Deploying Exchange Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (Part 9)

by [Published on 29 June 2010 / Last Updated on 29 June 2010]

After deploying Active Directory infrastructure, Exchange Server and OCS server components, the next stage is to start deploying OCS clients.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Introduction

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 allows us to use several different clients that we can use to collaborate better. Some of the available clients are Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 (MOC), Live Meeting, Group Chat, also add-in for Outlook. We are going to cover the installation process of some of them which is a pretty straight forward process and also how to configure Office Communicator to log on automatically in our new OCS Server 2007 R2 environment.

Installing Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 (MOC)

The Office Communicator client can be found as a separated media in the MSDN/TechNet Site. There is also a 120 day trial version available at Microsoft Downloads website.  In order to install the MOC client, you can use these following steps:

  1. On the initial page, click Next. (Figure 01)


Figure 01

  1. On the Microsoft Software License Terms page. Read the contract, accept it to continue and click Next.
  2. On the Microsoft Update Opt-In page. We can decide if Office Communicator can receive updates from Windows Updates, let’s select the option Use Microsoft Update when I check for updates (recommended) and click Next. (Figure 02)


Figure 02

  1. On the Install Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 page. We can define the path where it will be installed, let’s accept the default values and click Next.
  2. Final page containing the information if the installation process was successful or not. Click on Finish.

The previous steps can be automated and Communicator can be installed in several different ways, such as: using MSI switches in silent mode, logon script, and/or using software distribution system like SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager).

Office Communicator auto logon process and First Logon

Do you remember the DNS section that we saw before? So, time to use it! During the OCS deployment there is a step to create the SRV records for OCS however I would like to run those steps at this point where that information is going to be used. We can configure Group Policies to force configuration of OCS but in our scenario we want to enable automatic configuration where the user does not have to perform any manual step to logon in OCS.

First things first, Office Communicator follows a specific order to lookup the server based on the SIP domain entered by the client, the list of DNS entries that will be queried by Office Communicator can be seen in Figure 03, where domain.org must be changed by the name of your sip domain. We are going to configure the first option which is _sipinternaltls._tcp.andersonpatricio.org. The DNS SRV record that we are going to create will offer TLS over TCP to the clients and because it is the first client tentative it will work right away.


Figure 03

In order to configure our internal zone to automatic logon, these following steps can be performed:

  1. Open DNS Manager
  2. Expand <Server-Name>
  3. Expand Forward Lookup Zones
  4. Right click on the split-DNS zone name (in our article is andersonpatricio.org) and click on Other new records…
  5. Select Service Location (SRV) and click on Create Record… (Figure 04)


Figure 04

  1. By default MOC uses the automatic mode, and it’s going to look up the value of this SRV record which we are creating. The following table will help you out to fill out the required fields:

New Resource Record field

Value

Service

_sipinternaltls

Protocol

_tcp

Port Number

5061

Host offering this service

sip.<your-sip-domain>

A summary of the SRV record created in our scenario can be seen on Figure 05. An important point here, the domain of the host that we enter in the field Host offering this service must be the same as of the domain zone, also the certificate that we created in the previous article should contain the same information. In Figure 05 we see the configuration based on our scenario.


Figure 05

We already configured the SRV record to inform the OCS Communicator client that the service will be provided by sip.andersonpatricio.org, so we also need to create an A entry to that server. Lt’s right click on the zone name and fill out the name with the value sip and the IP address that is going to be the IP address of the OCS server (192.168.1.210). Click on Add Host. (Figure 06)


Figure 06

Now, that we configured the required DNS entries to accept automatic logon we just need to open Office Communicator logged as a domain user and also enabled to Office Communications Server and the client will be automatically logged on OCS server, as shown in Figure 07.


Figure 07

The Office Communicator default configuration is Automatic configuration which means that if you configured automatic log on properly you don’t have to bother about client configuration because they are going to pick the DNS server configuration up and log the user on automatically. If you go to Office Communicator options and then click on Advanced button, you can see the methods available (Automatic or Manual), as shown in Figure 08.


Figure 08

Office Communicator can help during the troubleshooting process. If you have any issues configuring automatic logon, you can go to General section on the Office Communicator options and enable the option Turn on Windows Event logging for Communicator (Figure 09) and then try to log on. All attempts to find the SRV records will be registered on the windows event logs.


Figure 09

Configuring Live Meeting and Office Live Meeting Add-in

The Office Live Meeting 2007 installation process is really simple, just access the following address and follow the installation process default settings. After installing it, you will see two new icons: Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting Recording, as shown in Figure 10.


Figure 10

Like Office Communicator this tool can be installed in an automated way in your environment. We can start Live Meeting sessions accessing the tool from Start Menu or through Office Communicator, just right click on a contact and click on Share Information using Live Meeting item.

There is also a third utility that can be added to the mix to increase the user productivity which is Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Outlook and this tool can be found here. The tool allows creating Live Meeting sessions directly from Outlook. After installing this Add-in we will be able to see it on the bottom of Outlook 2003/2007 menu, as shown in Figure 11.


Figure 11

Outlook 2010 and OCS 2007 R2

If you are using Outlook 2010 you will notice that there is a better integration than previous versions of the product. There is a frame inside Outlook 2010 where you can see the users’ status without opening Microsoft Office Communicator client, as shown in Figure 12.


Figure 12

Using OCS Management Console to Query OCS Utilization

At this point you probably invited some users to be the pilot group of the new OCS environment. How do you know how many users are really using OCS and initial numbers about OCS usage? In order to retrieve a basic usage of the product, let’s open Office Communications Server 2007 R2 console, expand Standard Editions Servers, expand <Server-Name>, expand <Server-Name> and click on Database tab on the right side. Under User Summary Reports click Go and a statistic will be displayed as shown in Figure 13.


Figure 13

Conclusion

In this article we went through the process of installing three new components that will be used by our clients to build our UC infrastructure, which were: Microsoft Office Communicator R2 (MOC), Live Meeting and Conferencing Add-in for Outlook.

In the next article we will be integrating our current environment with the Unified Messaging role of Exchange Server 2007 and start demonstrating UC and some cool features that the integration can bring to your end-users.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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