When trying to access SharePoint content with OAuth you need to have an Authentication Server. With SP2013, this Authentication Server can only be set up in the cloud in Azure.

This Authentication Server must also be Microsoft’s implementation of the authentication server called AZURE ACCESS CONTROL SERVICE (ACS).

Before I dive into details though, here is a recap of OAuth:

  • OAuth allows users to authorize SharePoint to provide access tokens to 3rd party apps. These 3rd party apps will then use the tokens to retrieve data from the SharePoint server for that user.
  • A token can access: a site, a resource (file, item), and for a defined duration.
  • The user has granted the app access to their data without giving away their username and password.

WhatisOAuth1
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With over 8 million registered users from over 200,000 companies (according to Yammer.com), Yammer has become an enterprise social powerhouse.

The Analytics tool was launched back in March 2012 as a built-in solution that tracks the performance and user engagement metrics of your company’s Yammer network. There are 2 main pieces to the Analytics tool: the Dashboard and the Data Export.

The Yammer Analytics Dashboard allows any user to look at a ready-made dashboard. The Dashboard can be accessed through Yammer’s web client by clicking the “more” menu button (indicated by the three dots) at the top right-hand corner of the page, selecting “Apps” then clicking the “Analytics” button under “My Apps”. There are 6 headings within the Analytics App: Overview, Members, Messages, Groups, Files, & Access and data can be easily viewed for either the past 7 or 28 days. I’d like to give a quick summary on what is displayed on the Dashboard.
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Should you deploy Microsoft CRM online or on-premise? Here are 5 strong arguments for choosing online over the hosted and on-premise options.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online

When I meet with clients and potential customers who are interested in deploying Microsoft CRM in their organization, one of the most common questions they ask is, “Should I deploy CRM online or on-premise?”

The buzz word “in the cloud” is everywhere today. Before I talk about the benefits of going online, I want to level set the options available with Microsoft CRM.
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Last week I wrote a post on how to manually install the Azure Guest Agent on an Existing VM, but it appears that this only works if the VM is not in an Availability Set. Microsoft posted a workaround for this, but it looks like a few things don’t work 100% with their script. I’ll provide a modified script at the end, but here’s the rundown of the issues faced:


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Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the world of IT, impacting every role, from service providers and system architects to developers and end users.

Main Benefits of IT in the Cloud and Microsoft Azure?

The ability to deploy scalable solutions that are delivered ‘as a service’ over the Internet is not only a major paradigm shift, it’s also represents a huge opportunity for IT leaders to reassert the strategic value of information and communication technologies in the enterprise.

Even amongst the more traditional markets such as healthcare, financial services and manufacturing, cloud technology is now driving completive advantage as organizations look to improve data-driven decisions and augment customer relationships.
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Back in February, Microsoft released a VM Agent for Azure Virtual Machines. The most basic tool this enabled, was adding BG Info to the background on all your VMs, but there’s more advanced functionality available for it today (such as installing antivirus), and promises of even more greatness to come in the future.

The only problem… at the time of release this was only available for NEW Virtual Machines. Essentially, if you were an early adopter of Azure VMs you were left out to dry. Fast forward another month, and the VM Agent was available for download & installation on existing VMs. There were a few blog posts on this, but they didn’t always work:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/wats/archive/2014/04/08/install-the-vm-agent-on-an-existing-azure-vm.aspx

http://fabriccontroller.net/blog/posts/manually-installing-the-vm-agent-on-your-older-microsoft-azure-virtual-machines/

Recently I went about updating a dozen existing VMs with the agent, and had a few issues which weren’t described in the two posts above. Hopefully this proves helpful to others out there trying to do the same thing I was… install (what should be) a very simple tool on existing Azure VMs.
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Over 60% of companies in a recent Accenture study are struggling to meet their mobile objectives.

7 Mobile Success Strategies for Financial Services

New mobile technologies have forever changed how employees connect, collaborate and share information at work. Yet, over 60% of companies in a recent Accenture study are struggling to meet their mobile objectives. While the “mobile first” approach is certainly gaining traction in the enterprise, many brand and marketers are still struggling to create experiences that don’t frustrate their sales force or distribution channel.

As was noted by Jeff Dunmall during the 4th Annual Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit, traffic on mobile devices grew 81% worldwide last year and B2B marketers are now looking for practical mobile strategies to deliver enhanced access to more meaningful and effective information.

For financial services companies, identifying the best approach to building a mobile experience that will keep your Advisors and Brokers happy and conversions high, can be tricky. It’s important that you align your investment in mobile within a broader business strategy and make sure your solution solves a specific pain-point for your organization.
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Forrester’s Enterprise Social Platform Rankings Q2 2014: IBM Connections, Jive and Microsoft are the top 3 providers. Here are our comments on the report and on what’s missing.

Enterprise Social Platform Rankings Hit The Street

Rob Koplowitz at Forrester recently published a new Forrester Wave report ranking the top 13 enterprise social platforms. imason has been heavily involved in the enterprise social network (ESN) space for over 4 years, so the Forrester Wave and the Gartner Magic Quadrant reports are like candy to our team.

The last time this Forrester Wave report on enterprise social platforms was published was back in 2011, so this is a welcomed refresh on the space. (Note: the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace was recently updated in Sept 2013).

We believe that each customer’s needs are unique and so each customer has to carefully interpret these industry research reports for their own context. However, we think that enterprise social platform rankings can play a valuable role in getting a quick overview of the landscape. Here are my thoughts on the report results and on elements that are missing from the report.

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About six months ago I was tasked with implementing Single Sign-On for Yammer, leveraging Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) as the Token Provider.

The setup of it was fairly straight forward, following the instructions provided on the Yammer Success Center.Of course, after we implemented SSO with Yammer, there were a few gotchas that I’ll highlight below.

Yammer Directory Sync

Once SSO was activated, our Yammer Directory Sync stopped working. We opened a case with Microsoft, and were pointed at a specific section in the Directory Sync installation guide:
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