Office 365 Brisbane – September Meetup


I will be speaking at the Office 365 Brisbane user group on September 23. The content will be:

We have a guest speaker Aaron Whittaker who has kindly offered his time to present a session on Microsoft’s Cloud Identity Foundation, Strategy and identity bridge. This will start at 6:00pm and run till around 7:30pm

We will also have a chance to ask questions should anyone have anything they would like to discuss from 7:30pm till 8:00pm.

I hope everyone can join us for this event and I look forward to seeing everyone there. Please see below for an overview of Aaron’s presentation.

This session will discuss Microsoft’s Cloud Identity Foundation, Strategy and identity bridge.  We will discuss the current and beta features.  We will discuss the short and long term roadmap of features and capabilities.

We will start with a broader overview and then show specific scenarios and demonstrations regarding syncing identities.  There will be approximately 3-5 demo’s (the demonstrations chosen will depend on GA releases closer to the date, and those that would be relevant at that time. The session will:

• Demonstrate Azure AD Connect, Microsoft’s Identity foundation.

• Outline resiliency.

• Discuss a longer and more complex deployment with federation (ADFS).

• Demonstrate Azure AD Connect Health which is a new component and feature.

• Demonstrate joining a device to Azure AD· Discuss customers final hybrid state based on the Microsoft road map.

If you have an questions please drop a message at

To register please click here.

profile picAaron @aaronw

Microsoft Windows 2003 End Of Life Options

RIP Windows 2003

Are you still running Windows 2003?

In this recorded session I discuss what a customers options are if they are still running Windows 2003 workloads.

This session is a new format delivered verbally rather than via text. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. As always please remember to subscribe for more great content.

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Aaron @aaronw

Using Microsoft Azure Active Directory for SharePoint 2013 authentication

Over the weekend I wanted to test authenticating SharePoint 2013 with Azure Active Directory. Obviously this is natively built into Office 365 SharePoint. But if you need control of your own farm there is an option for you to allow for the customisations that you may require.

I was following on from this lab.

To give you an overview as to what we are trying to achieve. I have included a diagram. overview

I followed these steps to set up my environment to use Azure AD as a SharePoint 2013 identity provider.

  1. Create a new Azure AD tenant and namespace.
  2. Add a WS-Federation identity provider.
  3. Add SharePoint as a relying party application.
  4. Create a self-signed certificate to use for SSL.
  5. Create a rule group for claims-based authentication.
  6. Configure the X.509 certificate.
  7. Create a claim mapping.
  8. Configure SharePoint for the new identity provider.
  9. Set the permissions.
  10. Verify the new provider.

To help speed up this lab I simply deployed a SharePoint farm from Azure which is preconfigured. With the help of a few simple clicks a Domain Controller, SQL and SharePoint Resource is all deployed to my subscription. To see how to do this please check out my previous post. After I select my server sizes, you can see the farm is being deployed. Wait around 20-30 minutes.

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I already had my Azure AD Tenant. I added a namespace (for all code please refer to the Microsoft website above).


I have included the GUI version to achieve the same result.


You can see that I only have the default Identity Provider.


I added my Identity Provider

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Next I added my relying party application


Next I created a self signed Certificate. I used MakeCert.exe which is from the Microsoft Developer Tools.

Next I added my Claim rule.


Next I had to add a UPN rule.


Next I went to Application integration. The lab says In Endpoint Reference, locate the Federation.xml, however I was only able to find Application Integration FederationMetadata.xml


Next I browsed to the location

I located my x509 Certificate and copied this.


I went to my SharePoint server, I saved the X509Certificate information to the folder C:\Certificates with the file name, AcsTokenSigning.cer. Then I copied the code from the Microsoft lab and ran it to create a claim mapping.


Next I added my user account to the SharePoint Application Management. Then I selected Central Administration\Application Management. I selected SHPT-Resource and then Authentication Providers, then default.

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Next I went to select Trusted Identity provider, and then click the name of the provider, which is the ACS Provider. Click OK. But as you can see the Check-box is greyed out. This is where I got to on the lab. I will take another look when I next get time. Any suggestions/fixes are most welcomed.


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Aaron @aaronw2003

Power BI, Big Data and Insights for a WordPress blog

Big Data is all around us. Customers can use tools like Google analytics to understand their audience, market, demand. This can help with things like load anticipation. Scale rules can be based on these and other metrics. Some times customers can have this powerful data at their fingers tips, but do not know how to translate it into business or technical terms. I registered for Google analytics to understand the load on my website.

google analytics  google tracker id

But I needed to upgrade my WordPress site to continue so that was as far as I could go. But you can see with the script above these statistics can very easily be tracked by adding a simple piece of code. My basic WordPress site comes with built-in statistics and insights. Providing me with a great amount of information. I can see which posts are the most popular, how they are locating or getting to the post eg. google, or from a forum. My blog has consistently been the most popular on Tuesdays each week. 2:00pm is also the most popular hour. The popularity has been growing each month (nearly time to consider WordsAds).

data insights

Here I can also see where the viewers are coming from. This can be expanded to include all viewing countries, the data can be exported to CSV. The below is very important if you enable advertising on your site. I cannot get a quote for expected revenue as the rates change depending on the country of origin. For example a USA viewer is worth more from a revenue perspective to certain other countries.


What can anyone do with all this rich data from their site or their apps, or even customer sentiment on Twitter of FaceBook. Microsoft has tool called Power BI which has just gone GA. Power BI allows you to collate Excel spreadsheets, on-premise data sources, Hadoop datasets, streaming data, and cloud services. It then brings together all your data so you can start analyzing it in seconds. You can view all of the data/reports from all platforms (desktop/iOS/Android/Windows).

But Power BI lives on the cloud, what happens when you want to understand your sales data from another location such as On Premises or even from a SaaS subscription such as ServiceNow? Power BI allows you to connect to on-premise data such as SQL Server without moving your data to the cloud. You can connect your on-premise data sources to your Power BI reports here.

Big data is all around us, from fluctuating airline seat prices based on metrics such as demand, time, weather and sporting events to grocery shopping in a Supermarket. Each time you buy milk and eggs at the supermarket, then swipe your favorite loyalty card, you can be sure that this data will be used to target more sales.


Check out these targeted specials in an email from Coles, it is based on what I have previously purchased and swiping my FlyBuys card.


If your company is looking to mature and translate its raw data, a great place to start is the Microsoft Data + Analytics in the Azure Marketplace as this is an area that is set for major growth.

data analytics

Data scientists are also tipped to be in high demand over the next few years. With demand comes a higher salary.

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Aaron @aaronw2003

Australian Partner Conference- APC Gold Coast 2015


This year I will be heading off to Microsoft’s annual event for partners Australian Partner Conference (APC). APC is a chance to celebrate the successes of the previous year. APC is also sure to reveal Microsoft’s anticipated direction for the coming year, hopefully revealing their road map for the future. In recent years these events have painted a very clear picture of Microsoft’s intentions for the upcoming financial year.

Take last years 2 Australian Tech Ed events. This was basically split into 4 distinct streams. That is for a number of reasons, it showcases what is new, and also where Microsoft intends on heading over the next year.

The upcoming sessions at APC which have caught my eyes in particular (from my company’s perspective [Melbourne IT], and my own) are:

  • Microsoft EMS.
  • Office 365 reinvent revenue.
  • Learning at Cloud speed.
  • Co-selling with Partners.

microsoft road map

If you wish to attend you can register here. If you are having trouble convincing your boss, start with this neat template. I will be sure to blog about my experiences each day (assuming no NDA’s).

Aaron @aaronw2003