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PDF and Office 365

  • Lowering the security on the server side for PDF documents would be a risk. I am sure that this suggestion is being taken into consideration, but Microsoft has to perform a lot of due dilligence before trying new things on Office 365 now because it is a production system on a scale never before attempted. Be patient during the development of this amazing product. It will truly change the way you do business. If you communicate this to your clients in just the right way, they will understand. Be very conscious of your audience and their resistance to change. Embrace their resistance (which will surprise them) and explain the benefits and opportunities afforded in Microsoft's careful approach.  I have clients with a three year need for storage upwards of 50,000 pdf's, and I can handle getting the clients to download a copy to their local machine. For Microsoft Office 365 solutions that are innovated, unique, and well executed.


    (edit phone number) - please don't post phone numbers in the forums

  • Mike,

    Thanks for your response.  Perhaps it would help if you could provide an example of why allowing pdfs to be opened in the browser presents a security concern on the server side?  Why is this of sudden concern with O365 when it's not in BPOS which is also multi-tenant?  Why can I open PDFs in the browser on but not

    I can appreciate that SP2010 has the new browser file handling option, but why 'strict' is required on O365 I don't understand.  The 'released a few weeks ago' argument is weak since we've been promissed a fix in these forums since November.

    I suspect many will not drink the koolaid and stick around forever like Martin Low Sr.  Many more will not even evaluate the service with this limitation.  Not to mension the fact that you're limiting your other business units such as CRM online with respect to limited O365 integration.

    Looking forward to your futher explaination.


  • CRM Online is going to be integrated with Office 365. Microsoft Project Server will also be integrated. Azure will be integrated. Windows intune will be integrated. Windows Intune, Project, and CRM have limited integration here already in my office.

    The subscription model is all about providing software assurance to a large customer base.

  • Martin,

    Many of us have had limited CRM integration for months.  Aside from the single sign on issue which is now promissed for Q4 update, there are other issues with the integration which relate to this thread.  Those include inability to add additional file extensions (.htc) and inablity to set browser file handling to permissive.

    The real problem is that the two products are being marketed as if they integrate seemlessly at present which is not the case.  As far as we know the allowed file extensions and strict file handling may never change.  It would help if MS were to provide the actual limitations in writing with an idea as to when they will be fixed.


    Martin Low Sr.

    The subscription model is all about providing software assurance to a large customer base.


    Not sure how that comment relates to this discussion.


  • Martin.

    All due respect, but I can't sell clients on "going to be " and "will be". 

  • Mch,

    But all you have to do is 'embrace their resistance'  That should work shouldn't it?


  • Josh,

    Ha! Not only that, but I also "fondled their stubbornness" and it STILL didn't work!  I guess business people just aren't much fun.  

  • When clients know what to expect in advance, including most of the expected transition issues, then they will be interested in helping you with the process. Explain that they are getting the best services and riding the cutting edge of technology while guaranteeing their security with a conservative philosophy. Explain to them the benefits of only rolling out tested changes. The largest implementations that we perform for our clients are small when compared with the overall implementation of Office 365 by Microsoft. The more large and complex the implementation, the more cumbersome the process of change becomes. Stewardship of different segments of the project by different departments and time needed for consensus building, standardization of paradigms between departments, and the software testing process is going to take a while for each worthwhile change.  One can visualize each Microsoft Partner implementation as the process of driving a small economy car and making local deliveries in it. One can then consider Microsoft's implementation as a convoy of trucks, moving goods back across the continent. The latter is certainly the more complex management process requiring formalized procedures.

    Then you can always avail yourselves of our change management services. We can come in to instruct your staff on managing complex communication issues including managing expectations, reaching consensus, interdepartmental negotiation concerning data stewardship issues, performance, involving the clients in the testing process, and instilling ERP thinking into your employees and your clients. Our experience with large implementations and demanding clients including Fortune 500 companies, Ivy League universities, and professional practices. This very problem is one that we have dealt with first in 2002 on another early groundbreaking cloud project.  

    [Moderator edit: no phone numbers, please]

  • Dear Honorable Mr. Martin 'soon-to-be-gold' Low Sr.,

    Save us the pitiful analogies and prideful solicitaions, please.

    Then check out the terms of use regarding commercial solicitations here:

    in which it says:

    " agree that when using the Communication Services, you will not:...

    "Advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services for any business purpose, unless such Communication Services specifically allows such messages. "

    Then, perferably without further prideful solicitations, tell us how you set expectations for a service that lacks the functionality that the customer marketing and partner training materials have been saying for months it provides.  And how you set expectations while said lacking functionality is not explained, acknowledged nor a fix timeframe given.

    That must involve a lot more of what you call 'embracing their resistance' than most of us less-than soon-to-be-gold partners are willing to provide.


    When sense is wanting, everything is wanting.  Ben Franklin

  • I will be happy to share this with clients. This is not a solicitation, it is a solution and an answer to the question. I have a solution I wish to share but it is complex and requires training.

    Experience means you run into problems many times and become adept at handling them. I can train people to do the same in person, and others can as well. Change Management, Business Process Re-Engineering, and lifecycle software testing and quality assurance programs are all formalized management sciences with their own rules, textbooks, as well as knowledge that can best be obtained in the field.

    In order to pass on knowledge that is complex, classroom instruction in the form of a train-the-trainer event is the accepted method for imparting the knowledge. Management such as yourself might learn from a combination of books and experience, yet your front-line staff will benefit most from training on-site.

    I am not even specifically recommending our services. I have not taken the time to look and see where you are located. However I am happy to point you to services and resources in your area, and I will do so free of charge, so there is no solicitation, rather a recommendation to avail yourself of helpful services.

  • Okay so you have a solution to the PDF problem that involves setting the expectation that it might get fixed at some unknown time while your client can read from MS that it's not a problem, yet you can't share your solution because it's complex and involves training. plus through in some more consultant mumbo jumbo while your at it.

    "When sense is wanting, everything is wanting."  Ben Franklin

    Where's the moderator when you need one?  Does anyone else think this is getting off topic?

  • I wanted to add that he usual method for dealing with questions of PDF functionality is to point out that the problem is how the adobe products work with this service and since Microsoft and Adobe are separate entities there is little communication between the companies concerning standards.  Standards that Microsoft has promised to maintain for Office 365 that they did not promise with BPOS or Microsoft Office Live include ISO 9000 and HIPAA.  The reason I mention this is that there are likely questions about compliance and PDF files that need to be answered before making this simple server change. Compliance requires communication between organizations such as ISO that make standards and Microsoft.  As Microsoft Office 365 is an international product, many compliance standards are being maintained in those countries as well. This leaves Microsoft with a complex process when altering browser file handling. People and organizations need these standards to be maintained.

  • Since I am specifically addressing the PDF issue and kindly offering you my insight as to why it may take a while, I feel that your requests for my comments to be shut down are hostile.  Since I am trying to answer the questions I am not sure as to the reason.

  • "One can then consider Microsoft's implementation as a convoy of trucks, moving goods back across the continent".



    The issue is Microsoft's "convoy of trucks" has been sent out with critical flaws that many have said render them unusable. Isn't that why there was an 8 month beta test to find out what needed to be fixed? 

    I can understand why as a consultant you have such patience with 365-it's created a huge market of people for you who will need help getting it to do what it promises it will do out of the box. Most of the small businesses I deal with were interested in 365 because it promised to deliver (as you point out) a complex product in a seamless and easy to use way. And to  free them from consultants and IT mumbo jumbo.

    Unfortunately, things like not being able to open pdf's in a browser make their lives more difficult, not easier. They're interested in less training not more. And telling them this will be fixed sometime in the future is a non answer.

  • Hostle?  That's a good one.  Sorry to hurt your feelings, but I havn't requested anything to be shut down.

    I do however believe some of your posts are solicitations and therefore violate the terms of use for these forums.  

    While we're hoplessly off topic, perhaps you can enlighten us as to what on earth ISO, HIPAA, or any other compliance standard have to do with opening a PDF files in the browser?

    Alternatively, we could get back on topic and someone could help us understand the specific server-side risk of opening pdf files in my client-side browser.

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