Lync WP7 client officially revealed at TechEd

So, after the sneek preview i was lucky enough to see a few months back at a Lync Airlift event in Redmond.  The Lync Windows Phone 7 client has been officially announced at TechEd.  Which seems to have set Twitter alight with #Lync #WP7 and #TechEd hashtags!  The world it seems is eager to take Lync and UC to WP7 handsets.

Matt Landis appears to be first past the post with some screen shots http://windowspbx.blogspot.com/2011/05/lync-windows-phone-client-previewed-for.html

In light of the recent news about Microsoft’s purchase of Skype i wonder when news of a WP7 Skype client will follow?

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Lync Network Monitor Parsers

A valuable addition to the troubleshooting tools available in the standard Lync/OCS reskit.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=8a1847fe-c1ad-41e4-98ab-e25e6f62542c

“The Lync Network Monitor Parsers are a set of files that extend the parsers in Microsoft Network Monitor. The Microsoft Network Monitor tool loads these files and uses the rules defined in them to analyze network traffic.”

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WP7 March Update

I’ve just installed the March 2011 WP7 update to my HTC Trophy, and am now graced with copy & paste functionality.  It’s good to see Microsoft acting on the feedback from customers.  Below is the official list of additional features.

March 2011

OS version: 7.0.7390.0*
  • Copy & paste. You asked for it—now it’s here. Just tap a word and drag the arrows to copy and paste it on your phone. You can copy text from emails, text messages, web pages, and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere you can type. To learn more, see Copy & paste.
  • Faster apps and games. Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.
  • Better Marketplace search. We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the Apps or Games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results. Press Search in the Music section of Marketplace to search just the music catalog.
  • Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps. We’ve also improved the experience of downloading apps larger than 20 megabytes, upgrading from trial apps to paid apps, sharing links to apps via email, sorting Xbox LIVE games by release date, and creating an Xbox LIVE account from within the Games Hub.
  • Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering. To learn more, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network.) We’ve also removed the limit on the number of Wi-Fi profiles that you can store and reduced the time it takes to start your phone if you’ve stored lots of Wi-Fi profiles.
  • Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, “David Alexander [Contoso]“).
  • Facebook integration. We’ve improved the experience of syncing Facebook accounts.
  • Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.
  • Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.
  • Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.
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BES 5 Service Pack 3 (With OCS/Lync Client!)

RIM have now released BES 5 SP3, which includes native functionality for OCS and Lync.  This means there is no longer the requirement to install an OCS 2007 R1 CWA server to achieve connectivity with a Blackberry handset.

http://swdownloads.blackberry.com/Downloads/entry.do

http://docs.blackberry.com/en/

Posted in Blackberry, Lync 2010, OCS 2007 R2 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Lync enabling or making Lync changes to a user who is or was a member of the Domain Admins security group

There are already a number of forums posts floating around on this, but it’s something I found out about the hard way, so i’ll blog it in the hope it helps someone else out.

While attempting to make a change to my own Lync user (on a sandpit development environment I’d like to add!) I was presented with the following operation failed error…

Active Directory operation failed on . You cannot retry this operation: “Insufficient access rights to perform the operation 00002098: SccErr: DSID-03150BB9, problem 4003 (INSUFF_ACCESS RIGHTS), data O”.
You do not have the appropriate permissions to perform this operation in Active Directory. One possible cause Is that the Lync Server Control Panel and Remote Windows PowerShell cannot modify users who belong to protected security groups (for example, the Domain Admins group). To manage users In the Domain Admins group, use the Lyric Server Management Shell and log on using a Domain Admins account. There are other possible causes. For details, see Lync Server 2010 Help.

I also found the following errors in the application event log…

Login failed for user ‘OS\Dave.Simm’. Reason: Failed to open the explicitly specified database. [CLIENT: 89.31.238.2]

At this point it’s convenient to mention that I was going against all best practise and Microsoft security models known to man. This is a sandpit/development Lync environment with no other products installed and with only a handful of IT users on it. What had I done that was against best practise? I had added my own everyday Lync sip enabled user into the Domain Admins and CSAdministrators group. Any active directory administrator worth their salt will frown heavily upon this. Admins/Engineers should always have 2 accounts, a normal everyday user account, for Lync, Exchange, Sharepoint, and an admin account with escalated privileges to run admin procedures with.

So, realising the error of my ways, and being pointed in the right direction by the fairly helpful error messages. I took my account out of the Domain Admins group, logged out, and back in using my LyncAdmin user. This user isn’t Lync enabled and is purely an admin account. Only to hit exactly the same issue.
Adding a user account into the Domain Admins group makes changes to the way advanced security permissions are propagated and inherited by a user account. In order to reverse these changes you have to re-inherit these permissions. From dsa.msc (Active Directory Users & Computers) make sure that you are viewing advanced features; from the view menu select Advanced Features.

Find the user in question, edit the users properties, click the security tab, then click advanced. You need to tick the “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent” tick box to re propagate the required permissions.

 

Retry any Lync user changes and this time they should be successful.

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HTC Trophy & Windows Phone 7 Review


“Close, but no cigar”… “So near, yet so far”… “Better luck next time”…

It’s hard to know how to begin to write this post, and it’s even harder for me being the semi Microsoft-fanboy that I am. I’ve been using the HTC Trophy and WP7 (Windows Phone 7) OS for a little over a month now. There aren’t many fully independent and unbiased reviews of the WP7 OS yet, so I thought I’d add this to my blog. Don’t be too scared of the opening line, this OS has lots to offer, but it also needs a lot of extra work before it can rival Blackberry/iPhone/Android competitors.

First impressions of the device and OS are good. Navigation through settings, and preference changes are intuitive and generally very easy. It’s live tile ability where “live tile” developed apps can display notifications and updates without it being opened is great, and mostly very quick at performing. Email setup for corporate Exchange and Google/Hotmail is very simple and fast. For me, email ability of the phone is easily comparable to that of a Blackberry. The phone screen clarity is excellent, and this helps its performance on the gaming front. The handset itself is lightweight and very aesthetically pleasing, just a little scratch prone.

For me, one of the best features is the seamless and unified integration of all the various contact hives that everyone now has. Outlook/Exchange contacts, Facebook contacts, Windows Live contacts and Google Gmail contacts are all brought into one place, and where possible, are linked into a single contact view (would love to see Twitter in this as well). So where previously I had an Outlook corporate contact with an email address attribute, a local contact stored in my phone memory with a phone number, and also that person added as a Facebook friend, this is now all in one place. 1 single contact, with email/phone and any latest status updates and Facebook activity in one place. No duplicates! It also means that all my contacts are preloaded with their Facebook profile picture, so incoming calls from a contact display a picture without any additional configuration… None of that running around and taking pictures of your mates to save against a contact business anymore!

The gaming aspect of the phone is superb, a lot of the marketplace games are xbox live enabled/aware, and so any achievement points go towards your Gamerscore. This is all nicely presented on a front screen live tile as well. Most games utilize in one form or another, the devices accelerometer, which I have to say, in the HTC Trophy, is superb. It is very precise, and I’m hard pushed to fault it in any way. Others use touch screen, and as you would expect are also faultless. The choice of games is still a major grumbling point, as are the prices, but this is still a relatively immature OS, and developers are still very much getting to grips with it. Microsoft are however putting their weight behind developers in a bid to push more games/apps onto the WP7 platform by offering payments to developers. Until Rovio release angry birds (this is of critical importance for use as a business phone!). Skype develop a WP7 client, and there is a fully functional voice guided nav app available, I’m remaining sceptical.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-14/microsoft-pays-mobile-app-developers-to-catch-apple.html

A lot of people have been barking about the lack of muti-tasking, but for me I haven’t found this to be much of an issue. My emails delivers and sync via live tiles without having an app open, and I can play music while using other apps. For me it’s as functional as it needs to be.

So… That’s the positives. It’s probably easier to get the negatives out in a list format, so here goes…

• Copy/Paste

It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again. I just can’t believe Microsoft launched without this function. When I first starting using the phone, I didn’t think I’d miss it…. I do. When manipulating emails, contacts, text messages…. Allsorts. It’s a big oversight, and needs addressing. Quickly.

• Marketplace

It’s new, and is still work in progress, so the lack of apps/games can be forgiven. However, the stability and usability of the marketplace app desperately need improving. It’s impossible to do any kind of granular search within the marketplace. While trying to search for apps, you end up with results for music artists and games. Put this on top of the frequent crashes of the marketplace app itself (which can only be resolved with a reboot) and it’s a real sore point of the OS.
http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsphone7/thread/fc8ad1c7-1db3-4ba3-9b31-c655c4f30ff0

• Calendar

The calendar is functional, and quick, but just missing a few things. In single day view, you cannot see the day name. The only way to determine what day a certain date is. Is by exiting back out to monthly view…. Yes, monthly view, there is no weekly view at all. For someone using this as a Blackberry replacement business phone always arranging, and re-arranging appointments, this is painful.

• UC Ability

I’m a UC engineer working in an environment where presence is everything, people using WM6/Symbian/Android devices all have the OCS clients installed on their devices, so they are permanently available. MS still haven’t released a WP7 OCS client, and by the looks of things, there are no plans to in the near future. For the time being, this is the brick wall reason my company will not be rolling out this device/OS. Which is a shame, you would have thought that a Microsoft OS and Microsoft server software should natively be somewhat functional together.

• Wireless

Currently it isn’t possible to connect to any wireless network with a hidden SSID, and yes, I know the risks, yes I know it doesn’t provide any extra security. The fact remains that some businesses, hotspots, hotels etc, use hidden SSID’s, and for such a small addition, I think this needs addressing.

The simple fact is that this OS has been rushed, and the final result just stinks of small issues that have a big effect on end user impression. It’s rumoured that a big update in the first quarter of this year (2011) will address a lot of my and other users concerns. The amount and quality of marketplace apps will grow over time, and hopefully reduced in price. Until then, the WP7 OS, for me has bridged the gap between the iPhone/Android devices being very much personal gaming machines, and Blackberry devices being hardcore business machines. It still has some way to go before it comes the force that Microsoft hope it to be though.

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OCS Edge Server Wizard Fails

Like many others i have a set procedure for building up new server instances. And one of those procedures is bring the machine fully upto the latest service pack and patch level with all the most recent hotfixes and bug fixes. After running through this procedure recently, then attempting to install the OCS 2007 R2 Edge server services, my install wizard failed, with the following error, and i was left wondering why.

Failure
[0xC3EC78D8] Failed to read the Office Communications Server version information. This can happen if the computer clock is not set to correct date and time


I checked both the time and date of the system, and as i suspected, they were both fine, all were in sync with other network members.

I eventually tracked the issue down to one of my previously installed KB fixes, (KB974571).
It appears that this issue is well known about with the OCS community, here a re a few links on it…
http://communicationsserverteam.com/archive/2009/10/14/632.aspx
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974571

Uninstalling the patch, then rerunning the edge server wizard, resolved my issues, and the install proceeded successfully.

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OCS/Outlook Integration Presence Issues

We have been having a few issues with getting the OCS Presence Indictator working correctly with Outlook 2007. When you hover over the presence jelly bean in the Preview Pane, you get ‘Presence Unknown’ even through OCS and even Sharepoint detect the correct status:

OCS Presence Unknown

After some extensive research, most people recommend the following registry key settings:

“REG_DWORD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\PersonaMenu\RTCApplication=3″
“REG_DWORD HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\PersonaMenu\RTCApplication=3″

“HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\IM] “SetOnlineStatusLevel”=dword:00000003″
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\PersonaMenu]
“QueryServiceForStatus”=dword:00000002

However, this didnt seem to resolve the issue. By experimentation, we tried:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\PersonaMenu]
“QueryServiceForStatus”=dword:00000002

and changed the dword value to 3. The presence is now working as expected. According to the Microsoft site, this can only be set to 0, 1 or 2.

Feel free to investigate and let me know how you get on!

 

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Lync Server 2010 Publishing Topology – MSDE SQL Instance

So after resolving the issue below with regards to installing Lync Server using the wrong credentials, i then hit another problem with the Central Management Store. This time the error was…

Error: An error occurred: “System.UnauthorizedAccessException” “Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0×80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))”

And the event log showed the following…

Log Name: System
Source: LsaSrv

Date: 15/11/2010 11:00:36

Event ID: 6037

Task Category: None

Level: Warning

Keywords: Classic

User: N/A

Computer: LyncPool.LyncTest.Local

Description:
The program sqlservr.exe, with the assigned process ID 2368, could not authenticate locally by using the target name MSSQLSvc/testpool.lynctest.local:49245. The target name used is not valid. A target name should refer to one of the local computer names, for example, the DNS host name. Try a different target name.

I determined that this was because of loopback checking in my particular setup. In that the hostname of my Lync pool server was lyncpool.lynctest.local and my pool name was lynctest.lynctest.local.

The solution was to add a registry key to disable loopback checking.


Run regedit and browse to the following…
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa

Create a dword with the following values
DisableLoopbackCheck Value:1

Oh, and Kudos to Kevin Feasel who’s blog i found this solution on.

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Outlook Signatures Centralized

Keeping every ones Outlook email signature in line with company policy is a nightmare of a task. You often find users edit it slightly with images, different symbols for their phone number and most of all, the constant change in upcoming events or products.

I needed to find a solution that centralised signature management, without the cost of a third party application or more software for IT to support. After searching the internet, VB seemed like the best option. The full script can be downloaded here. Simply download the file and rename it to .vbs.

The script can be deployed as a login script with group policy and gives Administrators:

- Centralised Control over Events and Formatting
- Automated Job Title, Phone Number and Email Address Control
- Piece of mind that corporate image is being portrayed.

 

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