Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer: Troubleshoot Office 365 apps & services issues

Formally released as Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer, Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a tool that allows you to analyze, troubleshoot and fix Office 365 apps & other Microsoft services. The tool houses a collection of web-based tools enabling a user to simulate the communication channel between the Exchange client and various environments.

If you are an administrator, it is a must-knowing tool for you that can help you diagnose a number of issues, like Outlook account setup, connectivity issues, password issues, or Outlook stops responding or crashes. It addresses common connectivity issues for servers with Exchanges, Lync/Skype and Office 365. It analyzes remote connectivity for Microsoft services and checks if they are set up and configured properly.

All the tests are performed from the testconnectivity website to the service in question, either on an On-Premises server or Office 365.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

Below are the tests that you can perform using Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer – they are grouped under respective tabs as shown in the screenshot.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

1. Exchange Server: All tests under this tab are for On-Premises Exchange or hybrid Exchange installs.

The tests under this tab are:

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests

  • Exchange Activesync: This test creates a step by step process which mobile device uses to connect to an exchange server using Exchange Activesync.
  • Exchange Activesync Autodiscover: It analyzes steps that an exchange Activesync device uses to obtain settings from the Autodiscover service.

Microsoft Exchange Web Services Connectivity Tests

  • Synchronization, Notification, Availability, and Automatic Replies: This is a basic test that is especially helpful for IT administrators to address external access using Entourage EWS or other Web Services clients. It analyzes many basic Exchange Web Services tasks to confirm they’re working.
  • Service Account Access: This test is more specifically used by application developers. It verifies service account’s ability to access mailboxes with alternate credentials. It also verifies the ability to create and delete items in it, and the ability to access it via exchange Impersonation.

Microsoft Office Outlook Connectivity Tests

  • Outlook Connectivity: This test analyzes the steps Outlook uses to connect from the internet by testing connectivity using both the RPC over HTTP and the MAPI over HTTP protocols.
  • Outlook Autodiscover: This test goes through the steps that Outlook uses to obtain settings from the Autodiscover service.

Internet Email Tests

  • Inbound SMTP Email: It inspects the steps that Internet email server uses to send inbound SMTP email to your domain.
  • Outbound SMTP Email: It checks the outbound IP address for Reverse DNS, Sender ID, and RBL checks.
  • POP Email: It goes through the steps an email client uses to connect to a mailbox using POP3.
  • IMAP Email: It examines the process that an email client uses to connect to a mailbox using IMAP4.

2. Office 365: All of the available tests can be used to test Exchange Online infrastructure. Here are the tests mentioned under this tab:

Office 365 General Tests:

  • Office 365 Exchange Domain Name Server (DNS) Connectivity Test: As the name suggests, it checks the external domain name settings for your verified domain in Office 365 and finds out any issues with mail delivery such as not receiving incoming email from the Internet and Outlook client connectivity issues that involve connecting to Outlook and Exchange Online.
  • Office 365 Lync Domain Name Server (DNS) Connectivity Test: It checks the external domain name settings for your custom domain user in Office 365.
  • Office 365 Single Sign-On Test: It validates if there is no issue in logging on to Office 365 with your on-premises credentials and some basic Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) configuration.

Other tests under this tab category like Exchange ActiveSync Connectivity Tests, Exchange Web Services Connectivity Tests, Office Outlook Connectivity Tests and Internet Email Tests of Office 365 are similar to the Exchange server’s tests.

Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365

Support and Recovery Assistant is a new tool that you can use to solve common Office 365 problems. The app can troubleshoot and fix several common Outlook problems, help install Office client, and run various check to make sure account settings are correct.

To start using it, download from the website (link given at the end) and run. The tool will prompt you to select which app you are having the problem with (refer below).

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

After that, you will be asked to select the problem.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

After it runs a series of diagnostic tests, Support and Recovery Assistant can either fix any problems it finds or tells the user how to fix the problems. The test results are saved in a log file, which users can share with their Office 365 admin or a support engineer. Each time you run the Support and Recovery Assistant, it automatically updates itself to the latest version

3. Skype for Business / Lync: These tests are for all Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business clients, including on and off premises. The tests mentioned under this tab are:

Microsoft Skype for Business Tests

  • Skype for Business Server Remote Connectivity Test: It tests the connectivity to the Skype for a business server.
  • Skype for Business Autodiscover Web Service: This test is used to confirm the remote connectivity for mobile devices and the Skype for Business Windows Store app to your on-premises Skype for Business Autodiscover web service server by establishing a secure HTTPS connection for the root token.

Microsoft Lync Tests

  • Lync Server Remote Connectivity Test: It verifies the remote connectivity to the Microsoft Lync Server.
  • Lync Autodiscover Web Service Remote Connectivity Test: It verifies the remote connectivity for mobile devices and the Lync Windows Store app to your on-premises Lync Autodiscover web service server by establishing a secure HTTPS connection for the root token.
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server Tests
  • Office Communications Server Remote Connectivity Test: It tests the remote connectivity to the Microsoft Office Communication Server

4. Message Analyzer: This tab can be used to analyze email headers, using which you can perform following functions.

  •  View the most important properties and total delivery time at a quick glance.
  • Analyze the received headers and displays the longest delays quickly for easy discovery of sources of message transfer delays.
  • Sort all headers by header name or value.
  • Quickly collapse the sections that you don’t need.

This is useful for an email header, whether generated by Exchange, Office 365, or any other RFC standard SMTP server or agent.

Troubleshooting Office 365 apps & services issues

All you have to do is to visit the web URL and choose the test you want to perform. After the tests are executed, Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer locates the origin of the failure and suggests the tips on how to troubleshoot the issue.

It also offers to automatically fix problems for users or provide instruction on recommended solutions. All the diagnostics results are saved in a log file for users to share with their Office 365 admin or support engineers for further investigation.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a very useful and a mandatory tool that every Exchange on-premises or Exchange Online administrator should be familiar with. Click here to start using the tool. You can download Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365 from here.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.