Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Joiny - Joining Lync Meetings without Outlook

A pain we felt when we rolled out Lync 2010 was that there was no easy way to join a pre-scheduled Lync online  meeting without going to Outlook or OWA and clicking the Join Meeting hyperlink.  During our implementation we gave this feedback to the Microsoft Lync team, and eventually we were happy to see the feature added to Lync 2013 in the July Lync 2013 update (MS13-054).

However, in the background I had been working on a Lync add-in to give this functionality to Lync 2010 and 2013 clients.  I got the add-in 'finished' at almost the same time the July update was announced.

While the tool is no longer much use if you have an up-to-date Lync 2013 client, it can still be useful in Lync 2010 - I find it particularly useful in meeting room scenarios, where it is painful to have to start Outlook or OWA to get into the meeting (you may not want to open your e-mail on a PC that is connected to a projector).

So, I give you Joiny.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Exchange Server Sizing with Quest MessageStats

Anyone who works with any version of Microsoft Exchange Server will know how important it is to correctly size your infrastructure.  One of the key considerations are your mailbox user profiles - the number of users, how many messages they are sending and receiving each day, and the average size of those messages.  These numbers are usually entered into the Exchange Server sizing tool to help estimate the capacity of the server.

As I worked on our upgrade from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013 we needed to gather information about our users. Fortunately, we have Quest MessageStats gathering data on our Exchange environment. Unfortunately, there is no out-of-the-box report to provide the exact data, but I was able to get what I needed with a custom SQL script.

Below is the SQL query I came up with to get data from MessageStats in the format I needed. 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Administratively Configuring Lync Call Forwarding

The Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit includes a tool called SEFAUtil (the Secondary Extension Feature Activation utility).  There have been a few good guides written for getting the tool to work (there are quite a few steps required), and once it's working correctly you can use it to modify call forwarding settings of Lync-enabled accounts.

You can download the Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit from here:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21165

And to get started with SEFAUtil I recommend taking a look at these blog posts:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/jenstr/archive/2010/12/07/how-to-get-sefautil-running.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/meacoex/archive/2011/04/23/configure-simultaneous-ring-delegate-ringing-and-call-forwarding-settings-on-behalf-of-a-lync-server-2010-user.aspx

Through some trial and error I found that to delegate the ability to use SEFAUtil you need to grant these permissions:
  • Membership in the "RtcUniversalUserAdmins" Active Directory security group
  • Membership in the "RTC Local Read-only Administrators" local security group on the machine where SEFAUtil is being run
Assuming at this point you (and your delegates) can use SEFAUtil at the command prompt, you may find this script useful.

The script provides a wrapper around SEFAUtil in order to make configuring and disabling call forwarding simpler - you just need to pass in a username and a destination.

To use the script in your environment you must at least change the $LyncServer and $SipDomain defaults in the script, or pass in your own values as parameters. You'll also need the Lync Management Shell module available.

The script supports several options:
  • Forward to manager
  • Forward to a phone number
  • Forward to a SIP address
  • Disable forwarding