Skype for Business VCFG Viewer

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When preparing documentation for a customer or trying to survey an existing deployment, I usually ask for a copy of the Voice Configuration files (.vcfg) of Lync \ Skype for Business to see how things are set up.

Currently there’s no option to view the vcfg file in a readable format.
Sure, you can open the vcfg file in a text editor or even a web browser and browse through the xml. Alternatively, you can import the configuration to your servers – but good luck trying to read it between the “Committed” and “Uncommitted” text.

The vcfg viewer is a “PowerShell executable” that runs through the vcfg file and renders it to a readable html file.
Simply run the ps1 file, choose the vcfg file you wish to open, and you’ll have a browse able page to examine the vcfg file:

Download the ps1 file here.

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November 2015 update for Skype for Business and Lync 2013

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Microsoft released an update for Skype for Business and Lync 2013.

The update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Lync 2013 and Skype for Business as described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-116 and Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-123.

This security update also fixes the following issues:

Note that this update will upgrade your Lync 2013 client to Skype for Business.

*** The download link was removed by MS – I will update as soon as it’s available.

*** Update is available again.

Download (32-bit)

Download (64-bit)

Source: Microsoft

Exchange UM and SDP 180\183

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So, had a pretty funny (well, it started funny…) discovery a couple of weeks back:

I have a pretty simple environment that looks pretty much like this:

UM design

  • There’s a Lync 2013 pool.
  • There’s an Exchange 2010 UM server.
  • There’s an old QSIG PBX.
  • There’s an AudioCodes M1000 SBC to connect the above.

Users on Lync can dial users on the old PBX and vice versa via the AudioCodes SBC, voicemail works for users on both platforms; Lync and Exchange communicate directly over TLS, the old PBX and Exchange are communicating via the AudioCodes SBC over TCP, messages can be heard on the Outlook clients for both platforms, but one (apparently) critical feature is missing:
When users on the old PBX hit the “Play on Phone” button on their Outlook client to play their voicemail on their handset, the call rings, but we can’t hear any audio.
It works perfectly for Lync users, but users on the PBX’s UM dial plan can’t play their messages on the phones.

I immediately blames the SBC as there was no reason why any other call would connect, except for calls originating at the Exchange UM server.

Traces showed the following:

Trace

The gateway is doing everything you’d ask it to do, everything looks ok, but still, no audio could be heard.

Next I went to the Exchange UM server. Using Wireshark, I traced a one of the calls from the Exchange UM server to the user’s handset.
Using the Wireshark’s VoIP Calls player,  I could actually hear myself speaking on the handset, but there was nothing playing on the Exchange side.

Took me some time and some assistance from the nice guys at Microsoft to discover the following:

There’s a UCMA design limitation, where SDP can only be sent in 183 and in 200 OK.
If the “180 Ringing” contains SDP, UCMA will freak out.
My SBC was sending two provisional responses with SDP – 183 with SDP and 180 with SDP, before sending the 200 OK with SDP.
Apparently, we could send only 183 with SDP or 180 with SDP.
Sending both would cause the UCMA to get stuck and not initiate the Audio channel.

Who would have thought!

Once we suppressed the 183 packet, Exchange UM immediately started playing audio.

Skype for Business Response Groups Diagrams

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This is something I was looking for every time I had a deployment with multiple Response Groups.

Customers and management would usually like to see a graphic chart of how the Response Groups’ workflows work, what are the timeout and over flow options, what’s the chosen routing method for each group,  and who are the users in each group.

Looking at Matt Landis‘ great Get-csRgsWorkflowDiagram script, I was inspired (and in need) to do something similar.

Took a while to get it where I wanted, but the version published here now is one I’m very happy about and it actually gives me everything I was looking for.

It’s actually two files;

  • One file is the script that you should run from your PC.
  • The second file is a custom Visio stencil (.vss file) that will be downloaded to your “My Shapes” folder (That’s always in your “My Documents” folder after you install Visio) and will provide the Visio images for the script. You can find it here if you wish to download it to your machine beforehand.
    The script will detect proxy\download issues and will prompt you to download the VSS file manually if required.

Prerequisites

  • Run this script from your workstation – not from the server. It doesn’t matter if your workstation is in the domain or not.
  • You’ll need an installation of Visio on that machine.
  • PowerShell 3.0 is a must.
  • ADDS RSAT is required if you’re sing Active Directory Distribution Groups for some of your Response Groups’ groups. We’re using the AD PowerShell Module to expand these groups and list their users.
  • Your Lync\S4B pool’s FQDN and administrator credentials.
  • Your Execution policy set to Bypass, at least until I start signing my scripts…

Running the script

From PowerShell, run the file, it will immediately prompt you for your Pool’s FQDN:

Pool Name

Enter your pool’s name and you’ll be prompted for credentials:

Creds

The script will generate a list of all your Response Groups. Pick up a Response Group nunmber from the list, or hit 0 for all Response Groups. Each workflow will be drawn in a new page:

WF List

If required, it will download the Visio stencil and place it in your “My Shapes” folder:

VSS

The script will start drawing the diagram in the background:

Drawings

Upon completion, the script will auto-save the file to your My Documents folder:

Path

The file is saved with the workflow’s name and the creation date:

File

And is ready to be opened:

Visio Window

For multiple Response Groups you’ll have multiple pages, each with the Workflow’s name.

Diagrams are scaled to fit the pages, but might be larger due to large number of agents in a group.

Known Issues

  • This script was tested in English, you might experience some issues if you’re running Visio under a different language.
  • Windows 10 OS build 10565 can’t install ADDS RSAT – the script will not expand Distribution Groups.

Download

Please download the script here.

Skype for Business Online updates

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Announced today, Microsoft is expanding some Skype for Business Online services and offering new ones;

PSTN Conferencing preview will now be available to customers in the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

Finland, Norway and South Africa will be able to use this feature in November.

Cloud PBX Preview now available worldwide, allowing customers to get rid of separate PBXs globally and still break out locally. This is option still requires an om-premises S4B server installation.

Polycom CX is not dead yet – Skype for Business customers can use Polycom CX600 and CX3000, HP 4120, and Mitel Mivoice 6725 to connect to the cloud directly. Polycom VVX series Can be used as well.

source and more details: Microsoft.

MS15-104 Security update breaks Lync Server 2013 web services

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Microsoft released a KB article describing issues with the Web Components Server on Lync Server 2013 after installing the latest security update.
It affects the following:

•Users can’t sign in to your dial-in page.
•Lync Mobile clients can’t sign in.
•External clients can’t sign in.
•Address book web queries fail.
•Users are prompted for credentials for some web services after they sign in internally to Lync desktop clients.

To resolve this problem, uninstall security update 3080353, install the July 2015 cumulative update, and then reinstall security update 3080353.

Source and additional information: Microsoft.

Skype for Business Users’ pictures from URLs

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This was out first on the November 2013 update for Lync Server 2013 where Microsoft brought back the (not so) loved Lync 2010 feature feature of allowing users to set their Lync pictures to internet accessible photos.
Soon, all users in the organization were superheroes and Sports Illustrated models.

Users that were not enabled for this feature will only see the following when trying to change their photo:

No photo option

A short command will add this feature to any policy that you had at the time and you could later control this with the Set-CsClientPolicy -DisplayPhoto, specifying “NoPhoto”,
“PhotosFromADOnly”, or “AllPhotos”

Now, what happens if you have a new client policy that requires this feature? (Or you never enabled it before?)

First, find out which policies are enabled with this feature by running the following:

Get-CsClientPolicy | ft Identity,PolicyEntry

The result should be similar to this:

Before

unless this was never enabled in your environment, then all of the above should be empty with only “{}”.

Now choose the policy you want to assign this feature to and run the following command:

$NPE=New-CsClientPolicyEntry -Name EnablePresencePhotoOptions -Value True

$Policy=Get-CsClientPolicy -Identity <PolicyName>

$Policy.PolicyEntry.Add($NPE)

Set-CsClientPolicy -Instance $Policy

Make sure you replaced “<PolicyName>” with your actual policy and then run the
Get-CsClientPolicy | ft Identity,PolicyEntry” command again.
The output will now show you have that set for the policy you chose:

After

And the Client can now change their profile photo:

New Photo

Remember there’s still a restriction on picture sizes (30 KB Max) and they must be publically available.

Client