Now for the good part… how do you actually use Microsoft Online to send/receive email? How to you coordinate this for all of the users in your organization?
The first step is to head over to the Support tab and find the Downloads section. The first two downloads, The Microsoft Online Sign In application and The Microsoft .Net Framework 3.0 are required for all users that will be using the service. The Sign In app requires the .Net 3.0 framework, and to login, the sign in app is required.
Once you have downloaded the OnlineServicesSignIn.msi, it will need to be distributed to all users who will be using the applications. At least according to Microsoft….If the goal is to just use the Exchange component, it is possible to install the tool once, capture the settings, and then push the settings to the rest of the computers where this service will be used. This is only recommended if you are using Outlook 2007 as the Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover service will pick up the slack and ensure the client computer is configured properly after that (this way you don’t have to have the extra client software installed, nor do you have to continuously change the client computer settings.
See the last screen shot for what those outlook settings are supposed to be if you want to skip the download altogether :)
If you are interested in the other services, or are interested in what this sign in tool is…. Let’s walk through the install first…….
After accepting the licensing, the Microsoft Online tool goes through a configuration stage. This isn’t as painful as the Mesh configuration…. but it does take some time to run and does require your browsers to be restarted before it deems the installation complete.
Once the config is complete, the Sign In application is presented….
From here any of the applications can be launched, including Outlook Web Access, Sharepoint, and Livemeeting.
There are a few more options that can be configured from the options tab, but the amount of configuration of the client tool is minimal:
Once the Sign In tool is installed, Outlook get’s configured with a new profile (so if you are already using outlook, feel free to install…. all settings for Microsoft Online go into a new profile). If you bring up the new profile, you will be prompted for credentials and once in… you can begin accessing your Microsoft Online Exchange account using RPC over HTTP. The configuration is shown below (click the picture for a clearer view)….