Upgrade Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect

As Azure AD Connect is now generally available to replace AAD Sync for synchronize on prem active directory to Azure Active Directory. Now, It’s time to think about upgrading your existing deployment of Azure AD Sync tool and use the latest and greatest code from Microsoft. With Azure AD Connect we can perform an in-place upgrade from Azure ADSync to Azure AD Connect.

You can download Azure AD Connect tool from Microsoft website. Once you download the Azure AD connect tool, perform the following steps to perform an in place upgrade of Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect tool.

  • Run Azure AD Connect setup files on Azure AD Sync server.
  • Azure AD Connect setup will automatically detect the existing install of AAD Sync.
  • Accept the license agreement and click on Continue.

Upgrade Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect

Make sure that you’ve stopped the synchronization of Azure AD Sync tool during the upgrade. This will not impact your existing configuration/synchronization of AAD Sync tool.

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  • Provide your Azure Active Directory admin credentials to connect with Azure AD. This account must be a global administrator. Click on Next

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  • Select if you would like to immediately synchronize your identities with office 365 after the tool is deployed. If you have filtering requirements then uncheck this option. Click on Upgrade

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  • Once the configuration is completed you’ll see a tip for syncing Windows 10 domain joined computers to Azure AD as registered devices. Click on Exit.

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  • After you click on Exit, you’ll see an Azure AD connect icon on your desktop. You can perform limited administrative tasks by double clicking on that. You can view current configuration, customization options and configure staging mode for Azure AD Connect.

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  • In windows server start menu, search for Synchronization Rules and you will notice utilities such as the Synchronization Rules Editor, Synchronization Service, and the Azure AD PowerShell etc for advanced filtering and administration of the tool.

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Azure AD Connect is now Generally Available

On June 24, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure AD Connect tool, which has been in public preview for some time.

We’re thrilled to announce that as of today Azure AD Connect is now generally available for all Azure AD customers including Office 365 customers. Azure AD Connect is the single tool and experience for connecting your on premises directories to Azure AD, whether you are evaluating, piloting, or in production.

Azure AD Connect is the new version of Directory Synchronization tool which includes number of new features and enhancement over the old version of directory synchronization Azure AD Sync tool. Some of the new features of Azure AD Connect tool are:

Azure AD Connect is now Generally Available

  • Self-service password reset for users in cloud with write-back to on premises Active Directory. Previously this feature was included in Azure AD Premium which requires additional license.
  • Cloud based user can write back to your on premises active directory. This enables administrators to create a user in Cloud and write back the user in on premises Active Directory.
  • Groups in Office 365 can be write back to on premises distribution groups. This requires Active Directory forest with Exchange installed/ AD schema extended for Exchange.
  • Device write back to enforce Access Control policies in ADFS to recognize devices that registered with Azure AD. This includes the recently announced support for Azure AD Join in Windows 10.
  • Custom directory attributes can be synced to your Azure Active Directory tenant.
  • Azure AD Connect tool can be downloaded from Microsoft Website.

Configuring Active Sync and Outlook client to access Shared Mailbox

Configuring Active Sync and outlook client to access shared mailbox is one of those requirements which every customer would like to have. I’ve seen a lot of customers asking me how they can access shared mailbox on active sync clients. Even few customers has asked me if it’s possible to configure shared mailbox to be accessed in outlook as they don’t want to configure a primary user mailbox in outlook. My answer to all these situations and customers was YES. You can access shared mailbox directly in OWA. You can configure your shared mailbox in outlook client just like user mailbox and you can configure shared mailbox in active sync device as well. This blog post will guide you how to configure active sync and outlook client to access shared mailbox.

For this lab, We’ve office 365 tenant setup with mstechtalk.com. We’re using Exchange Online where we’re going to configure a shared mailbox Info@mstechtalk.com. A user mailbox admin@mstechtalk.com has full access to the Shared Mailbox. We’ll configure the shared mailbox in outlook, active sync and directly access the shared mailbox in OWA. I’m connected with Exchange online and verified that info@mstechtalk.com is a shared mailbox.

Configuring Active Sync and Outlook client to access Shared Mailbox

Configuring Outlook to Access Shared Mailbox

To configure outlook client to access shared mailbox, we need to follow the steps as mentioned below. Please note that these steps are tested with outlook 2013 client and can vary based on outlook version.

  • Go to Control Panel –> Mail
  • Click on Show Profiles

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  • Click on Add and enter a name for this profile to add a new profile.
  • Enter the mailbox information as shown below. As we know Shared mailbox don’t have a password, you need to enter the password of mailbox that has full access to the shared mailbox. In my case I’ve entered the password of admin@mstechtalk.com and click on Next.

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  • Outlook will established a network connection and pop up for credentials on step 2 i.e. Searching settings for info@mstechtalk.com.
  • Enter the username and password of the mailbox that has full access to info@mstechtalk.com. In my case it’s admin@mstechtalk.com

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  • Outlook will verify the credentials and configure the outlook profile for shared mailbox info@mstechtalk.com. Click on Finish.

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  • To verify the configuration, Let’s run the outlook profile that we configured a while ago. You can see that info@MSTechTalk.com is configured in outlook and connected with Exchange Online. You can send and receive emails using this shared mailbox just like a user mailbox.

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Access Shared Mailbox in Outlook Web App

We’ll know that we can access shared mailbox in OWA using Open another Mailbox” but there is another way to access the shared mailbox in OWA. We can bypass the process of login to user mailbox. To do so, What we need to go to https://outlook.office365.com/SharedMailboxEmailAddress and enter the credentials of user mailbox that has full access on shared mailbox. In our lab, I’ll go to https://outlook.office365.com/info@mstechtalk.com and enter the credentials for admin@mstechtalk.com. After authentication we will see Shared Mailbox OWA opened as shown below.

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Configuring Active Sync Client to Access Shared Mailbox

Configuring active sync client to access shared mailbox is one of those requirements which is being requested by almost every customer. I’ve configured a test mailbox in my Samsung Galaxy and here are the steps to configure it.

  • Go to Settings –> Accounts –> click on Add Account

Screenshot_2015-07-05-02-14-53

  • Click on Email Account
  • Enter email address and password of mailbox that has full access on shared mailbox. In our case email address is info@mstechtalk.com and I’ve entered the password of admin@mstechtalk.com and Click Next

Screenshot_2015-07-05-02-17-08

  • On account type, Select Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
  • On Exchange Server Setting Page, enter the username and password of admin@mstechtalk.com and update Exchange Server name to  outlook.office365.com and Click Next.

Screenshot_2015-07-05-02-20-14

  • Active Sync client will check incoming server settings and verify the user information.
  • On Account options, Select the sync interval and click Next.
  • Give a name to your account and Click Done.

To test your shared mailbox, Send an email to info@mstechtalk.com and you’ll receive the email on your cell phone. I’ve sent an email from info@mstechtalk.com using my Samsung phone and it works fine. Please note that these steps to access shared mailbox on Active Sync client are not documented in TechNet and hence not supported by Microsoft. test AS