Mystery of Office 365 UsageLocation

Office 365 Features Limitations/Restrictions by Location

Many of the people might get confused or probably never focused on why we need to specify usage location while assigning a license to end user in Office 365? What’s the purpose of UsageLocation? Is it same as of Country field populated in Active Directory?

If you look at a cloud user via PowerShell, you’ll also notice that there is a separate “UsageLocation” attribute. This attribute is the one used while assigning a license to a user in office 365. Some features in Office 365 are not allowed in certain countries and “Microsoft” determines this with the help of UsageLocation attribute. When you assign a license to a user and specify the usage location of Office 365 services, Microsoft apply usage restriction to those particular users based on their usage location. e.g. Hosted Voice Mail and Lync audio/video is not allowed in Brunei and if you try to enable Hosted voice Mail for a user with “UsageLocation” of Brunei, you’ll get an error message  stating that “This feature is not available in the location indicated in this user’s UsageLocation“.  Now we understand the reason behind this attribute, there are a couple of ways to set usage location for users in Office 365.

  • Office 365 Portal
  • Local Active Directory

When you assign a license to a user in Office 365 portal using PS or GUI you specify a UsageLocation. We can specify UsageLocation in local active directory and Dir Sync or AAD Sync can sync the usage location to office 365 and override the information. If you look at the connectors in DirSync and AADSync, you’ll see that “UsageLocation” in the Azure Active Directory is mapped to “msExchUsageLocation” on-premises. You can populate the attribute either in the cloud or on-premises. Mostly attributes are only writable on one side or the other. Based on the flow rules, the on-premises value will take precedence and overwrite existing data in the cloud.

Valid values for “msExchUsageLocation” appear to be the same as those for the “Country” field (attribute name = “c”); basically it’s the 2-letter ISO code for the country.

Usage Restriction details can be found here.

Office 365 Usage Restrictions

Office 365 Usage Restrictions

The availability of services and features in Office 365 varies by country or region. A service, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), may be available in one country or region, and not available in another. Features within a service can be restricted for legal reasons in certain countries or regions. Below is the details of services available in each country or region.

 

Office 365 Usage Restrictions

Office 365 Usage Restrictions

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Connect Exchange Online using PowerShell

Connect Exchange Online using PowerShell

Managing Exchange online with PowerShell requires you to connect with Exchange Online. Few months ago i was working on automating the process of connecting with Exchange online rather then writing the cmdlets every time i connect with Exchange online and you know what i come up with ? Powershell Function which makes it so easy for me to connect to Exchange Online anytime i want to and i don’t have to write cmdlets every time. The function is as below.

# PowerShell Function to connect with Exchange Online

Function Connect-ExchOnline {
$ExchOnlineCred = Get-Credential

Write-Output “You are Connecting to Exchange Online. After successful authentication PowerShell will load Exchange Online Cmdlets”

#Create remote Powershell session with Exchange Online
$ExchOnlineSession = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/PowerShell -Credential $ExchOnlineCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

#Import the remote PowerShell session

Import-PSSession $ExchOnlineSession -AllowClobber | Out-Null
}

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You can download this PowerShell function script from Technet Gallery. This script is basically a function and I didn’t “call” the function in the script self. Try dot-sourcing the script first and then running it using Connect-ExchOnline and enter your Office 365 admin credentials to connect.

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