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Integrating Lync 2010 with Exchange 2010 – Part 1

Paul Roman [MVP for Exchange, MCSE, MCSA, MCST, MCITP]

Paul Roman [MVP for Exchange, MCSE, MCSA, MCST, MCITP] Photo

Paul is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer since 1999. His experience covers a large number of Microsoft Exchange implementations starting from small infrastructures and going to large hosting infrastructures for thousands of users. Starting with April 1st, 2010, Paul is MVP for Exchange.

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Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 are designed to improve communication and collaboration within the enterprise. The two are designed to work together but certain steps are required to integrate them together.

Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 are at the moment two of the hottest products from Microsoft. Both are designed to improve communication and collaboration within the enterprise and together are covering all the requirements for the ultimate communication platform.

Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 are designed to work together but not exactly out of the box. There are certain steps that need to be followed first. In all we have three areas that may be integrated:

Outlook local client - provides Outlook users with in-context access to the instant messaging, enhanced presence, telephony, and conferencing capabilities of Lync.

Outlook Web App - provides OWA users with web access to instant messaging and enhanced presence.

Voice integration - integrates voice capabilities of Lync with Exchange 2010 voice mail.

This article assumes you already have Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 infrastructures in place. We also assume that the Lync Enterprise voice is enabled and working.

Integrating Outlook local client with Lync server

All the Outlook 2010/2007 integration features are enabled by default when you install the Lync client. You can control the settings individually using the Lync client, Outlook client, Office Group Policy objects or through Lync Server 2010 in-band policies. Each alternative provides access to different settings as described below.

Microsoft Outlook 2003 with the latest service pack and earlier versions of Exchange are compatible with Lync 2010 but do not support the full degree of integration. To find out more about Outlook 2003 and Lync client integration check the compatibility matrix.

1. Control integration via Lync Client

To access the Lync Client settigns, go to the "Options" button and then select "Personal". The following screen will show up:

Lync Client Options

Here you can control:

  • Whether or not Lync is to update presence based on Exchange calendar information

  • Whether we want to save within the "Conversation History" data regarding instant messaging or call logs

  • Whether we want to save Lync contacts in Exchange personal contacts folder

2. Control integration via Outlook client

From Outlook you can control if the presence information is displayed next to the person name. In Outlook 2010 | File tab, select Options, click Contacts and access the settings under Online status and photographs.

Outlook 2010 Lync Options

In Outlook 2007 go to Tools | Options | Other | Person Names and select Display online status next to a person name

Outlook 2007 Lync Options

3. Office Group Policy objects

There are a number of settings that are available only using Office Group Policy objects. I will not cover each of them here because there are too many. You can find the details in TechNet here:
Overview of Client Policies and Settings

4. Control via Lync Server 2010 in-band policies

All the Outlook 2010/2007 integration features are enabled by default but can be controlled via Lync Server 2010 in-band policies.

Using the Lync Server Management Shell run:
Get-CSClientPolicy

This will give you the client policies configured for use in your organization. If you did not define any custom Client Policy you will get the default Global Client policy shown bellow.

Client Policies

If for example you wanted to disable emoticons, you could run the following cmdlet from the Lync Server Management Shell:
New-CsClientPolicy -Identity NoEmoticons -DisableEmoticons $True

where "NoEmoticons" is the name that you want to give to this policy

To apply the newly defined Client Policy next run the following cmdlet:
Get-CsUser -LDAPFilter "l=Bucharest" | Grant-CsClientPolicy -PolicyName NoEmoticons

In this case, we filtered the users by using locality LDAP filter. To find out more about Get-CsUser command and LDAP filters check the TechNet Get-CsUser documentation.

The table that follows lists all the settings that can be modified using Lync Server 2010 in-band policies. This table is available from TechNet here and is being reproduced for your convenience:

Policy Description
CalendarStatePublicationInterval Specifies the amount of time, in seconds, that Lync waits before retrieving calendar information from Outlook and adding this data to your presence information.
DisableCalendarPresence Disables the loading of free or busy data from Outlook.
DisableFreeBusyInfo Prevents Lync from displaying Outlook information about free/busy states to other contacts.
DisableMeetingSubjectAndLocation Prevents Lync from publishing the subject and location information of a meeting. This value is not used if DisableCalendarPresence is set or if the Update my status based on calendar data option is not set.
DisableOnlineContextualSearch When set to True, disables the Find Previous Conversations menu option that appears when you right-click a user in your Contacts list.
DisablePresenceNote Prevents users from selecting or clearing of the corresponding user setting, and disables retrieval of the Outlook Out of Office message.
EnableCallLogAutoArciving Controls the automatic saving of information about incoming and outgoing phone calls. When set to False, the corresponding user dialog box setting is unavailable.
EnableExchangeContactSync When set to True (the default value), Lync creates a corresponding personal contact in Outlook for each person on a user's Lync Contacts list.
EnableExchangeDelegateSync When set to True, enables delegates that a user has configured in Exchange to schedule meetings for that user.
EnableIMAutoArchiving Controls automatic archiving of instant messages to the Outlook Conversation History folder. When set to False, the corresponding user setting is unavailable, but users can still manually save individual conversations.
ExcludedContactFolders Indicates which Outlook contact folders (if any) should not be searched any time Lync searches for new contacts.
MAPIPollInterval For users of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, specifies how often Lync retrieves calendar data from the Exchange public folders.
WebServicePollInterval For users of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and later versions of the product, specifies how often Lync retrieves calendar data from EWS.

Conclusion

The integration between Exchange 2010 and Lync 2010 should work easily as long as you are a little bit familiar with both products. It's a task that you should definitely do because it provides you with features that can be very helpful within your company.

Today we started exploring the integration options focusing on integrating the Outlook Client with Lync Server. In the next part we will continue the discussion. We still have to cover the integration of the Outlook Web App OWA interface and the integration of the Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging Server role.

References

Integrating Lync 2010 with Exchange 2010 – Part 2

Integrating Lync 2010 with Exchange 2010 - Part 3

Lync 2010 Integration

Configure Outlook Web App and Lync Server 2010 Integration

Setting Lync 2010 policies (OCS Group Policy) with PowerShell

Lync and Exchange UM Integration

Deployment Process for Integrating On-Premises Unified Messaging and Lync Server 2010

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