Skype for Business Server – Assign User policies to AD groups

This is an update to a previous version of this tool written by myself and Guy Bachar.
The updated version can now run (and was tested!) on both Lync server 2010 and 2013, and Skype for Business Server.

Run this tool from Lync Management Shell or Skype for Business Management Shell.

Note you will need to run this tool with Local Admin permissions (You will be prompted for elevation automatically if not) and you must have ADDS RSAT installed so you can use the Active Directory PowerShell Module.
You will be asked to provide an Active Directory Group name. Type the Display Name of the group, the tool will reply with the CN of the group, confirming you chose the right group:

Choose Group

Then choose the type of policy (or dial plan) you want to assign this group, there are 14 options:
1     Voice Policy
2     Client Policy
3     External Access Policy
4     Mobility Policy
5     Archiving Policy
6     Hosted Voicemail Policy
7     Client Version Policy
8     Conferencing Policy
9     Voice Routing Policy
10     Location Policy
11     PIN Policy
12     Presence Policy
13     Persistent Chat Policy
14     Dial Plan

After choosing one of the 14 options, you’ll be asked whether you want to assign the global policy to this group or choose from the existing user policies:

Choose from policies

If you choose 1 (This is always the Global policy), that will be assigned to the group.
If you choose 2, a new sub-menu will open, detailing the policies you can assign:

External Access

You will then be asked to confirm the change and the policy will be assigned the group.

The tool can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

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What did the July 2015 update for Lync 2013 and Skype for Business fix?

 

  • CPU usage is reduced when emoticon animations are active in multiple conversations in Skype for Business or Lync 2013:
    Occurs when you send or receive emoticon animations. The emoticons keep animating, and that overuses CPU resources.
    KB3076504
  • Add the click-to-call feature for RCC-enabled users from the contact card in Skype for Business or Lync 2013:
    If you enabled remote call control (RCC) for an account in Microsoft Lync 2013 or in Microsoft Outlook 2013,  the phone number hyperlink of the contact is not clickable.
    KB3072751
  • Active Directory contact’s name is changed to the phone number in the contact list of Skype for Business or Lync 2013:
    Occurs when a contact has no email or SIP address and only has a display name and a phone number in Active Directory.
    KB3072753
  • Typed characters take a long time to display in the message input box in Skype for Business or Lync 2013:
    Might occur on a computer that has more than 15 conversations opened in Microsoft Lync 2013.
    KB3072752
  • Chinese Contact Group name is displayed in garbled characters in Skype for Business or Lync 2013 (How can you tell?!?!?):
    Occurs on various scenarios involving Exchange Server.
    KB3072755
  • An update to the user interface for group contact counts in contact lists in Skype for Business or Lync 2013:
    This update simplifies contact lists view to only display the total number of contacts in a group instead of the online/total number in Microsoft Lync 2013.
    KB3072754

 

Server 2012 or 2012R2 Blue Screen when installing Skype for Business or Lync Servers

Published earlier by Microsoft, a Stop error D1 when will occur when you start front-end services on Skype for Business Server 2015-based servers. This will also affect Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Edition pools that have at least two front-end servers in Windows Server 2012. This will mostly impact organizations that will perform an in-place upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015.

This is due to a bug on in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. The trigger is a TDI filter driver on the machine that may be used by some antivirus and VPN software.

To resolve this issue for Windows Server 2012 you will need to install the hotfix described in KB2957927 on all Lync 2013 Servers that are installed on Windows Server 2012.

Do determine if you have such a driver installed on your system, look for event 16001 on your system log.
A faster way of finding it out will be running the following command command from an elevated PowerShell window:

get-eventlog -logname system  | ?{$_.eventid -eq "16001"}

Source: Microsoft.

Lync 2013 app for Windows Phone preparing for Skype for Business

An update for the Lync 2013 app for Windows Phone was just released, taking the app to version 5.9.1371.0.

I noticed no major changes (could be quicker but I believe this is only wishful thinking…), however the app description states clearly that Lync will soon become Skype for Business:

wp_ss_20150623_0001

 

When the app is started there’s a one-time screen confirming a change is coming:

 

wp_ss_20150623_0002

Download the update from Windows Store.

 

 

Skype for Business client – force address book download

If you’re using the next version of Office (That’s Office 2016, Preview available for download here), you’re already using the new Skype for Business client.

Results

If you used Lync before and now you find that your address book is not up to date and you get the “Address book synchronizing. Results may not be current” message, you might want to force your client to download the address book.

This is a fairly simple task, and it’s quite similar to the workaround from the Lync 2010 and 2013 clients; all you need to do is add a registry key and you’re done.
If you already added this registry in the past, you’ll notice it stopped working, and here’s the reason:
The registry key we’re using for this is:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync\GalDownloadInitialDelay with a value of ‘0’.

But if you go to %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office you’ll see that you now have a 15.0 folder and a 16.0 folder:

16FolderThis needs to be presented in the registry too.
So add the following key to your registry using an elevated command prompt window:

reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Lync /v GalDownloadInitialDelay /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Exit the client, delete the two GalContacts files from your SIP_Username folder under the 16.0\Lync folder and restart the client.

GALfiles

You’re address book will be immediately downloaded to your client.

Skype for Business and Lync Servers certificate report

This is a cross-post with Guy Bachar’s blog, of a script we wrote back in August 2014 and that went through some technical (mostly Guy) and cosmetic (mostly yours truly) updates.

Report

This script will generate an HTML report of all Skype for Business \ Lync servers’ certificates, and you can even use it to send periodical emails.

As the new script supports contacting your Edge servers, there are some prereqs involved:

1. Enable Trusted Hosts on the Front-End server you’re running the script from:

Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Client\TrustedHosts -Value “*” -Force

2. Enable HTTP Compatibility Listener on all Edge servers:

Set-Item WSMan:\localhost\Service\EnableCompatibilityHttpListener -Value True

The script is pretty straight forward, all you have to do is run it form a local folder on your FE server with elevated permissions.
However, this will only give you the FE’s certificates.
Guy was smart enough to create the following additions:

-EdgeCertificates and -OWASCertificates

You can run either or both, and they will give you information about your Office Web Apps Servers’ certificates (-OWASCertificates) and your Edge Servers’ certificates (-EdgeCertificates).
When using the -EdgeCertificates option, you’ll be prompted to enter your Edge Server’s credentials.

Command

Visit Guy’s post for further information.

The script can be downloaded here, and we’ll love to hear your feedback.

Skype for Business in-place upgrade and SQL Express 2012

If you’re a small business using Lync 2013 standard edition, you might want to in-place upgrade your current Lync server to the new Skype for Business Server.
If you followed the prerequisites I previously listed here, or better yet, Greig Sheridan’s comprehensive article on how to upgrade, you should have the basics ready by now.

Lync 2013 is originally installed with SQL Express 2012, However, if you’re falling behind on SQL updates, you might not be able to complete start the installation as Skype for Business Server 2015 requires at least SQL Express 2012 SP1:

SQL2012SP1 missingUpgrading SQL Express 2012 to SP1 or SP2 is an easy task, but might be a little time consuming if you do it manually: You’ll need to update each database individually, meaning running the process 3 times (for RTC, RTCLOCAL, LYNCLOCAL).

update DB1
A faster way is to run it via command prompt or PowerShell:

First, download SQL Express 2012 SP2 (I know they only ask for SP1, but walk that extra mile, will ya?).
Choose to download the SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe file, this is all you need.
Place the file in a local folder on the server and run the following command:

SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe /action=Patch /allinstances /quiet /IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms

Command

The above will do the following for you:

  • Run the update process (/action=Patch)
  • Update all instances on the server (/allinstances)
  • Hide the GUI part where you need to use the mouse at least 5 times (/quiet)
  • Accept the T&Cs on your behalf (/IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms)

You’ll have no visibility of the update process (unless you choose to omit the /quiet switch) so go grab some coffee, this might take up to 20 minutes.
Look for event 17069 in the Application Log. you’re expecting to see “Microsoft SQL Server 2012 – 11.0.5058.0 (X64)” on the first line of the event – this means your upgrade process is complete:

SQLVersion

There should be an event per updated database.

Once completed, a restart of the server is recommended. Additionally, you’ll have to update the Lync databases with the following command:

Install-CsDatabase -ConfiguredDatabases -SqlServerFqdn <FEServer.domain> -Verbose

This will update the databases and will show you the following output in the log:

****Creating DbSetupInstance for ‘Microsoft.Rtc.Common.Data.LisDatabase’****
Trying to connect to Sql Server FE02.y0av.local\rtc. using windows authentication…
Sql version: Major: 11, Minor: 0, Build 5058.
Sql version is acceptable.

You can now run the Skype for Business Server 2015 installation on this server.

 

 

Install Skype for Business Server 2015 prerequisites on Windows Server 2008R2, 2012 and 2012R2

Skype for Business Server 2015 is here now, along with a new set of demands to install it right on your Windows Server. Here’s how to get it done: Windows Server 2008R2: Microsoft recommends that you only install Skype for Business Server 2015 on Windows Server 2012 or 2012R2. However, if you’re in-place upgrading from an existing installation of Lync 2013, you might like to use your existing Windows 2008R2 server. The following procedure assumes you already have Lync 2013 installed on your system, so all prerequisites should already be installed.

  • First, make sure you’re patched and up to date with Windows updates.
  • Download and install KB2533263.

Windows Server 2012:

  • First, make sure you’re patched and up to date with Windows updates.
  • Download and install KB2858668.
  • Run the following from an elevated PowerShell console:

Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS, Web-Server, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Net-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Scripting-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Desktop-Experience, Telnet-Client, BITS -Source D:\sources\sxs

  • -Source D:\sources\sxs” is the location of the .Net framework installation files, located on the “Sources\SXS” folder on your Windows Server 2012 installation media. You can point this to any other location that has this data.

Windows Server 2012R2:

  •  First, make sure you’re patched and up to date with Windows updates.
  • If you’re running an in-place upgrade from Lync Server 2013, Download and install KB2533263. All prerequisites should already be in place.
  • For a new installation of  Skype for Business Server 2015, run the following from an elevated PowerShell console:

Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADDS, Web-Server, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Net-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Scripting-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Desktop-Experience, Windows-Identity-Foundation, Telnet-Client, BITS -Source D:\sources\sxs

  • -Source D:\sources\sxs” is the location of the .Net framework installation files, located on the “Sources\SXS” folder on your Windows Server 2012 installation media. You can point this to any other location that has this data.

You’re all set and ready to install Skype for Business Server 2015 now.

“Join Skype Meeting” or “Join Lync Meeting” not working with Google Chrome

An update to Goggle Chrome has disabled support for the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI), which is being used by Lync and Skype for Business to launch the meeting on behalf of the client.

This will only happen if you’re using Chrome as your default browser.

The workaround:

  • Use a different browser as your default browser.

OR

  • type the following in Google Chrome’s address bar: Chrome://Flags/#enable-npapi
  • Click “Enable”

enablenpapi

  • Restart Chrome
  • Reinitiate the meeting join process
  • Enable the plugin

  • Refresh the Browser

MeetingOK

You’re good to go!

Source: KB3057679

 

Product review – Jabra Evolve 80

The new Jabra Evolve series brings some fancy new headsets to the working place.
There are quite some few models in that series, starting with the Evolve 20 (US$40) and ending with the Stereo Evolve 80 (US$329).

One thing about the Evolve 80: It’s good looking. It covers half you face, but it’s really good looking.
It covers your ears (Well, my ears at least…) completely and after a long day of use it is still comfortable enough to wear.
A red circle on the ear pieces will light up whenever you’re in a call and will alert your colleagues that you’re not only listening to music, you’re actually working… (A twist on that soon).

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The Evolve 80 MS is Lync certified and will show up as an audio device in your Lync \ Skype for Business client:

Audio Device

It connects via USB and has a control unit where you can answer and end the call, mute your microphone and control the volume. All very nice and shiny design:

Control Unit

The added bonus in the control unit (Remember the twist?) is that you can turn on the ear piece’s lights by pressing the Jabra button in the middle. This will make you look busy, when in fact you’re listening to the latest UC Architects podcast.

Gotta hit the road? commute on your way to work or spend some time in the air? Act as the flight’s captain by plugging the 3.5 jack into your phone or tablet. Voice and audio quality is just as good.

3.5Another cool feature is the Active Noise Cancellation. It will activate a battery-powered noise cancellation feature which will help reduce some environmental noise around you. It’s not extremely good, but will help reduce the chatter in the background if you’re trying to concentrate.

ANC

So, Jabra Evolve 80;

Likes:

  • Looks.
  • Sound and Audio Quality.
  • Comfortable.
  • Looks (they look that good it deserves two points).

Dislikes:

  • Microphone – big and annoying. Other Evolve products have a magnet in their Mics so they can attach themselves to the arch. Could be handy here.
  • Ear cushions – Comfortable, but can get messy if you sweat.
  • ANC requires a micro USB connected to recharge the internal battery.

All in all, a great product.