Partner Technical Services Blog

A worldwide group of consultants who focus on helping Microsoft Partners succeed throughout the business cycle.

February, 2014

  • Migrate from Gmail to Office 365 in 7 steps

    If you are doing a large migration from Gmail to Office 365, you will generally want to use a 3rd party tool that automates the process.  However, if you are migrating a small customer with a few mailboxes, it is quick, easy, (and free!) to do so manually).

    Here is how:

    What do you need to know before you begin?

    This guide covers migrating from Gmail to Office 365 and will take about an hour to complete.

    For more information on deploying Office 365, see the first article in the series at Office 365 Midsize Business Quick Deployment Guide and also watch the YouTube video at Office 365 Midsize Business Quick Deployment Guide video.

    Before you begin the Gmail to Office 365 migration, you need to know or have at hand a few key pieces of information:

    1. Your Google apps and Office 365 administrator account and password.
    2. The URLs to access the Google admin console, the Office 365 admin center, and the Exchange admin center. If you don't have them, don’t worry—they are covered later in this document.
    3. The user names and passwords of the Gmail mailboxes you want to migrate.
    4. How to create MX records at your Internet service provider.


    If you’re using Office 365 Midsize Business with the Microsoft Open License or the Open Value program, go to the get started with Office 365 page and create an Office 365 account first. After you’ve created the account, return to this document and begin Step 1: Sign in to the Gmail Admin console and Office 365 admin center.

    What Gmail information is migrated?

    1. Email is migrated, and this is covered in Step 5: Migrate a Gmail mailbox.

    2. Gmail contacts are migrated and imported by using a CSV file. This topic is covered in Step 6: Migrate Gmail contacts.

    3. Gmail calendar items are imported by exporting Google Calendar to an iCal file. This is covered in Step 7: Migrate Gmail calendar.

    Okay, let’s get started.

    Step 1: Sign in to the Gmail Admin console and Office 365 admin center


    Sign in to the Google Admin console

    1. By using your Google Apps administrative credentials, sign in to

    2. After you’re signed in, choose Users and verify the list of users you want to migrate to Office 365.


    Sign in to the Office 365 admin center or the Exchange admin center
    1. By using your Office 365 administrative credentials, sign in to

    2. After you’re signed in, you will be directed to the Office 365 admin center page.

    3. To go to the Exchange admin center, click the drop-down arrow next to the Admin name in the ribbon bar.


    4. From the list, select Exchange.

    5. Select Office 365 to return to the Office 365 admin center page.

    Step 2: Create Office 365 mailboxes for Gmail users you want to migrate

    One of the most important tasks in preparing to migrate Gmail to Office 365 is first creating an Office 365 mailbox for each Gmail mailbox you want to migrate. Fortunately, creating an Office 365 mailbox is easy. You simply create a new user account and assign the Exchange Online Plan license to the user. Refer to your list of Gmail mailboxes you want to migrate, and complete the following steps to create corresponding Office 365 mailboxes.

    To create an Office 365 mailbox for each user you want to migrate from Gmail

    1. From the Office 365 admin center, click users and groups > active users.

    2. Click the plus icon (+) to add a new user account. You can also create multiple user accounts at the same time by clicking the Bulk add icon, as shown in the following figure.


    • Click Assign role > Set user location, and then click Next.
    • On the Assign licenses page, ensure that Exchange Online Plan 1 or Exchange Online Plan 2 is selected. This helps ensure that the user account being created will have access to email.


    • On the Send results in email page, type an email address where you will receive the temporary password for the user.

      The newly created user name and password appear on the Results page and are also sent to the administrator via email.

    • Lastly, send the email message with the user name and temporary password information to each user.

    Step 3: Create a Gmail migration file

    The migration file, a comma-separated values (CSV) file, contains the list of Gmail accounts that will be migrated to Office 365. Each row of the file contains the email address of an Office 365 mailbox and the corresponding user name and password of the Gmail account that will be migrated.

    The CSV file can easily be created by using Microsoft Excel.


    Create the Gmail migration file

    1. On your local computer, open Excel 2013 or Excel 2010.

    2. Using the preceding figure as a template, create the migration file.

    3. Column A lists the Office 365 mailbox.

    4. Column B lists the Gmail user name.

    5. Column C lists the password for the Gmail user in Column B.

    6. Save the file as a CSV file type, and then close the program.

    Step 4: Verify that Office 365 can communicate with Gmail

    As part of the migration process, Office 365 must verify that it can communicate with Gmail. It’s very important to successfully connect to the Gmail server before continuing. If you do experience any problems performing this step, see Troubleshooting the Gmail connection to resolve the issue.

    Test the connection to the Gmail server

    1. Go to the Exchange admin center.

    2. Select migration > More > migration endpoints.

    3. Choose + and then select IMAP.

    4. Set IMAP server to, and leave the remaining settings as they are.

    5. Choose Next.


    • When you reach the new migration endpoint page, this verifies that Office 365 can connect to the Gmail server.


    • Enter a name for the connection and choose new to create the migration endpoint. The preceding figure uses Gmail-migration as the name of the migration endpoint.

    • The migration endpoints page appears and displays the endpoint you just created.


    Step 5: Migrate a Gmail mailbox

    When you migrate your Gmail mailbox to Office 365, only the items in your inbox or other mail folders are migrated. The steps for migrating your contacts and calendar items are covered in later steps.

    Migrate messages from Gmail to Office 365

    1. Go to the Exchange admin center.

    2. Navigate to Recipients > Migration.

    3. Click the plus icon (+), and choose Migrate to Exchange Online.

    4. Choose IMAP migration.

    5. Choose Browse, and specify the file created in Step 3: Create a Gmail migration file.

    6. On the Start the batch page, select Automatically start the batch. The status field will initially be set to Created, as shown below.

    7. The status will change to Syncing and then to Synced after the Gmail messages have been synchronized with Office 365.

    Step 6: Migrate Gmail contacts

    You migrate your contacts from Gmail to Office 365 by first exporting the list of contacts to a comma-separated values (CSV) file and then importing that file into Office 365.

    Export Gmail contacts to a CSV file

    1. Using your Google Apps administrative credentials, sign in to the Google admin console..

    2. Choose Contacts > More > Export.

    3. Choose All contacts > Outlook CSV format > Export.

    4. Select a location to save your file.


    When you export Gmail contacts to a CSV file, you must choose the Outlook CSV format to successfully import the Gmail contacts into Office 365.

    Import Gmail contacts into Office 365

    1. Using your Office 365 administrative credentials, sign in to the Office 365 admin center.

    2. Choose People > Settings > Import contacts.

    3. Select the Gmail CSV file you saved in Step 3: Create a Gmail migration file, and choose Next.

    4. After the Gmail contacts have been successfully imported into Office 365, choose finish.

    Step 7: Migrate Gmail calendar

    You migrate calendar items from Gmail to Office 365 by using a two-step process. First, you export the Gmail calendar items as an iCal file. Once the iCal file is saved, you use Microsoft Outlook to import the calendar items into the Outlook Calendar. You cannot import the iCal file directly into Outlook Web Access.


    There are third-party tools available that simplify the task of moving Gmail calendar items and contacts to Office 365 and Microsoft Outlook. An Internet search for “Gmail to Office 365 migration tools” lists some of these tools.

    Export your Gmail calendar to an iCal file

    1. Using your Google Apps administrative credentials, sign in to

    2. Choose Calendar > My calendars > Settings > Export calendars.

    3. Select a location to save your file. Gmail saves the iCal file as a compressed file. Be sure to decompress the file before proceeding to the next step.

    Import your Gmail calendar into Microsoft Outlook
    1. Set up Microsoft Outlook to access Office 365. For guidance, see Set up email in Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013.

    2. Choose Import > Comma Separated Values (Windows) > Next.

    3. Select the iCalendar file you saved in the previous step..

    4. Choose Outlook’s calendar > Finish. You should now see the Gmail calendar items within the Outlook calendar.

    Verify Gmail migration completed successfully

    Now that you have migrated Gmail messages, contacts, and calendar items to Office 365, you can use Outlook Web App, which comes with Office 365, to verify that Gmail migrated successfully.

    Verify Gmail migrated successfully using Outlook Web App

    1. Open the email message sent by the Office 365 administrator that includes your temporary password.

    2. Go to the sign-in page

    3. Sign in with the user name and temporary password.

    4. Update your password, and set your time zone.


      It’s very important that you select the correct time zone to ensure your calendar and email settings are correct.

    5. When Outlook Web App opens, send an email message to the Office 365 administrator to verify that you can send email.

    6. Choose the Outlook icon, and verify that the Gmail messages have been migrated.

    7. Choose the People icon, and verify that the Gmail contacts have been migrated.

    8. Choose the Calendar icon, and verify that the Gmail calendar items have been migrated.


      You cannot import Gmail calendar items directly into Outlook Web App. However, you can view the items using Outlook Web App after they have been imported by Microsoft Outlook.

    Next steps after migrating Gmail to Office 365

    Well, you’ve reached the end of migrating Gmail to Office 365. At this stage, email is flowing to both Gmail and Office 365 mailboxes. Many administrators choose to keep both the Gmail and Office 365 mailboxes running in parallel for a period of time. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. The limitation is that email is updated to Office 365 from Gmail once every 24 hours. To remove this limitation and direct Gmail messages directly to Office 365, follow the procedure below.

    Route all future Gmail messages to Office 365

    1. Sign in to your DNS hosting provider’s website.

    2. Select your domain.

    3. Find the page where you can edit DNS records for your domain.

    4. Open a new browser window, and sign in to the Office 365 website using your Office 365 administrative credentials.

    5. Choose domains > your company domain > View DNS Settings > View DNS records.

    6. In the Exchange Online section, in the MX row, copy the Priority, Host Name, and Points to Address.


    1. Return to your DNS hosting provider’s website, and use this information to create a new MX record.

    2. Set the priority of the MX record to the highest value available, typically 0, and save the record.

    For detailed instructions for creating MX records to point to Office 365, see the article Create DNS records for Office 365 when you manage your DNS records.

    For information about creating an MX record, see Find your domain registrar or DNS hosting provider.


    Typically, it takes about 15 minutes for DNS changes to take effect. However, it can take up to 72 hours for a changed record to propagate throughout the DNS system.

    See the following list of resources to further your exploration of Office 365:

    • Join the Office 365 Yammer group to discuss the latest news about Office 365. Sign up on the Office 365 Yammer page to get started.
    • The Office 365 community site posts the latest developments and information related to Office 365. It includes a discussion area where site members can post questions and answers.

    Troubleshooting the Gmail connection

    The information in this article covers troubleshooting Step 4: Verify that Office 365 can communicate with Gmail. If you successfully created a connection to Gmail from Office 365, you can skip this topic. However, if you were not successful connecting to Gmail from Office 365, perform the following steps.

    Test the connection to the Gmail server

    1. Open Windows PowerShell as an administrator on your computer.

    2. From the Windows PowerShell command window, run Get-ExecutionPolicy.

      The Get-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet tells you which of the four execution policies (policies that determine which Windows PowerShell scripts, if any, will run on your computer) is set. In the next step, we’ll change this setting to remotesigned.

    3. From the Windows PowerShell command window, run Set-ExecutionPolicy remotesigned.

    4. Next, run the following command:

      $session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri "" -Credential $cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    5. When prompted to enter your Windows PowerShell credentials, enter your Office 365 administrator credentials.

    6. Next, run Import-PSSession $session.

      This command provides access so you can test the connection between Gmail and Office 365.

    7. To see a list of Office 365 mailboxes configured on Office 365, run Get-Mailbox. This is just a quick test to verify that we are communicating with Office 365.

    8. Finally, to test the connection between Gmail and Office 365, run the following command:

      Test-MigrationServerAvailability -IMAP -RemoteServer -Port 993 -Security SSL

      You should see Success appear in the Result row. If you see any errors, verify you have entered the command correctly.


    9. Now that you’ve verified that Office 365 can connect to Gmail, it’s important to disconnect from Office 365. To do that, from the Windows PowerShell command window, run Exit.

    10. Troubleshooting is now complete. Return to Step 4: Verify that Office 365 can communicate with Gmail.

  • Chalk Talk for Developers: How to use and debug Background Transfer API issues

    In this talk we will take a look at how to use and debug Background Transfer API issues in your windows Store App.  For a brief preview of the talk, check out this video:

    Please join us on Wednesday February 26th, 2014 from 10am-12pm PST.  We’ll be hosting a live chalk talk with technical experts from our developer support team.

    We’ll look at demos of real-world scenarios, how the technology works, best practices for implementation, and development troubleshooting tips. There will also be plenty of time for you to ask your questions.

    If you are interested, sign up today as space is limited.

    WHAT: How to use and debug Background Transfer API issues

    WHEN: February 26th, 2014. 10am-12pm PST

    WHERE: Online Meeting

    REGISTRATION: email with the subject “Feb 26th Chalk Talk”.

    COST: Free

  • New Windows Azure Training for Partners

    Seems like everywhere you turn these days, Windows Azure is a hot topic.  We get questions daily about where to find some great Windows Azure training.  Well, we’re excited to let our Partners know that a new set of Windows Azure training is available for you.  The training, Partner Practice Enablement: Windows Azure Technical Training, is available in multiple formats (more on that below).

    What Kind of Training is it?  What will it cover?

    The level 200-300  training starts with an introduction to Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks (Infrastructure Services). It delivers the foundational knowledge needed for users intending to run new workloads in Windows Azure or migrate existing workloads from on-premises.

    Students will be introduced to the rich features of Windows Azure Active Directory and see how it can be used to achieve single sign-on across cloud applications, protect application access, enforce multi-factor authentication, and integrate with Windows Server Active Directory. The 8 modules in the training are:




    Introduction to Windows Azure Infrastructure Services


    Windows Azure Infrastructure Services Networking


    Windows Azure Active Directory


    Windows Azure Active Directory Integration


    Cloud Services, Websites and Infrastructure Services


    Development and Test


    SQL Server and SharePoint Server in Windows Azure


    Management and Monitoring of Virtual Machines

    Each module includes an instructional session, Q&A, and self-study guides for additional hands on learning.

    Who should attend?

    Anyone who is new to, or has not worked with Windows Azure at all, can benefit from this training.  The training will have a technical focus, so technical sellers, implementers, and support experts are encouraged to participate.

    When is the training and how do I sign up?

    Web-based live training will run weekly from March 4th until April 24th.  The webcasts are offered twice a day at 7AM and 5PM Pacific time.  The schedule is as follows:

    Module 1: March 4th Module 5: April 8th
    Module 2: March 11th Module 6: April 15th
    Module 3: March 18th Module 7: April 17th
    Module 4: March 25th Module 8: April 24th


    in addition to the live training, we are making self-study recordings of the training sessions available via an MPN Learning Path:


    What does this training cost?

    The self-study content of the Learning Path is provided at no cost.

    For the live webcasts, two Partner Advisory Hours will be deducted from your organization's balance per session independent of the number of attendees from your organization.


    If you have any questions, please send an email to

  • Windows Azure Diagnostic Runtime Configuration

    Visual Studio 2013 enables you to modify the collection of diagnostic data after a cloud service is deployed to Windows Azure. This is a useful technique to collect troubleshooting information from a single instance or to temporarily increase the logging level in order to diagnose a problem. Changes that you made via the Visual Studio Server Explorer will persist until you do a full re-deployment of your cloud service because the diagnostic configuration is written to the wad-control-container in your storage account.

    These are the links shared at the end of the video:

  • Automatically convert your 3D meshes and assets for use in your Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone apps

    In this video blog we talk about two powerful but overlooked features of Visual Studio 2013 that can help to speed up the DirectX development process on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. We will take a look at the Visual Studio 3D asset viewer and modify our 3D model directly in the viewer. We will also take a look at setting up your project to automatically modify your standard 3D mess assets to a format that is more DirectX and Direct3D friendly.