Keeping up: Office 365 OnRamp changes

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Clients, Connectivity, and UM (colloquially known as “the book”) is now in production! I’ve reviewed all the page proofs, corrected the few composition and layout mistakes I found, and returned the proofs to the editorial staff so they can turn PDFs into paper. It’s pretty exciting, although thanks to my tardiness the book won’t be ready in time to be sold at Exchange Connections (about which, more tomorrow.) However, I’ve been assured that Tony’s book on Mailbox and HA will be available there.

About a month ago, I wrote this in the Office 365 chapter:

One of the difficulties inherent in writing about cloud services is that they can change rapidly and often. The screen shots of Office 365 in this chapter reflect its appearance and function as of late 2013, but it’s likely that some of the underlying Office 365 code will change, so don’t be surprised if what you see on screen doesn’t exactly match what you read here.

As if to reinforce that point, today Microsoft has changed the OnRamp tool that you use to assess your organizational readiness for Office 365. The readiness review portion of the tool seems to have disappeared, leaving the checklist portion (which is similar in intent to the Exchange Deployment Assistant, another topic covered in the chapter). I haven’t found where the readiness review went, but I’m fairly sure it still exists somewhere in the maze of Office 365 tools.

The moral of this story? Although Microsoft likes to mock Google’s habit of suddenly introducing changes to end users without warning, they are starting to develop the same habit, except it mostly affects administrators. I hope this particular change was just a slip and not a harbinger of the way toolset changes will be handled in the future. (The secondary moral: man, it’s going to be a challenge to keep up with Office 365 updates in anything I write in the future!)

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