Ignite Special – Johan Dahlbom

So, in the first of a few Ignite Specials podcast coming up this and the coming weeks. I had the pleasure of interviewing Johan Dahlbom (@daltondhcp) during Ignite and had a discussion around the newly released features of Office 365 & Azure AD.

We also went through his best experience of Ignite so far, and it isn’t what you would think…

Keep following me on my trip to Microsoft Ignite to get the latest updates and insights. Ill also follow up the trip with a few blogposts. You can find me on Twitter as @bindertech.

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Posted in Azure, Education, Intune, Microsoft, News, Office 365, Podcast, Technical Preview, The Basics

Episode 22 – The Residential Finn

The twentysecond episode is up, a.k.a “the Residential Finn”-episode! We talk about Ignite expectations with our good friend Toni (@MrBlackSwe), the hidden costs of self-service BI and the need for good maintenance on Oracle systems, regardless of their age.

We are now on iTunes! Much easier to subscribe 🙂

Also look out for the Microsoft Ignite special episode coming up!

As always we gladly accept tips and criticism, as well as ideas for content for us to cover. Just tweet me (@bindertech) or Alexander (@arcticdba)



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Posted in Azure, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Podcast, Power BI, Windows Server

Episode 21 – Wireless rain

The twenty-first episode is up, a.k.a the “wireless rain” episode! We talk about the Apple launch event, Microsoft Future Decoded, myAnalytics, lots of Power BI updates, conditions in ARM templates, Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update and what we are expecting from Ignite this year.

We are now on iTunes! Much easier to subscribe 🙂

As always we gladly accept tips and criticism, as well as ideas for content for us to cover. Just tweet me (@bindertech) or Alexander (@arcticdba)!

Power BI Premium release notes

The new timeline storyteller



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Posted in Azure, Hardware, Microsoft, News, Office 365, Podcast, Power BI, Surface, Windows 10

Episode 20 – Hammer and sauce

We talk about he death of the SCCM model, a new Data Management Gateway release, a new Data Migration Assistant release, that Airwatch now can do Chromebook management, expectations of Windows Server 1709 at Ignite, the new SSMS 17.2 release and data masking shenanigans. A shock-full episode indeed!

We are now on iTunes, or, sort of, we’re still ironing out the quirks. So please head over there and rate us if you like the podcast.

As always we gladly accept tips and criticism, as well as ideas for content for us to cover. Just tweet me (@arcticdba) or Simon (@bindertech)!

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Posted in Azure, ConfigMgr, Education, Intune, Microsoft, News, Podcast, Power BI, SCCM, Windows Server

Episode 19 – Inside ourselves

And we’re back! Its been a long and relaxing summer, but in no way a quiet or slow one! Lots of things has happened and we are ready to take on the second half of the year!

We spend some time talking about Surface reliability and news to Microsoft Intune. The discussion then moves over to Azure (and Cloud) security and we finish up by telling you a bit about what you can expect from us during the coming months.

As always we would love your feedback and you can read more about us and our work at our respective blogs and on Twitter. You’ll find us at (Simon) bindertech.se & @bindertech and (Alexander) arcticdba.se & @arcticdba

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Posted in Azure, Hardware, Intune, Microsoft, Okategoriserade, Podcast, Power BI, Surface, Training

Deploy Office 365 ProPlus with Intune

This week has really been like christmas if you are into Intune – which I am of course! We have received new reporting capabilities (here are my post on how to get started) and today we got some additional capabilities when it comes to one of, perhaps most vital, application deployment types: Office 365 ProPlus for Windows 10 (and Windows 10 only). You can find additional information in Microsofts blog post.

This post will show you the new settings we have a show you how to create a custom deployment package.

We, as always, start in the Intune portal. From here you can either use the quick shortcut to the right, or go to the Mobile apps page to the left. Don’t freak out about it being called “mobile apps” remember that we all should be mobile by now! 🙂


If you choose to go via the Mobile Apps page you’ll end up here. Click apps to view the apps list and also to add the new Office 365 package.


Add will then open the new app blade.


And in here you choose the app-type you want. In our case its “Office 365 ProPlus Suite (Windows 10)” – short and easy to remember. Click add to open up the new configuration page.


Here is where all the fun starts. Previously we have had very limited options to configure the ProPlus-package. With these new capabilities we are able to ensure that all users gets exactly what they need – and wont get things they dont use or need. This will not only give a better user experience, it will also save bandwidth, disk-space, installation time and so on. We are also able to deploy both Visio and Project which is really nice!

As you can see we have three different menus (left) that we can use to configure the deployment. We’ll go through them one by one. The first one “Configure App Suite” is where you choose what to include in the deployment. You could as an example create different suites for different departments depending or their needs. You can also make each individual app available to the user, and let him or her decide what to install. In my case I have curated the suite a bit to better suite a general users needs. If you want to deploy Visio and Project, you need to assign those licenses to the users as well.

REMEMBER! Today this app-type only supports installation if there is no previous version of Office installed. Microsoft are working on fixing this, but as of now for “old” devices, its advisable to uninstall the old version first. New machines however will work just fine.


The second configuration page is the “App Suite Information” menu. This menu looks fairly similar to the “Line-of-business” app-type and its here you provide additional information to the users. It’s advisable to give it a name explaining what it is (especially if you have more than one package), and what applications that are included in a particular bundle. Other than that, its pretty much up to you and your organization what you feel the need to include.

One thing I find interesting is that you can choose a logo/icon of your own instead of the Office-logo. I could see the need for it if you have several package or would like to deploy each application as an individual app, but I would love to know if you can find any other use for it.


Next up is perhaps the most interesting or fun configuration menu. The “App Suite Settings”. In this menu you configure most things that you used to do with the XML file you usually include when you deploy Office ProPlus with the Office Deployment Tool.

The most interesting options here, in my opinion, are the Update Channel were you have the usual options of: Current, Deferred, First Release Current and First release Deferred. You can find an explanation of them here. However, theses names will probably change soon due to alignment with the servicing of Windows 10 (read more about in the linked post from Microsoft.)

One additional great option is the shared computer activation. I work a lot with education customers and this is essential for them in many cases.

You also have languages options, and if you chose not to select any, the installation will match the OS languages on install.


Once you have completed your configurations, click OK in the menus and lastly “Add”. You’ll shortly receive a notification telling you the App has been completed and are ready for deployment.


And now, all you have to do is to assign the app to your users and/or groups and either assign it for installation or make it available in the company portal!

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!


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Posted in Application Management, Azure, Intune, Microsoft, News, Office 365, The Basics

Working with apps in Intune for Education

In this second post about Intune for Education we will look into one of the features in detail: Application deployment. In some cases its very similar to the full Intune experience, and in other ways it differs. Focus is, as with Intune for Education in general, to keep it as easy as possible.

We will look into the four different application/app types and ill show you how to add a new app from each type.

We will touch on Windows Store for Business, or in this case Microsoft Store for Education. You can read my, now old, post on Windows Store for Business to get a bit more background – but ill write a new, updated, one in a near future. Ok, let’s get started!

In the Intune for Education portal, navigate to the “Apps” page:


As you can (if you scroll down a bit on the page) we have four different app-types to work with: Web Apps, Store Apps, Local Apps and Office 365.

Quick Add

At the top you also have a “Quick add popular apps” button, which could be good start – at least in the UK and US.

Click the button and you’ll be presented with a number of popular Web and Store apps that you very quickly can add to your application repository.


Simply select the once you like and add them using the “Adds apps” button below.


You may notice that the Web apps are added pretty instantly, but the Store apps may require a few minutes to show up. You can go to this link to learn more, but it really depends on Microsoft Store for Education and the synchronization between it and Intune. We will go into this shortly (and more deeply in an upcoming post) when we look at adding additional Store Apps.

Usually this doesn’t take more than a few minutes. But the selection may not be appropriate for your grade, school or country. So lets head down to the first application type – Web Apps.

Web Apps

Web Apps are actually very useful in its simplicity. It’s a web link that shows up in the Start Menu of the assigned users. This makes it easy to distribute useful links to web apps, pages and perhaps even intranet sites. As with all apps (regardless of distribution tool or platform) I highly recommend that you always add an icon to your app. It makes it a lot more user-friendly and to be honest, it looks a lot better.

To add a Web app, simply click “New App” in the Web Apps section.

Add the URL you want, give the app a name (this is how the app will be presented in the Start Menu and in Intune) and add an icon in .jpg or .png format. It’s really easy and creates a nice user experience.

When deployed to a user it will show up quickly and requires very little bandwidth to add – and could be easier than adding favorites.


Store Apps

Next in line are Store Apps. Theses are “Modern” Windows Apps from Microsoft Store for Education. So it’s there we have to start. When you click “New App” in the Store Apps section you will be transferred to the MS4E site. If it’s the first time you visit it you will have to sign a EULA to get access.


Once you’ve done that you are in!


Intune for Education may not be that old, but things have already been improved since I started of with the preview-edition. Previously you were required to manually add Intune as a distribution software to synchronize apps, but now that has been automated. However, it’s always good to verify that it has worked as intended – and also know where to look if you would like to turn the Sync of, add another MDM or just show of to your colleagues.

Under Manage/Settings/Distribute you’ll find “Management tools” were Microsoft Intune should be preconfigured and set to “Active”. If not, activate it.


Now, lets head back to the start page by clicking “Shop for my school” and then find an app you would like to distribute. You can either browse the recommended apps, search for one or add your own apps – but that’s another blog post. In this example we’ll add Microsoft Translator. It can be added both for Online and Offline distribution – but we are focusing on the Online scenario.


Click “Get the app” and you “order” will be placed and added to your inventory.


Now the page changes slightly and you can see that you have new options:

  • Install lets you install the app to your local PC via the Store App. You’ll need a Microsoft or Azure AD account to do that.
  • Manage is mostly used when you distribute apps without an additional MDM to manage it. You can also view who is using a particular license for an app – probably most useful when the app isn’t free – but it gives you more insight in how it’s used.
  • Add to private store lets you add the app to your schools private (curated) Store. That’s a great way to give your students a self-service option.

In our case its enough just to “purchase” the app. Now we can head back to the Intune for Education portal to synchronize the apps.


In “Tenant Settings” (the tools icon to the left) you have a manual synchronization button. Usually the automated sync runs every few minutes – but if you are in a hurry you can always force it.


You’ll get a small message in the top right corner that lets you now that the sync request has been sent.


Then go back to the “Apps” page and see if your new app has been added. If not, refresh the page and view the “Last Sync” status at the top of the Store Apps section. I’ll go into the Microsoft Store for Education more in-depth in an upcoming post.


Local apps

Local apps are application that we are used to install on our PC:s. They are locally installed applications that usually comes in .exe or .msi format. The good thing about Web apps and Store apps are that you don’t need to manage them once they are deployed. That’s being taken care of in the Store of by the organization managing the web app. But many schools, or organizations in general, still have old applications left that are still useful.

In the Intune for Education (and Intune in general) case we are currently only able to deploy single MSI-files. This needs to be taken into consideration when creating the deployment package, as we can’t use a mst, .cab or any other kind of file in addition to the .msi file. If you that reads this feel that this is something you aren’t familiar with, just post a comment and I’ll help you out. Or, if possible, contact your own IT-staff and ask them to help you out.

The experience is fairly similar to the Web Apps – but we need to supply the file we want to install as well as a command line. The command line bit is something I find strange. Using the Intune Azure portal (the “regular one”) and creating the equivalent Line-of-business application – you are not required to add a command line, just additional command line arguments. In Intune for Education you are however required to add SOMETHING, but not the entire command line. In most cases a simple /qn will do fine – but again please let me know if you would like any additional help.

Again, I advice you to actually add a brief description, publisher and icon – it does make a difference for the end-users and it’s always better to do the job right from the start.


When you are done with the app, the .msi will be uploaded (you have 2 GB of free storage to start with – and you can add more if you like later on) and you will get a small notification when its done.


One last thing to remember for the local apps – once you have uploaded a file, you can’t change it. So, if you want to update the application, change it or replace the file – you need to create a new application for that.

Office 365

This last one isn’t really an app-type as such. It’s basically a way to deploy the locally installed Office-package (Office 365 ProPlus) without any customization. It will be good enough for many, but if you like to have your own custom installer there are ways to achieve that as well. The configuration of this app-type is very, very, easy. It’s a matter of on or off.

Assigning apps

Now when we have added the apps and/or application we would like to use its time to assign them. You can either use the Express Configuration again or simply choose an app, select “Groups” and click “Change groups assignments”. In the page that opens you are able to select and de-select groups to assign the app to.


And just to be clear: Assign means that you will force the application to install on all PCs, that are controlled by Intune for Education, users inside that group logs on to.


When you have chosen the groups you like, click save and wait. I’ll go into the user-experience on the client side in an upcoming post, together with some basic client-side troubleshooting.

I hope that this gives you a few pointers on where to start and where to go. If you have any questions, please let me know! More blog post on Intune for Education will follow!

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Posted in Application Management, Azure, Education, Intune, Microsoft, The Basics, Windows 10, Windows Store for Business

Getting Started with Intune Data Warehouse

The news we received today from the Enterprise Mobility team at Microsoft are truly great and something I and many with me have been waiting for!

The Intune Data Warehouse are now in public preview!

One of the challenges with Intune has, in my opinion, been the limited amount of reporting data you can get out from the service. This has made a few of my customers go with a hybrid configuration rather than a Cloud-only one – just to get that data. The data and information you (now) can get from Intune is a real asset, especially when you implement the service.

So, my plan is to provide you with a  brief step-by-step guide to how to access your data using Intune Data Warehouse and Power BI Desktop!


Start by downloading and installing the latest version of Power BI Desktop:


And also the Power BI reports-file (it can also be found in the Intune portal):


Lets start!

Start by logging into the Azure Portal and browse to the Intune service. You should see the icon for Intune Data Warehouse to the right.


A new blade will open and give you the option to use a third-party reporting service or Microsoft Power BI. From here you’ll find the links to Power BI as well as the Power BI file you downloaded previously. If you would like to use a third party solution, you’ll find the link required to access the data here as well.


You can also get additional information from the links. If you want to know more about Power BI, I would recommend looking at my colleague Alexanders – aka @arcticdbablog.

Now it is time to start (first install it if you havent already) Power BI Desktop. The setup is super easy, so I wont cover it. Once its installed, start it and you will we greeted by this screen:


You don’t need to sign up for anything at this point, and you can wait to sign in. Instead, click the “Open other reports” and open the Power BI file (Intune Data Warehouse Report.pbix).

The file will open and show you some empty charts. This is only the reports as of yet – but we will soon fill them with data.

Currently we have seven different pages:

  • Devices
  • Enrollment
  • App Protection Policy
  • Compliance Policy
  • Device configuration profile
  • Software update
  • Device inventory

They are quiet self-explanatory, and you can look around yourself to see whats in it. I find most of it to be really useful, but the power will be to build things yourself to suit your needs.

Bring me the data!

Now, at the top of the main window you have a yellow ribbon with an “Apply changes” button. If you click that, it will run the necessary queries to gather the required data.


After a few seconds a small windows will open, and soon you’ll be prompted to authenticate. Choose “Sign In” and authenticate using your Intune (Azure AD) credentials. When you have completed the sign in, click “Connect”.

Now the first small windows that opened will appear again and this time it will start gather data. You can follow the progress as it goes.


This could take a while depending on how much data you have. In my case, with my tiny environment it took about 30 seconds. When its done, you can start browsing the report again and see what it found for you! I felt that, for my small tenant, I got some good data and I cant wait to try it out at some of our customers.


And now when you got the data, it’s up to you what to do with it. There are a bunch of good resources if you are new to Power BI, and hopefully me and Alexander could create something on the topic later on.

I hope that this has been valuable to you, and enjoy your data!

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Posted in Azure, Intune, Microsoft, News, Power BI, The Basics

Getting started with Intune for Education

Working in Education? Or do you have customers that are? This post is for you. Intune for Education were introduced a couple of months ago and will add lots of value for teachers and students – as well as lower the amount of time used by IT to manage Intune. In this post we will go through a basic setup, based on the available sample-files for School Data Sync. Later post will cover SDS in a bit more depth, as well as additional configuration for Intune and Intune for Education.

If you havent signed up yet, please visit sign up using this link. You will also, as I will show you later in this post, need to add Office 365 and Azure AD licenses as well. If you already have a working tenant with licenses, you could start by going to the Intune for Education portal and sign in using your Azure AD credentials. You will also need access to the Office 365 portal.

Remember! Currently Intune for Education ONLY supports Windows 10 PCs. If you are using an older Windows OS, iPads or Android-tablets you still need to do the configuration in the Azure Portal.

When you log on to the Intune for Education portal for the first time, you may find it to be a bit, empty.


The account you access the portal with (this goes for all staff that need access) needs to have a Intune for Education license assigned. The easiest way to do this is in the Admin Center of the Office 365 portal. Choose your user and assign the license.


When the license has been assigned you can log back into the Intune for Education portal, which will now be a bit more populated.


Now, the easiest way to get going is by using the Express Configuration. This will also be the easist way for a teacher to configure a new groups, class or course. So, remember that you can use the Express Configuration more than once.

When you launch the Express Configuration the four steps that you need to walk through are shown. Get school information can be done in several ways (Ill use the School Data Sync in this example) and is basically to set up the necessary groups, teachers and students.

Choose a group to set up lets you choose the group to configure. The group is an Azure AD group, and usually represents a grade, class, group or team. The Express Configuration can be run as many times as needed to configure all the required groups.

Choose apps to install – not much to explain here, I will go into more detail on this later on.

And lastly Choose group settings were you configure the settings that will be applied to the user and/or the currently used device.


After you’ve pressed Get started you get to the second page of the wizard were you are asked to add school info.


The suggested approach to this is to use Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS). This enables you to sync data from your SIS (Student Information System) to Azure AD and Intune. Several SIS are supported, but today the focus is primarily on North American as far as I can see. You can however use CSV-files exported from your SIS with SDS as well, which could be a temporary solution for you until your SIS is supported.

But then again, if you for other reasons have your students and teacher in Azure AD or a local AD, you can use those groups as well. Ill go into more detail on SDS in a coming blog post. In this I’m using the publicly available sample data which you can download from GitHub. You can use them as they are for testing purposes, edit them to suit your needs or use them as templates to create your own CSV-files. Again, ill cover this a bit more in-depth later on. In this example I havent done any changes to the files.


You enable School Data Sync and the next step is to create a new profile.

SDSProfileIntuneEDUThe profile will enable you to sync different schools with different settings if you like to. For this example we are doing a manual import, but if you have a supported SIS or if you set up the SIS toolkit you can automate this. Another piece of the upcoming post. 🙂


When you have chosen how to connect you need to configure your sync options. You an already existing Azure AD tenant you can update your existing users with more information. If you are configuring a new tenant you add the users from scratch.


Now its time to upload your files. The sample files consist of six files with information on schools, sections, students, teachers and to what course a student has enrolled to as well as what students (and course) each teacher are responsible for. You also have additional files if you would like a UK sample school instead of an US one.


When the files are uploaded you can configure what attributes to keep – this is the default selection. You can configure if a teacher should have the right to over-write a section (group) name as well as configure a later date for when to add the students to each section. Lastly you allow the teachers and students to be managed by Intune – and there by configure to add a Intune license to each user.


The two following steps lets you configure additional options for students and teachers. The most essential parts of this are  probably what domain the teachers and students should use as well as what license. This could again be a reason to use different profiles.

You are then asked to review the settings you’ve made, create the profile and then start the sync.





The initial sync will take a couple of minutes, but you are able to follow the process by refreshing the page. When the sync is done you will get success message telling you all went well. In my case I didn’t have enough licenses to assign, so I ended up with a bunch of errors. However, all users, groups etc has been created and you can fix this later on by running an additional sync or adding the licenses in the Office portal.


Time to head back to the Intune for Education portal and continue the configuration.


The second step let you choose the group to configure. Again, you can run the configuration as many times as you like to configure your groups. Also remember that a student may be a member of more than one group, so apps, settings and so on could be combined in the end. If you have used Intune previously you will feel right at home.


This may be the right time to point out something essential: As you may already have realized, Intune for Education isn’t really introducing anything but a more user-friendly GUI. Everything you do in the Intune for Education portal will be visible in the regular Azure portal as well.

This means that you could run into some challenges when you have IT-staff configuring policies etc in the Azure portal and teacher in the Intune for Education portal. The challenges may not be technical, but rather process and/or policy related.

However, lets move on to the next step, time to choose apps!

You are able to deploy web-apps, Store-apps and desktop-apps. Some of them are pre-populated, some are additional apps that are popular in Education and later on the apps you add yourself (covered in an upcoming blog post) will be visible.




Choose the apps you would like to deploy to the group you are configuring (you can of course edit the selection later) and go on to settings.

The settings that are configured in this step are probably the settings a teacher would like/need to configure. Again, you have additional settings (for wi-fi, e-mail and so on) in the Intune for Education portal as well as in the regular Intune portal.


When you are done you are asked to review the settings for the group you have selected and after that you are done with your first group! Now you can either start enrolling devices or re-start the wizard again to configure an additional group.



I hope you have enjoyed this post and others will follow. If you have any questions, please drop me a comment!

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Posted in Education, Intune, Microsoft, The Basics, Windows 10

Episode 18 – The team song

A very late update with the latest episode of our podcast! This episode was recorded on June 30th, but are still up to date. 🙂

To qoute my fellow podcaster Alexander:

“We talk about YET another configmgr preview, do a recap of the first six months of this podcast, the upcoming conferences in the fall and our hopes for future releases.

As always we gladly accept tips and criticism, as well as ideas for content for us to cover. Just tweet me (@arcticdba) or Simon (@bindertech)!”

Until next time!

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Posted in ConfigMgr, Microsoft, News, Okategoriserade, Podcast, SCCM, System Center, Technical Preview
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