MEC 2022 Sessions Downloading

Update 9/29/2022: By popular request, I modified the Get-EventSession script so it is now able to also download MEC sessions (-Event MEC). See below for details.

A quick post for those that are looking for a simple way to download the Microsoft Exchange Community (MEC) Technical Airlift 2022 sessions for offline viewing, here’s a simple way to accomplish this:

  1. Get youtube-dl.exe here. Youtube-dl is a tool to download videos or playlists from Youtube.
  2. Get aria2c.exe here. Aria2c can be used to download media using multiple streams, reducing time it takes to download video content.
  3. Put the executables from both downloads in the same folder, and, using a a (PowerShell) command prompt, run the following:

.\youtube-dl.exe -o "C:\MEC2022\%(playlist_index)s-%(title)s.mp4" --external-downloader aria2c --external-downloader-args "-x 16 -k 1M"

  • “C:\MEC2022” is the folder where the downloaded files will be stored. Change when needed. For file naming, variables are used with define the name of the downloaded files using a prefix of the sequence number (from the playlist) together with the title of the video (session).
  • –external-downloader tells youtube-dl to use specified download utility (aria2c) instead of its own engine. The external-downloader-args parameters define concurrency and chunk size.
  • The last part is the URL for the MEC 2022 playlist.

9/29/2022: Alternatively, you can now use Get-EventSession (version 3.7 and up) to download MEC sessions. The script will parse the information shared through the playlist, but some usual attributes are missing, but there also some new attributes, such as likes and views. To use the script to download MEC session videos:

Get-EventSession> .\Get-EventSession.ps1 -Event MEC -DownloadFolder c:\MEC20222 -Format 22 -Speaker 'Michel de Rooij'

Few notes:

  • As there are no session codes in the YouTube metadata, session code is set to equal the playlist index.
  • Speaker names will be extracted from the description when present.
  • The session timestamp will be the upload date of the video.
  • Likes, Views and Duration are YouTube specific properties returned.

Using views and likes, you can do cool things such as get a scoreboard of the Top 10 most viewed videos from MEC playlist:

.\Get-EventSession.ps1 -Event MEC -InfoOnly | Sort Views -desc | Select -First 10 Title,SpeakerNames, Views, Likes

Note: If you do not specify format, YouTube videos will be downloaded in ‘best’ possible quality, which will be .webm by default. You can prevent this, and download 1080p movies, by specifying -Format 22.

MEC: Bringing your Exchange Scripts into the Modern Age

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of presenting at the Microsoft Exchange Conference Community Technical Airlift 2022. I talked about the challenges that organizations are facing that use Exchange scripts in their work processes or run them scheduled unattended.

Some of the challenges I mentioned, apart from the upcoming demise of Basic Authentication, and resources to methodically assess and make the necessary changes, are:

  • Get your code more secure leveraging Certificate Based Authentication, especially for scheduled tasks.
  • Get current with the most recent version of the Exchange Online Management Module for PowerShell.
  • The same exercise with regards to AzureAD when using MSOnline or AzureAD modules, and the inevitable move to the PowerShell Graph SDK.

In the end I also quickly demonstrated how much easier and secure things can be when utilizing Azure Automation, which might especially appeal to organizations that want to totally get rid of any infrastructure for running jobs.

You can watch the presentation below. All sessions are you published on YouTube, and its playlist can be accessed at

The presentation as well as the deck and script used in the live demonstration can be retrieved from GitHub. The Analyse-ExoScript used in the demo can be found on GitHub as well, or look at the accompanying blog I wrote a while ago here.

Note that during MEC, it was announced that the next GA release of the Exchange Online Management module will be version 3. This jump is likely to prevent any confusion with earlier GA and preview releases. It was said the next GA release might be as early as next week, which should be good news for organizations who’s policy it is to not run Preview software in production environments.

If you have any questions, ask them in the comments or send me a message via the contact form.

MEC Airlift 2022 #WeAreMEC

It seems ages ago – 8½ years to be exact – that the most recent Microsoft Exchange Conference took place in Austin in 2014. Much has happened since then, Exchange Online became a thing and there seemed to be no need for Microsoft to host an Exchange themed conference any longer. All this while events around products such as SharePoint did not slow down a single bit.

Then the pandemic happened, and we went to zero in-person conferences. It did not take long online/virtual/digital conferences took off. But alas, no Exchange conference. Until 2022 arrived, and Microsoft announced continued commitment to Exchange on-premises. Now, early in the FY22/23, a free 2-day online event will take place on September 13th & 14th, the Microsoft Exchange Conference Community Technical Airlift 2022. Target audience are IT professionals working with Exchange Online/On-Premises as well people developing solutions that integrate with Exchange. While nothing comes close to the experience and value of an in-person event, MEC 2022 will take place online. I am guessing that if this event is a success, and there is enough content to talk about as well as interest, that might switch to becoming at least a hybrid event, with a mix of an in-person and online audience, similar to Microsoft Ignite this year.

The agenda for MEC 2022 looks very promising, with sessions from both the Exchange product group as well as some very smart people from the Exchange community. Not totally surprising, there are sessions on the demise of Basic Authentication and how to deal with that, hosted by Greg Taylor. Also have a look at Scott Schnoll’s famous Exchange Tips & Tricks, or Jeff Mealiffe talking about connectivity. The event kicks off with a welcome keynote with Perry Clarke and Rajesh Jha. You can still submit questions for this “Geek Out with Perry!” here.

Yours truly will also present at MEC, presenting “Bringing your Exchange Scripts into the Modern Age” on September 14th, 9:00am PDT. Note that MEC sessions will be recorded, and will be made available for on-demand viewing after the event, which is great in case you cannot attend sessions as they happen. You can still register for MEC at

If I do not “see” you at MEC, there is also an opportunity to have an in-person chat next week in Atlanta, where I will be attending – not presenting as I missed the submit deadline – The Experts Conference, or just TEC. It seems you can still register, but Anyway, it is good to see Exchange themed events pick-up and confereces in general returning to a certain level of pre-pandemic numbers, as there is enough to talk about, discuss and learn from others.

Ignite 2019: Exchange & Related Sessions

ignite2019Note: If you are looking for the script to download Ignite contents, you can find it at the TechNet Gallery or Github.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, but this is the week of Ignite 2019 in Orlando, where Microsoft and other speakers will not only tell you about the latest and greatest, and how to implement recent products and use their technologies, but also draw more of the roadmap of things to come. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending Ignite (again), but similar to last year Microsoft will be live streaming keynotes, breakouts as well as theater sessions. So, you can watch stuff as it happens in the comfort of your own home or on-demand at a later time.

To access the catalog, including live streams, you can of course dive in the 1981 sessions located on the Ignite portal. Details on sessions, speakers etc. as well as filtering options are already present to help you pick what to watch, and recorded media will be added as it becomes available, including slidedecks.

For your convenience, I made a short list of sessions on Exchange Server, related technologies such as Outlook Mobile but also Teams and Groups, as well as some potentially interesting IT Pros sessions on Graph:

Session When Title Speakers
BRK2296 11/4/2019 2:15 PM Communication in Microsoft 365: Outlook and Teams integration opportunities Brandon Haist
THR2269 11/4/2019 3:00 PM Using Microsoft Teams: What’s new and how to get started Aya Tange, Jeremy Chapman
THR3039 11/4/2019 3:25 PM What’s new in the Office Customization Tool Chris Hopkins
BRK3095 11/4/2019 4:30 PM Understanding the importance of collaboration in modern work and the role O365 plays to unlock your team?s productivity Ronald Pessner, Patrick Gan, Dan Costenaro, Megan Dohnal
BRK2056 11/4/2019 4:30 PM Embrace Office 365 Groups: What’s new and what’s next Mike McLean, Venkat Ayyadevara
BRK2001 11/4/2019 4:30 PM What’s amazing and new in calendaring in Outlook Julia Foran
THR3084 11/4/2019 5:45 PM Microsoft 365 admin: Ask us anything Aaron Woo, Ben Appleby, Alice Appleton, Tim Heeney, Karissa Larson, Yeonsoo Kim
THR1131 11/4/2019 6:20 PM The solution to intranet adoption…Microsoft Teams Daniel Diefendorf
BRK3013 11/5/2019 9:00 AM Modern Exchange IT admin experiences Rahul Gupta, Eddie Savage
BRK1079 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Five hybrid cloud backup and disaster recovery mistakes to avoid Douglas Ko, Shawn Gifford, Carl Holzhauer, Julian Simpson
BRK3140 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Notes from the field: Successfully steering the government to Office 365 Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3012 11/5/2019 10:15 AM Exchange hybrid: Advanced scenarios, roadmap, and real-world stories! Andy Ryan, William Holmes
THR2016 11/5/2019 10:20 AM Outlook for Windows: What’s new and what’s next David Gorelik
THR3082 11/5/2019 10:55 AM Protect against phishing and other cyberthreats with Microsoft 365 Business David Bjurman-Birr
THR3083 11/5/2019 12:40 PM Office 365 Groups: Ask us anything Mike McLean, Venkat Ayyadevara, Kolvekar Loveleen Ramachandra, Nivedita Rajani, Salil Kakkar, Arunkumaran Varadharajan
THR2252 11/5/2019 1:50 PM How Microsoft manages its own employee Office 365 tenancy David Haam, David Johnson, Darren Moffatt
ADM50 11/5/2019 2:00 PM Managing across tenant boundaries in Office 365 Steve Silverberg, Robert Lowe
BRK2003 11/6/2019 9:00 AM Get ahead with Outlook mobile: Intelligent technology that helps you stay on top of your day Tali Roth, Michael Palermiti
MLS1035 11/6/2019 9:15 AM Microsoft Graph 101 for developers and IT professionals Yina Arenas, Jeremy Thake
THR3003 11/6/2019 10:55 AM New, fast, and reliable Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlets Tony Redmond
BRK3311 11/6/2019 11:30 AM Outlook mobile: The gold standard for secure communications in the enterprise Ross Smith, Lexi Torres
BRK2005 11/6/2019 12:45 PM Outlook for Mac – re-invented! Vivek Kumar, Alessio Roic
THR2270 11/6/2019 1:50 PM Microsoft Teams for IT admins: What’s new and what you need to know with Anne Michels Anne Michels, Jeremy Chapman
THR2007 11/7/2019 9:00 AM Stop organizing your own meetings ? Let Scheduler do it for you Warren Johnson
BRK3264 11/7/2019 10:15 AM Transform collaboration and fight shadow IT with Office 365 groups Arunkumaran Varadharajan, Sahil Arora
THR3033 11/7/2019 11:30 AM Reading SMTP headers like a boss Jeff Guillet
BRK2059 11/7/2019 11:30 AM Data residency with Office 365 datacenters Brian Day, Adriana Wood
THR2217 11/7/2019 12:05 PM Email is the easy part: Five pitfalls to avoid in tenant-to-tenant migrations Paul Robichaux
BRK3144 11/7/2019 1:00 PM The MVP guide to Office 365 security, Exchange Online edition Theresa Miller
BRK3142 11/7/2019 2:15 PM Things you never knew about Microsoft Teams that might be important some day Tony Redmond
BRK3312 11/7/2019 3:15 PM Office 365 email enhancements that makes your organization smart, safe, and secure Leena Sheth, Kevin Shaughnessy
BRK2104 11/7/2019 3:15 PM Your users are under attack! Strengthen your anti-phishing defense with these O365 ATP best practices Girish Chander
BRK2058 11/8/2019 9:00 AM Deploy Office 365 groups at scale to power Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Yammer, and SharePoint Salil Kakkar, Martina Grom
BRK2002 11/8/2019 9:00 AM There is a new Outlook on the web: See what’s new, fresh, and exciting David Meyers
BRK2090 11/8/2019 9:15 AM Will Microsoft Teams take over from email? Tony Redmond
BRK3248 11/8/2019 10:15 AM Securing Exchange Online from modern threats Brandon Koeller
BRK3257 11/8/2019 10:30 AM Leverage the cloud to strengthen your on-premises Active Directory security Charity Shelbourne, Mark Morowczynski
THR3034 11/8/2019 12:05 PM Twenty minutes to a secure environment Jeff Guillet

Note that the table above was constructed using the Get-EventSession script. I’ll be closely monitoring things this week to try to make sure it can retrieve Ignite contents as it gets published and cope with any changes in publishing as happened in recent years during the event.

Exchange Sessions @ Ignite 2018

ignite2018Among all the announcements of upcoming products and changes in the service, more details will also be revealed of Exchange Server 2019 and related products at Ignite next week. To those who are not able to attend, like yours truly: do not despair as Microsoft will be live streaming all keynote, breakout and community theater sessions.

The place to view those streams is through the Tech Community portal, and likely the session info pages will be used to embed the streams or provide links as they become available.

For this purpose, I made a short list of Exchange Server related sessions scheduled at Ignite 2018 for reference and easy access next week:

Session When Title Speakers
THR3024 9/24 3:00PM How to add MFA to your Exchange Online/on-premises mailboxes in 20 minutes or less Jeff Guillet
BRK2176 9/24 16:00 PM Welcome to Exchange Server 2019! Greg Taylor, Brent Alinger
BRK3148 9/25 10:45 AM Securing Exchange Online from modern threats Brandon Koeller
BRK3375 9/25 2:15 PM Notes from the field: How a large global bank moved to Office 365 Erik Knoppert, Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK2165 9/25 3:15 PM What’s new in Groups in Outlook Ravin Sachdeva, Sri Ramya Mallipudi
THR3123 9/25 4:00 PM Getting stuff done: Solving Office 365 problems with PowerShell Tony Redmond
BRK3128 9/25 4:00 PM Outlook on the web: What’s new and why you should care Joey Masterson, Charlie Chung, Gabriel Valdez Malpartida, Cindy Kwan
THR3076 9/25 11:05 PM Azure Information Protection and Exchange Online – better together Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3129 9/26 9:00 AM Turbo charge your Exchange on-premises and hybrid environment: Notes from the field Steve Goodman
BRK3143 9/26 10:00 AM Hybrid Exchange: Making it easier and faster to move to the cloud Jeff Kizner
THR2129 9/26 11:20 AM Office 365: Five important lessons learned during a one million mailbox migration J. Peter Bruzzese
BRK2177 9/26 12:00 PM Outlook mobile for the enterprise Tali Roth, Michael Palermiti, David Pearson
THR3025 9/26 15:00 PM Preparing to move (or remove) those public folders to the cloud Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3130 9/26 16:00 PM Email search in a flash! Accelerating Exchange 2019 with SSDs Tobias Klima, Damon Gilkerson
BRK3146 9/27 9:00 AM What’s amazing and new in calendaring in Outlook! Julia Foran, Jennifer Lu, Will Holmes
BRK3145 9/27 10:00 AM Deploying Outlook mobile securely in the enterprise Ross Smith IV
THR2044 9/27 10:45 AM The top six PowerShell commands you need to know to manage Office 365 Steve Goodman
THR2392 9/27 11:00 AM Executive impersonators & fraudsters be gone! Using active defense & predictive artificial intelligence to secure your Office 365 email environment Vidur Apparao
BRK3131 9/27 12:45 PM Office 365: Marriages, divorces, and adoptions Steve Goodman
BRK3258 9/27 2:00 PM Panel discussion: Microsoft Exchange/Calendar/OWA Damon Gilkerson, Brent Alinger, Julia Foran, Jeff Kizner, Brandon Koeller, Joey Masterson, Brian Day, Robin Thomas
THR3024R 9/27 15:00 PM How to add MFA to your Exchange on-premises or Exchange Online mailboxes in 20 minutes or less (REPEAT) Jeff Guillet
THR2145 9/27 16:00 PM Why do we need to keep an Exchange Server on-premises when we move to the cloud? Brian Reid
BRK3279 9/28 9:00AM So long and thanks for all the (email) phish Brian Reid
BRK3147 9/28 12:00 PM Scott Schnoll’s Exchange and Office 365 tips and tricks Scott Schnoll

Note that the table above was constructed using the Get-EventSession script. That script has been updated recently so it can also download on-demand sessions when downloadable video contents aren’t available (e.g. Inspire). I’ll be closely monitoring next week to check if the script can cope with the way Ignite contents will be published.

Ignite 2017 Sessions

In about a month’s time, Microsoft Ignite 2017 – North America will kick off in the city of Orlando, Florida. Currently, the session catalog contains an amazing number of 1139 1161 sessions. With such a number, it can be hard to pick sessions depending on your areas of interest or expertise; the Ignite Session Scheduler can be a helpful tool to assist in this noble task.

However, when you want to perform more complex queries something more low-level might be appropriate. For this purpose I took my existing script IgniteDownloader.ps1, which could already be used to download Ignite contents such as videos and slide decks, and enhanced it so it can also be used to retrieve session information as PowerShell objects, allowing you to perform queries, reports etc. Because the script now suits more purposes, I renamed it to Get-IgniteSession.ps1 in the process.

Note that Get-IgniteSession leverages the online Microsoft Ignite session catalog, which is currently in the process of being finalized. You might find therefor the schedule is subject to change over the coming weeks, but also that you can no longer download contents from previous Ignite editions.

You can download the script from the TechNet Gallery here.

If you are attending Ignite, unlike me, some of the potential interesting sessions to look out for are (list subject to change):

Session Title Speaker(s)
BRK1005 Learn about the Microsoft global network and best practices for optimizing Office 365 connectivity Paul Collinge, Paul Andrew
BRK1053 Microsoft Office 365 adoption user group meetup Michael Blumenthal
BRK2195 Create engaging workflows inside Outlook and Microsoft Teams conversations with Actionable Messages David Claux, Shivakumar Seetharaman
BRK2203 Send secure email to anyone with Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Information Protection Praveen Vijayaraghavan
BRK2248 Microsoft Exchange: Through the eyes of MVPs (Panel discussion) Brian Reid, Michael Van Horenbeeck, Ingo Gegenwarth, Steve Goodman, Nicolas Blank, Tony Redmond
BRK2251 What’s new and what’s coming in the Microsoft Outlook family of apps JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic
BRK2252 Group collaboration in Microsoft Outlook Krish Gali
BRK2374 Stop data exfiltration and advanced threats in Microsoft Office 365 and Azure
BRK2378 Understanding Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365 Sesha Mani, Sameer Sitaram
BRK2399 Delivering the modern workplace
BRK2401 Customer story: How to protect against security breaches and insider threats Edward Panzeter, Ian Lindsay
BRK2420 The road to hybrid cloud: Customer case studies optimizing Hyper-V, SQL Server, and Microsoft Azure
BRK3041 Key elements of Office 365 connectivity strategy base on real-life examples Paul Andrew, Jeff Mealiffe, Konstantin Ryvkin
BRK3051 Get your enterprise network ready for Office 365 Paul Andrew, Paul Collinge, Jeff Mealiffe
BRK3053 Troubleshooting Office 365 identity: How modern authentication works and what to do when it doesn’t Jonas Gunnemo
BRK3080 Build smarter apps with Office using the Microsoft Graph Yina Arenas
BRK3082 Anti-phishing with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Abhishek Agarwal
BRK3154 The epic Exchange preferred architecture debate Ross Smith IV, Lin Chen, Mike Cooper
BRK3155 Thrive as an enterprise organization in Microsoft Exchange Online Jeff Kizner
BRK3157 Exchange and Outlook mega “ask the experts” Brain Day, Greg Taylor, Jeff Mealiffe, Allen Filush, Scott Schnoll, Ross Smith IV, Julia Foran, JJ Cadiz, Alessio Roic, Meg Quintero, James Colgan, Steve Conn, Wey Love
BRK3158 Design your Exchange infrastructure right (or consider moving to Office 365) Boris Lokhvitsky, Robert Gillies
BRK3184 Deploying and using Outlook mobile in the Enterprise Ross Smith IV
BRK3185 Improvements and innovations in calendaring with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Julia Foran
BRK3186 Running Exchange hybrid over the long term Michael Van Horenbeeck
BRK3222 Scott Schnoll’s Exchange tips and tricks Scott Schnoll
BRK3248 Exchange Online – spanning data center regions Brain Day
BRK3249 Modern authentication for Exchange Server on-premises Greg Taylor
BRK3259 Transitioning from distribution lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook Shilpa Ranganathan
BRK3262 Implementing Exchange Online Protection for on-premises Exchange Brian Reid
BRK3263 Secure Exchange on-premises as well as Microsoft secures Exchange Online Andrew Higginbotham, Raji Dani
BRK3264 Troubleshooting complex Exchange operational issues Ingo Gegenwarth, Andrew Higginbotham
BRK3332 Ten critical areas for those moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365 Tony Redmond
BRK3340 Use Microsoft Graph to reach on-premises users of Exchange 2016 deployments Deepak Singh
BRK3382 Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments Chris Bortlik
BRK3382R Securing, governing, and protecting your Office 365 investments (repeat) Chris Bortlik
BRK4021 Investigate tools and techniques for Exchange performance troubleshooting Nasir Ali, Jeff Mealiffe, Bob Samer, Justin Turner
BRK4022 Insights on Exchange storage, high availability, and data protection Lin Chen
BRK4029 Inside Exchange Online Matt Gossage
THR1014 What can you do with Office 365 Groups in Outlook?
THR1020 Tackling adoption as a service with Office 365 Richard Harbridge
THR1022 Bring your sales team together: Office 365 Groups, Teams & Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the real world Chris Johnson
THR1029 Spend less time managing data and more time with customers: Quick tour of Outlook Customer Manager
THR1035 Prevent costly data leaks from Microsoft Office 365
THR1046 Using Digital Experience Management to Validate the Impact of IT Change
THR1068 Online virtual labs: The hidden gem for free hands-on learning, practice, and exploration CA Callahan
THR2026 Set up secure and efficient collaboration for your organization with Microsoft Office 365 Joe Davies, Brenda Carter
THR2041 Using groups in Outlook for education Krish Gali
THR2042 Collaborate with people outside your company with Office 365 Groups in Outlook
THR2043 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Windows JJ Cadiz, Jason Creighton
THR2044 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for Mac James Colgan
THR2045 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook on the web Allen Filush
THR2046 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming for Outlook for iOS and Android Meg Quintero
THR2062 Real-world advanced threat protection Brian Reid
THR2063 What is DMARC Brian Reid
THR2065 Groups and Teams: Friend or foe? Loryan Strant
THR2080 Tackling cross-tenant Office 365 integration and migrations: Three things you need to know
THR2086 What’s new with Microsoft Exchange Online Public Folders
THR2088 The top five PowerShell commands for Exchange Steve Goodman
THR2097 Developing a blueprint for your data in Microsoft Azure
THR2153 Improving calendaring in Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook
THR2173 Microsoft Office 365: Avoid the Icarus effect J. Peter Bruzzese
THR2181 The impact of digital literacy on Office 365 user adoption Tracy Van der Schyff
THR2203 Put your enterprise applications in the fast lane
THR2205 Delivering the borderless workplace
THR2214 Hybrid cloud activated: A customer case study optimizing on-premises and Azure performance and cost Mor Cohen
THR2229 Get the most from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Mobile App
THR3022 Troubleshooting Exchange ActiveSync devices Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3023 PowerShell Desired State Configuration: Keep your service stable and stay on top of your config Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3034 Complete your collaboration practice: Voice & video solutions for Office 365 and Skype for Business
THR4000 Edge Transport servers and Hybrid: Why, or why not? Michael Van Horenbeeck

Office 365 Engage 2017 Wrap-up

Last week the inaugural Office 365 Engage conference took place in the small but charming city of Haarlem, The Netherlands. With hotels for speakers and attendees close by, the event took place in the Philharmonie, a venue normally used for concerts and theater performances. This lead to some amazing shots on social media of sessions being held in “Room A” (the theater), “Room B” (with bar) and “Room E” (the concert hall).

“Room A”

With Tony Redmond being the chair for this non-Microsoft event, one of the few big Microsoft-technology related events remaining in Europe, organizer BWW Media Group managed to attract an amazing line-up of speakers. Amongst them were quite a number of Microsoft MVP’s, some like Paul Robichaux or Chris Goosen even flying in from overseas. Being sort of a home game to me, it was other speaker’s turn to having to cope with jetlag.

Sessions presented were on all things Office 365 related, such as Azure AD, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Groups and Teams, and also more dev-oriented sessions on things like the Graph API. Also, more generic topics were also put to the table, like the roadmap and coping with continuous development, GDPR or hybrid strategies.

“Room B”

On Monday, Jaap Wesselius and I held a full-day workshop on PowerShell for Office 365. The attendees were coming from all over Europe, which shows that there is a demand for an European event of this size on this topic. On Tuesday, I presented a session on Managing Exchange Online using PowerShell, Tips & Tricks. Pending feedback from evaluations, the workshop and session went very well. For those that attended our workshop on Monday, PowerShell for Office 365, or my session on Tuesday on Exchange Online and PowerShell Tips & Tricks, the slide decks will be made available later through the organizer. Sample code from the session is available from the TechNet Gallery here.

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor
“Room E”

Finally, a big thank you to BWW’s Megan Keller, their CEO George Coll, and all the other staff as well, who made speakers and attendees feel welcome at this event, which was small and intimate, a different experience from more massive events like Microsoft Ignite. Also a big thank you to the folks of Quadro-Tech for sponsoring the post-conference drinks.

With everything being walking distance, and with pleasant summer weather, the after-conference hours for catching up with peers and attendees were very enjoyable. BWW was also so kind to offer us speakers a boat trip, where we could experience Haarlem from the waterside, including the obligatory snapshots of windmills, fields and cows.

Note that the organizer is still looking for feedback on the event. Share with them what you like or didn’t like, so they can improve next year’s conference. I am really looking forward to next year’s event, to be held in June 2018, and would highly recommend it to anyone. Hope to see you there next year!

Speaking at Office 365 Engage 2017

I am happy to announce I will be co-hosting a workshop, as well as present a session at the Office 365 Engage conference. The event will be held in the beautiful city of Haarlem, The Netherlands, from June 19 to June 22.

For an independent event in Europe, track chair Tony Redmond managed to come up with a pretty impressive line-up with lots of Microsoft MVPs, consisting of folks such as Michael van Horenbeeck, Jaap Wesselius, Ingo Gegenwarth, Siegfried Jagott, Brian Reid, Vasil Michev, Paul Robichaux, Chris Goosen, Alan Byrne, Brian Desmond, and last but not least Steve Goodman who I am finally going to meet in person after missing each other for several reasons for the last 5 years.

The single day workshop will be hosted together with Jaap, and we will discuss managing Office 365 and its workloads using PowerShell, and its part of the Office 365 Administration track. The day after, I will be giving a session on Managing Exchange Online using PowerShell – Tips & Tricks, part of the Exchange Online track. If you would like to see something specific addressed, leave it in the comments section or pop me an e-mail.

For visitors, the city of Haarlem, a small distance from Amsterdam or The Netherlands – well, everything in The Netherlands is near, is also a nice city to spend some leisure time. You can check out the Office 365 Engage schedule here. I hope to see you there!

PS: The people behind the conference gave me discount code which you can use when registering. Use code SPRMR467 to get 20% off. You can register here.

Michel de Rooij 728x90

IT/DEV Connections 2016 Wrap-Up

IMG_2130Note: For those that attended Jaap and my workshop on Monday, Advanced PowerShell Management of Office 365, the EXO slidedeck is available here, and the sample code is available here. Session slidedecks or handouts available through the app or Connections site.

Last Monday, I returned from the largest, independent conference on Microsoft technologies, IT/Dev Connections. Well, that should have been Sunday, but technical issues with the airplane and lack of options to fly back to The Netherlands the same day resulted in an extended stay, but that’s something for another story. IT/Dev Connections is a 3-day conference, consisting of 6 tracks holding a total of ~280 sessions. Like previous editions, the event again took place in the nice resort that is Aria, Las Vegas.

Almost traditionally, the is a pre-conference day where workshops are given. One of these workshops was Advanced PowerShell Management of Office 365, done by Jaap Wesselius and yours truly. The turn-up was good, even considering we had some though competition this year from workshops such as PowerShell Masterclass and Office 365 IT/Dev Connections Power Camp. Again it was my only session, so I had the rest of the week ‘off’ to attend sessions by fellow presenters.


Left to right: Tony Redmond, Paul Cunningham, Gareth Grudger, Jeff Guillet, Michael van Horenbeeck, Konrad Sagala, Andrew Higginbotham, Gary Steele, Ingo Gegenwarth, Paul Robichaux, J. Peter Bruzzese, Jaap Wesselius, Michel de Rooij and Sigi Jagott.

Picking sessions for wasn’t an easy task this year. For Office 365 / Exchange (On-Premises) and PowerShell minded professionals, there were a multitude of sessions to choose from, and many times you discovered they were given the same time slot. The app was a big help picking sessions, and to be honest the app was a big improvement over last year’s app – kudos to Penton there. It could also be used to retrieve handouts, which made it easier to follow the contents presented by clicking through it on your own screen.




Wednesday saw an interesting ‘Bamboozle the Exchange Experts’. People from the Exchange Product Group were flown in for Connections to answer audience questions. During this session, none other than Greg Taylor, Ross Smith IV, Brian Day, David Espinoza, and Jeff Mealiffe took part in the panel, and Tony Redmond took it upon him to be the MC. It was not only insightful and interactive, it was fun, and the PG seemed to enjoy it as well.

If you are considering attending this event next year – and you should – know that with an attendance of ~1200 people (guesstimate), and apart from the fact that it’s independent and sessions are done by experienced people from the field, it also excels in that it is big enough to matter, yet small enough to hold an intimate feel to it. Compared to Ignite, one could say that there is less walking involved – or congestion, no full room issues, way better food and thus an overall better experience. Now if you plan on attending (or trying to get a speaking engagement – yes you, Maarten) for IT/Dev Connections 2017, and as the group shot above gives away, be aware Penton has decided to move the event for next year to San Francisco. So save the date: October 23-26, the Hilton, San Francisco (Union Square)!

Special thanks to Penton for having me, ENOW for hosting yet another great Scheduled Maintenance party at the Ghostbar, Quadrotech for finally being able to catch up, CodeTwo for having me for an interview.

Finally, here are some of the other IT/DEV Connections 2016 wrap-ups:

Ignite 2016 Sessions + Downloader

imageNote: Due to Microsoft putting Ignite 2016 contents on YouTube and a new portal, I had to rewrite the download script. Mattias Fors was also working on this, and after integrating his contents pointers, I present you Ignite2016Download.ps1. Check the description on Technet Gallery page for usage options.

Today, the Ignite 2016 event will kick off in Atlanta, US. The agenda contains the whopping number of 1412 sessions, of which 395 touch Office 365 and 133 Exchange in some way or another.

With those numbers it is impossible to attend every session for folks interested in these topics, but luckily Microsoft will also publish Ignite 2016 sessions on Channel 9 this year.

Some of the interesting sessions to watch out for are (links should resolve to on-demand sessions, as they become available):

Session Description Speaker(s)
BRK1021 Unplug with the Microsoft Outlook experts Julia Foran, Gabe Bratton, Allen Filush, JJ Cadiz, Eduardo Melo, Amanda Alvarado, Victor Wang, James Colgan
BRK1044 Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming in Outlook on the web Dave Meyers, Eduardo Melo
BRK2033 Discover Office 365 Groups – overview, what’s new and roadmap Amit Gupta, Christophe Fiessinger
BRK2035 Learn about advancements in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Jason Rogers, Phil Newman
BRK2053 Connect your business critical applications to Outlook and Groups David Claux
BRK2044 Discover what’s new and what’s coming for Office Delve Cem Aykan, Mark Kashman
BRK2093 Design your Exchange infrastructure right (or consider moving to Office 365) Boris Lokhvitsky, Robert Gillies, Adrian Moore
BRK2139 Protect your business and empower your users with cloud Identity and Access Management Nasos Kladakis
BRK2170 Discover what’s new with Microsoft Exchange Public Folders Sampath Kumar
BRK2215 Debate the top 10 reasons not to move your Exchange on-premises mailboxes to Exchange Online Tony Redmond, Greg Taylor, Steve Conn
BRK2216 Unplug with the experts on Exchange Server and Exchange Online Greg Taylor, Timothy Heeney, Jeff Mealiffe, Ross Smith IV, Wendy Wilkes
BRK2217 Discover modern support in Outlook for Exchange Online Julia Foran, Amir Haque, Gabe Bratton
BRK2218 Move from Exchange 2007 to Modern Exchange Greg Taylor, Steve Conn
BRK2219 Meet twin sons of different mothers – Exchange Engineers and Exchange MVPs Tony Redmond, Jeff Mealiffe, Andrew Higginbotham, Jeff Guillet, Karim Batthish
BRK2220 Peer behind the curtain – how Microsoft runs Exchange Online Paavany Jayanty, Eddie Fong, Karim Batthish, Mike Swafford
BRK3000 Unplug with the experts on Microsoft Exchange Top Issues Nino Bilic, Nasir Ali, Amir Haque, Shawn McGrath, Timothy Heeney, Gabe Bratton, Angela Taylor
BRK3001 Explore the ultimate field guide to Microsoft Office 365 Groups Tony Redmond, Amit Gupta, Benjamin Niaulin
BRK3007 Investigate tools and techniques for Exchange Performance Troubleshooting Nasir Ali, Jeff Mealiffe
BRK3019 Manage Microsoft Office 365 Groups Eric Zenz, Vince Smith
BRK3023 Understand how Microsoft protects you against Spoof, Phish, Malware, and Spam emails Jason Rogers
BRK3045 Use Microsoft Graph to reach users on hybrid Exchange 2016 Venkat Ayyadevara
BRK3046 Build intelligent line-of-business applications leveraging the Outlook REST APIs Venkat Ayyadevara
BRK3074 Discover what’s new in Active Directory Federation and domain services in Windows Server 2016 Sam Devasahayam
BRK3109 Deliver management and security at scale to Office 365 with Azure Active Directory Brjann Brekkan
BRK3139 Throw away your DMZ – Azure Active Directory Application Proxy deep-diveThrow away your DMZ – Azure Active Directory Application Proxy deep-dive John Craddock
BRK3216 Plan performance and bandwidth for Microsoft Office 365 William Looney, Ed Fisher
BRK3217 Run Microsoft Exchange Hybrid for the long haul Timothy Heeney, Nicolas Blank
BRK3219 Migrate to Exchange Online via Exchange Hybrid Michael van Horenbeeck, Timothy Heeney
BRK3220 Deploy Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Brian Day, Jeff Guillet
BRK3221 Understand the Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Architecture Ross Smith IV, Mike Cooper
BRK3222 Implement Microsoft Exchange Online Protection Jennifer Gagnon, Wendy Wilkes
BRK3227 Ask us anything about Microsoft Office 365 Groups Eric Zenz, Darrell Webster, Christophe Fiessinger, Martina Grom
BRK3253 Experience Scott Schnoll’s Exchange tips and tricks Scott Schnoll
BRK3254 Cert Exam Prep: Exam 70-345: Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Vladimir Meloski
BRK4031 Overcome network performance blockers for Office 365 Deployments Paul Collinge
BRK4032 Dive deep into Microsoft Exchange Server High Availability Andrew Higginbotham
PRE18 The previous decade called…they want their Exchange Server back Michael van Horenbeeck, Greg Taylor, Sampath Kumar, Andrew Higginbotham, Timothy Heeney, David Espinoza, Nicolas Blank
THR1005R Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming in Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Windows Misbah Uraizee
THR1011R Dive deeper into what’s new and what’s coming in Outlook mobile Allen Filush, Victor Wang, James Colgan
THR2007R Fight back with advancements in Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Phil Newman, Atanu Banerjee
THR2054 Understand the risk and value of your public folder data BEFORE you migrate Dan Langille
THR2190R Secure your sensitive email with Office 365 message encryption Gagan Gulati, Ian Hameroff
THR3001R Migrate DL to Microsoft Office 365 Groups Siva Shanmugam, Loveleen Kolvekar
THR3015 Use RMS in Microsoft Office 365 Nathan O’Bryan
THR3040 Automate Exchange deployment with Powershell Desired State Configuration Ingo Gegenwarth
THR3082 Secure Office 365 in a hybrid directory environment Alvaro Vitta

For those that wish to view sessions offline, there is a script to download the slidedecks and videos. It does so by scraping the Ignite portal, downloading slidedecks from the portal itself, and videos from the related YouTube video link using an utility youtube-dl.exe (which you can also use to download playlists, quite neat). The script can take some parameters:

  • DownloadFolder to adjust the download folder.
  • Format to alter the dimensions and quality of the downloaded videos (see help for supported formats).
  • Title to filter on title keyword
  • Keyword to filter on description keyword.
  • Start to use a different version number to start scraping. Scraping is done sequentially; in the output you will notice a (#nnn) next to the title. That is the current post number.
  • NoVideos to skip downloading videos.

You can download the script from the TechNet Gallery here.