Saturday, February 11, 2012

Using Lync Client for OCS

While the new Lync Client brings a lot of new functions and a complete new look (nice one too J), it isn’t compatible with a OCS 2007 R2 environment. Another downside is that it can’t be installed together with Communicator 2007 on a single machine. This will benefit when a infrastructure is in the midst of migrating from OCS to Lync or when OCS users requires connectivity to both OCS 2007 R2 and Office365 Lync.
Out-of-the-box the client will give you an error message when you try to sign in into an OCS 2007 R2 pool, stating that the version is not correct. This tells me there IS some kind of communication, however, it’s being detected and blocked.
After some research from Google,  it has been found that there is a way to run the Lync 2010 client on a OCS 2007 R2 environment – simply by bypassing a version check. To bypass this check, you have to create a new registry entry:

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator
Name:  DisableServerCheck
Value: 1 (00000001)

When this entry has been created, the version check will be skipped, and the Lync Client WILL logon to the OCS 2007 R2 environment. Actually, most of the functions just work fine! IM, Presence, calling (MOC to MOC or MOC to Lync)  and video all as expected.
Of course there are some functions which don’t work correctly. One of these functions is the “Live Meeting” functionality; this is now built-in into the Lync Client, while in the previous version it was a separate client. Installing Lync will uninstall the LiveMeeting plug-ins in outlook as well, disabling you to schedule an old-fashion meeting. The other limitation that came with this workaround is that the address book cannot be synchronized which means that you will not be able to find anyone that was not added to your contacts previously in MOC. (To workaround this you could find the person in outlook and form there initiate a IM session, tedious but workable)

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