Posted by: kurtsh | August 15, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Azure Active Directory deployment plans

Azure AD Customers should check out these detailed Azure Active Directory deployment plans to help you quickly deploy 9 frequently used AAD capabilities.

These include:

  • Single Sign-on
  • User provisioning
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • Conditional Access
  • ADFS to Pass Through Authenticaiton
  • ADFS to Password Hash Sync
  • Seamless SSO
  • Self-service Password Reset
  • Azure AD Application Proxy

Get the plans here:

imageDo you have a Windows Mixed Reality headset?  Is your computer domain-joined or tied to a Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) patch server, instead of using Windows Update? Does this error message look familiar to you?

"Before we can setup Windows Mixed Reality, your administrator will need to enable it for your organization"

Here’s the steps I put together to get Windows Mixed Reality working past the aforementioned error message: (I used the Samsung HMD Odyssey" on my 15” Surface Book 2 w/ 16GB)

  1. I downloaded the 1.4GB package for Windows 10 1803 located at
    …to a TEMP directory.
  2. I opened up a CMD window as Administrator by right mouse clicking CMD from the START button and selected "Run as Administrator".
  3. I ran the following command:

    dism /online /add-package /packagepath:c:\temp\

  4. The package add took a several minutes. It ended with "The operation completed successfully".
  5. I verified that "Windows Mixed Reality" got added to SETTINGS – Apps – Managed Optional Features
  6. I rebooted with the headset still attached. Upon logging in, Windows Mixed Reality setup kicked in again – but this time after going through controller set up and boundary setup, the Mixed Reality Portal appeared.
  7. I verified that SETTINGS –> Mixed Reality now appears.

For those of you looking for more than what the Windows Mixed Reality store provides in terms of a VR software catalog, here’s instructions on how to get Windows Mixed Reality headsets working with Valve’s Steam catalog of software & SteamVR. (tl;dr: You have to install 3 things – one of which is a bridging technology called "Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR" that has to be downloaded, in addition to Steam & SteamVR)

imageAnyone that’s been working with Microsoft technology & agreements for a while knows that Volume Licensing agreements that have “license maintenance” or “Software Assurance” (Microsoft’s terminology) also have certain value-added benefits.

These benefits are called “Software Assurance Benefits” (SAB) and come with consulting services credit, training vouchers for use with CTECs, eLearning subscriptions,etc.  One of these beneftis is “24×7 Problem Resolution Support incidents”, which provide the user with the ability to call in for technical support on an issue.  These are valuable and are worth upwards of $500 per incident.

If you have nothing else, SAB PRS incidents call into Microsoft Professional Support and open Professional Support incidents which can be a godsend – however Professional Support isn’t the highest level of support one can get. 

If you have a Premier Support Agreement with Microsoft however, this is the highest tier of support and your experience will always be better calling in to Premier than using Professional Support.  The technical level of support personnel is higher in Premier, responses are faster through Premier, etc.

If you have a Premier agreement, you are generally better off converting/transferring your SAB PRS credit INTO your Premier agreement which your Premier representative can assist you with.

You will first need to be an authorized 24×7 PRS benefit user which is assigned by the Software Assurance Benefits administrator.

Once you’re authorized, you need the SA Access ID which is stored in the Volume License Service Center (VLSC) portal at  VLSC administrator or SAB administrator are the only ones that can obtain this ID.

Once you have the SA Access ID and are provided permissions to use the PRS benefit, getting support can be accomplished in a few ways.  The easiest is to initiate a support ticket by going to:

Alternatively, you may be able to get through over the phone by dialing:

  • 800-936-5700 or
  • 800-642-7676

In both cases you will ultimately provide the SA Access ID to open the ticket.


The Open Source Virtual Conference is a one day online conference featuring technical learning sessions to help you lead innovation at your organization leveraging open source technology.

Join us in the morning for a keynote featuring John Gossman and Gabe Monroy providing insights into how Microsoft has embraced Open Source both with its own technology and our commitment to the Open Source Community.

Following the keynote, we will be focused on ensuring you are set up on Azure for the remainder of the day to be able to follow along with demos throughout the 14 sessions available.

Speakers from across the community and the Microsoft ecosystem are bringing three tracks with 14 sessions for you to choose from:

  • OSS for Developers
  • OSS for IT Professionals
  • OSS for Data Developers

During breaks connect with Microsoft Partners in the Lounge to learn more about how to accelerate Open Source projects within your own organization!

Conference Schedule:

  • 9:30 AM
    Visit Partner Expo
  • 10:00 AM
    Keynote: How Microsoft has embraced Open Source both with its own technology and our commitment to the Open Source Community, including live Q&A.
  • 11:00 AM
    General Session: A Trip Around the Azure Portal and Cloud Shell
  • 12:00 PM
    Break: Visit Partner Expo
  • 12:30 PM
      • MongoDB Atlas on Azure
      • Deploying Linux to Azure
      • Go Kubeless on Azure
  • 1:30 PM
      • Analytics with Azure Databricks
      • Build Your Containerization Strategy with Red Hat OpenShift in Azure
      • Introduction to App Service for Linux on Azure
  • 2:30 PM
      • Running Cloudera Data Analytic Workloads on Azure
      • Migrating and Securing Cloud Applications with HashiCorp Terraform and Vault on Azure
      • Azure Kubernetes Service Fu
  • 3:30 PM
      • Build Modern, Scalable and Intelligent Applications with Open Source Databases in Azure
      • Introduction to Open Service Broker for Azure
      • DevOps with Kubernetes and Helm
  • 4:30 PM
    Visit Partner Expo
  • John Gossman
    Lead Architect, Microsoft Azure
    John is a Lead Architect on Microsoft Azure, where he spearheads technical strategy and partnerships for Linux and open source technologies. He’s driven strategic technical relationships with companies such as Red Hat, Docker, Pivotal, Hashicorp, Canonical, Chef, Puppet, and others and serves on the Linux Foundation Board of Directors. John has worked in the software industry for over 25 years at startups and large companies, and worked on CAD systems, graphics, development tools, GUI frameworks, and cloud computing.
  • Gabe Monroy
    Lead Product Manager for Cloud Native Compute
    Gabe Monroy, is the Lead PM for Cloud Native Compute at Azure and represents Microsoft on the governing board of the Cloud Native Computing foundation.  Gabe was the founder and CTO of Deis, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017.  As an early contributor to Docker and Kubernetes, Gabe has deep experience with containers in production and frequently advises organizations on PaaS, distributed systems, and cloud-native architectures.
Posted by: kurtsh | August 1, 2018

RELEASE: Jira Bot for Microsoft Teams

Jira & Microsoft Teams users rejoice!

We are proud to imageannounce the launch of the third party app Jira Cloud Bot integration for Microsoft Teams. Jira is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software.

Jira Cloud bot enables team members to easily find issues, assign them to team members, make edits, log time against an issue, watch/unwatch and vote/unvote on the issue.

Read more about the new bot and see a demo here:

Interested in taking a look at any of these through a nicely formatted interactive screens?

    • imageAzure products 
      A growing directory of integrated Azure services, features, and bundled suites

    • Cloud design patterns 
      Common problems and patterns offering prescriptive architecture guidance for cloud applications

      Check the home page for all the Azure Interactive Maps:

      Announcing the public preview of Azure AD Conditional Access detailed login reporting delivering huge enhancements in visibility and flexibility!

      imageWe know many of you use conditional access in Azure AD—it’s the most popular feature in Azure AD premium! And to manage conditional access at scale, we also know you need detailed visibility into how it’s actually working in your organization.

      Today I’m excited to announce the public preview for conditional access information in the Azure AD Sign-ins report. This new information will help you troubleshoot conditional access policies and understand the usage of conditional access in your organization.

      As we designed this new capability, there were four key scenarios we focused on enabling:

      • Quickly troubleshoot conditional access policies—You can now view all the conditional access policies that impacted a user’s sign-in and the result of each policy. The correlation ID column in the Sign-ins report lets you to easily identify the sign-in reported by the user.
      • Understand usage of conditional access policies—Using the conditional access column and the policy information, you’ll be able to understand how conditional access policies are working in your organization. Using the Azure AD reporting API, you can pull the usage data into your SIEM systems and business intelligence tools.
      • Understand legacy authentication usage in your organization—Using the client app column in the Sign-ins report, you can see the users/apps using legacy authentication in the organization. This reporting will help you smoothly roll out a blocking legacy authentication policy. (To learn more about how to block legacy authentication, check out this recent blog post.)
      • Identify gaps in your conditional access policies—Using the conditional access column in the Sign-ins report, you can easily identify sign-ins/apps/users that are not protected by conditional access.

      Read more for a deeper explanation here:

      Previously there was a request on the Microsoft Teams UserVoice site that read:

      Code snippets

      I would like code snippets with highlighting based on code language. And for snippets longer than X lines, a “show more” button (like slack)

      Well, the other day, a response was posted:

      AdminWarren (Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Teams) responded  ·  July 30, 2018

      This feature request has been completed and is available to the public. Thank you for the suggestion and feedback!

      This has been a long awaited feature and i’m excited to see the 1.0 of it available in Microsoft Teams.  It was somewhat quietly announced here:

      In order to include code snippets in messages you send within Microsoft Teams, follow the steps below:

      1. Click FORMAT in the message text box toolbar.
      2. In the FORMAT toolbar, click the Code Snippet icon.
      3. In the dialog window, select the programming language you’re using from the list down box.
      4. Paste your code.

      Supported features:

      • syntax highlighting
      • auto-indentation
      • text wrapping control
      • support for 45+ programming languages like C#, Go, Dart, Swift, F#, etc.

      The only documentation on the feature appears to be here:

      A blogger named “Dennis” wrote a quick post and a video on Expiscornovus demonstrating the code snippets feature here:

      Posted by: kurtsh | July 28, 2018

      EVENT: Microsoft .NET Conf 2018 – Sept 12-14, 2018


      .NET Conf is a free, 3 day virtual developer event co-organized by the .NET community and Microsoft.

      Over the course of the three days you have a wide selection of live sessions that feature speakers from the community and .NET product teams. These are the experts in their field and it is a chance to learn, ask questions live, and get inspired for your next software project.

      You will learn to build for web, mobile, desktop, games, services, libraries and more for a variety of platforms and devices all with .NET. We have sessions for everyone, no matter if you are just beginning or are a seasoned engineer. We’ll have presentations on .NET Core and ASP.NET Core, C#, F#, Azure, Visual Studio, Xamarin, and much more.

      (Watch all the sessions from 2017 on demand on Channel 9)


      This year we’re trying something new with the format of our online conference. The last 24 hours will feature speakers in their local time zones and languages. Our partners are also hosting a virtual attendee party after the last session ends on Day 1 where you can win prizes!

      Day 1 – September 12

      • 8:00 – 9:30
        Keynote broadcasted from Microsoft Channel 9 Studios
      • 9:30 – 17:00
        Sessions broadcasted from Microsoft Channel 9 Studios
      • 17:00 – 18:30
        Virtual Attendee Party! Engage with our partners on Twitter and win prizes!

      Day 2 – September 13

      • 9:00 – 17:00
        Sessions broadcasted from Microsoft Channel 9 Studios
      • 17:00 – 23:59
        Community Sessions in local languages & time zones around the world

      Day 3 – September 14

      • 0:00 – 17:00
        Community Sessions in local languages & time zones around the world
      • All times listed in Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -7).

      Register for the event here:


      Attend a .NET Conf local event!
      But wait, it doesn’t end here! Put the skills you learn into practice and attend a local event in your area organized by .NET community influencers all over the world.

      New announcement in Electronic Design Automation space:

      imageCadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced a collaboration with Microsoft to facilitate electronic systems and semiconductor design with the Cadence® Cloud portfolio. Through the collaboration, customers can access the Cadence Cloud-Hosted Design Solution, a Cadence-managed and EDA-optimized design environment that is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and customized for company-specific infrastructure requirements. The collaboration also enables customers who manage their own IT and business relationships with Microsoft to use the Cadence Cloud Passport model to access cloud-ready software tools for use on Azure. The Cadence and Microsoft collaboration enables design engineers to address growing design complexity and get to market faster via the scalability of Azure.

      Read more of the press release here:

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