Thursday, July 31, 2008

Custom Presence State in MOC

Wow is few weeks i got to seat back to write my blog. I've received on queries on how to customise the present state in MOC. Joachim Farla has the guide on this blog to guide you how to customise the presence state. You can try it out, below is the link to his site.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Call Forking and Simultaneous ring are they the same?

A lot of people is talking about call forking. Is it the same as simultaneous ring?

From My understanding True Simultaneous ringing is where you have 2 devices with totally different numbers. When someone calls your extension or DID it comes into the PBX and then your desk phone rings and your cell phone rings near simultaneously. the big key to this is that the numbers are different.

For Call forking it generally is referred to in situations where you have a desk phone and another device with the same phone number. i.e. desk phone and Microsoft Office Communicator. Both the desk phone and the MOC client have the same extension. The PBX forks the call to both devices at the same time and when one is picked up the other is released.

Now it all depends on who you talked to as to the definition.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Synchronize OCS address book manually

Office Communications Server 2007 synchronizes the address book once every day. This is ok for normal operations, but in tests and troubleshooting scenarios, this can be a bit annoying.

To work around this problem, you can create a simple .bat file to do a manual synchronization of the address book, to update the details of the users from Active Directory.

After synchronization, you still need to log off the Office Communicator client, and log back on to get the client to download the updated address book.Create a .bat file (absync.bat)

Put the following command in the file (update the path, if you haven’t used the default)

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007\Server\Core\abserver.exe" -syncnow

Troubleshooting Office Communicator Phone Experience (a.k.a. Tanjay) Update Server

I've received some question on preparing the update server for "Tanjay" phone. Well, you may refer to this link which i find it is very useful.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

MOC: Outlook Integration Error

I'm sure some of you out there face this issue. Office Communicator sometimes prompts this error: "Outlook Integration Error"

A Group Policy stting exists to correct this issue.

Read more here:;en-us;951644&sd=rss&spid=11402

Office Communications Server 2007 Visio stencil

You can now use OCS 2007 icons in your Visio template. Microsoft has released the Visio template for OCS.

You can get it here:

Please note:
If the stencils are missing when you open the visio document, follow these steps:
  1. Open the template in Visio.
  2. Click File, and then choose Shapes.
  3. At the bottom of the Shapes menu, choose Show Document Stencil.

Yahoo! and MSN (Windows Live) Public IM Connectivity changes

The Microsoft OCS team has released news that the PIC partners MSN and Yahoo! has changed public IP adresses.There are no need for changes if you do not have restrictions you port 5061 traffic.

Read more here:

New Communicator Add-in for Outlook

I've saw an updates from one of the MVP blogs, Microsoft has a new version of communicator Add-in for Outlook. It's pre-release version currently (only selected MVP with invitation would have permission to test out).

In the meantime, here's what's new followed by some of my other thoughts...

Fixes & Updates:

  • UI
  • Created a TreeView instead of ListView.
  • This allows collapsible\expandable groups, just as in Communicator. I think this is a better approach than having an option to display certain groups.
  • Smaller UI details.
  • Fix UI for 120 DPI


  • Allow filter of Offline & Away users. Will redisplay users when they are available again or will hide users if they are away or offline. Dependant on the you setting the filter.
  • Will display groups that contain a “~”

Limitations due to API

  • The API doesn’t give me access to Access Level or Distributions List.
  • The API doesn’t give me access to the Recent or Other Contacts Groups.


  • The Show\Hide button doesn’t always respond.
  • “Out of Office” is being considered as Away instead of Offline.
  • Graceful error handling, IE if Communicator isn’t signed in.

Install Instructions (Uninstall Previous Version1.)

  1. Extract it the zip to some where besides the desktop. I’m using ClickOnce for installation, so the install should go somewhere you want it to reside.
  2. Close Outlook
  3. Run the setup.exe as Administrator. It will require .NET 3.5 & VSTO 3.0 Runtime. The installer will help you out there.
  4. During installation it will say it’s not from a Trusted Publisher as I do not have a certificate for this installation. Click Ok.
  5. Open Outlook

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Rumors

I just got some updates from some MVP blogs; Microsoft have decided to release a R2 version of Office Communications Server 2007 by the end of 2008. This was not planned in the original product roadmap, and the next release should have been OCS 2009, by the end of 2009.This is great news! The R2 release is going to contain contain a lot of the features that we have been waiting for. especially about telephony handeling and routing. Sure there will be alot of bugs fixed as well in the R2.

Please note that this information is based on second hand information, and has not been confirmed by Microsoft

Thursday, May 29, 2008

WebMessenger extends Microsoft OCS to Nokia users

WebMessenger will support Nokia handsets on its middleware platform.

WebMessenger has added support for Nokia handsets to its messaging middleware platform, which enables a wider range of corporate phones to be used with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) for mobile presence and messaging functions.

Read more at (by Daniel Robinson, IT Week, 27 May 2008)

Changing Live Meeting invation information in OCS 2007

The information of the company name and URLs that comes with the live meeting invitation in OCS 2007 can be change. Let's see how to change the default settings, as follows:
  1. Open Microsoft Office Communicaton Server 2007 console
  2. Expand Forest - <Domain name>
  3. Expand Standard Edition Servers
  4. Expand <OCS Pool Name>
  5. Right click on <Domain name>,click on Properties and then clickon Web Conferencing Properties
  6. In General tab, fill out with your organization name as shown in the figure below

We can also modify the URL's that go with the invitation. To do that click on Meeting invitations and change the internal and external URLs.

Let's try our new configuration, if you have the Live Meeting add-on installed, create a new Live Meeting and you will see your company name and your URLs in the invitation.

IIMF on OCS 2007

In OCS 2007 we have the IIMF (Intelligent IM Filter) built-in into the product. In this post we are going to enable the IIMF feature to filter URL in a OCS 2007 Standard Edition, as it follows:
  1. Open Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007
  2. Expand Forest
  3. Expand Standard Edition Servers
  4. Right click on server name and click on Application Properties and then on Intelligent IM Filter

  1. Check Enable URL Filtering and now we have some options to define such as: If we want to block all hyperlinks that contains extentions defined in the File Transfer Filter tab, if we enable local intranet URLs.

In our post we are going to allow IM that contain hyperlinks but we will add a banner into each message and at the botton and instead of a link the user will receive a plain text. We are also able to chose some prefixes that the IIMF filter will be blocking.

Let's do a test, the user administrator as shown in figure bellow will send a link for another user.

The user that receive the IM will receive the link with a friendly warning about the link and the link will receive a caracther "_" in front of the http://. It means if the user really wants to access that website, he have to copy the content and open it in a web browser.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Notes for Communicator Web Access

One Server for Both Internal and External Users In order to deploy all users on a single computer, you must run IIS 6.0 in application isolation mode. For details about application isolation modes in IIS 6.0, see “Application Isolation Modes” at

  • Two virtual servers cannot both share the same IP address and also listen on the same port; therefore, you must differentiate the virtual servers on your computer either by IP address or by port number. If both virtual servers use the same IP address, you will need to differentiate them by port number. Many proxy servers accept SSL traffic only on port 443, so you may need to manually configure the external virtual server to use port 443.
  • You must configure your firewall or reverse proxy to map to the appropriate port for each virtual server.
  • Although application isolation reduces security risk, it is still possible for the server to be compromised, which could affect both external and internal users. In contrast, using a separate external server would limit the impact of an attack on the external server to remote users only.

Required Software

The following software must be installed on the computer on which you will be installing Communicator Web Access:·

  • Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 or Windows Server 2003 with SP1 or later·
  • Windows Installer 3 (included in Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later)·
  • IIS 6.0· .
  • NET Framework 2.0, including ASP.NET 2.0


ASP.NET is automatically registered with IIS if the .NET Framework 2.0 is installed after IIS 6.0 is installed. If you install the .NET Framework first, you must manually register ASP.NET. For details, see

In addition, the following QFEs must be installed:·


  • An MTLS connection will succeed only if the subject name for the MTLS certificate is the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) of the Communicator Web Access server
  • SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is required on all Communicator Web Access servers and on any load balancer that is associated with an array of Communicator Web Access servers. The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is used by clients that are connecting to the Communicator Web Access server. Each virtual server that is configured with HTTPS (HTTP with SSL) must have an SSL certificate. The CA that issues the SSL certificate for Communicator Web Access does not have to be the same one that issues the Office Communications Server 2007 SSL certificates or the MTLS certificates.

MTLS and HTTPS Certificate Configuration Requirements

Certificate field
ValueVersion 3
Template Duplicated Web Server
EKU Server Authentication (
Private Key Enabled for Export
Key Usage Digital Signature, Key Encipherment (a0)

  • The subject of the Communicator Web Access certificate, which can be configured in the Communicator Web Access Manager, is always the FQDN of the Communicator Web Access server computer
  • The subject name of the SSL certificate corresponds to the FQDN of either the server or the load balancer if one is presentOn a reverse proxy that is deployed in the perimeter network, the subject name of the SSL certificate corresponds to the FQDN of the reverse proxy


Single Communicator Web Access virtual server on a computer named computer1.contoso.comNo Web publishing, No load balancing==>The server has an SSL certificate whose subject name is the FQDN of the server, in this case,


For remote users and for users of supported browsers that cannot use integrated Windows authentication, the forms-based authentication window will appear.

  • · Optimizing IIS 6.0 scalability. IIS 6.0, running on the Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 operating system, includes a new architecture and new features to improve scalability on your Communicator Web Access server. For detailed information about optimizing IIS 6.0, see “Improving Scalability by Optimizing IIS 6.0 Queues” at, “Improving Scalability by Optimizing IIS 6.0 Caches” at, and “Additional Resources for IIS 6.0 Scalability” at
  • Adjusting the IIS 6.0 user limit. By default, IIS 6.0 has a limit of 8,000 connections. This setting is configurable in the following registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\HTTP\ParametersTo increase the limit, create a DWORD entry named "MaxConnections" in this location and set an appropriate limit, allowing for a reasonable tolerance for peak periods. For example, if you want to allow 10,000 connections, you would probably set the value at double this number (20,000). For guidance, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article “Http.sys registry settings for IIS” at

Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2007

Here is the magic Q for Unified Communication 2007. This report is generated by Bern Elliot (Gartner) dated 20 August 2007.

This is the link to the web :

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Guide on OCS Database tuning (SQL)

For Midrange (8 GB of memory) and High End (12 GB+ of memory)

>If 32-bit version of SQL Server is running, enable Lock Pages in Memory ( and enable AWE (

>These settings are not necessary if SQL server is 64 bit.

>Add a SQL Server trace flag for T4618 (

1) Open SQL Server Configuration Manager
2) Select SQL Server instance, right-click, and then click Properties.
3) In the Advanced tab, click Startup Parameters.
4) Append ;-T4618 to the end of the Startup Parameters list and click OK.
5) Restart SQL Server.

Communicator Address book download (Galcontacts.db)

Client "Address Book" File Download Process . If a client is accessing the URL for the first time, upon successful connection, the client attempts to download the current full data file. On subsequent days, the client attempts to download a delta file based on the last full synchronization date.

Typically, this delta file is based on the previous day. If the client is offline for a day or more, it determines which delta files it must download to get up to date. If the client is offline for more than 30 days, it attempts to download the full data file.

Storing this information in a local database reduces the time taken to synchronize information on the client computer with the latest information stored in Active Directory, thereby significantly improving the GAL search process. The location of this database is : Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Communicator.In the event of a download failure because of network connectivity or other issues, the client retries in time intervals that double on each failure (1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, and so on, up to a maximum of 64 minutes).

Any data that was downloaded before the failure is discarded, and the retry begins again at the beginning. If the failure persists for more than 24 hours, a warning is displayed, and an application event is added to the Event Log.

When the client logs in, it determines if it has been more than 24 hours since the last download. If so, then the current download occurs immediately. Otherwise, download is scheduled at 00:00 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time, also known as GMT).

Tracing in Office Communicator

Tracing can be enabled on Communicator by group policy or manually on the client. Enabling event logging will write communicator events into applications event logs. Protocol level logging files can be found at ..\User\Tracing in XP or Vista. These files can be read by notepad but I recommend using snooper which is in OCS resource kit.

Conversation History Settings

The settings in "Personal Information Manager" such as

-- Save my instant message conversations in the Outlook Conversation History folder

-- Save my call logs in the outlook Conversation History folderare being published to the backend database, rtc.PublishedStaticInstance as binary, by the client.

<permissions> <personalinformationmanager>outlook</personalinformationmanager> <autoretrieveooffromoutlook>false</autoretrieveooffromoutlook> <publishcalendarpresence>false</publishcalendarpresence> <imautoarchiving>false</imautoarchiving> <calllogautoarchiving>false</calllogautoarchiving> <publishmeetingsubjectandlocation>false</publishmeetingsubjectandlocation> </permissions> </otheroptions> </publication> </publications> </publish>

Using Hardware Load Balancer for OCS 2007 Front-end Server

To increase the scalability and higher redundancy for OCS Front-end server, we have to use hardware load balancer. Below is some of the support hardware offerings from F5, Cisco, Foundry, Nortel, and WebMux.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Disaster Recover for OCS 2007

As we making OCS 2007 as the main call manager, high avaiability and scalability would one of be the main components we (IT person) to consider. Scalability in OCS 2007 would be easy as Microsoft has addressed this metter. The second point which other players in the IP Telephony industry is questioning Microsoft is; can OCS 2007 have the disaster recovery solution?

There are some solutions from others Microsoft team proposed which using backup and recovery method on the OCS 2007 server. Can it be automated? This has makes me to investigate more in my current lab. I've trying to create a auto service failover to DR server when the production server is down. I'll continue more after my lab test.

I've browse around, M Senthil Kumar blog has a discussion on backup OCS 2007 configuration guide. (

Friday, April 25, 2008

OCS 2007 as main call manager

I always has this in my mind using only OCS as the call manager (without using any PBX system). This question has makes me to setup a lab with OCS 2007 Front-end server and Mediation server and a simple media gateway. In the lab I've tested the with 2 types of incoming lines (PRI and normal PSTN lines). I would said anyone can try out this setup via normal PSTN line.
In the lab I can see the difference of using the 2 types of media gateway. Using PRI would be more direct and simple configuration on the media gateway (as media gateway guide has it all). But when using PSTN line media gateway (i guest is lower end), there are more configure step required on the media gateway.
Using the lower end media gateway there are some featues likes call ID (caller phone no.) was not able to pass over to OCS. I've checked with some media gateway expert, it seem the information (Caller ID information) would not pass over due to the limitation of the devices. I still exploring the possibility of using the lower end unit to have the same features as the PRI line.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Problem with user not able to login via CWA

For those who encounter this error during logging from CWA "Cannot sign in due to a server error. Please try again. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator."
This problem might be related to the CWAService account password expire. In the default configuration after your installation the CWAService account don't have the "Password Never Expire" option checked. You will need to set the password for the CWAService to never expire. Once this is configure, you will be able to login to CWA again

How to integrate OCS 2007 with Cisco Call Manager 4.x?

It is easier to integrate with Cisco Call Manager 5.x and above version as CCM support SIP trunk to OCS 2007 server or via IP-IP gateway (router). I'm not sure Microsoft has release any supported documment on CCM integration with OCS 2007 or not. But I've tested the integration in a production environment.

For my this implementation; I've use Dialogic media gateway 2000 series (DMG2030). In a standard CCM 4.x environment, there will be a voice router which will be the interface with the service provider. The connections between router and CCM/media gateway will be using E1 link.

There will be some configuration need to be done at CCM as to route the inter-call between OCS client and cisco phone client.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

OCS 2007 with Panasonic PBX TDA100

How simple is it for Panasonic PBX to move to IP base telephony platform via Microsoft OCS. We've successfully implemented Microsoft OCS 2007 with integration with Panasonic PBX model TDA100.
The situation is we've a requirement from the customer to remain the single line phone and its fax mahine as it is. Others user will be using the new OCS to makes voice call.
PBX information as followed:
Model: Panasonic TDA100 version 007-001
Region: 009-009
MPR (ML) card: 3.2002
PRI card: PRI30 version 2.009

The PBX is using two PRI (ISDN card), for incoming source from service provider and the second PRI card for connection to media gateway. The PRI card has to be enable QSIG signalling to communicate with the media gateway (as media gateway will require min. QSIG signalling). With this, the normal fax machine will still able to be connected to the PBX system.

During the implementation, the two connections (service provider and to media gateway) are require to use coaxial cable (with BNC connector as standard). Due to media gateway are having RJ45 connection only, we uses balun which conver the coaxial (BNC 75ohm) to RJ45 connection (RJ45 120ohm).

PBX is configured as slave as accepting the source from service provider and media gateway would need to be configured as master.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dialogic Media Gateway connects IP system to PSTN at Siemens Subsidary

Unified Messaging continues moves in Europe and Dialogic has made it in one of another UM success recently. HEC GmbH, a consulting subsadary of Siemens improving their efficiency of its client communications by moving to UM. Initially the company concerned about the need to connect its IP infrastructure to PSTN, but its parent company (acting as system integrator) advised using media gateway from Dialogic (Media Gateway 3000 series). The connection was made quickly and easily.

Andreas Essing, (Director of the Microsoft Infrastructure Consulting Business at Siemens IT solutions and Services, Siemens AG) who help with the implemnetation and installation commented that "working with dialogic impressed us in terms of its high-grade product and excellent support during each phase of the project. we are already looking forward to being able to build on this positive experience in the future".

For more details, read the case study.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Microsoft - Aspect in Contact Center

Last week, Microsoft has announced a multiyear global strategic alliance with Aspect Software to bring Unified Communications and Software Powered Voice to contact center sector. Understanding on the announcement; Aspect will integrate its.NET-based contact center suite (Aspect Unified IP) with Office Communication Server. This will certainly useful to both new and existing Aspect customers. In the announcement there is a missing component which addressing Microsoft’s Contact Center strategy via Unified Communication.

We still have not heard Microsoft will offer in terms of a contact center solution as a part of in conjunctions with its OCS offering. It’s clearly Microsoft recognizes how important it is to have some sort of contact center solution offering for customer that are looking into an Enterprise Unified Communication Voice solution but yet still has not disclosed any sort of contact center strategy to date.

Microsoft has several options clearly working with Nortel, a leader in the contact center space to provide the needs to contact center capabilities is one of the option. While Microsoft made it clear that the investment in aspect does not impact its relationship with Nortel. I’m pretty sure Nortel folks aren’t exited with this news. Another option is to acquiring a company in the contact center market, such as Aspect or possibly Interactive Intelligence. Of course there still some rumors that Microsoft will acquire Siemens Enterprise Communications, Nortel, or any others which if true, would provide Microsoft with the needed contact center capabilities and expertise. These are still rumors and so far no truth to any of them yet.

I believes that there’s a good change that Microsoft will leverage both Nortel and Aspect’s expertise and than offer its own contact center offering, (may be competing with both companies). Regardless what route Microsoft is moving to, it’s important that they articulate iuts contact center strategy for those companies that are looking to OCS as an enterprise voice solution.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Microsoft Office Communicator License Expired

I think some of you might encounter this pop-up error “Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 cannot start. The product license may be expired because you are using a pre-release or evaluation copy of the program, or the product key information may have been modified in your Windows registry. Please run Setup to uninstall and then reinstall Communicator.”
This error means the Microsoft Office Communicator has expire or caused by the package install method. You may require to reinstall with the Office communicator again. Get the CD from your MSFT Select CD pack or from you Microsoft Reseller or you may download from MSDN.

Some deployment applications use transforms with the MSI that have included the ProductID property. This ProductID value is set to "none" in the registry key below. This will then trigger the timer for evaluation. Once the timer expired the message will be received. There is no indication to the program that it is running in evaluation mode.
There are 3 options to resolve this issue:
Option 1: Repair the MST (transform) by removing the ProductID property. Then delete the ProductID value in the registry and let the MSI self-heal.
Option 2: Re-push Communicator with the corrected transform & product key. This should run a repair and will replace the bad ProductID in the registry.
Option 3: Push an uninstall package; then the corrected installation package for Communicator

Friday, March 7, 2008

OCS 2007 with Dual Focking Feature

Can OCS 2007 have the "Dual Forking" capability? This is the question many people trying to search for. Nortel has been working closely with Microsoft to make this a reality with their CS1000 system which enable "Dual Forking" capability and without needs of media gateway.
If you want to find out more, please visit the following link

Microsoft Real-Time Communications (RTC)

Microsoft RTC is describes protocols such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), SIP Instant Messaging and Presence Language Extensions (SIMPLE), and Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). Microsoft uses these protocols and related technologies to provide a real-time communications (RTC) platform for corporate multi-modal communication, which includes voice and video communication, instant messaging, application sharing, and collaboration. With this; voice communication and the way the Microsoft Windows XP operating system supports it are used to illustrate how the underlying technologies work.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is an application-layer control (signaling) protocol for creating, modifying, and terminating sessions with one or more participants. It can be used to create two-party, multiparty, or multicast sessions that include Internet telephone calls, multimedia distribution, and multimedia conferences. SIP is designed to be independent of the underlying transport layer; it can run on TCP, UDP, or SCTP. It is widely used as a signaling protocol for Voice over IP, along with H.323 and others.

SIP has the following characteristics:
a) Transport-independent, because SIP can be used with UDP, TCP, SCTP & so on.
b) Text-based, allowing for humans to read SIP messages.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet or Wide Area Netowrk (WAN). VoIP is often used abstractly to refer to the actual transmission of voice (rather than the protocol implementing it). VoIP is also known as IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband. "VoIP" is pronounced voyp.

Companies providing VoIP service are commonly referred to as providers, and protocols which are used to carry voice signals over the IP network are commonly referred to as Voice over IP or VoIP protocols. They may be viewed as commercial realizations of the experimental Network Voice protocol (1973) invented for the ARPANET providers. Some cost savings are due to utilizing a single network to carry voice and data, especially where users have existing underutilized network capacity that can carry VoIP at no additional cost. VoIP to VoIP phone calls are sometimes free, while VoIP to public switched telephone networks, PSTN, may have a cost that is borne by the VoIP user.

Voice over IP protocols carry telephony signals as digital audio, typically reduced in data rate using speech data compression techniques, encapsulated in a data packet stream over IP.
There are two types of PSTN to VoIP services: Direct Inward Dialing
(DID) and access numbers. DID will connect the caller directly to the VoIP user while access numbers require the caller to input the extension number of the VoIP user.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Call Hunting with OCS 2007?

In PBX space, Call Hunting is a calling festure for inbound calls to "roll past" a busy signal or retrying on a scequest of extentions or numbers until the call is connected.

Can Call Hunting feature work on OCS 2007? No... At the moment OCS 2007 will not able to support Call Hunting feature. If in the situation where its still require this feature, it has to be configure on the existing PBX system.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Internet Convergence Conference and Exhibition (ICCE) 2008

The Malaysian National Computer Confederation (MNCC) will be organising ICCE 2008 on the 11-13th March 2008 at Sheraton Subang.

The march of technological developments in the ICT industry has been relentless. IPT is the fastest growing sub-sector within the industry as evidenced by frequency and intensity of new ICT announcements and literature of matured products and solutions.

For further information on ICCE, you can check the following website: