The World of UC

by Shijaz Abdulla on 05.10.2009 at 17:04

Check out this web site – www.ucworld.com

The site gives great insight to the business value of UC, and how to realize the financial benefits of simply having better connected people.

There are tons of demos, videos and other resources explaining how UC can be used to save costs and increase productivity alongwith the business case and technical considerations.

UCWorld is also a peer-to-peer community dedicated to Unified Communications. You can discuss and debate on UC right off this website.

Free OCS Public IM connectivity for Windows Live Messenger

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.07.2009 at 21:15

windows live messenger logo image Microsoft has made licensing changes on the Public  instant-messaging (IM) connectivity supported by Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS).

Live Communications Server Public IM Connectivity (LCS PIC) license has been renamed to “Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity (OCS PIC). Those with certain OCS Client Access Licenses (CALs) will no longer require Public IM connectivity licenses to federate with Windows Live — but still will require them to federate with AOL and Yahoo.

Windows Live Federation offers users the option to add Windows Live Contacts (MSN/Hotmail contacts) to their Office Communicator contact lists, view presence status and chat with those contacts.

The licensing change took effect on July 1, 2009.

Instant Messaging inside Outlook Web Access

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.04.2009 at 13:53

Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2010 offers integrated instant messaging capability right from the browser.

Check this out:

image

You also see presence information against each contact in an email header.

image

You can also change your status from the top right corner of the OWA page:

image

Address Book Synchronization error on Office Communicator 2007

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.05.2008 at 10:19




image

After installing the Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS), if your users get an Address book synchronization error, it is probably because they are not able to access the Address Book shared folder that you created during the OCS setup.

Make sure you have verified the configuration as per KB938286.

On the client machine, try to browse the location https://<OCS POOL FQDN>/Abs/Int/Handler. Take care to use the OCS Pool FQDN and not the server FQDN or IP address. Make sure that your browser does not report any certificate errors. If it does, then you need to sort out the problem.

  1. If the root CA certificate is not installed on the client machine, install it.
  2. If the common name of the certificate is not the OCS server FQDN, you need to re-issue the certificate so that it contains your OCS Pool FQDN. This can be done by running OCS Setup and selecting the option to issue a certificate. Make sure you apply the certificate.

Once you have ironed out all the certificate errors, you should no longer get any certificate errors on IE when you navigate to the above URL. Sign out and sign in to Communicator 2007. You should be able to search the Address Book and the exclamation mark on the OCS icon should vanish.




“Failure [0xC3EC7814] Pool is not ready” while adding OCS Server to Pool

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.05.2008 at 21:01

ocs_logo

I was trying to get Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS) to work on our environment for the past few days and ran into some challenging issues.

OCS 2007 is being installed on Windows Server 2003 x64 R2 with SP2, and the SQL 2005 back end is on a separate machine. Co-existing the two on the same box is not supported.

Our environment used to have an LCS 2005 Pool, which had been decommissioned while setting out on the OCS adventure. The schema preparation, creating an enterprise pool, and configuring the pool – all went through successfully. The show-stopper was the ‘adding server to pool’ part.

During the ‘Add Server to Pool‘ wizard operation, the installation of the program files and some additional configuration succeeded. However, when it was time to activate the server, all hell broke loose and the operation failed.

When I opened the logs, The ‘add server to pool’ log file showed:

Failure
[0xC3EC796C] One or more errors occurred during execution of the wizard; the wizard was unable to complete successfully. Please check the log file for more information.

Drilling further down into the log, I found that the problem was while activating the server. I clicked on the link to open the Activation logs, and found the following generic error:

Failure
[0xC3EC7814] Pool is not ready.

After ironing out every logical possibility, days of searching the net, and after asking in the MVP Private newsgroups with no luck, I decided to contact Product Support.

A few hours later, the problem turned out to be remnants of the past LCS pools that were still lurking in the Active Directory. We opened up ADSIEDIT, navigated to the Domain partition –> System container –> Policies container. Over here, we found the GUID of the LCS 2005 pools and deleted them manually. Since we didn’t have any more LCS 2005 servers, we didn’t need them anyway.

Due to this, OCS 2007 Pools were not actually being created in AD, even though the wizard ran successfully. After a successful pool creation, OCS 2007 Pools should be seen in Domain partition –> System container –>  Microsoft –> Rtc Service –> Pools. However, the Pools container was apparently empty even after I created OCS 2007 pools.

Once we got rid of the LCS 2005 pool GUIDs mentioned earlier:

1. We removed the pool we created using the command lcscmd.exe /forest /action:RemovePool /poolname:<poolname> /force

2. Deleted the SQL 2005 database and log files for this pool

3. Re-created the pool from scratch starting with the ‘Create Enterprise Pool‘ wizard.

Server activation was successful and we are back in business!