File Transfers in Microsoft Lync Online

A new post on InsideLync.com about file transfer support in Microsoft Lync Online: http://blog.insidelync.com/2011/10/file-transfers-in-microsoft-lync-online.

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Microsoft Lync Remote PowerShell Administration

A new post on InsideLync.com – Microsoft Lync Remote PowerShell Administration (http://blog.insidelync.com/2011/08/remote-lync-powershell-administration/).

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Microsoft Shares Video Tour of its Cloud Datacenters

In case you missed it, a glimpse into Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure used to power Lync, Exchange, and SharePoint in Office 365.

http://blog.insidelync.com/2011/07/microsoft-shares-video-tour-of-its-cloud-datacenters/

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New RoundTable Firmware Upgrade

A new firmware update for the Microsoft RoundTable was released on June 15, 2011.

You can download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=17500.  It is just over 18 Mb.

The list of issues it addresses can be found in KB article 2559123: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2559123.

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Configuring User Federation, Remote Access, and Public IM in Lync

If you have existing scripts for OCS user configuration that are being re-purposed for Lync, this blog post might be helpful: http://blog.insidelync.com/2011/05/configuring-user-federation-remote-access-and-public-im-in-lync/.

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Federating OCS 2007 R2 and Lync Online in Office 365 Beta

I recently federated an on-premise OCS 2007 R2 deployment with a Lync Online domain, and wanted to highlight something that is not well documented.
The procedure is largely the same on from the on-premise OCS Edge has it is for adding any other Federated partner – you add the Federated partners SIP domain has an Allow federated partner on the OCS Edge Access server.
What is not well documented, is that when you add the Lync Online SIP domain to the OCS Edge, you need to specify the option Access Edge server associated with this domain to be sipfed.online.lync.com.  This is because the DNS SRV record associated with your *.onmicrosoft.com domain currently resolves to sipdir.online.lync.com but the access edge that is capable of handing it is sipfed.online.lync.com.
In addition to this, a currently limitation to be aware of, is that Lync Coexistence is not supported right now in the Office 365 Beta.  This means that Lync does not support cloud/server co-existence between Lync Online and on-premise using a single domain.  In otherwords, the Federated domain cannot match your Lync or OCS on-premise domain.  This will be supported in the future; I have not heard a date of when – I am guessing when Office 365 is made Generally Available.

I recently federated an on-premise OCS 2007 R2 deployment with a Lync Online domain in the Office 365 Beta, and wanted to highlight something that is not well documented.

The procedure for federating is largely the same from the on-premise OCS side as it is for adding any other Federated partner – you add the Federated partners SIP domain has an allowed federated partner on the OCS Edge Access server.

What is not well documented, is that when you add the Lync Online SIP domain to the OCS Edge, you currently (May 2011) need to specify the optional partner Access Edge server that is associated with this domain to be sipfed.online.lync.com.  This is because the DNS SRV record associated with your *.onmicrosoft.com domain currently resolves to sipdir.online.lync.com but the Lync Online Access Edge that is capable of handing it is sipfed.online.lync.com.

A sample screen shot in the UI where you configure this on the OCS Access Edge is show below:

OCS Federation with Lync Online

If you just add your Lync Online domain and not the associated Access Edge, you will get the following error in the Lync or Communicator client on the on-premise side:

Office 365 Federation Error

In addition to this, a current limitation to be aware of is that Lync coexistence is not supported right now (May 2011) in the Office 365 Beta.  This means that Lync does not support cloud/server co-existence between Lync Online and on-premise using a single domain.  In otherwords, the Federated domain cannot match your Lync or OCS on-premise domain.  This will be supported in the future – I have not heard a date of when.

References

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Microsoft to Acquire Skype

June 30, 2011 Update: Office 365 To Get Skype Integration. It appears Microsoft will integrate Skype functionality into Office 365 voice and video conferencing: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231000726.

June 17, 2011 Update: Microsoft Wins Antitrust Approval From FTC To Buy Skype: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110617-713214.html.

This is not Microsoft OCS/Lync news per se, but in case you missed it, this morning Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire Skype: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2011/may11/05-10CorpNewsPR.mspx.

This is exciting news – the acquisition in itself significantly extends Microsoft’s Unified Communication’s reach to many more millions of people world-wide, and the potential of integration with Microsoft Lync, the Office platform, and other Microsoft devices is powerful.

From the press release: “Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms”.

The thought of potentially having Skype users in my Lync client and vice-versa is appealing!


Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
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Integrating OCS 2007 R2 and Polycom Telepresence

A quick tip to anyone integrating the Polycom HDX 8000 video conferencing unit with Microsoft OCS 2007 R2.
When you create the OCS 2007 R2 user to be used for the Polycom HDX 8000 (aka Conference Room User), a key requirement is that this OCS 2007 R2 user CANNOT be fully enabled for Enhanced Presence (by full enabled, I mean that the OCS R2 has the “Enabled enhanced presence” checkbox enabled on their account AND have logged in at least once with Office Communicator 2007 or Communicator 2007 R2).
The user can have the Enhanced Presence checkbox enabled, they just must not have signed into OCS 2007 R2 with a Communicator 2007, 2007 R2, or Communicator Web Access (in OCS 2007 R2).
When you create a new user in OCS 2007 R2 this Enhanced Presence checkbox is enabled by default. The state that the OCS user is in before they sign into OCS at least once with Communcator 2007 or 2007 R2 is referred to as “Stage 2″ in this blog article which describes the 3 stages an OCS account can exist in regards to enhanced presence: http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2008/03/06/differentiating-between-stages-of-enhanced-presence.aspx.
For the adventurous spirits out there, I attempted to ‘revert’ the OCS 2007 R2 Conference Room User from Stage 3 to Stage 2 by changing the associated “RichMode” value to False for the user in the OCS database, and this did not work. I believe signing in the first time with Communicator 2007 or 2007 R2 also changes some other settings.
Also, if you encounter this error “The registrar has rejected the system’s attempt at registration”, Jeff Schertz has a good blog write-up on why this could be happening and how to resolve it: http://blog.schertz.name/2011/01/hdx-sip-registration-with-server-2008-r2/.
For more on integrating the Polycom HDX 8000 with OCS, see the
Polycom® HDX and RMX™ Systems Integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Deployment Guide
http://downloads.polycom.com/bridging_collab/rmx/relnotes/OCS_Deployment.pdf

A quick tip to anyone integrating a Polycom Room Telepresence solution (e.g. the HDX series) with Microsoft OCS 2007 R2.

If you are having trouble signing into OCS 2007 R2 with the OCS conference room user on the Polycom unit, read-on, and consider upgrading the software on the Polycom.

Older Polycom software had a requirement that the OCS 2007 R2 user used with the Polycom unit (aka ‘Conference Room User’) COULD NOT be fully enabled for Enhanced Presence. By “fully enabled” I mean that the “Enabled enhanced presence” check-box was enabled on the OCS account AND the account has been logged into at least once with Office Communicator 2007, Communicator 2007 R2, or Communicator Web Access.

Once the OCS 2007 R2 conference room user was enabled for enhanced presence and had logged into OCS 2007 R2 at least once, the Polycom unit could not sign-in.

Enhanced Presence is supported on newer software releases for the HDX units (for awhile now). Recent Polycom support guides and software downloads can be found at the bottom of this page: http://support.polycom.com/PolycomService/support/us/support/strategic_partner_solutions/microsoft_software_download.html.

The latest version of the Microsoft UC Integration Guide that covers both Lync and OCS is available here: http://support.polycom.com/global/documents/support/setup_maintenance/products/video/Deploying_Visual_Comm_Admin_Guide_WV4.pdf.

Some older Polycom guides still show in Internet searches and are out-of-date, such as this one:  the Polycom® HDX and RMX™ Systems Integration with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Deployment Guide.

A Refresher on the Multiple States of Enhanced Presence: When a new user is created in OCS 2007 R2 the Enhanced Presence checkbox is enabled by default. The state that the OCS user is in before they sign into OCS at least once with Communicator 2007 or 2007 R2 is referred to as “Stage 2″ in this good blog article which describes the 3 different stages an OCS account can exist in regards to enhanced presence: http://blogs.technet.com/b/lync/archive/2008/03/06/differentiating-between-stages-of-enhanced-presence.aspx.

Tip: For the adventurous spirits out there, I attempted to ‘revert’ an OCS 2007 R2 Conference Room User from Stage 3 to Stage 2 by changing the associated “RichMode” value to False in the OCS database, and this did not work. I believe signing in the first time with Communicator 2007 or 2007 R2 must also change other settings which cannot be reverted.

Also, if you encounter this error “The registrar has rejected the system’s attempt at registration“, Jeff Schertz has a good blog write-up on why this could be happening and how to resolve it: http://blog.schertz.name/2011/01/hdx-sip-registration-with-server-2008-r2/.

For more on OCS 2007 R2 Enhanced Presence see the InsideOCS blog post: Enhanced Presence and Upgrading Communicator Clients.

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Lync Server Adds Support for SQL 2008 R2

See: http://blog.insidelync.com/2011/04/sql-2008-r2-now-supported-for-lync-server-2010/

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