John Yassa's Blog

Azure Portal App (Preview)

Finally, Microsoft has released The Azure Portal App for Windows desktop in preview.

Microsoft didn’t announce yet when they release the final version.

The Azure Portal App is a desktop application that allows you to manage and administer your Azure subscription without the need of the browser

The Azure Portal App is available through this URL, once you browse this URL you will get the below message
” By clicking the “Download the Azure Portal app” button you agree that use of the Azure Portal app (the “app”) is governed by the Azure Subscription Agreement and Microsoft Privacy Statement. In addition, this app is a PREVIEW version, and is provided “as-is,” “with all faults,” and “as-available,” and it is excluded from the SLAs and all limited warranties provided in the Azure Subscription Agreement. The app uses third-party software; view third-party notice. The Azure Portal App is available through this URL, once you browse this URL you will get the below message

Azure Portal App download page

once you click on “Download the Azure Portal App”, it will download a file named “AzurePortalInstaller.exe” with size 36 MB

The installation is straight forward and very simple

Once you finish the installation, you will be asked to log in using your Azure credentials, and if you have MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) it will work fine on the Azure Portal App

The experience of the App is exactly similar to the portal once, check below

Azure Portal App

Just put into consideration that it is still in the preview version, which means it is still under development and may not be stable and contain some bugs.

So be careful and don’t count on this application in complex actions until Microsoft releases the final version.

Azure Advisor recommendations

Azure Advisor is your free, personalized guide to Azure best practices. It analyzes your Azure usage and configurations and helps you optimize your resources for high availability, security, performance, and cost. We’re constantly adding more to Advisor and are excited to share a bundle of new recommendations and integrations so you can get more out of Azure.

Azure Advisor has 4 different type of advisory

1- High Availability recommendations

2- Security recommendations

3- Performance recommendations

4- Cost recommendations


You have also the ability to download these recommendations as PDF and Excel

Now, Lets deep dive into each of the advisory Types:

1- High Availability

Some recommendations like availability set, Enable backup for VMs and Health alerts

2- Security 

The security recommendation center will guide you to browse to the security center recommendations

Some recommendations like adding a web application firewall, Disk encryption, endpoint protection and NSG

3- Performance

Some recommendations like migrating to ARM , or reduce VM size

4- Cost

Azure cost recommendation will show how you can save money, by reducing VM sized (based on the resources usage), or use reserved instances……

How to exclude Domains or Senders from ATP Safe Attachments/Links rules

If you have Office 365 E5 plan or ATP subscription as an add on on your E3 subscription, and you are facing many false positives, so you need to learn how you exclude.

There is now direct way to exclude senders or domains from ATP rules, else we will have to create a mail flow rule following the below steps:

Exclude from ATP Safe Links:

1- Open Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

2- Browse to “Mail Flow” then Choose “Rules” as below

3- Create a new rule as below

4- Once the page of the new rule opened, choose “More Options”

5- Name the rule as “Exclude ATP Safe Links”

6- No choose the condition, Apply this rule if “The Sender” and choose “is this person” and then add the sender you need to exclude

7- For the action , Do the following “Modify the message properties” then “Set a message header” as below

8- Then add the following

  • Set the message header –> X-MS-Exchange-Organization-SkipSafeLinksProcessing
  • To this value –> 1

9- So the below Rule will look like the below, click on “Save” to save the new rule


Exclude from ATP Safe Attachments:

1- Open Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

2- Browse to “Mail Flow” then Choose “Rules”

3- Create a new rule

4- Once the page of the new rule opened, choose “More Options”

5- Name the rule as “Exclude ATP Safe Attachments”

6- No choose the condition, Apply this rule if “The Sender” and choose “is this person” and then add the sender you need to exclude

7- For the action , Do the following “Modify the message properties” then “Set a message header”

8- Then add the following

  • Set the message header –> X-MS-Exchange-Organization-SkipSafeAttachmentProcessing
  • To this value –> 1

9- So the below Rule will look like the below, click on “Save” to save the new rule



Source: Office 365 User Voice 

OneDrive for Business Files Restore feature

Finally Microsoft has added the Restore feature capability to OneDrive for Business.

This feature allows to restore files from any point of time during the last 30 days. If you are an administrator or end user you will be able to use this feature and restore your files to a specific point of time.

Check the below steps to be able to restore your data:

1- Log in to your OneDrive for Business as below and choose settings

2- Choose “Restore Your OneDrive” as below

3- Then choose the period you want to restore your file, you can choose either “One week ago” or “Three weeks ago” or “Custom date and time”


4- Choose “Custom date and time” and choose the period of days and files to restored as below, then click on “Restore”

5- You will get the below confirmation, just confirm by clicking on “Restore”

6- It will start the restore process and you will get confirmation once the restore finish as below


Now, Click on “Return to my OneDrive” and you will find your files restored

This great feature will save cost, effort and worrying about what will happen if i have lost my OneDrive data, and the better thing is it is free of cost

Resources: Microsoft Tech Community


Office 365 Periodic Table

As you know Office 365 is not just Word, Excel, Powerpoint and email service

Now Office 365 is a full SAS platform (Software As Service)

Like the Periodic Table of Elements’ way of organizing elements by similar chemical properties, my Periodic Table of Office 365 is organized by families of apps. It shows everything available in the O365 ecosystem, regardless of extra cost or license type, plus a little taste of what it does.



Source: Ican Sharepoint article by Matt Wade

New Service Health Dashboard for Office 365

Finally Microsoft has updated the Health Dashboard for Office 365 , lets first see how the old Health board look like


The old Health Board was actually annoying and doesn’t provide so much information, beside it wasn’t a user friendly dashboard

Now let’s have a look at the new Health Dashboard


The new Service health dashboard provides you with more relevant incident insights and features a new view that separates major business critical outages from others and splits them into two categories: incidents and advisories. This new view makes it easier for you to identify the issues relevant for you that you might want to act on immediately.

The biggest improvements come to light after you click on an incident or advisory to see more information. A summary is presented, with just enough detail to let you know what’s going on.


The “Show details” link takes you to a full history of the incident, with a timeline of updates as Microsoft investigates and resolves the issue.


You still can go back to the old Health Dashboard if you like “which i doubt” by clicking on “Go to the v2 Service Health page” on the New Health Dashboard


This change has been rolled this out to First Release customers, and will begin rolling it out to the rest of Office 365. This roll out will be completed by the end of February.

Source: Office Blogs , Parctical365 article by Paul Cunningham

Default Mailbox size increasing for Office 365 E3 and E5 subscription

Microsoft has announced increasing of Mailbox size from 50 GB to 100 GB for Office 365 E3 and E5 subscription

Microsoft just started rolling this out immediately, and the roll out is expected to be completed by the end of December 2016.



Source: Microsoft Roadmap

Office 365 Achieved 99.99% Availability in Q3 2016

If anyone still care about Microsoft online services SLA, Microsoft just announced it SLA for Q3 2016


But did you ever ask yourself how Microsoft calculate the SLA for its online services

Microsoft is calculating the SLA based on the below formula


Where Downtime is Any period of time when users are unable to send or receive email with Outlook Web Access. There is no Scheduled Downtime for this service.

You Can refer to this document for more clarification about SLA for Microsoft Online services onlinesvcsconsolidatedslawwenglishnovember212016cr

References: Microsoft Products




How to Restore the Exchange Database from A Backup File in state of inconsistency?

For restoring the database on Exchange Server, the user needs to have an up-to-date and usable backup in hand, because an incomplete or even no backup can create a troublesome situation during the database the process of restoration. Additionally, Microsoft Information Store needs to be in a healthy state to mount the database successfully.

With an unmounted Exchange Store, the users face several issues such as restricted access to the data and the mail flow. In order to smoothly restore your database on Exchange Server, it is important to perform certain tests to verify the database consistency.

Pre-assessment Phase: Verify the State of the Database on Exchange

Use the following steps to verify the state of the database:

  1. Launch a command prompt.
  2. Move to the Drive:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin

(The default location of the of Exchange 2000 Server program files are located in this folder)


Move to Drive:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin

(When using Exchange 2013/2016, then use the above-mentioned default path)


  1. Enter the below-mentioned command:

eseutil /mh “drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_name.edb”

Note: The default location of database files is on this Drive:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA folder. The public database file can be found with the name: “Public.edb”, whereas the mailbox store database file can be found with the name: “Priv1.edb”.

  1. Read the Output, in order to verify the state of the database. If the database appears in the state of inconsistency, then the output will appear, as:

State: Dirty Shutdown

Restoration Phase: How to Restore the database from a backup file

Upon using the pre-assessment phase, if the database appears in a consistent state, then simply restore the backup using the file.

Steps to Restore Database in A Consistent State:

Implement the following steps to restore the database from the backup file.

  1. Transfer the E00.log file to an another path or simply rename it.

The default location of E00.log file can be found on this Drive:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA folder.

  1. Restore the storage group and the log files from the backup file.

Note: Do not remove the existing log files, until you have performed the restore operation. Upon completing the restore operation, the log files are restored, and replay inside the restored database. This is how, the user can bring the database into a consistent state without involving the E00.log file.

  1. Once the storage group is restored, you can successfully mount the databases in the storage group.

Steps to Restore Database in an Inconsistent State:

  1. Launch the command prompt.
  2. Reach to the location – Drive:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin folder.
  3. Enter the following command in the command prompt:

eseutil /p “drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb”

  1. To use the database in a productive environment, try to defragment and then rebuild the database. Use the below mentioned command to proceed:

eseutil /d /t:x “drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb”

Note: ‘x’ is a temporary drive location in the above-mentioned command.

  1. To determine the state of the database, enter the following command, and then read the output:

eseutil /mh “drive:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\database_file_name.edb”

When database is consistent, the output will appear, as:

State: Clean Shutdown

  1. Use the Microsoft’s Store Integrity utility (Isinteg.exe) to fix the logical corruption issues in the database. Use the following commands to repair it:

Isinteg –s exchange_server_name –fix –test alltests

After executing the command, the user is prompted to choose the database in the utility. Repeat the aforementioned command until no errors or fixes are appeared in the output.

However, if zero errors are not displayed for a database that  you want to repair, then the other option is to rebuild the database. To do that create a new mailbox store on either the existing Exchange server or new server and then transfer all the mailboxes to that one. However, if you are still unable to create a new mailbox store, then try to rebuild the database from the following method. To do it, try to export all mailbox information to PST files, and delete the database, and finally import the data.

  1. Repeat the steps from 3 to 6 for each database in the storage group.
  2. Mount the databases.

Once the database is restored and you can also perform an online backup of the storage group. However, if the database is not restored or rebuilt in the state of inconsistency, then try using a third-party Exchange recovery software like Kernel for Exchange Server to perform accurate recovery of lost information from corrupt EDB and STM files, and without requiring log files. The Exchange mailbox items can be successfully restored to live Exchange Server, Office 365 mailbox or to Outlook PST files.

Article Summary:

When Exchange database creates mounting troubles, then try to investigate the issues hampering the restore operation. Verifying the shutdown state (whether consistent or inconsistent) of the database becomes important, and Eseutil can be helpful in this scenario, but with certain restrictions.

Microsoft to drop Azure RemoteApp after partnership with Citrix

Microsoft has announced on 12th August,2016 next step in their broad partnership with Citrix in the remote desktop and applications space, they will start to “wind down” its Azure RemoteApp technology in favor of application virtualization software and services from its partner Citrix.

Microsoft plans to continue supporting existing Azure RemoteApp customers through August 31, 2017, after which time the service will be discontinued. New purchases of Azure RemoteApp will end October 1, 2016,

Microsoft has explained this step as below:

“Customers have provided us consistent feedback that they want a comprehensive, end-to-end, cloud-based solution for delivering Windows apps. The best way for us to deliver this is with Citrix through XenApp “express”, currently under development. XenApp “express” combines the simplicity of application remoting and the scalability of Azure with the security, management, and performance benefits of XenApp, to deliver Windows applications to any employee on any device. We will have much more to share on this offering through the coming months.”

Citrix officials described the situation a bit differently, saying Microsoft will be assisting Citrix in developing a next-generation Citrix XenApp and associated XenDesktop service.

Citrix officials added: “In many ways, you can look at this XenApp “express” service as Azure RemoteApp v2.0.”


Source: Microsoft Blogs , ZDnet

July 2021


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