Planner, Project, task list… which tool should I use?

Most of my customers are confused with the introduction of Planner in Office 365 and its use to track activities or projects inside the company.

The main idea of this post is to resume which option is best to tackle activities in projects and tasks. So, what we have? What we should choose in each case?

  • Microsoft Project: it is used in Project management, a tool that allows to have in one site all the projects, and at the same time have a lot of tools to integrate the projects and manage them. The main drawback that it very hard to implement inside a company.
  • Microsoft Planner: it is used to manage little projects or to manage activities in workgroups. The great advantage of this tool is that requires a low effort to implement it.
  • SharePoint Task list: it’s a kind a task management, in this case allows to manage task individually.

So now, we’re going to take a deeper look to these options:

Product Advantages Drawbacks
Microsoft Project Detail of resources, calendars and assignations

Management of hours

Gantt diagram

Report diagram

Possibility to integrate with PowerBI

Integrate with SharePoint

Risk Management

Knowledge of management

High license cost

It is necessary to associate a mail to the sites

 

Microsoft Planner Very easy for the user

Centralize projects in one site

Graphics to report activities and state of the projects

Mailbox for each project

It is included in Office 365 license

Only is it possible to relate tasks by 3rd party solutions

Gantt diagram with 3rd party solutions

SharePoint Task List Possibility to create and assign task to users

Possibility to relate tasks

Send mails when activities are completed or assigned

See how tasks are delayed or personalized views by user

It is possible to synchronize it with Project

It is necessary to create a list for each Project

Does not exist a site where is it possible to see all the tasks lists

No possibility to see a graphic

That’s all, till next time!

Configuring Proxy PACs

Being immersed in Office 365 pilots and adoptions, a lot of questions are fired by the customers, some of them are related with networking requirements. Most of the times, I am able to give them some guidance on how to configure environments and give to them some best practices, but in occasions, happens that they had a lot of customizations in the proxy servers in order to control the server communications to the outside.

But I have found some posts in the technet blogs about how to automate the configuration of ProxyPac. With these scripts, we’re able to configure the proxies and configure the bypass list in the server as well as configure the outbound firewall rules to allow to access to the appropriate IPs and URLs.

I’m sure that with all this stuff, we will able to save enough time to be focused in other important things.

So, if you want to automate the configuration of ProxyPac’s and do you want to automate it, I strongly recommend visiting the follow links and extract the info from it:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/undocumentedfeatures/2016/08/18/updates-to-office-365-proxy-pac-generator/

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/undocumentedfeatures/2015/11/16/office-365-pac-file/

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/undocumentedfeatures/2016/04/06/deploying-the-office-365-proxy-pac-to-manage-your-users/

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/Office-365-Proxy-Pac-60fb28f7

 

ADFS: Configure your password change

Users are always allowed or forced to change their passwords, and sometimes this actions increment the amount of work to IT. However, in ADFS 3.0 include a feature that enable a self-service portal password change available for your end-users.

So this post tries to follow the steps to configure it:

  • First, enable the Password Change Portal:Open your AD FS Management tool on the primary server, navigate to the EndPoints under Services\Endpoints. At the bottom you will see the /ADFS/portal/updatepassword/ endpoint, right click it and choose enable. Right click again and choose enable on proxy.
  • Test change password portal: browse to https://sts.domain.com/adfs/portal/updatepassword you will similar to the adfs login page where you can update your password
  • Enable password expiry notification: You can configure Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) to send password expiry claims to the relying party trusts (applications) that are protected by ADFS. To do this it is necessary to configure a Claim Rule:

c1:[Type == “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2012/01/passwordexpirationtime”%5D => issue(store = “_PasswordExpiryStore”, types = (“http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2012/01/passwordexpirationtime”, “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2012/01/passwordexpirationdays”, “http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2012/01/passwordchangeurl”), query = “{0};”, param = c1.Value);

  • Finally: you can tweak your ADFS login page to show a link to the change password portal

That’s all!

Ref: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/operations/configure-ad-fs-to-send-password-expiry-claims

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-fs/operations/ad-fs-user-sign-in-customization

 

Set up working hours in Google calendar

A lot of us have very busy schedules each and every day.  Somehow, we manage to get through all the meetings and events throughout the day and make our way home to family, friends, and pets.  To ensure that we are able to separate our work life from our personal life, Google Calendar gives us the option to set up our working hours.  These hours are the hours that we are typically in the office and available for meetings and/or events.  Let’s take a look at how to set up our working hours below.

Once you have your Google Calendar open, locate and click on the gear in the upper right hand corner and then click on ‘Settings.’  Scroll down until you see the section for “Working Hours.”

calendarwh.png

This feature is very helpful if you are a busy person and need to have some ‘me’ time. Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t attend events that are scheduled outside of your working hours … you’re just professionally informing the parties that you are typically not available outside of the set hours.

New Flow templates for Planner

Do you need to automate your tasks into Planner and don’t know how to do it? Today, is your lucky day, recently, Microsoft Flow is updating their flow templates to cover migration tasks to Planner and able to manage them from there.

So, the new available templates are the following:

Create planner tasks for flagged emails in Office 365: with this flow, will be possible to create tasks in Planner from all the Outlook mails that have been flagged in our inbox. Every flagged mail, will be created and assigned to us. Great start 🙂

On new SharePoint items create Planner task and assign to creator: Most of my customers demand this, they have a task list in SharePoint, and they want a solution to automate this “migration” to Planner. So, when new items are added to the SharePoint task list, new item will be created in Planner and assigned to the person who created the task.

And finally, an option to migrate from the competitor Trello to Microsoft Planner: will be possible to get a task created in Microsoft Planner for each card added to a list in Trello.

I hope that Microsoft will continue updating those kinds of templates to offer new features and new possibilities.

till next time!

What is Secure Score?

Office Secure Score is a new tool that allow us to measure all the Office 365 security configuration and the security features available. Furthermore Secure Score analyzes if best practices have been applied to the tenant.

From the url https://securescore.office.com it is possible to access to the Secure Score Portal. Each one of the rules has some points in function of severity. Once the report has been applied, the rules are categorized into the following:

  • Category: if its necessary to apply an action to a user, service or globally to the tenant
  • Effort to implement
  • Impact to the users
  • Points assigned to the action

In the following video it is possible to see more features about this new portal:

Till next time!

Uninstalling Access from Click to Run deployments

Hi all!

This question was fired by a client, they had installed the office C2R Office version from the O365 portal, but some of the included applications such as Access, need additional approval from the IT side. So, they need to uninstall some of the components.

At the beginning, the were claiming that was not possible to uninstall a single product, because, each time they tried, they were uninstalling all the suite of Office.

After further investigation for me side, I discovered that it is not possible to uninstall some products from the C2R version, except Visio or Project that are licensed in another way, so if we want to uninstall Access it is not possible.

At first glance, I was thinking in Office Deployment tool to control how the software is implemented in the company, by configuring a XML, it is possible to exclude some of the Apps and avoid this kind of problem.

Normally, this kind of deployments are centralised by IT, but a nominal user can install ODT in his computer and run the program to only install the programs that they need. Ok, we solved half of the problem, we know that we cannot uninstall Access and we know how to implement from scratch Office. But I wanted to go a step further and try to uninstall Access from the computer, so I found the following program in GitHub: https://officedev.github.io/Office-IT-Pro-Deployment-Scripts/XmlEditor.html

From here, it is possible to configure the XML to help the admins to deploy ODT installations, so I was trying to play with the program. In my case I went to the last option “Install Toolkit”

odt1

I downloaded the program, and in the first screen I selected the option “Manage your local Office 365 ProPlus installation” which loads your current configuration in your computer, and allows to modify it, yes! This app rocks!!

odt2

So, I went to Products, and you’ll able to see an option called, excluded, where you can exclude certain programs from being installed or also Uninstalled 😊

odt3

You can review the rest of options inside the app and configure them as you need it. Finally, you can go to Local option and then select “Modify the existing installation”, this will fire the setup program and will begin the Office Wizard, remember to close all your Office applications before clicking “Rerun setup” option

odt4

Once the wizard has finished, you can check if Access or the application you have selected, remains in your computer (in my case have been uninstalled successfully).

Hope it helps!