Category: Teams

Why does Teams not install for my users?

Microsoft released in October last year a MSI-installation package of Teams, making it easy to deploy Teams to computers in your organization. As you know Teams (for some unknown reason) installs directly into your profile. I suspect they have designed it this way to make sure everyone can install the application, even if you’re not an local administrator on your computer, you do have sufficient rights to your profile to perform a installation of Microsoft Teams.

Since I work primarily with Citrix, and could see the that Microsoft Teams is growing in popularity, I started to investigate if I could make it to work in a Citrix environment. But that is another story, you can read my blog post on how I installed Teams in our Citrix environment here!

Teams is supposed to install when a user logs on to the server, it will automatically install the latest Teams available to your profile and then start it. But in some cases I have seen an issue after installing the Teams wide Installer, the users simply does not get anything installed. A function this installer has is that it checks your profile for traces of Teams, if it detects part of Teams it will not try to install it again (if it’s not an update that is), and if the user uninstalled Teams it will still detect some left-overs and will therefore not install Teams again. With that said, you need to make sure your profile is clean from Teams. Unfortunately this was not the case here. It simply did not install!

To understand why this might happened you need to know how some multi-user environments are designed, from a security perspective!

If you are like us, security oriented, you might have disabled Run and Run Once witch is used by some applications to auto-start, or to continue a installation after a restart, and is unfortunately very popular place to auto-start viruses and other malware. It is then common to disable this.

This is exactly the place Microsoft Teams specify the value that starts the Teams installation for a user, if its disabled, nothing will ever happened!

There is however a really easy way around this:

You probably already thought about this by now but there is a tiny detail that will make it work exactly as it was supposed to:

  1. Create a Shortcut – Name it Install Teams (or something else if you like)
  2. Target the Teams.exe file with this specific argument: ”C:\Program Files (x86)\Teams Installer\Teams.exe” –checkInstall –source=default
  3. Save it, and place it in the Startup folder in the Start Menu.

The last argument in the Target path (–CheckInstall –source=default) is the reason Teams knows if you have it installed and keeps it updated.

I hope this easy little trick has been helpful, please make a comment if you feel like it or have some questions!



Teams is replacing Skype for Business – how does it (really) work for the user?

Most of us know Teams is replacing Skype for Business in Office 365. There is no official end date but we see indications. Microsoft is no longer adding Skype for Business for new tenants with less than 500 users and they say Teams is now complete. Yesterday we also saw the first indication that Microsoft is starting to switch active tenants to Teams – so you better be ready!

Looking at the official Microsoft documentation, all is green and good. Just switch and you will experience all the goodness of Teams. But how does it really work and look for the end user? I assume you already know how Teams works and looks and the way to migrate – this blog post is just how it works for the end-user when it comes to interoperability with Skype for Business.

Important note: This might change on short bases and here is the Microsoft official documentation on interoperability.

So assume you’re in a all SfB environment and considering using Teams. You verify you are in Coexistance mode: Islands which means users are able to use both Skype for Business and Teams simultaneously:

You decide to switch one of your users (let’s call him Ben) to TeamsOnly mode – that’s what we did and the rest of the users are still in SfB, but remember, there is nothing stopping all the other users to start using Teams, they just have to go to https://teams.microsoft.com and they can use SfB and Teams at the same time.

Internal communication within tenant

First if Ben tries to start the SfB client, he will get:

But we shouldn’t uninstall the SfB client – keep on reading…

  • If both users are in Teams (in case some other users have found out they can use Teams) you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to receive and reply to messages received from Sfb users within the Teams client.
  • Screen sharing and file transfer is not supported between Teams and Skype for Business – you need to create a meeting for that.

There is one caveat here, if the other user has ever started Teams weeks/months ago, they are considered to be ”activated in Teams” which means Ben no longer can initiate a new SfB conversation with that user. Ben can only initiate a new conversation with the other user in Teams and if that user is no longer using Teams (for example if they decided they didn’t like it), they will not receive it. However, if the other users initiates chat from SfB to Ben, Ben will be able to reply to SfB.

And the absolutely best feature is that you have persistent chat experience over all devices so you can initiate a chat session in a web browser on your laptop, continue in the fat client on your desktop and keep the whole thread in your mobile device.

So in short, we would recommend to keep interoperability period as short as possible because some of the confusion it creates…

External communication

So imagine all your users are in Teams. But you will see that many other organizations are still in SfB in Office 365 or even SfB on-premises which means they will ”never” get Teams – how do you communicate with them?

  • Again, if both users are in Teams you will get the full experience so I will not go into details there.
  • Ben will be able to both initiate, receive and reply to SfB chat sessions.
  • Ben can’t initiate screen sharing nor file transfers to SfB users – a meeting is required for that.
  • Ben can still join SfB meetings, that’s what the SfB client is used for – or, of course, he could use the SfB Web App. So we don’t see that going away very soon.
  • If the other user (still on SfB) initiates a screen sharing or file transfer to Ben, it is not supported and the official answer is that the user should receive the following message so a meeting is required. We have found that the message is actually received in Ben’s SfB client if he has it logged in and active in the background and he will actually be able to receive the file and see the screen sharing session. YMMV.

Ben will also realize that as long as his Office 365 ProPlus is updated, the New Skype Meeting choice will be removed and New Teams Meeting will be the only choice.

This is just one part of the story, the big difference is the way that Teams can be more than what SfB was when it comes to collaboration. You need to develop a plan for how to communicate this to your users… You might also have other dependencies with SfB like conference room equipment like Skype Room Systems and integration with PBX.

Interoperability between SfB and Teams might not be the best in the world, but we also see Microsoft is pushing Teams and from Ignite sessions, we see that the user experience during interoperability will not change much – what we see is what we get and we better adapt and inform our users so this is clear.



Teams in your Multi-user environment done right!

Microsoft Teams is on the rise, more and more businesses is seeing the potential of Teams and want a piece of the action.

Unfortunately Microsoft Teams is not ideally designed to work on a Multi-user environment like Citrix Xenapp or Microsoft Remote Desktop services. It is entirely installed in the users profile, and its quite big. A clean installation of teams is roughly 600 MB and will quickly grow, and you know what that means… You guessed it: Super long logon time, since logging on to the Multi-user environment often means the profile would be downloaded to Session Host before you are properly logged on, the users will not be happy! And on top of that, the latest recommendation in size per Teams installation is 3 GB…

There is however some rumors indicating there will be releasing a business version soon addressing this very issue! But if you are anything like me, and cant simply wait, there is a solution if you are willing to pay a small price, and you will at the same time have access to tons of other great stuff.

FSLogix Profile Container

FSLogix Profile Container is a great product that basically removes the profile size entirely, is an little agent you install on your Session Hosts and configure with an ADMX, you also need a file share with enough space for some big profiles. FSLogix is in the business of so called filter-drivers, what it does is simply put, lying to Windows. For example, when you install a 32-bit application to your 64-bit Windows System, Windows will use its own filter-driver to get it to work, its the same technology, its efficient and simple. In FSLogix case it is lying to the windows about the profiles, Windows thinks its a local profile, it does not know that in fact, the entire profile is contained in a vhd-file, mounted to the server. Because its a virtual disk that attaches to the server, there is only one SMB handle. It will therefor not be a huge load on the network, which you often sees when you for example roam your profiles.

Install Teams

When you have FSLogix Profile Container in place you can now install teams on your environment.  In early October Microsoft released a new version of Teams with some new features when deploying Teams to all the users in an organization, we are going to use parts of that to install Teams on to our environment!

 

  1. Download the latest version of Teams MSI-file (x64) file here!
  2. If you like to disable Auto-start of Teams use the following install string (otherwise just install without the option):

    This will put an Install file under ”C:\Program Files”, and when a user logon it will automatically install Teams to this user.
  3. You do not need to update the MSI to the latest version, Teams will automatically download and install pending updates on the next logon of the user.

There you go, now your users can benefit from the full experience of Teams in your Multi-user environment, with one exception: if you are using Citrix, you have ”Skype for Business Optimization Pack” to utilize local client resources for best quality of Skype meetings and calls. There is no support for Teams as of for now. It will soon be available though. With that said, I wouldn’t uninstall Skype for business just yet.

Other Great stuff

As mentioned above, there is a lot of benefits using FSLogix Profile Container. For a great period of time, Citrix User Profile Manager has been the best way to reduce the size of the profiles while still have the most important settings saved in your profile. But this is still just a trade-off, you trade off your caches and settings that impact your profile logon, but at the same time still trying to get the best experience for the user, this will sometimes collide and you have to choose between longer logon time or full functionality of a certain application.

With FSLogix Profile Container you no longer need to worry about large profiles, you don´t need to trade off! There are a lot of applications that saves a ton of settings and files in your profile that you now can install without impacting the user experience, this opens up a great deal of opportunities. You can for example install OneNote with it´s (potentially)  gigantic cache, CAD applications with thousands of files in the user profile and so much more.

 

If you find this interesting and would like a trial of FSLogix Profile Container to see if this fits your organizations needs, please contact us. It is easily installed and does not require additional servers or infrastructure!

 



Guest access in Microsoft Teams

Yesterday Microsoft made one of the most request feature for Microsoft Teams general available, Guest Access for external users.

Guest access allows you to add people from outside your company and organisation to a team, so they can participate in chats, join meetings, collaborate on documents and more.

At the moment, anyone with an Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) or Office 365 work or school account can be added as guest in Teams. Microsoft will later on add the ability to add anyone with a Microsoft Account (MSA), like Outlook.com or Live.com.

Image: blogs.office.com

Enable Guest Access

To enable Guest Access in Microsoft Teams, an Office 365 Administrator will have to logon to Office 365 Admin Center and go to Microsoft Teams under Services & add-ins and change Settings by user/license type to Guest and turn the feature On.

 

Inviting a guest

To invite a guest user to a team, just add the user as you normal do by entering the email address:



Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams

Last night, a couple of Office 365 users received the following popup in the portal that Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams and they should start using Teams:

In the Office 365 Admin Portal, MC118018 was published by Microsoft and later removed, stating that they are starting to upgrading Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.

The notice stated that for now, this is an opt-in experience, so it’ls not an immediately change by Microsoft, but as an action is required by 2018-09-07 it sure looks like you will be forced to upgrade.

There have not been an official announcement from Microsoft, yet but as Microsoft Ignite is less than a month a way we might see a few new announcements there and one of them might be that Skype for Business will be upgraded to Microsoft Teams.

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