete the wizard.

noteNote
Network users must reset their Windows password before they can use the Windows password to sign in to their Office 365 account.

The Office 365 Integration feature adds a page to the Add a User Account Wizard that allows you either to create a new Office 365 account for a new user account, or to assign an existing Office 365 account to a new user account. The wizard also allows you to choose not to assign an Office 365 account to the new user account.

  1. Open the server Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Users.

  3. In the All Users Tasks pane, click Add a user account. The Add a User Account Wizard appears.

  4. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

  5. On the Assign an Office 365 Account page, select Assign an existing Office 365 account to this user account, choose an existing account in the drop-down list, and then click Next.

  6. Follow the instructions to complete the wizard.

If you previously created Office 365 accounts that are not currently assigned to network user accounts, you can easily assign or reassign the Office 365 accounts as desired.

  1. Open the server Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Users.

  3. In the list view, right-click a user account, and then click Assign Office 365 account. The Assign an Office 365 Account Wizard appears.

  4. Select Assign an existing Office 365 account to this user account, choose an existing account in the drop-down list, and then click Next.

  5. Review the information on the last page of the wizard, and then click Close.

noteNote
Network users must reset their Windows password before they can use the Windows password to sign in to their Office 365 account.

If an employee leaves your organization, or if you find it necessary to restrict access to Office 365 for a network user account, you can easily unassign the Office 365 for that user account.

  1. Open the server Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Users.

  3. In the list view, right-click a user account, and then click Unassign Office 365 account.

  4. In the Unassign the Office 365 Account dialog box, read the statement, and then click Yes to confirm your action.

noteNote
When you unassign an Office 365 account, no changes are made to the account. However, you cannot manage an unassigned account from the Dashboard.

When you add additional email addresses for an Office 365 account, the user can receive email messages at multiple addresses.

  1. Open the server Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Users.

  3. In the list view, right-click a user account, and then click View the account properties.

  4. On the Office 365 tab of the account properties, click Add.

  5. Type the new email address, and then select the email domain.

  6. Click OK twice.

Follow this procedure if it becomes necessary to change the Office 365 account that the Office 365 Integration service uses to connect to Office 365.

  1. Open the Dashboard.

  2. On the navigation bar, click Office 365.

  3. In the Configuration Tasks pane, click Change the Office 365 administrator account. The Set Up the Office 365 Administrator Account Wizard appears.

  4. Type the authentication information for the account that you want to use to connect to Office 365, and then click Next.

  5. Click Close. The Dashboard restarts.

  1. Open the Windows Server Essentials Launchpad, click Microsoft Office 365, and then click Office 365 Home.

  2. Sign in to Office 365 using the account name you were given and your Windows password.

noteNote
If you have not set up your computer to work with Office 365, follow the steps listed in the Start here section of the Office 365 portal.

If you disable Office 365 Integration, you can no longer use the Dashboard to manage Office 365 accounts.

Your Office 365 subscription is still valid if you disable Office 365 Integration with the server. However, to manage Office 365accounts and services, you must log on to the Office 365 website.

Disabling Office 365 Integration with the server does not reverse any changes that you made to Office 365 from the server Dashboard. For example, if you used the Link a domain to Office 365 task in the Dashboard, the domain name continues to work for Office 365 after you disable the integration. In addition, disabling Office 365 Integration with the server does not make any changes to your Office 365 subscriptions. Disabling Office 365 Integration does not change your Outlook configuration or remove any email messages.

Because the Office 365 Integration software is installed on the local server, you can disable the feature even if the Integration service cannot connect to Office 365.

  1. In the Dashboard, on the Office 365 page, click Disable Office 365 Integration.

  2. Follow the instructions to complete the wizard.

This section provides information to help you troubleshoot common problems that you may encounter when using the Office 365 Integration features.

Description

In some circumstances, an attempt to create one or more Office 365 accounts will not complete successfully.

Solution

If this occurs, click the link on the wizard completion page to open a results file that contains detailed information about each account creation request that did not complete successfully. For example, a result may inform you that a specific Office 365 account already exists.

Take actions as necessary to resolve each error.

If you continue to experience this problem, restart the server and then try again.

Description

An unknown error occurred.

Solution

Make sure that the computer is connected to the Internet, and then try again.

If you continue to experience this problem, restart the server and then try again.

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