Office 365 Integration and Server 2012 R2 Essentials Gotcha

For our small non-profit clients, we love Windows 2012 R2’s Server Essentials role.  (We use the full standard edition because TechSoup keeps it affordable and we add the Essentials role.)

The ability to manage the Office365 tenant from inside the Essentials Dashboard really makes life easy.  We don’t have to leave the dashboard to assign licenses like we do when we’re just using other Azure sync solutions, so we like it.

But every so often, the dashboard glitches out.  Usually when this happens, it’s because the password of the admin account we use has expired, so we reset the password; relogin to the dashboard, restart the dashboard and all is well.

But today the password wasn’t expired, the dashboard just wouldn’t connect.

I spent hours poring thru logs, uninstalling the Office365 integration, then finding myself unable to reinstall it.. Happily, the client office was closed today, so I was able to restore a version of the server from 4 hours earlier (Veeam really does make it simple) until finally after I had Office365 support on the phone, and Mark, my tech, was saying “We don’t really use this anymore; everything’s ADConnect nowadays…” I stumble upon a log entry which complains:

Microsoft.WindowsServerSolutions.O365Integration.O365ConfigureException: Call Bec web service <GetCompanyInfo>b__2e() but cannot found endpoint

Horrible verb tenses aside, we had an error message… and searching “call bec web service” brought me to the Technet forum article that saved my bacon.

It turns out a URL endpoint might be cached in the registry, and if it expires and 404s and then it all goes to hell because it “cannot found endpoint.”  Delete the Endpoint URL in the registry, the Dashboard goes out to find the current one and all is well.

So I deleted the BecEndpointAddress key under:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\Productivity\O365Integration\Settings

and the dashboard came right back to life.

It was a good Friday after all.