About

Mike Craven is a software developer specializing in the writing of add-ins for Microsoft’s Windows Server Solutions (Windows Server 2016 Essentials, Windows Server 2016 Standard/Datacenter (with WSEE added), and Windows Server 2019 / 2022 / 2025 Standard/Datacenter (with WSEE installed)) and the Microsoft Office suite of applications (Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, etc.).

Mike founded his company, The Office Maven, over twenty years ago (spurred on, and named by, his dear friend Woody Leonhard). He leads a modest life, alongside his wife Renee, in the sunny Southern California area of the United States of America. When Mike’s not busy writing, selling, and supporting his software, he’s out riding mountain bikes with his wife and friends:

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๐Ÿ™„ Never thought we’d see the day arrive, but we’re now living in an absolute clown world! If you can’t recognize what’s happening to us all, then you really should read George Orwell’s 1984"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." โ€“ George Orwell

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"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right." โ€“ George Orwell

๐Ÿ˜‰ Special thanks to Renee Craven, Bridget Simone, Evelyn Woollen, Woody Leonhard, and Alexander Kent for all of their help and encouragement throughout the years. And of course a HUGE shoutout to Microsoft, as without them, none of this would have ever of been possible!

Feel free to contact Mike with any questions or comments via the Support page, or you may…

Ask Mike Anything (anonymously)

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Asked So Far...

  • Someone asked:
    Are you seeing new errors with Server 2016 Essentials and O365 integration? I'm seeing the following error for multiple servers and tennants over the last few days. The last successful deployment was sometime in February. <<SNIP>> Lots of searching suggests either 2012r2 essentials issues, making registry changes, permissions, pcns.zip, etc. None of them make a difference. However, I did notice that the failure went from instant to almost 30 seconds when install .net 4.7.1.
    • Mike replied:
      See the April 2, 2021 question that was asked below. Other than that, since this particular issue has nothing whatsoever to do with our software products, you'll most likely need to seek assistance directly from Microsoft instead.
  • Someone asked:
    I'm an SMB MSP and loved using the Essentials client backup stuff ever since WHS days. Ran into your stuff, and it's good to see how you're extending its feature-set beyond Server 2016. As a side issue with Essentials, I am prohibited from using the essentials feature on some of my customers because it conflicts with TCP port usage. More specifically, the conflicting software is Dentrix dental practice management software, and TCP port 6602. Dentrix refuses to change their use of this port to another number. Learning that essentials is just a .net app, I was wondering if you wanted to consider finding a way to mod the Essentials use of 6602 to something else? And of course sell it as an addon. There are many who would pay for this (Since the traditional server essentials fits this vertical quite well). <<SNIP>>
    • Mike replied:
      I'm afraid that I've never heard of Dentrix software before, and unfortunately (and as you've stated), Windows Server Essentials is hard-coded to use TCP port 6602 for its provider framework communication between the server and client computers. I don't know of any way to change that port number usage in Essentials. Most likely it would take Microsoft getting involved in order to do so (since they own the source code). Thus, if Dentrix is refusing to allow you to change the port number being used by its software, then you're probably just plain out of luck on that one. ๐Ÿ™
  • Someone asked:
    Please, I have sent you a support question for the product I have bought. No answer yet. It was more than a week ago. Can you please help me out?
    • Mike replied:
      Please contact us, with the User Name from your purchased product, via our official support channel here.
  • Someone asked:
    Hi Mike! This article was of great help to me. Thank you. Can you have a look at this issue please? I think they may be related. Kind regards.
    • Someone replied:
      Hi Mike. Found the fix to that 365/Essentials integration issue. I fixed the issue by installing this. Credit to Jack Summers
    • Mike replied:
      Alas, I'm afraid that I don't (can't) provide general technical support for Windows Server Essentials (nor any of Microsoft's other products). You've posted your support question in the proper location (i.e. over on Microsoft's windows-server-essentials support forum), and so hopefully someone over there will be able to help you out. EDIT (4/19/2021): Glad to hear that you got it resolved. Thanks for sharing the fix. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Someone asked:
    You are my IT HERO.
    • Mike replied:
      ๐Ÿ˜† Thanks for the vote of confidence. Although I'm actually only a lowly software developer, and so IT most definitely isn't my area of expertise. And truth be told, I'm actually a Biochemist/Molecular Biologist by trade (pardon me while I blow the dust off of this ol' graduate degree I seem to have totally forgotten about ๐Ÿ˜› ).
  • Someone asked:
    Hi Mike. You don't happen to still have those Mini icons do you for my sat nav tweaking? The link <<SNIP>> isn't working anymore. Appreciate it thanks. Arrow on nav is lame.
    • Mike replied:
      Alas, I'm afraid not. All of those MINI icon files were deleted many years ago, and apparently, I never made a backup of them. Funny that you tracked me down to ask for them here though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Someone asked:
    Hi Mike, are you having server issues? "Timeout occurred while validating your license" Thank you
    • Mike replied:
      Yes, our webserver/website host had a major building power outage yesterday, and as a result, TheOfficeMaven.com was taken down for around 22 hours in all. However, everything is now fully operational once again. My sincerest apologies for the unexpected outage. BTW, this is the first time that anything like this has ever happened in the 20+ years that we've been with the hosting company.
  • Someone asked:
    What happened to the WorkFolders 2 Users License? I would like to purchase a 2 User WorkFolders license.
    • Mike replied:
      I'm afraid that product has now been depreciated. You'll need to purchase the 5-user "Starter Edition" of WSE WorkFolders instead (i.e. 3 additional users for only $10 USD more).
  • Someone asked:
    I have a client that moved away from Server 2011 to Server 2019 standard. They would like some of the 2011 Essentials features back, issue is the 2019 server is now running their small domain. Is it possible to add the Essential experience over a active DC?
    • Mike replied:
      For the best results, I always recommend starting with a brand new out-of-the-box install of Windows Server 2019 when attempting to install the Windows Server Essentials Experience (WSEE) on it. However, Microsoft does support installing WSEE in an existing AD environment. Basically, the Configure Windows Server Essentials wizard will recognize that the server is already configured as an AD DC, and it will then configure Windows Server Essentials on it accordingly. I'd make sure that you have a good backup of your server before proceeding though (just in case you happen to run into any issues and need to restore the server back to its previous configuration).
  • Someone asked:
    I have server 2019 installed in existing domain of server 2008. both standard versions. I want to add essentials experience on standard server 2019 environment. I read your brief on possibility of copying related files and reg keys from essentials 2016, but there is no essentials server in existing environment.. Any thoughts?
    • Mike replied:
      Yes, that "should" work (although I've never personally tested it with an old, and seriously out of date, 2008 DC). Since your 2019 server is simply running as a member server within your existing domain, you can go ahead and install the Windows Server Essentials Experience (WSEE) on it (either via our WSEE Installer, or by manually installing it for yourself).
  • Someone asked:
    Where can I get the best price for Windows Server 2016, I need a 20-User Cal
    • Mike replied:
      I have absolutely no idea since we're not a Microsoft (re)seller.
  • Someone asked:
    Hello, I just want to ask few questions about your WSEE Installer, how to buy, apply, and the price, .etc. What is the proper channel to get in contact?
  • Someone asked:
    Hi Tried to install WSE RemoteApp on Server 2016 Essentials and it fails with a message saying it couldn't validate the install? It's a clean Essentials build - DC enabled but no Remote Service Roles installed. Any ideas?
  • Someone asked:
    I need to have a remote web access using the ssl certificate installed on server 2019 or WSE2019. what do i need to do and what is the cost?
  • Someone asked:
    Tried to install trial of WSE REMOTEAPP 2012 R2 Version: 1.255.1419.0 but installation fails with the message "the addin can not be installed" with no further explanation. I would like to evaluate this addin, with a view to purchase, but can't if it won't install, do you have any suggestions?
    • Mike replied:
      Are you certain that you are installing the proper version of the WSE RemoteApp product for your installed version of Windows Server Essentials? Please note that there are separate "2012" and "2012 R2" versions in order to match the separate "Windows Server 2012 Essentials" and "Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials" versions of Windows Server Essentials. The two versions are not interchangeable. Other than that, you can take a look in the Event Viewer applet on your server (under Windows Logs -> Application) just to see if a reason has been logged there for the installation failure. I just tried installing Version 1.255.1419.0 of WSE RemoteApp 2012 R2 on a fresh install of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard with the Windows Server Essentials Experience server role installed), and it is working just fine for me here.
  • Someone asked:
    Hi, Is there one manual to be able to configure properly the WSE Remote App 2016? Thanks.
  • Someone asked:
    hey server meister! I have a an XP software program and was wondering if old XP programs work using your solutions. Please let me know and Thanks in advance.
    • Mike replied:
      As long as the old XP software program can be installed directly on the server (and be run from a standard Remote Desktop Connection), then it will indeed work with my products.
  • Someone asked:
    I kinda need a licence for 1 user with unlimited apps. Can you offer me something like this?
    • Mike replied:
      I'm afraid not as the license editions are actually hard-coded into the program and so there is no way to adjust the number of allowed users and/or published RemoteApp programs outside of what is currently offered.
  • Someone asked:
    Is user licensing concurrent or assigned users?
    • Mike replied:
      Licensing is based on assigned (or "allowed") users.
  • Someone asked:
    Confused on the license. If I am running 2012 R2 Essentials What is the difference between WSE RemoteApp 2012 R2 and WSE QuickBooks 2012 R2. I intend to use it to access QuickBooks and some other apps. Can I just purchase WSE RemoteApp, or do I need both? Sorry for the dumb question. Or is there a reason why to use just WSE QuickBooks.
    • Mike replied:
      WSE QuickBooks is one of my older "legacy" add-ins. It has been superseded by WSE RemoteApp. Basically, WSE QuickBooks only allows you to use QuickBooks as a RemoteApp, whereas WSE RemoteApp allows you to publish any application that is installed on the server as a RemoteApp (including QuickBooks). Therefore, it sounds like WSE RemoteApp would be a better match for you.