For several months it has been possible to use your Office 365 subscription with Azure RemoteApp. Office 365 is very useful when you do not want to have too many administrative tasks, like installing / uninstalling and troubleshooting Office issues on your users devices.
One nice option is that you can use the same user license on many platforms and environments. No need to purchase extra licenses or trying to tweak or configure existing licenses to make it work in Azure RemoteApp. The necessary configurations have been setup for you. All you need is an Office 365 ProPlus subscription and activate to grant your users access to Office 365 using Office 365 portal.
You can use Office 365 ProPlus to share Office 2013 (soon Office 2016). Earlier versions of Office are NOT supported!!
Other features of Office 365 ProPlus, like Visio and Project, both should be activated in the Office 365 Portal, as both have their own license.
Not all plans include Office 365 ProPlus, though. If this is the case consider upgrading to Office 365 E3 or E4 plan.
Please see Office 365 Plan Options
The steps below steps should be taken if you are starting from scratch. No Azure account and no “Azure Active Directory” (AAD) subscription. I am assuming that you already have an Office 365 plan as mentioned above. So please feel free to jump to the section that is most relevant to you, if you have already completed some of the steps below.
A quick background about Office 365 and AAD. If you have a paid subscription to Office 365, then you will automatically have a free subscription to Azure Active Directory. You can use AAD to create and manage user accounts. You will have to activate this subscription and to access the Azure management portal, you have to complete a one-time registration process. Afterward, you can access Azure AD from your Microsoft service that uses it.
- Activate AAD subscription
- Create an Azure acount
- Create a RemoteApp Collection
- Publish Office 365 Shortcuts
- Add users to the RemoteApp Collection
- Logon to Azure RemoteApp client
ACTIVATE AAD SUBSCRIPTION
You have two options
- Register your free Azure Active Directory subscription
- Create and register your free Active directory using your Office 365 portal
Creating an Azure account
If you chose either of the options above, you should now have an Azure account and AAD populated with users to create a RemoteApp collection and other resources if needed.
Create a RemoteApp Collection
Click on New (Bottom of the Azure portal) \App Services \REMOTEAPP \QUICK CREATE and then complete all the required fields. Once this is done click 0n “CREATE REMOTEAPP COLLECTION”. It will take up to 45 minutes to have your collection ready.
I have selected the Premium plan. You need to select what suits your project best. Please see this link for more information about the type of plans available.
Once the collection is created you will be presented with a similar window below.
Click on the white arrow (highlighted). You will be presented with the window below to start publishing RemoteApp programs and to configure user access.
Publish Office 365 Shortcuts
Select publish RemoteApp programs link
The Select RemoteApp programs window appears. At this stage, every single program found in the start menu program inside the Office 365 template we have selected earlier, will be available for you to publish to users. As this is a long list and to keep with this blog purpose, I will only select a couple of Office shortcuts and click on the tick link to save my selections.
If you notice above I have also selected Visio 2013 and Project 2013. Earlier in the blog I mentioned that both Visio and Project have their own license. The Office plan I am using is the E5 plan, which contains both applications.
Publishing notice kicks in at the bottom of the Azure portal screen.
Some Apps are published automatically, especially in this template (Office 365). In theory all components of office should be published. To find out which ones. Click on the publishing link.
A window of the published Apps appears.
While you are on the above window, please select USER ACCESS.
Configure User Access
By default the email address used to create Azure account will be added automatically to the users list. If not just add it .
I did mention earlier in the blog that you can only add users who are part of your Azure Active Directory. This is also highlighted for you when you start to add users.
Add the email address of the users you wish to grant access to Office applications. Azure RemoteApp will confirm that the selected users are O365 subscribed. Please remember to hit the SAVE button, on the bottom of the page. You will get a notice displayed that the new users were added.
Logon to Azure RemoteApp Client
To gain access to the new published shortcuts, you will need access to the RemoteApp client. To do so, browse to the Remote Desktop Client download URL and select the Download link. Just go through the steps to install the client.
When you launch the Azure RemoteApp client, click on Get Started.
You will be required to enter your user name and password, the one you use to access Office 365. If you do not know it you need to get in touch with the O365 administrator in your organisation.
When you click on sign in. If an update is required to the client, this will happen immediately, otherwise you will be presented with the Apps published to you. Just click on the App you want to use and it should start.
If you notice in the above image I have surrounded a small icon called “App Invitations”. The icon is greyed out for now. But it will live if you have an invite from two different collections sent by two different users (RemoteApp administrator) . When you click on the icon, you can accept or declined an invite.
- How to create a RemoteApp template in Azure
- Best practices for configuring and using Azure RemoteApp
- Azure RemoteApp Support
- Azure RemoteApp Forum