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What is User Location Settings in Office 365 ?

Did you ever tried to assign Office 365 license to a user and press save and you got the below error


So I have many questions now:

1- What is the user location settings ?

2- Why it is not replication from the Country field in the Domain controller (AD Sync tool)

Office 365 actually does know the user’s country and you can verify this via PowerShell or in the Exchange Online Global Address List. If you look at a cloud user via PowerShell, you’ll also see there is a separate “UsageLocation” attribute; this attribute is the one used by licensing.

Some features within Office 365 are not allowed in certain countries and it is “UsageLocation” that determines this.

For example, if you try to enable Unified Messaging for a user with a “UsageLocation” of “India”, you’ll receive the following message:




So finally i got what is the use of this attribute

Now why it is not replication from the domain controller ?

If you look at the connectors in DirSync and AADSync, you’ll see that “UsageLocation” in the Azure Active Directory is mapped to “msExchUsageLocation” on-premises.

What’s interesting about this is that you can populate the attribute either in the cloud or on-premises; most attributes are only writable on one side or the other. Based on the flow rules, the on-premises value will take precedence here and overwrite existing data in the cloud.

Valid values for “msExchUsageLocation” appear to be the same as those for the “Country” field (attribute name = “c”); basically it’s the 2-letter ISO code for the country.

So you can streamline your licensing process a bit by taking the value of “Country” and writing it to “msExchUsageLocation” in your on-premises Active Directory; DirSync / AADSync will then populate “UsageLocation” in the cloud based on this data.

The Result

  • The “UsageLocation” attribute is separate from “Country”
  • Office 365 features may vary based on “UsageLocation”
  • You can populate “UsageLocation” via the “msExchUsageLocation” attribute in Active Directory
  • Values populated in the on-premises Active Directory will overwrite those populate in the cloud

Source: Office 365 – Assign Licensing “User Location” via Active Directory

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