Subscribing to the New Experience for Power BI breaks Office 365 Integration in Windows Server Essentials

[This post comes to us courtesy of Sandeep Biswas and Sabir Chandwale from Global Business Support]

We have recently come across an issue where Office 365 Integration breaks on Windows Server Essentials. After investigating the issue, we determined that the Windows Server Essentials Email Service does not start and crashes if we attempt to start it manually.

In the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard, the state of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Integration appears as N/A

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In the Application event log, we can see the following errors:

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In the SharedServiceHost-EmailProviderServiceConfig.log we get the following exception:

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This exception is raised when the provider framework queries the Office 365 subscriptions to populate the information in the dashboard. The issue only occurs if the trial Microsoft Power BI subscription is associated with Office 365 via the portal https://www.powerbi.com/.

When the trial Microsoft Power BI subscription is associated with Office 365 via the portal, it adds 1,000,000 licenses for Power BI; however, it does not add any subscription information. When the Windows Server Essentials provider framework queries the O365 subscription, it does find the licenses without any subscription information being associated with it. Hence it throws a Null Exception as highlighted in the SharedServiceHost-EmailProviderServiceConfig.log.

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There are two user experiences currently available for Power BI: the new experience for Power BI, currently offered as a Public Preview via this portal and the current experience which is generally referred to as Power BI for Office 365 can be subscribed from the O365 Portal. We have not experienced any issues with Windows Server Essentials Dashboard Integration with Office 365 if Power BI for Office 365 is subscribed.

If you want to try Power BI in Windows Server Essentials integrated with Office 365, it is recommended that you go for Power BI for Office 365. If you have already enabled the new experience for Power BI via the portal https://www.powerbi.com/, the Windows Server Essentials Email Service will continue to crash whenever you launch the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard.

We are working on a fix for this issue and will update the blog as soon as a solution is available.

Resolution (Updated on 05/18/2015): The fix for this issue has been included with the following hotfix released for RMS Subscription issue:

Install the following hotfix on the server:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3055778