July 2009 Patches for Communicator, OCS 2007 R2 and Attendant Console Released

Taken from Microsoft UC Team:

The RTC Sustained Engineering Team has signed off and published the July update packages for R2!

Updates for Communications Server 2007 R2

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968802

Update for Communicator 2007 R2: July 2009

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969695

Office Communicators Server 2007 R2 Attendant hotfix rollup package: July 2009

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970275

Office Communicator 2007 R2 Phone Edition update: July 2009

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972398

Notes:

1. The Knowledge Base articles are being published and all should be available within 24 hours.

2. All of these patches are now available via Microsoft Customer Support Services (specifically, the Unified Communications Support Team), except for the Communicator Phone Edition R2 release, which is available via web download.

3. We will also have the OC 2007 R2 on Microsoft Update today. The OCS 2007 R2 (server update) will not be on Microsoft Update due a dependency on the back-end fix that cannot be delivered via Microsoft Update.

4. KB 968802 is a rollup of all OCS 2007 R2 released patches. This KB article will be continuously updated as newer patches are released.

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WinXnet Launches MSCERTIFIED.COM For Microsoft UC Certified Devices!

Portland, ME (July 29, 2009) – Today, Winxnet, Inc. announced the launching of their new online store, which sells Microsoft-certified telephones, headsets, and accessories. Winxnet now has one of the only web stores exclusively selling this optimized hardware.

This new online store, which is located at www.mscertified.com, targets organizations who have converted to the more cost effective Microsoft Unified Communications and provides them with a convenient and quick method of purchasing additional equipment. As the cornerstone of Microsoft’s Unified Communications, Office Communications Server is the platform for instant messaging, audio and video conferencing, and internet based telephone communications for businesses worldwide.

“We have seen organizations purchasing equipment which was not designed to work with this new cutting edge Microsoft communications suite,” said Chris Claudio, CEO of Winxnet, Inc. “Winxnet recognized the need in the marketplace for these users to find the right product which will work for them and their communications needs.”

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Voice Certified Partner, Winxnet is a leader in implementing Microsoft’s Unified Communications technology throughout New England and considers this new online store as the next step in providing complete service.

“As more of our own clients convert to Microsoft Unified Communications, we wanted to offer a place to easily purchase Microsoft-certified headsets, phones, conferencing equipment and accessories,” said Chris Claudio, CEO of Winxnet, Inc. “I am proud that our own e-commerce team designed and developed this site and that we have already seen sales since our beta launch.”

Winxnet has deployed Unified Communications throughout New England for organizations such as Stanley Works, Harvard Vanguard, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Aetna, Boston Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Boston.

The new Winxnet online store features Microsoft-certified devices from leading communication manufacturers such as Jabra, Polycom, and Plantronics.

About Winxnet

Winxnet, founded in 1999, was created to provide customer-focused IT consulting services to organizations and businesses throughout southern Maine and has grown its operations to include offices in Waltham, Massachusetts and Chattanooga, Tennessee, employing more than 30 people. Winxnet’s clientele consists of both publicly and privately held businesses across a variety of industries, including retail, professional services, healthcare, hospitality, energy, and technology in addition to both non-profit and governmental organizations. Cultivating partnerships with clients has been a cornerstone of Winxnet’s success and continues to be a top business priority moving forward.

Winxnet is a premier Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and is headquartered in Portland, Maine. For more information, please visit www.winxnet.com.

Contact:
Gloria White
Winxnet
(866) 946-9638
gwhite@winxnet.com

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Posted on by admin in Dialogic, Enterprise Voice, Exchange 2007, Exchange UM, LCS, LCS 2005 SP1, Microsoft, OCS, OCS 2007 R2, Unified Communications Leave a comment

New OCS 2007 R2 White Paper: Site Resiliency

Microsoft has just released a new white paper for OCS 2007 R2 on Site Resiliency. This covers in detail how to architect a solution that is dispersed among two different sites and also offers complete redundancy for the OCS 2007 R2 Services.

Very Cool Read, check it out:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=c930febb-3a44-4bf3-969d-1c52675a7063

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Tutorial: Managing OCS User Contact lists with LCSAddContacts.WSF

One of the common end user complaints during OCS Deployments is that end users have to manually add contacts to their Communicator 2007 contact list when they are first setup with Communicator. Microsoft has included a tool in the OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 Resource kit for administrators to manage this functionality for individual users or entire Active Directory Containers.

This tool is very simple to use however I have not seen much documentation on it, there are a couple things you will need to gather to run this tool:

  • List of contacts to be added to the user or OU of users contact list
    • This list must be in the form of sip:username@sipdomain.com with each contact separated by a line break
    • You can gather this list through various methods, whether it is LDAP searches using LDP or a 3rd party tool, whatever method you prefer to gather AD user attributes and dump them to a text file. Make sure to clean up the text file so it only contains the SIP:username@sipdomain.com attribute. For reference this attribute in active directory is: msRTCSIP-PrimaryUserAddress
  • List of users or an Active Directory Container of the users whose contact list you wish to manage
    • This must be in the form of sip:username@sipdomain.com or the full CN in the form of DN: OU=OUName DC=Domain,DC=(com,net,etc)
    • If specifying the individual user names you can follow the same methods I mentioned above to gather the text files needed.
  • The OCS 2007 R2 Resource Kit which can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b9bf4f71-fb0b-4de9-962f-c56b70a8aecd&DisplayLang=en

The syntax for the LCSAddContacts.WSF script is: CSCRIPT LCSAddContacts.WSF /usersfile:textfile /contactsfile:textfile /contactsgroup:group to add contacts to [/delete] can be used to remove contacts from the users list

In the below example I will be using a Users file of users.txt and a Contacts file of contacts.txt and a contacts group of Test to be added to my contact list.


This is a users file specifying an Active Directory OU of which I am the only user for testing purposes.

Contacts file with two contacts I will be adding to my group “Test”.

Once you have gathered all of this information the script is very simple to run:

As you can see I executed the script with all files located in the same directory and the output is also shown above. It will provide very clear errors if you have not entered something correctly.

Without signing out of communicator or any action on me as an end point my communicator list was updated with a new group called Test with the two new users in there:

This is a great tool and relieves a lot of end user stress on finding contacts, and also gives greater control over managing user contacts in an OCS environment.

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When you change User(’s) SIP URI- Presence Unknown

Sometimes it is neccisary to change a user’s SIP URI, or change the SIP Domain for the entire organization in some cases. When doing this there will most likely be technical issues immediately with attempting communications.

A few key things to keep in mind when performing this change is that the address book is going to be locally downloaded to all users with the “Old” SIP URIs of all users. Because of this end users will experience trouble communicating immediately after the changes are made and until a new address book is downloaded or regenerated on the server.

To ensure a quick download of a new address book on the end user machine you can simply exit out of communicator and sign back in, if that does not work you will want to delete the communicator cache and then close and re open communicator. The communicator Cache on Vista/Windows 7 is located at C:UsersActiveUserAppDataRoamingMicrosoftCommunicator. Delete the entire Communicator Folder and close and reopen communicator, you should then notice the user has updated SIP URIs of all users and can communicate.

If this doesn’t do the trick you may also have to rebuild the address book by syncing what is currently in Active Directory with the SQL Database, and rebuilding the address book files downloaded by the clients with that information.

On the OCS Server, open a command prompt and navigate to %programfiles%Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007ServerCore

From the command prompt run:

abserver.exe –RegenUR (Pulls data from AD and imports to SQL)

abserver.exe –SyncNow (Pulls data from SQL to create ABS files for client download)

Now after signing out and back in to communicator you should have the most up to date version of the address book with all of the correct SIP URIs for all users.

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OCS R2 with Dialogic 2000 Series Gateway- Delay on answering calls

I have run into two instances recently when using DMG2000 series gateways to integrate with OCS there is a delay when making calls to the PBX/PSTN.

The scenario:

You call a PSTN number from Communicator, the user on the other end answers the call however your communicator does not show the call as answered. Sometimes this will answer after 5 seconds or so, other times it will not answer at all. The fix is a simple setting in the dialogic configuration.

isdnanswer

The Dialogic gateways have a setting under TDM->T1/E1 called ISDN Answer Supervision Enable. By default this setting is “Yes”. If set to yes the gateway will wait for voice activity to answer the calls, if set to No it will only listen to ISDN Messages.

This seems to only be the fix when you are making outbound calls to the PBX or PSTN, the inbound call answer delays are another issue. There are two things I have run into relating to delays when a MOC user is answering an inbound call from the PBX.

1. Make sure the Dialogic firmware is the newest version ( needs to be at least 6.0128 for OCS 2007 R2)

As of this posting this is the latest DMG2000 firmware available on the Dialogic website.

dmgfirmware

2. Make sure the RFC 3960 Early Media Support setting under VoIP->Media is set to Always

3. Make sure Voice Activity Detection is set to Off

earlymedia

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OCS End User Resources

One of the most common questions when doing OCS/Exchange UM Deployments is “What about end user training?”. A lot of companies have different ways about training their end users for new technologies, at WinXnet we do not have any formal training put together but I will share the resources I have used in the past to develop training for other end users.
The key resource here that most people ignore is the Office Communicator Tour that runs the first time users open Communicator 2007 R2!
Above is the direct link, this is very helpful to add as a link on the Intranet and direct users there for a basic overview of using Communicator.
Micrsoft has a kit for user awareness and training which can be found here : http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9A599B27-EAA4-47F6-9672-D221242F1404&displaylang=en
This has almost everything you would need. Posters, flashcards and instructional PDFs. It is a big download but definitely worth it.
Another great resource is the Communicator Team Blog. Every day they post tips about communicator usage. This is a great resource to pull from, or point you users to for tips on fully utilizing the Communicator software.
Another resource is this powerpoint file, it has flash cards to handoff to end users for all different usages of the Microsoft UC platform: http://bit.ly/2r6gH8?r=td
Those should get you started in any type of end user training scenarios.

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LCS 2005 SP1 Migrating Global Settings from System Container to Configuration Container

We have done many deployments that have been LCS 2005 to OCS 2007 R2 migrations, however recently we encountered our first experience where migrating the global settings from the System Container to the Configuration Container in Active Directory was requested by the customer.

This process is outlined in documentation provided by Microsoft that can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=23236784-508e-44c9-809d-30ff245928d8&displaylang=en

The important thing to note here is that the documentation is clearly outlined for OCS 2007 R1 to R2 migration scenarios, NOT LCS 2005 Sp1 to OCS 2007 R2 Migration Scenarios. The documentation states this works for LCS as well as OCS however, we ran into a bunch of flaws in the documentation that I will outline below with workarounds.

First off, LCS was never meant to work with the configuration container, Microsoft released an update here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/911996 that supposedly would fix this. Basically if you had not installed that KB Update and tried to use LCSCmd to prep the forest with the /global:configuration switch it would error out with Invalid Parameters. Once you install this patch, the LCSCmd will take the /global:configuration switch and report a success. The interesting part here is that any version of LCS 2005 Sp1 Forest or Domain prep will not perform the correct functions on the Global Settings if they are stored in the configuration container and the system container at the same time. The hard thing about this is that the documentation states to wait to delete the system container information until testing all services, unfortunately this is impossible.

Here are the various issues I ran into while performing this migration. First off, the scripts do their job just as they should, the script would successfully migrate the Global Settings containers to the Configuration Container. We did however start running into some minor issues when we went to update the user DN References. We noticed the user DN references script was not making any changes and kept saying it was not complete.

We decided to check the msRTCSIP-PrimaryHomeServer setting to see if these changes had indeed been made, we viewed users in different OUs and confirmed they were pointing to the configuration data for their home server.

From here we started to panic so we decided to test if we could start the LCS Service. The LCS Service would fail to start with the error messages shown below:

When using lcserror.exe to lookup the error code provided in the last error this was the response:

In the LCS Management Console there were two pools showing up, both with the same name. One pool would have no servers and users, and the other would have all of the servers and users. This was a good way for us to confirm that all users and servers were pointing to the Configuration Container for their information. The above error states it cannot find the AD objects it needs, which still didn’t seem to make sense because it was pointing to the configuration container. When checking the objects through ADSI Edit I noticed that the global settings containers were in the correct places, however none of the proper permissions had been applied to them, this usually happens during Domain Prep, which as I had mentioned above will not work with the global settings being in the System and Configuration Container at the same time. We manually added the RTCDomain groups to the containers with the proper permissions however the services still would not start.

Microsoft was able to confirm that the LCS Services would not start with the information in the System Container as well as the Configuration Container. After using the migration script to delete the System Container information the service still failed to start. I ran a domain prep check on the domain and was able to see the Microsoft container was not showing as ready. Once the domain prep was run again, all permissions were correctly added to the objects in the Configuration Container and the LCS Services would start and everything was functioning again.

To summarize key things to note about the process that differs from the documentation:

  1. You must delete the information from the system container before running domain prep or else Domain Prep will not be able to add the permission correctly and the LCS Services will not start.
  2. When updating the user DN References it may not always show as completed, however you can verify by checking the msRTCSIP-PrimaryHomeServer setting through ADSI Edit.

Hopefully Microsoft can get this documentation updated soon, or atleast an announcement about this in a public blog, I have to imagine this is causing a lot of havoc on the LCS to OCS Migrations.

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Posted on by admin in Enterprise Voice, LCS, LCS 2005 SP1, Microsoft, OCS, OCS 2007 R2, Unified Communications 1 Comment

Configuring Custom Exchange UM Auto Attendant Prompts (Part 1)

In my previous post I outlined how to record Custom UM Auto Attendant Prompts in the correct format for Exchange 2007 UM. This post will outline how to import these and apply them to UM Auto Attendants, Part two will cover some From the Field Experiences the WinXnet team has developed to outline how we suggest utilizing the auto attendants in customer and internal deployments.

First step once you have these recorded and have the files on your Exchange UM server is to import them into the Dial Plan directory so they can be assigned to the auto attendants. The .WAV files themselves can be stored on any drive local to the UM server, however there is a power shell command that must be entered to publish the file to the UM Prompt Publishing Point. The UM Prompt publishing point is a shared folder that is created on the first UM server installed in the exchange organization; any additional UM servers in the environment check periodically and update their Prompt Cache based on the files in this folder.

See below for the power shell command and syntax that goes along with this:

Copy-UMCustomPrompt –Path -UMDialPlan

The string entered to generate the logs below in my environment was: Copy-UMCustomPrompt –Path E:winxgreetingnew.wav –UMDialPlan WXUM

This command will simply return a fresh power shell line and the cache update process will be started. To confirm the files have been updated in the UM Cache you want to look for these Informational Messages in the Event Viewer.

This first message confirms that the custom prompt files were updated:

This second message confirms that the cache update process has been completed by the server, this happens every 5 minutes on the UM Server by default:

Now that the files are in the cache for UM, we can assign to an auto attendant. To do this select your Auto Attendant properties and choose the Greetings tab, see below:

After a few minutes of replication for changes this greeting should now take effect when you call the Auto Attendant. You will notice the spacer settings of this auto attendant which I am going to follow up on from the WinXnet UC team experiences around using the UM Auto Attendants.

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Posted on by admin in Exchange 2007, Exchange UM, Microsoft, Unified Communications 1 Comment

OCS 2007 R2 with Avaya Definity G3R Integration Notes

We recently did a lighthouse deployment with a very old PBX, the Avaya Definity G3r. There were a couple minor complications to this configuration however we were able to get through it with no issues and have full call flow between the two systems. I wanted to share the configurations we implemented in case anyone else runs into this unique PBX scenario.

Again we were utilizing a dialogic DMG2120 gateway for this implementation, if you notice on the Dialogic interoperability site you will not see any guides for the Definity G3 and OCS. http://www.dialogic.com/microsoftuc/pbx_integration.htm

We noticed in the exchange UM portion they had information for CAS signaling, however we could not get the CAS signaling to work properly so we decided to go with a T1 ISDN connection. The PBX would not support the QSIG standard so I reached out to our local support channel for some guides with the NI2 ISDN protocol. Dialogic does not currently have any official documentation around this setup, however they were able to provide some basic screens for me to hand off to the Avaya admin, and you can see these configurations below: (Note: These configuration screenshots were provided by Dialogic, I did not produce these)

Those screens above will get your Avaya side ready to handle the NI2 signaling from the dialogic gateway. The Dialogic side of this configuration is very basic and can be found below:

This customer also was one of the customers requiring #9 to get out to the PSTN which you can find a fix to in my previous post here.

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