Douglas Bowersox presenting on the Lync compatible Endpoints from Sennheiser at the PHXUCUG

Our next meeting is on Tuesday April 30th at 3:30pm.  This meeting we will have Douglas Bowersox presenting on the Lync compatible Endpoints from Sennheiser.  Douglas is the Area Sales Manager-Telecom for the southwest at Sennheiser.   This presentation will be live at the Microsoft office and available remotely via Lync.  Remote attendance is limited so if you can, please show up at the Microsoft Office.  Lync details are available when you register.  Register to attend at this linkhttps://clicktoattend.microsoft.com/en-us/Pages/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=169604 Hope to see you all there.

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 RTM

Stop the Presses...Microsoft Lync Server 2010 has RTM'd!

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 was released to manufacturing last night allowing all of us who have been using/working with the product to move forward with our lives...finally! :) The official announcement can be found here. Please join me in congratulating the MS UC team on meeting their release goals and starting the conversation for wave 15.

Exchange 2007 Roll-up 5 Released

Exchange 2007 RU5 was released yesterday approximately 6 weeks after RU4 was released. The current release corrects numerous bugs with the complete list found athttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/941421. The roll-up does not require a reboot but may take a considerable amount of time to install so be prepared. In testing I have not encountered any issues installing the roll-up and unlike RU4 all services did start as expected. Expect to see the RU released via Microsoft Update the first half of December. Until then, you can download the update directly from Microsoft Download at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=652ed33a-11a1-459c-8ffe-90b9cbfe7903&displaylang=en&tm.

Changing the External OCS ABS/Web Conferencing URL

It is not uncommon that I am asked "How do I change the external URL for conferencing within OCS?" There are multiple reasons for a user needing/wanting to change the URL, most often it being either they skipped the entry during setup (it does say <optional>) or the have decided to change the name. Whatever the reason is, the actual update is simple.

The update it self is updating the SQL or MSDE database with the new information. While it is possible to manually 'hack' the database and edit the tables directly, the UC team has made the process much easier using LCSCMD. LCSCMD is a command line application that may be found on the OCS server CD under setup or on your C drive of an OCS server located at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007.

To execute the command, simply type:

Lcscmd /web /action:updatepoolurls /externalwebfqdn:externalserver.dnsname.com /poolname:poolname

The externalserver.dnsname.com is the DNS name that is resolvable from the outside and is your 'reverse proxy' role as defined in the documentation. the poolname is only the short name of the pool. For SE this would be your server name (server.contoso.com would be server) and for EE it is the common pool name (pool01.contoso.com would be pool01).

Free/busy (aka Calendar information) within Office Communicator 2007

I have been fielded multiple questions lately about the mysteries of the calendaring information within Office Communicator 2007. Why does my email and SIP URI need to be the same? Why does Communicator Web Access (CWA) not pull information but it can display it? Where does the information pull/push come from? What versions of Exchange server are supported?

Understanding how and where the calendering information is relatively simple - in fact, the basic concept for the user free/busy information is back-end agnostic - Outlook on the desktop is the key component. Office Communicator uses Outlook (natively 2003 sp2 and newer) to make MAPI calls to retrieve the information. This small detail means Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, and service pack level - it really does not matter (from a free/busy perspective) - the client can and will integrate!

This integration is possible when the user's SIP URI matches the user's email address; but what happens when this is not the case? If you install Office Communicator on a home computer and sign into your corporate OCS system, can (and should) it retrieve information from your local Outlook? It can (the should is up to you) if a simple registry change is made. By default Office Communicator compares the SIP URI to the email address of the default email profile and if they do not match, it does not integrate the two. The logic is simple - if the two integrate, conversation history, contacts, and free/busy will be folded into the OC experience. If they are not the same, an integration error is presented.

To modify the registry to all integration of your free/busy and conversation history regardless of your email address run regedt32 and set the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator
Key (you may have to create this yourself): DisableEmailComparisonCheck
DWORD: 00000001

Make sure Communicator restarts to load the new registry information (or simply log out and back in) to force the integration. Remember - this registry change will integrate ANY Outlook email address with ANY OCS login so test and make the end result is what you are looking for.

Communicator 2007 Update

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 was recently updated (as mentioned in the Microsoft KB article 954439 http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=954439) but the location of the hotfix itself has been a mystery to many - not any longer! ;)

Microsoft's sustained engineering folks need and want to track the download of the hotfix and in order to do so each person must request the hotfix at the following address:http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=954439&kbln=en-us

The request is quick and easy and once the form is filled out a link to the download (and the password to decrypt the file) will be sent to your email generally within 5 minutes.

Office Communication Server 2007 R2 Announced

Office Communication Server (OCS) 2007 R2 has finally been announced. There are many great and new features that have been announced and the full link can be found here:

http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/en/us/default.aspx

The big ticket items include:

  • 64-Bit Operating System Required (Windows 2003 sp2 or Windows 2008)
    • The migration process is just that - a migration - so you will have to install a 64-bit operating system, install OCS 2007 R2, and then import or migrate your users into the new OCS environment
  • Dial-in Audio Conferencing
    • Allows an external number to be called - a bridge number - so parties with only phone access can join a Live Meeting or a Conferencing Bridge
  • Group Chat
    • A persistent chat window, much like a newsgroup or forum, where individuals can ask questions, see past messaging, etc.
  • Secretary/Admin Console
    • Now one person can see and field calls using OC using the new Attendant Console. The admin will also be able to modify their delegate's status
  • Response Groups
    • Think of a call center or help desk - this feature will be a hunt group using variables defined by the admin per group
  • Single-number Reach
    • Allows a single number to automatically call on OC person based off of location and availability

As I see and hear more, you can find out about it here!