Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Office 365 SSO logon issues - Error: There was a problem accessing the site

External users report that they cannot access Office 365 services and when they are redirected to the AD FS page they get the following error:

Error: There was a problem accessing the site. Try to browse to the site again. If the problem persists, contact the administrator of the site and provide the reference number to identify the problem.










With AD FS related issues, you can usually get some useful information by running the Remote Connectivity Analyser and test SSO authentications.
To run Remote Connectivity Analyser to test SSO authentication in Office 365, follow these steps:
  1. Open a web browser, and then browse to .
  2. Click the Office 365 tab, click Microsoft Single Sign-On, and then click Next.
  3. Type your user ID and the password, click to select the security acknowledgement check box, type the verification code, and then click Perform Test.

    • Your user ID is your user principal name (UPN).
    • You must enter actual, real credentials that are associated with the Office 365 SSO implementation that you are testing.
Reviewing the result of the tool, notice that test has encountered an error when trying to retrieve and validate ADFS metadata.

This normally indicates that one or more of the services on which AD FS 2.0 response relies is unavailable in some way.

How to resolve this? in my case a good old fashioned restart of the AD FS servers sorted out the problem. :)

Monday, 28 January 2013

The New Office (next generation of Office 365) release date announced

Next generation of Office 365 known as the "New Office" seems to be available from 29th of January. check out the link below:

How does the integration between Outlook and Lync work?

Lync needs to communicate with Exchange in order to read/update the following information:
  • Create the Conversation History folder
  • Handle voice mail notifications
  • Handle missed Conversation notifications
  • Read Contacts folder
  • Find related conversations
  • Open contact card
  • Create a personal Outlook contact
  • Open voice mail
  • Write contacts (on demand) (EWS and Exchange Server 2010 SP1 only)
  • Write Conversation History items (on demand)
  • Read or delete Conversation History items
  • Read or delete voice mail items
  • Read free/busy times
  • Read Out of Office message
  • Read working hours information
  • Handle Exchange contact sync
Lync has two ways of communicating with Exchange; EWS (Exchange Web Services) and MAPI (Messaging API). EWS is only available in Exchange 2007 and above. So previous versions of Exchange (such as Exchange 2003) does not have this feature.
In order to communicate with Exchange, Lync first tries to connect through EWS, and only if EWS is not available then it will fall back to MAPI.
It is important to know that integration through MAPI does not cover all the integration features that you would get with EWS. The following are the features that are NOT available with MAPI:
  • Read or delete Conversation History items
  • Read or delete voice mail items
  • Read working hours information
  • Handle Exchange contact sync
And also with EWS you don’t get the following (this is MAPI only):
  • Communicate with Exchange delegates
Note: As I mentioned earlier, Lync tries EWS first and if it is not available then it falls back to MAPI. However as you can see, “Communicate with Exchange delegates” feature is only available through MAPI connection, so if you have EWS and MAPI in place and you notice you have connections on both, then that’s probably because you have Exchange delegates.