Office 365 – User Licensing basics using PowerShell

I’ve been doing quite a bit of work around Office 365 lately, and have been getting a number of question’s around licensing of users.

In this post ill cover the most basic commands needed for managing users. Sometime i’ll hopefully find the time to write a post covering some of the more detailed options available when managing licenses.

Salamander Active Directory
Firstly, I should say that Salamander Active Directory can now handle the Licensing needs for most schools.

It can be used to manage the licenses for existing users as well as new starters and leavers.

Connecting to Office 365
The first step is to connect to Office 365. If your not familar with this, have a look at this post:

List all the License Plans
Licenses are packaged into plans. When you are working in Office 365 online, you’ll see the ‘display’ name for these, but when working in Powershell you need to know their ‘real’ name, or AccountSKU.

You can very quickly get a list of the AccountSKU’s in your Tenancy using:

#Basic command

#More detailed information
Get-MsolAccountSku | Format-Table AccountSkuId, SkuPartNumber, ActiveUnits, ConsumedUnits

Service Plans
Once you’ve established the names of the Plans, it is often useful to look at the service plans inside those. Often it may be that a user doesn’t need to have all the available service plans when configuring licenses.

In my Office 365 setup, i have a number of License plans, including:


In the Office 365 Admin Centre this shows as:


In Powershell, you can get a list of these service plans using:

$ServicePlans = Get-MsolAccountSku | Where {$_.AccountSkuId -eq "SalamanderSoft:ENTERPRISEPACK"}

This will list the available service plans in the Pack selected.

In my tenancy these are:


Seeing the licenses for a single user
Sometimes its useful to view the license status for an exsiting user. This is easily done using the following:

$user = ""
(Get-MSOLUser –UserPrincipalName $user).Licenses[0].ServiceStatus


Add a License for a single user
Adding a license with a full pack is very straight forward and can be done with a single command.

Here i am using the variable $user to define the user in question.
You could just add the Full UPN of the user instead.


$user = ""
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $user -AddLicenses SalamanderSoft:ENTERPRISEPACK 

Adding a License using License Options
Where a user doesn’t need to get the full pack, you can add specific set of plans, by using Licence Options.

In this example, i have used the license options parameter to add the license, with some of the options disabled.

#Set License Options (to disable various plans)
$MyLicenseOptions = New-MsolLicenseOptions -AccountSkuId SalamanderSoft:ENTERPRISEPACK -DisabledPlans OFFICESUBSCRIPTION, RMS_S_ENTERPRISE,MCOSTANDARD

#Set Licenses using the options above
Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $user -AddLicenses SalamanderSoft:ENTERPRISEPACK -LicenseOptions $MyLicenseOptions

This will result in the Office 365 Admin page looking like this:


Removing a License for a single user
We can also remove the license for a single user with a single command.

Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $user -RemoveLicenses SalamanderSoft:ENTERPRISEPACK

Windows Phone – New toy :)

In Mid-May I got my hands on a Windows phone for the first time. A Nokia Lumia 920.

Although its not currently my daily use phone, it will be soon and I have been gearing up to use it, and I have to admit, I like it very much.

My previous phone was an iPhone 5, which has been a very good phone, but it was time for a change.


In phone terms I’m a fairly basic user compared to many these days. I’m rarely more than 20 feet from a desktop PC or a Laptop, so do most things through those.

I use my phone as, almost unbelievably, a phone. Its calls people, sends text messages and that’s generally it.

I will do the odd email from the Sofa or in bed if i can’t be bothered moving, but they are rarely more than a few words.

I have used office on it though to briefly read some documents, and expect that I’ll use One Note on it quite a bit when I’m not in the office.

It may be missing some of the features of the latest handsets, but nothing that will affect me.

Wireless Charging
My favourite feature by far is the wireless charging ability. I bought the Nokia DT-900 charging pad soon after getting the phone, and haven’t used a cable since.

Even in it’s quite large case (OtterBox Commuter), the wireless charging has been working flawlessly and I dont know how i’ve lived without it.

No longer am I scrabbling around trying to find the charger, just plonk it on the pad and off you go.

I’d read reports that you had to be careful how you placed it on the pad to make sure you get a connection, but so far I’ve just been dropping it on the pad in any position and its been running fine.

I’ve now been using my Nokia Lumia as my daily and only phone for over a month now and have found it to be great.

I’ve found somethings that I used to like on my iPhone which are not quite a good, such as the timer (which i used instead on a kitchen timer) and the flashlight.

The first was easily fixed as i know have a proper Salter kitchen timer. The later is slightly more annoying, but as a camper, i’m rarely more than a few feet from some form of torch.

I’m very much enjoying the larger screen, and have found the Sound quality to be very good. In-fact, better than the iPhone’s was.

It may not be quite as ‘shiny’ as the iPhone, but it does make a great phone.