OCS Updates for Sept

25 September 2010

A new set of updates have been released which is good news as the previous versions had been removed for download. Get the details and links to downloads from here. 

As with all previous updates make sure you have installed the OCS2009-DBUpgrade otherwise you will hit problems. Make sure you stop all the OCS services and apply the updates using the ServerUpdateInstaller and the OCS2009-DBUpgrade before restarting the services to avoid any incompatibility issues. It does look like the DBUpgrade has not changed since the July update, they are both dated 1 July.

Overall the patches basically fix the problem with RGS found in the July update and a problem with server with more more than 16 cores.

No new client fixes released as yet.


Setting Lync 2010 policies (OCS Group Policy) with PowerShell

18 September 2010

Important the following information is based on the Release Candidate and could change on RTM. Please check the latest documentation

With the release of Lync Server 2010 (RC) the settings which were deployed using group policy for OCS 2007 R2 are now for the most part sent using in-band provisioning to the client. There are a few setting which are used for Client bootstrapping and therefore still need to be configured in Group Policy.

The majority of group policy settings have been moved to PowerShell commands:

New-CsClientPolicy Create a new client policy either at site or per-user scope
Set-CsClientPolicy Modify an existing client policy
Grant-CsClientPolicy Assign a client policy to a user or group of users
Remove-CsClientPolicy Remove a client policy from a user of group of users
Get-CsClientPolicy Get information on existing client policies


New-CsClientPolicy -Identity SalesPolicy -DisableEmoticons $True          
-DisableEmailComparisonCheck  $True


Here we are creating a policy called SalesPolicy with 2 settings to turn off Emoticons and to turn off checking that the Outlook and Lync are running under the same account.

Now to apply this to the Sales department we can use the following:

Get-CsUser -LDAPFilter "Department=Sales" | Grant-CsClientPolicy       
-PolicyName SalesPolicy

Here we are getting all the enabled users in AD who have a department of Sales and applying the policy to them.

You can also apply the Client Policy in Lync Control Panel as well


There are a large number of settings for the client policy so I won’t reproduce them here either check the documentation of in the Lync Management Shell use the following command to see all the options:

get-help New-CsClientPolicy -full | more

Problems installing OCS and not finding .NET 3.5

29 July 2010

If you install all the current patches to your server before installing OCS it will install .NET Framework 4.0. When .NET 4.0 is installed OCS cannot detect .NET 3.5 and you receive the error message

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 2.0 Core Redist 64-bit installation requires Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5. Installation cannot continue.

Microsoft has put up a knowledge base article kb2224981 describing the issue and also the work around.

To resolve this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Remove .NET Framework 4.0 from the server. 
  2. Install the OCS products that you want to have on the server
  3. Install .NET Framework 4.0 on the server

Response Group Service Language Packs

27 July 2010

By default OCS only installs the US English language pack for Response Groups. There are 11 other language packs you can install. The RGS uses the UCMA 2 Speech language packs which can either be found on the OCS install CD in the \Setup\amd64\Setup\Speech\ directory. You can also download the packs from here. 

After running the msi to install the language pack you need to register the language pack. To install the language packs you need to run the rgslang.exe application from the OCS 2007 R2 Resource Kit. From a cmd prompt run RGSlang sync then restart the RGS service. Full details of the install process can be found on TechNet.

As well as the speech packs you can also manage OCS in different languages or display the OC Tab in a different language by downloading the Response Group Service Language Pack.

July Cumulative Updates for Communications Server 2007 R2

26 July 2010

The July updates have been released and can be downloaded from here.

For details of what is included in the patches can be found here http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=968802 along with installation details.

A few people have mentioned issues with the latest update but this appears to be because the OCS2009 DBUpgrade hasn’t been applied. This needs to be applied separately for a good description of how to apply this patch there are a number of blog entries such as the one on msunified.

Update 30 July

I left off the other updates below when I initially posted this

Office Communicator 2007 R2

Group Chat Patches 2007 R2

Communicator Phone Edition (OCPE)

Communicator Mobile

Exchange 2007 Certificate Manager

10 June 2010

I still find that customers are using self signed certificates for their Exchange servers. When you install Exchange UM and want to link it to OCS you need to use a properly trusted certificate from a CA. To do this requires some messing around in Powershell and can be inconvenient. Today I spotted a blog post from Rui Silva highlighting a Certificate Management Tool from U-BTech which gives a quick and easy GUI to manage the Exchange server certificates. I haven’t tried it yet but I think it is definitely worth investigating.

OCS Training Resources

6 June 2010

Microsoft has produced some tremendous end user training materials for OCS. When implementing systems for customers you can give them this material knowing their users will then have access to the resources they need to be productive with Communicator etc from the start.

Microsoft haven’t stopped there and they now have a training course for the help desk. The course is designed to help you in supporting Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2. You will learn some of the most common Office Communicator 2007 R2 support scenarios that might be encountered, as well as how to troubleshoot the issues and how to resolve them.

The prerequisite for the Help Desk training includes the UC Tutorial which is also a good resource for users.

The main material I recommend for an end users reference is the UC How To. This is a Silverlight application that provides step-by-step instructions for common UC tasks. You can customize the How-To application to your company’s needs based on the UC features you’ve installed. For example, if you have installed all UC features except Communicator Mobile and Communicator Group Chat, you can modify the XML file so that those features and topics do not appear in the interface.

For material you can put together before, during and after rollout the UC Adoption and Training Kit provides guidance and resources for IT Pros, HelpDesk, and Trainers to speed adoption and usage of Unified Communications technologies in the enterprise. The kit includes Planning Checklists, Awareness materials, including Poster, Door Hangers, and E-mail samples, and User Education Materials such as Quick Reference Cards, Flash Cards, and links to Web-based Training.

On the Office online website there is a selection of links that provide a variety of Communicator 2007 R2 resources that can be used for end-user training and adoption, including online demos, Quick Reference Cards, Getting Started and Troubleshooting Guides, help articles, product tours, and online tutorials.

Communicator Mobile for Nokia

9 May 2010

Microsoft and Nokia announced Communicator Mobile for Nokia last week, initially for the Nokia E72 and E52. Plans are to release it for further models and to also be pre-installed on select Nokia Smartphones. The press release can be found here.

Communicator Mobile for Nokia can be found here on the Ovi store.

UC Voice Specialization Exam 74-404

6 May 2010

The new OCS R2 version of the UC Voice Specialization exam was released on the 4 May 2010. Details of the areas covered in the exam and training available (just the OCS R2 Voice Ignite Workshop). Full details can be found here.

I can’t give details of the exam beyond what is in the Microsoft Learning site but if you know your OCS voice and have attended the Voice Ignite Workshop this should be straight forward for you. I think it is a better test of knowledge than the old 74-924 R1 version of the exam but that is my personal view of it.

Good luck if you decide to take the exam.

OCS 2007 R2 Workload Poster Update

6 May 2010

Back on the 25th January 2010 I blogged about the OCS Architecture poster being available for download. Last month there was an update to correct some of the minor errors on it. So make sure you update your copy from the same location.

Although it isn’t 100% comprehensive is does give a great overview which you can share with customers.

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