Category Archives: 17175

Reporting Outlook Client Versions Using Log Parser

I’m doing a little cross-pollination today. Chris Lehr, one of my colleagues at ExtraTeam, worked up a Log Parser script that produces a report showing all the clients versions connecting to Exchange.  This is very helpful to show which clients are running Office versions in your organization that should be updated prior to migration.  Check out his blog post here.

Outlook Client Version Report

Clients will always get the best experience using the latest version of Office, currently Office 2013 SP1. The best practice is to always update your clients with the latest cumulative update prior to migration. this is especially true when you’re migrating to Office 365, since most updates pertain to Office 365, Exchange Online, and Exchange 2013 compatibility.

If you find that you need to upgrade clients to a new version of Office, I recommend that you install the x86 version of Office to provide the best compatibility with add-ons and third-party products. Some customers think they need to install Office x64 on Windows x64 operating systems, but that’s not the case. See 64-bit editions of Office 2013 for details on when it makes sense to install Office x64.

If you’re an Office 365 customer, I strongly recommend checking out using the Office 2013 ProPlus software deployment that’s most likely part of your Enterprise license. This version of Office 2013 can be installed on up to 5 PCs, iPads, tablets, etc. and is always up-to-date since it’s a cloud-managed service.

Working with Hi-Res Photos in Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013

Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 now have the ability to use high-resolution photos for users to view photos of their contacts and to make their own photos
available to others.  Usually these photos were stored as part of the user’s thumbnailPhoto
attribute in Active Directory.  The recommended resolution for photos stored in the thumbnailPhoto attribute is 96 pixels by 96 pixels.  In addition, the thumbnailPhoto attribute has a physical limit of 100KB, but Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 impose a limit of 10KB.  This limit was imposed to reduce the size of the Active Directory database and increase replication performance.

Lync 2013 now features a larger contact photo for meeting participants.  It scales those small 96×96 pixel thumbnailPhotos up to 278×278 pixels, which results in a blurry, but still usable, photo.

96×96 pixel photo displayed in Lync 2013

The new high-res photos used by the Wave 15 products (Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Office 2013) are now stored in the user’s Exchange 2013 mailbox and are accessed using Exchange Web Services (EWS).  This makes a lot of sense since Exchange is installed in almost all of these environments.  Lync 2013 now allows for photo sizes up to 648 pixels by 648 pixels – a 700% improvement!  Just look at that handsome devil!

648×648 pixel photo displayed in Lync 2013

The following script sample can be used to store a 648 by 648 pixel photo in Ken Myer’s Exchange 2013 mailbox:

$photo = ([Byte[]] $(Get-Content -Path “C:\Photos\Ken Myer.jpg” -Encoding Byte -ReadCount 0))
Set-UserPhoto -Identity kenmyer -PictureData $photo -Confirm:$False
Set-UserPhoto -Identity kenmyer -Save -Confirm:$False

Exchange 2013 automatically scales this 648×648 photo for various applications. The following examples show the same hi-res photo in Office 2013 and Lync 2013 scaled to different sizes.

Outlook 2013 contact view
My Picture option in Lync 2013

Notice in the Lync 2013 example above that there’s a button to allow users to edit or remove their picture.  That button only lights up in Lync 2013 if the user’s mailbox is hosted on an Exchange 2013 server.  There is no “self-service” way to upload pictures with Exchange 2010, although it can be done from SharePoint 2010.

But before you go updating all the photos of employees in your company with new hi-res photos, you should know a few things about backward compatibility.  The Set-UserPhoto cmdlet, which only exists in Exchange 2013 and is used in the script above, not only stores the hi-res photo in the user’s mailbox, it also stores a 48×48 pixel version in the thumbnailPhoto AD attribute.  That’s half the resolution of the 96×96 recommended size and results in a terrible photo for users on Exchange 2010.

48×48 pixel thumbnailPhoto displayed in Lync 2013

It’s interesting to note that Exchange 2010 users always use the 48×48 thumbnailPhoto attribute in AD.  Lync 2013 won’t look for a hi-res photo in the Exchange 2013 user’s mailbox if the Lync 2013 user is on Exchange 2010.  This gives a less than optimal view for the Exchange 2010 Lync user:

This is really only an issue for customers in an migration scenario, but it’s worth noting.  The point is that you should only update Exchange 2013 mailbox users with hi-res photos.

For more information about high resolution photos used in Lync 2013 see Configuring the Use of High-Resolution Photos in Microsoft Lync Server 2013, but please keep in mind that the script examples in that article have typos in them.  The script above corrects those errors.

You may also want to read GAL Photos in Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010.

Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013 Visio Stencils

Microsoft has released a new set of Visio stencils and shapes for Lync 2013 and Exchange 2013.  You can download the new stencils here.

This stencil contains more than 300 icons to help you create visual representations of your Microsoft Office and Exchange Server architecture.

The Visio stencil provides more than 300 icons — many depicting servers, applications, and services — that you can use in architecture diagrams, charts, and posters. These icons are primarily centered around Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange technologies and features.

Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview includes Business Intelligence

Today Microsoft announced the availability of the Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview.  This release enables business users to do self-service Business Intelligence directly in Excel and enables IT organizations to support their users through scalability, governance and compliance provided by SQL Server and SharePoint.

This public preview also includes preview downloads for SharePoint 2013 and SQL 2012 CTP3.


Excel 2013 Preview enables
self-service BI as a natural part of user’s day-to-day activities with
PowerPivot for data mash ups, Power View for stunning interactive data
visualization and Data Models powered by xVelocity in-Memory technologies for
extreme analytical performance and scale on hundreds of millions of rows of
data all directly in Excel. SharePoint Server 2013 Preview significantly
improves governance and compliance over the self-service BI assets with SQL
Server 2012 SP1 CTP3 required for server side compatibility.

New for BI in Excel 2013, SharePoint
2013 and SQL Server 2012 SP1

Empower all
users to gain breakthrough insights as a natural part of their day-to-day
activities using PowerPivot and Power View, now in Excel

·         Analyze data ranging from a few rows to
hundreds of millions of rows with extreme analytical performance on your
desktop using Excel data models powered by xVelocity in-memory analytics engine

Speed up analysis in Excel by using Quick
Analysis to preview and apply conditional formatting, suggest and create
charts, PivotTables, and tables; by using Quick Explore to easily navigate
multidimensional and tabular data models and create Trend charts to analyze
information over time

Quickly clean and shape up data in Excel via
intelligent pattern recognition and smart auto-complete with Flash Fill.

Empower users of all levels to access,
mash-up and analyze data from virtually any source and rapidly create
compelling analytical applications with PowerPivot, now in Excel.

Provide stunning data visualization to
discover new insights with a highly interactive and familiar data exploration,
visualization, and presentation experience for users of all levels with Power
View, now in Excel

Easily share and collaborate on self-service
BI solutions within your organization with SharePoint Server

User created,
IT managed – Enable enterprise grade IT governance for your BI solutions via
SQL Server and SharePoint

·        Improve governance and compliance and easily
track your business critical Excel assets by enabling

·        Discovery and assessment of user-created
spreadsheets with SharePoint 2013.

·        Comparing spreadsheets,
tracking lineage, conducting interactive diagnostics and creating spreadsheet
analysis reports with Inquire in Excel

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