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Determining how users are accessing their mailboxes in Office 365

16 Jun 2013 by Emma Robinson

In this blog post, we will show you how to create a report that shows which methods your Office 365 users are using to connect to their mailbox.

You might find this useful if you are trying to work out if your employees who are licensed for Outlook are actually using it. You may be able to save money on your licencing costs by moving employees who are only using Outlook Web Access (OWA), ActiveSync or POP3 to a Kiosk Licence.

Since Wave 15, the new version of Office 365, we are able to report on the following connection methods:

  • OWA – Outlook Web Access/Webmail
  • MAPI – Outlook Desktop Application
  • EAS – Exchange ActiveSync, most modern smartphones
  • IMAP – Older email clients/Blackberries
  • POP3 – Outlook Express etc
  • EWS – Exchange Web Services
  • MOWA – Mobile Outlook Web Access
  • REST – via REST API
  • Outlook – Outlook client

There are two neat new PowerShell cmdlets available which we use to get this information out. Both of them can be restricted to use the StartDate and EndDate parameters to get information out by a particular day (Note: You need to pass the dates in US Format – mm/dd/yyy).

There are many more options available which I recommend you explore on Microsoft TechNet.

Overview Report

The first cmdlet we will be using is Get-ConnectionByClientTypeReport.

This command shows you an overview of all the connection types made into your organisation and is useful when you need to work out if ANYONE on your company is using a particular protocol.

It’s pretty easy to use, as you can see here:
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop> Get-ConnectionByClientTypeReport -StartDate 06/01/2013 -EndDate 06/02/2013
TenantName Date ClientType Count
---------- ---- ---------- -----
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 OWA 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 EWS 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 EAS 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 IMAP 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 MAPI 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 00:00:00 POP3 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 OWA 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 EWS 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 EAS 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 IMAP 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 MAPI 0
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 01/06/2013 00:00:00 POP3 0

Detail Report by User

The Get-ConnectionByClientTypeDetailReport cmdlet digs into more detail about exactly how each user accesses their own mailbox. It is also pretty straight forward to use.
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop> Get-ConnectionByClientTypeDetailReport -StartDate 06/01/2013 -EndDate 06/13/2013
TenantName Date WindowsLiveID UserName ClientType Count
---------- ---- ------------- -------- ---------- -----
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 12/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan EAS 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 11/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan EAS 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 10/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan EAS 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 10/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan EWS 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 10/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan MAPI 1
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 02/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan OWA 1

What about if we only want to find employees who have used MAPI to access their mailbox? Easy.
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop> Get-ConnectionByClientTypeDetailReport -StartDate 06/01/2013 -EndDate 06/13/2013 | WHERE "ClientType" -eq "MAPI"
TenantName Date WindowsLiveID UserName ClientType Count
---------- ---- ------------- -------- ---------- -----
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 10/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan MAPI 1
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop>

Now, what about exporting it to a CSV file so you can work with it in Excel?
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop> Get-ConnectionByClientTypeDetailReport -StartDate 06/01/2013 -EndDate 06/13/2013 | WHERE "ClientType" -eq "MAPI" | Export-CSV "ConnectionByType.csv"
TenantName Date WindowsLiveID UserName ClientType Count
---------- ---- ------------- -------- ---------- -----
alantest4.onmicrosoft.com 10/06/2013 0... alan@alantes... alan MAPI 1
PS C:\Users\burns_000\Desktop>