RSS Subscription 168 Posts and 2,769 Comments

Archive for March, 2009

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Deployment – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of this article series. In Part 1, we started off by preparing our servers in preparation for OCS Group Chat Installation. We created our services, created our SQL Database, and assigned permissions.

In this Part, I will go over the installation of our Group Chat Server and Administrative Tools.

Part 1

Part 2

Group Chat OCS 2007 R2 Server Installation

When installing OCS R2 Group Chat  and running the setup executable, you will be asked to install several pieces of software to prepare the environment.

You will be asked to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable. Click Yes to Continue.

You will then be asked to install the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. Click Yes to Continue.

You will then be asked to install the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit version.  Click Yes to Continue.

Once Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 , you will be presented with the Welcome screen which will begin the installation process.  Click Next to Continue.

The next screen is the licensing screen.  Make sure you fully read the entire agreement!  Once you have done so (and I know you will, right?) Click Next to Continue.

Enter your Username and Company information. Click Next to Continue.

Enter the installation path you want the binaries installed to. Click Next to Continue.

When the feature screen appears, you have 2 choices which are both selected at the same time.  Keep in mind, that you must disable one of the options.  You cannot have both the Chat Server and the Compliance Server collocated on the same box.  Make sure the Chat Server is selected and the Compliance Server is not selected.  We will be installing the Compliance Service in the next Part.  Click Next to Continue.

Confirm your installation.  Click Next to Continue.

Installation is ready to proceed.  Click Next to Continue.

During the installation, you will see the Server Configuration wizard appear.  Because we chose the Chat Server to be installed, you will see three Server/Service roles being installed:

  • Lookup Server
  • Channel Server
  • Web Service

Click Next to Continue.

We now want to specify what SQL Instance we want to use.  One thing to keep in mind is to take a look at the collocation technet article to see how databases can be collocated on the same SQL box.  You can find this article here.  You can see the following databases can be on the same SQL Box:

  • Archiving database
  • Monitoring database
  • Group Chat database
  • Compliance database (for Group Chat)

One thing to keep in mind here, is that for each database, it requires its own instance.  In the case of Group Chat database and the Compliance Database, the Compliance Database can be a dedicated database or it can be the same database as the Group Chat database.  In Part 2, we will be using the Group Chat database as the Compliance database.

As you may recall from the OCS R2 Enterprise article series here, we’re using a SQL 2008 x64 Back End.  Make sure port 1433 is allowed inbound.  Instructions on how to do this are documented in that article series.

Specify your Server\Instance and Database.  As stated, I’m just using the default instance for everything since it’s a lab.  Specify your settings accordingly.  Click Next to Continue.

The next screen will just notify you that your databases are empty and that it will create the schema information.  Click Next to Continue.

We will want to specify a Super User.  It’s pretty obvious what this user is.  It’s essentially the Administrator account in AD.  The first time you create AD, you will log in with the Administrator account and start creating other Administrator accounts from there.  The Super User is the same thing.  Because this is a lab, I am using the Administrator account to manage everything.  So in the User name field, I specified my Administrator account and clicked Add. Click Next to Continue.

Specify the name of your pool and the MTLS Certificate that will be used by your Group Chat Server.  You will need to create this certificate beforehand by using LCSCMD, CertSRV website for an internal CA, or using the OCS Administrative Tools.  Click Next to Continue.

Remember I said the Lookup Service is the one service that will be utilized across all Group Chat Servers and that it also needs to be SIP Enabled?  Well now is the time to enter in the Lookup Service credentials and SIP information. Click Next to Continue.

Do the same for your Channel Service. Click Next to Continue.

On the next screen, we’ll be asked for our Compliance settings.  Because this is the first Group Chat Server and we have not yet deployed our Compliance Server, we’ll leave these settings blank and re-visit the configuration later.  Click Next to Continue.

Specify the  directory that will be used for uploads to the Web Service.  You will want to use a UNC path, especially if you’re using multiple Group Chat Servers.  I created a shared folder called WebService.  You will need to ensure your Channel Service has read/write to this share (both Share and NTFS permissions.) Click Next to Continue.

Review your settings. Click Finish to Continue. When finished installing, Click Close.

You will want to ensure that Anonymous Authentication is enabled in IIS on your MGCWebService directory in your Default Web Site.  After doing so, you will want to use your Channel Service account as the credentials used for Anonymous Authentication.  It doesn’t have to be the Channel Account, but just an account that has RTCComponentUniversalServices permissions because the account needs to access the file repository and Message Queuing.

Group Chat OCS 2007 R2 Administrative Tools

As most of the other client and administrative tools installations, I won’t go over the installation procedures as they’refairly straightforward.  So go ahead and install the Administrative Console.  I have installed it on our SHUD-PG1 Server which is the server we installed the Group Chat Server on.

Once installed, go to Start > Programs > Microsoft Office Communications Server R2 > Microsoft Office Communications Server R2, Group Chat Administration Tool

Once you open it, Group Chat Administration will always be set to do an Automatic Logon and use the existing signed on account.

You may have trouble getting this part to work properly.  This is my 2nd time installing and getting Group Chat to work so I’ve went through the pain to get everything to work properly and seamlessly off the bat.  The trick is, during Group Chat installation, you gave it a super user.  You’ll want this to be your Administrator account you’re using to install Group Chat and the system that you will be loading the Administration Tool.  Only a super user can load up the Administrative Tool.  So if you set your Administrator account that you log onto which is also SIP enabled as the Super User, and are logged onto that account when loading up Administrative Tool, everything will just work.

If Automatic Configuration does not work, you can set the Account to Manual Configuration and manually configure the account to use for log-on, DC to use, etc…

You can now create new Chat Rooms on the left, add new Super Users, Chat Room Managers, etc..


Well folks, that is all for Part 2 of this article as well as the 2 part article series.  Hopefully it helps you plan and deploy Group Chat.


Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Deployment – Part 1

Now that Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 is RTM, and that I have already created an article series on how to deploy OCS R2 Enterprise Edition Front End Servers and Edge Servers here, I thought it would be nice to create an article on how to deploy a Group Chat Server with Compliance which is connected to an x64 SQL Server 2008 RTM Back-End Server.

This article series is to guide you through the entire OCS Group Chat deployment process from scratch. Part1 will include the necessary pre-work that is required in order to begin the installation states of the Chat Server. This includes:

  1. Creating our SQL Database
  2. Creating our Group Chat Services and assigning the necessary permissions on SQL and our Group Chat Server

Part 1

Part 2

Lab Setup

Guest Virtual Machines

There will be two new virtual machines being introduced into the same lab I set up for my OCS R2 Article series which is located here.  The same exact lab set up you see in that article series still exist in this lab environment.  The only difference is one out of my two Domain Controllers is running Server 2008 R2 Beta.  The Certificate Services Domain Controller is still running Server 2008.

Two new virtual machines will be introduced.  Two Server 2008 Enterprise (Standard can be used) x64 (x64 required) Member Servers.  One server will contain Group Chat and the other server will contain the Compliance Service.  The Compliance Service requires a dedicated server; something I hope changes in the future.  Both servers will contain a single NIC.


  • You have a domain that contains at least one Server 2003 SP2 Domain Controller (DC)
  • You have configured the IP settings accordingly for all servers to be on the same subnet. I have provided the IP scheme of my lab below, but this will vary depending on your needs and Virtualization Software configuration.
  • You have at least SQL 2005 SP2 server installed. We will be using SQL 2008 installed on Server 2008 Enterprise.
  • You have a copy of Office Communicator (OC) 2007 R2 Group Chat. We will be installing our copy of Group Chat client on our Exchange CAS.

Computer Names

OCS R2 Group Chat Server – SHUD-OCSPG1

OCS R2 Compliance Server – SHUD-OCSPG2

Configuration of OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Server

Processor: 4

Memory: 512MB

Network Type External NIC

Configuration of OCS 2007 R2 Compliance Server

Processor: 4

Memory: 512MB

Network Type External NIC

IP Addressing Scheme (Corporate Subnet)

IP Address – 192.168.1.x

Subnet Mask –

Default Gateway –

DNS Server – (IP Address of the Domain Controller/DNS Server)

Group Chat SQL Database Creation

We will be using the same database for both Group Chat Server as well as the Compliance Server.  It is possible to use a different database for both, but the Compliance Server can also use the Group Chat database.  We will utilizing a single database for both servers.  So let’s go ahead and create our database.

Load up the SQL Management Studio and logon to your instance with someone who has the following permissions (I’m using the Administrator account since it’s a lab):

  • Create Database
  • Create any Database
  • Alter Any database

Right-Click Databases and create a new database.  I called it PG.

We must also ensure the database collation is set to SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS by Right-Clicking our database, choosing Properties, going to the Options page, and choosing SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

Group Chat Service Accounts

Group Chat requires several services which will then need to be manually added to the Local Administrators group.  These accounts then need to be added as SQL Server accounts and be assigned permissions to the SQL Database.

We will be creating 2 services.  You will want to ensure that the Lookup Service is named OCSChat.  The other services can be named anything you want.  Another thing to note, is that if you have multiple Group Chat Servers, OCSChat will be used on all Group Chat Servers as the same Lookup Service needs to be used on all Group Chat Servers.  The Channel Service is unique per server.

OCSChat requires a SIP enabled account.  Because we will need to have an OCS R2 Front End environment already up and running, go ahead and SIP enable the account.  As you can see, I have SIP Enabled this account.

We need to add these two service accounts to our local Administrators group.

SQL Server Accounts and Permissions

Let’s head back into SQL Server Management Studio.  Under Security, we will Right-Click and Create a new Login.  Add both of our OCS Group Chat Service Accounts.  As you can see, both OCSChat and OCSChannel have been added.

We will now need to Right-Click on each Service Account, choose Properties, and choose the User Mapping category.  Select our PG database and assign the service account the role of db_owner.  Do this for both service accounts; both OCSChannel and OCSChat.


Well folks, that is all for Part 1 of this article. For Part 2, I will go through the OCS R2 Group Chat Server installation as well as the Administrative Tools.