PowerShell Basics: Connecting to Exchange Online Using Multi-Factor Authentication

Using PowerShell to manage your Microsoft cloud services like Exchange Online and using multi-factor authentication (MFA) separately is awesome. Using the two together however, not so much. Microsoft documentation on this topic seems to suggest that all the required administrative tasks needed are to be performed from a shell that launched separately from the PowerShell…


Build Intelligent Robots with EZ-Robot and Microsoft Cognitive Services

What if a robot could tell how you are feeling? Microsoft Cognitive Services is a set of APIs and SDK services that can enable developers to easily add features that can detect emotion, identify objects and understand language understanding into their applications. Imagine utilizing that same set of features in a robot. Enter Calgary based…


Powershell Basics: Using Variables In ActiveDirectory Filters

When working with the ActiveDirectory PowerShell module, the -filter parameter is sometimes required to search for accounts or objects in Active Directory. Utilization of variables in those filters may also be required to return a needed value. As an example, running the following command from the remote Exchange management shell returns an object that includes…


Step-By-Step: Migrating Active Directory FSMO Roles From Windows Server 2012 R2 to 2016

With Windows server 2016 was released for public (GA), many businesses are working on migrating their services to the new offering. This post will walk you through the steps needed to migrate Active Directory FSMO roles running on Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 Active Directory. The same steps are valid for migrating…


Teaching Drones to Aid Search and Rescue Efforts via Cognitive Services

InDro Robotics, a drone operating outfit based in Salt Spring Island British Columbia, recently connected with our team at Microsoft to explore how they could better enable their drones for search and rescue efforts. The team joined forces to create a Proof of Concept to test the ability of automatic object detection to transform search…


PowerShell Basics: Detecting if a String Ends with a Certain Character

Did you know you can detect if a string ends in a specific character, or if it starts in one in PowerShell? This can be doe easily with the use of regular expressions or more simply know as Regex. Consider the following examples: ‘something\’ -match ‘.+?\\$’ #returns true ‘something’ -match ‘.+?\\$’ #returns false ‘\something’ -match…


Step-By-Step: Enabling Advanced Security Audit Policy via DS Access

Active directory, from a security perspective, is one of the more impactful services within an organization. Even small changes in Organization’s AD can cause a major business impact. Preventing any unauthorized access and unplanned changes in an AD environment should be top of mind for any system administrator. Should changes or unauthorized access happen within your AD environment, would you have enough…

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Cloud4Good: Building an Inclusive Chat Bot for Athletes with Disabilities

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In the relatively new space of Conversations as a Platform, many organizations have begun to incorporate chat bots into the structure of their business as tools to drive sales and manage customer relations. But beyond these use cases, what else can bots do? For five days in February, a team composed of four Technical Evangelists,…

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PowerShell Basics: How to Validate the Length of an Integer

Recently I fielded the following PowerShell question: “How do I make sure a variable, which is an int, is of a certain length?” Turns out it’s not too hard as the solution simply requires the use of a little regex. Consider the following example:   [int]$v6 = 849032 [int]$v2 = 23 $v6 -match ‘^\d{6}$’ $v2 -match ‘^\d{6}$’…


Step-By-Step: Setting up Active Directory in Windows Server 2016

There are interesting new features now made available in Windows Server 2016 such as time based group membership, privileged access management, and others. Most will be covered in future posts. This post will detail how to install active directory on Windows Server 2016. Before the AD install however it is important to understand what is the minimum requirement to…