Whist Office 365 has an impressive Web GUI (and its current iteration has many more features then previous versions) admins still need to be able to access Office 365 using PowerShell to perform certain admin tasks.
Using PowerShell opens up the system to almost any query an admin can think of from simple passwords resets to exporting lists of all users within the system
Before we get to the guts of this article lets explain both PowerShell and Office 365!
What is Powershell
Powershell is a tool that's intended to replace the Command Prompt and deliver more power and control over the Windows operating system. Windows PowerShell is an extendable command shell and scripting language which can be used to manage/administer server environments like Windows Server, Exchange and also SharePoint 2010.
I have found that the internet can be a great source of Powershell knowledge and the one bit of advice I would give is, what ever Powershell work you are doing, try to learn the code rahter than just copy & paste the code. It has helped my overtime to learn the code structure and enabled me to devlope my own knowldge.
What is Office 365
"Office 365" refers to subscription plans that include access to Office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Lync web conferencing and Exchange Online hosted email for business, and additional online storage with OneDrive and Skype world minutes for home.
Many Office 365 plans also include the desktop version of the latest Office applications, which users can install across multiple computers and devices. The Office 365 plans that are online-only are a great choice for certain business needs, and they are compatible with desktop versions of the latest version of Office, Office 2010, Office 2007 (with slightly limited functionality), Office 2011 for Mac, and Office 2008 for Mac.
All Office 365 plans are paid for on a subscription basis, monthly or annually.
“Microsoft Office” is the name we still use for our familiar productivity software. Office suites have traditionally included applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. All the new Office suites (for example, Office Standard 2013) include the latest versions of these applications. These suites can be installed on only one PC and do not come with any cloud-based services included in Office 365.
Once both are installed you can go ahead and open the 'Windows Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell' from the Desktop icon. Right click on this icon and select 'Run As Administrator' from the context menu. If you do not 'Run As Administrator' you may recieve errors such as :
At the PowerShell prompt (looks just like a command prompt) enter the following command and hit Return:
You should be asked for credentials. These are admin credentials to your Office 365 system:
Once you click OK you should see a status bar appear within the PowerShell Window:
Once you are connected you should see a message similar to this:
Next you need to copy and paste the following into the PowerShell window and hit Return
There is an almost unlimited amount of commands you can run once you have the session and the above is just a few of the simplier ones. You can search online for more resources around the different commands that can be run. Check out this MS TechNet note
https://technet.microsoft.com/library/jj151815.aspx which can help open up the power of PowerShell and Office 365.
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