Book review: Microsoft Office 365: Exchange Online Implementation and Migration, David Greve/Loryan Strant

This content is 12 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Every now and again, I get asked to review a technology book. My response is usually something along the lines of “sure, send me a copy and I’ll take a look”. Experience suggests that dead tree editions are more likely to get read than a PDF but sometimes I’m just busy and it takes a while. That’s not because I’m lazy – it’s because if I review a book I want to take the time to review it properly and write a considered response – not just bang out a blog post because the publisher is nagging me for a review…

Unfortunately, this particular publisher was chasing me just 48 hours after they ordered me a copy (and several days before I’d received the book!) and, just a month later (in the middle of the summer holiday season) they are still pushing…

So, here goes. A very short, not very thorough, view on Microsoft Office 365: Exchange Online Implementation and Migration, by David Greve and Loryan Strant (@TheCloudMouth).

As I’d expect from a book written by a couple of MVPs, this book covers all of the basics of implementing the Exchange Online elements of Office 365. Importantly, it doesn’t just concentrate on the enterprise elements, including information for those getting started with the Office 365 plans for small business and professionals, highlighting some important limitations (although not all – as I found recently, the P1 plans don’t include two factor authentication, which is something that users on competing platforms are being encouraged to use).  The book continues to take a logical approach, working through the administration portal and on to integration options – even considering the practicalities involved when the available options from Microsoft are less than desirable,  recommending some alternatives to consider.  Unfortunately the space given to working from the command line in PowerShell (a useful tool in the Office 365 administrator’s arsenal) is very limited.

Moving on through enterprise integration options, preparing for, and performing both simple and hybrid migrations (including supporting infrastructure, such as Active Directory Federation Services), it seems that the authors have covered a variety of scenarios, with many screen shots and diagrams provided to illustrate key points in the process. One criticism is that the screen shots can, in places, feel as though they are being used to pad out the text – presumably the target audience consists of experienced administrators and they shouldn’t really need screen shots of EULA dialogues – after all, this is not “Office 365 migration for dummies”! Finally, the book examines some important post-migration considerations and highlights additional resources.

When I previously reviewed a book from the same publisher, I remarked on the high cover price. Well, I’m pleased to say that this one is a much more reasonable £24.99 ($39.99) and that there are online discounts and free shipping, as well as reasonably-priced eBook options. Indeed, very sensibly, the print and eBook bundle only costs a little more than the print copy on its own.

If you get the chance to read the book properly and you have some comments (perhaps even based on experience of following its advice, as I would have like to have done), then please leave a comment below. Maybe, together, we can crowdsource its review!

Microsoft Office 365: Exchange Online Implementation and Migration by David Greve and Loryan Strant is published by Packt Publishing.

5 thoughts on “Book review: Microsoft Office 365: Exchange Online Implementation and Migration, David Greve/Loryan Strant

  1. do you know if the authors have updated this book for the recent changes made to the hybrid configuration wizard in exchange 2010 SP2 /365 – or, if not yet – if they have plans to do so?

  2. David, there’s certainly reference to the wizard, which according to an Exchange Team Blog Post looks like it was a new feature in SP2 (so I’m not sure if that’s the recent changes that you refer to) – the book was published in May 2012, so should be reasonably up-to-date but if there is a specific change you want me to look at, I’ll see what my copy of the book has to say about that!

  3. well i think the hybrid wizard in sp2 replaced about 50 manual steps for a hybrid design pre-sp2…so I suppose depending on how big the chapter is.. :-) Do they mention SP2 in the text as being a pre-req, or being recommended?

    Anyway the whole 365 thing i think is a bit of a crock with the FS requirements. For SMBs they are never going to want to deploy FS due to the OS requirements – and also the fact that if their own internet connection goes down to their office (i.e. the FS server’s cant be contacted) user’s cant sign in to their mail on 365. So we then have separate passwords for user’s which leads to the usual confusion. MS need some sort of “cached” 365 login when using FS i think. Sorry just my personal rant :-)

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