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Archive for October, 2008

October Communicator 2007 MSP Patch

Microsoft has released an updated MSP Patch for Office Communicator 2007. This can be downloaded here and more information is available here.

This is resolves the following issues:

* KB958659 – When you use telephony mode=4, you can only manually set the URI information in Communicator 2007

* KB957793A Communicator 2007 client is unusually slow at startup

* KB956734The presence status of Communicator 2007 changes to “Away” for all Terminal Server users when one user locks the desktop on a Windows Server 2008-based computer.

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OCS ABServer Issue with DNAT Load Balancing

Whenever load balancing and/or redundancy is needed in Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, a Hardware Load Balancer needs to be utilized (Windows NLB not supported). This is fine, but you may run into an issue where you cannot run the ABServer.exe (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007\Server\Core\ABServer.exe). This issue is where the ABServer.exe thinks the RTCSRV service is not running.

The reason for this is the ABSServer.exe utilizes port 135 against the Pool Name.  Using DNAT with a Load Balancer will not allow this traffic to go through.  Becuase of this, ABServer thinks the RTCSRV service is not running.

This can easily be temporarily fixed by going into the HOSTS file (C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) and modifying your Poolname to point to the IP Address of your Front End Server.  For example, our Pool’s Virtual IP Address on the Hardware Load Balancer is 10.10.135.220 and the Front End Server’s NIC IP Address is 10.10.135.42.  So what we must do is temporarily point pool.domain.com to 10.10.135.42 in our hosts file.

We can see that now the ABSServer -syncnow command successfully runs.

So how can we automate this all so we don’t have to bother going through all these steps?  Well, here’s a VBScript file created by one of my talented coworkers Mark Dobberstein  that’ll change your hosts file, run ABServer -RegenUR and ABServer -Syncnow and set the hosts file back.

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'On Error Resume Next
set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
 
Const ForReading = 1, ForWriting = 2, ForAppending = 8
 
 
Set oFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
 
sHostFile = objShell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts")
 
oFSO.CopyFile sHostFile, sHostFile & ".bak", TRUE
 
Set filein = oFSO.OpenTextFile(sHostFile,ForAppending)
 
filein.Writeline "10.10.135.42       ocspool.domain.com"
 
filein.close
Set filein = Nothing
 
objShell.Run """C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007\Server\Core\ABServer.exe"" -regenur", 1, TRUE
objShell.Run """C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007\Server\Core\ABServer.exe"" –syncnow", 1, TRUE
'objShell.Run "Notepad.exe", 1, TRUE

 
oFSO.CopyFile sHostFile, sHostFile & ".bak2", TRUE
 
oFSO.CopyFile sHostFile & ".bak" , sHostFile, TRUE
 
oFSO.DeleteFile sHostFile & ".bak"

Make sure to change the IP Address and Poolname within the script. The IP Address Listed should be the IP Address of the NIC on the Front End Server.

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OCS R2 Information

OCS R2 information is starting to be released.  The features look pretty neat.  I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

Dial-in audioconferencing. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 enables businesses to eliminate costly audioconferencing services with an on-premise audioconferencing bridge that is managed by IT as part of the overall communications infrastructure.

Desktop sharing. This feature enables users to seamlessly share their desktop, initiate audio communications and collaborate with others outside the organization on PC, Macintosh or Linux platforms through a Web-based interface.

Persistent group chat. This enables geographically dispersed teams to collaborate with each other by participating in topic-based discussions that persist over time. This application provides users with a list of all available chat rooms and topics, periodically archives discussions in an XML file format that meets compliance regulations, provides tools to search the entire history of discussion on a given topic, and offers filters and alerts to notify someone of new posts or topics on a particular topic.

Attendant console and delegation. This allows receptionists, team secretaries and others to manage calls and conferences on behalf of other users, set up workflows to route calls, and manage higher volumes of incoming communications through a software-based interface.

Session Initiation Protocol trunking. This feature enables businesses to reduce costs by setting up a direct VoIP connection between an Internet telephony service provider and Office Communicator 2007 without requiring on-premise gateways.

Response group. A workflow design application manages incoming calls based on user-configured rules (e.g., round-robin, longest idle, simultaneous), providing a simple-to-use basic engine for call treatment, routing and queuing.

Mobility and single-number reach. This extends Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile functionality to Nokia S40, Motorola RAZR, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, allowing users to communicate using presence, IM and voice as an extension of their PBX from a unified client.*

There are also additional features such as:

  • Single Number Reach
  • Team Calling
  • New Server Roles
  • High Definition Video
  • SQL 2008 Support
  • Auto-Updates for Communicator
  • Music on Hold
  • Voice Memos
  • Desktop Sharing through Communicator
  • Communicator Mobile for Java
  • Join Conferencing from Web
  • OCS Attendant
  • Much more!

Here are some links to get more information:

Aaron Tiensivu

Matt Wade

NoJitter

NoMorePhones

Jeff Schertz

Microsoft Press Release

Updates:

Voicecon Amsterdam 2008 Video

TechNet Edge Attendant Interface Video

TechNet Edge What’s New in Conferencing Video

What’s new in Communicator, Communicator Web Access, and Devices Video

Group Chat Video

Screenshots

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