Thursday, May 28, 2009

OCS front end service fails to start after KB967831

OCS front end service fails to start after KB967831

KB967831 patch will try to update OCS and afterwards will try to start RtcQmsAgent (aka Monitoring Agent)

If you dont use or configure this service it will never start, causing the rollback of the patch and with it the failure of the frontend service.

So just install MS messaging queue services (ServerManagerCmd -i MSMQ-Services) and MS messaging queue server (ServerManagerCmd -i MSMQ-Server) and reapply the patch that will apply with success since now he is able to start Monitoring Agent Service.

Source for this information:

This solved my problem in my LAB ;) …… all the server are setup to update automatic ………… UPS “MS Update”, where did you test this patch before rolling it out to the public !

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Communicator 2007 R2 hotfix rollup package: May 2009 kb971083

get it here
Issue that this update package fixes
This cumulative update fixes the following issue:
  • 971078 ( ) An Automatic Update download is not initiated on a computer that is running Office Communicator 2007 R2 build 3.5.6907.9

This cumulative update also includes the following previously released updates:
  • 968504 ( ) Description of the Communicator 2007 R2 update for Microsoft Online Services

  • 968623 ( ) You experience one-way audio when LG-Nortel IP8540 or Polycom CX700 phones are used in an Audio Video call on Windows XP

  • 968624 ( ) Error events occur when you disconnect a computer that is running Communicator 2007 R2 from the network: "Event ID: 3" or "Event ID: 7"

  • 968625 ( ) Description of a hotfix that applies the initial changes for the integration of Office Communicator 2007 R2 and the next version of Office after the Office 2007 release

  • 968628 ( ) Communicator 2007 R2 stores the Actual Remote Number (The number that is dialed) for outgoing calls to a remote party

  • 968631 ( ) The font in the Conversation window is very small when you run Office Communicator 2007 R2 on a Windows Vista-based computer that has high DPI (120 DPI) with Internet Explorer 8 installed

  • 968632 ( ) You cannot click the password field and enter a password when you sign in to Office Communicator 2007 R2

  • 968634 ( ) Description of Office Communicator 2007 R2 update to support Polycom roundtable devices

  • 968690 ( ) In Office Communicator 2007 R2, User A gets a failure-to-deliver message after sending an IM to User B even though User B receives the message

It solved also Exchange 2010 integration problems get more info here

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Running Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Virtualized Topology

This document describes the results of a series of configurations that were run in a Hyper-V environment to validate that Office Communications Server on Hyper-V provides stable performance and scalability for production use.

Enterprise Voice, Remote Call Control (RCC), Response Group Service, dial-In conferencing, audio/video conferencing, Web conferencing, and Communicator Web Access desktop sharing workloads are not supported in a virtualized Office Communications Server 2007 R2 deployment. This occurs because of several factors, including packet loss, delay, jitter, and clock skew. These factors impact the quality and performance of real-time media when virtualized. However, these factors do not impact other workloads such as instant messaging and presence because these workloads are less susceptible to delay and can use the natural retry mechanisms in the SIP protocol and the underlying TCP transport.




Supported features

Unsupported features

Enterprise front-end server


Presence, IM

Enterprise Voice, audio/video

Standard Edition Server



IM Conferencing Server


IM Conferencing


Access Edge Server


Remote Access

Federation, Public IM Connectivity


SQL Server back-end server


Office Communications Server Backend


Group Chat Channel Server


Channel Server


Group Chat Look-up Server


Channel and Load balancing management


Group Chat back-end server


Group Chat database


Group Chat Compliance Server




Group Chat Compliance back-end server


Compliance database





Audio/Video Conferencing Server



Application Sharing Conferencing Server



Web Conferencing Server



Telephony Conferencing Server



Archiving Server






Web Conferencing Edge Server



A/V Edge Server



Mediation Server



Outside Voice Control Service



Conferencing Attendant Service



Response Group Service



Conferencing Announcement Service



Update Server



Communicator Web Access



Friday, May 8, 2009

R2 Communicator Phone edition USB connected vs Remote Call Control and Dual-forking

User expirence: only first time that they connect the Phone edition via USB. image

A connections has been detected between your deskphone and communicator. to complete the connection…………….blah blah


Now the Communicator phone edition is ready to use and the PC Communicator will use the Communcator Phone edition as the Voice device and it’s plug and play like all other Communicator ready devices.
This is like Remote Call Control from a users point of view, the “phone” will be the default voice device.

“Tanjay” LGNortel IP Phone 8540 connetced via USB.


Differents between Communicator (PC) and Communicator Phone Edition.

  • You can’t call your contact Voice mail direct. ('*1)
  • No indication (icon) on Federations partner('*1)
  • You can’t setup simultaneusly ringing on Phone edition, you can se if it set, but can’t set it from the Phone. (need to be changed in next version)
  • You can’t set up Team calling on phone edition (need to be changed in next version)
  • You can’t send IM and do Video call from the Phone edition
  • Communicator Edition will ring even if the PC isn’t started.
  • It’s like the old phone, easy adoption for “phone” dependent users :)

(*1) = you can’t do that from a legacy phone

Communication Phone edition vs. IP Phone with Remote Call Control (RCC) and Dual forking (DF).

If you compare the Communicator Phone edition to a Nortel IP phone and Remote Call Control (RCC) and Dual forking.

The only vendor that I know that can RCC and DF at the same time, is Nortel and you can’t compare that solution to any of the other vendors solutions that only supports RCC or DF and not at the same time,

In RCC and DF Nortel solution, users have the opportunity to decide on what voice device that they will use.


Phone edition vs. RCC and DF


  • Phone edition: No easy way to select your audio device you need to use “Set up audio and Video” but the phone must be plug-in the USB for a reason, “you should use it as your Voice device”, or just un-plug it ;)
  • Phone edition: No Call Admision Control (CAC) (technical issue)
  • Phone edition: There is only one Microsoft phone edition, no other models, (rumor says that there will be soon)
  • Phone edition: It’s a okay design, but when when you pick up the handset, it’s not that handy as some of the Notel handsets.
  • The listprice for Phone edition is a around 10-30% higher than a Normal IP phone (but remember the rumor about other Communicator devices)



  • The Phone Edition is the default Voice device to use, when Phone editon is Plug in via the UBS cable.
  • Phone edition is working from your DSL without VPN at home, (try that with your normal IP phone :) )
  • simultaneusly ringing control from PC Communicator, this will work (you can’t do that if you have RCC)
  • Remote Call Control and Dual Forking is somewhat complex to implement (from at technical point of view) compared to just use a direct SIP connection and Communicator Phone edition.
  • Remote Call Control and Dual Forking is somewhat complex to use, for non advanced users, they don’t understand it, and will only use use the Communcator as their voice device, or use the phone, they do not change between the possibilities. 
  • Then list of contacts and presence information is on the Phone edition.
  • You can start a Conference and Livemeeting when using Phone edition, it’s not possibly when using RCC
  • Federations voice call will only work from Phone edition.
  • Search for contacts in Activ directory and personal contacts in Phone edition
  • The Phone edition can work together with Communicator Attendant console. 

My conclution.
I dont need a Communicator Phone edition or legacy IP phone, only  as a letter holder :)


To be a bit serious, it depends of course on where you are in your company development and if the old TDM/IPT system needs a replacement, or you just needs to go in the right direction but perhaps not ready to take the big step, although you know it’s the future.


  • If simultan ringing controlled by Communicator and users must have a “Hard phone” is a demand, the only solution is Communicator phone edition
  • If you haven’t build the OCS infrastructure for high SLA and the voice solution must have a high SLA, maybe you should go for RCC and DF.
  • If not ready to fully deploy Communicator as primary Voice device and just looking for “Click to call” by reusing the IPT solution, maybe the RCC is the solution.

Voice profiles for a pilot test.
Before you take any decisions on what to role out, please do a pilot to test some diffrent Voice profiles.
In most of the project I have worked on, the focus change from “we only need RCC=Click to call” to okay we must have diffrent user profiles after they have done a pilot, so don’t take any desicions before the pilot, you will first understand the users needs after a pilot.

Voice profile exsamples

  1. Users that use Communicator and/or the Windows Mobile phone (incl. MOCO) as there primary voice device
  2. Users as no. 1, but incl. a phone edition
  3. Users using Communicator and RCC and DF if the PBX supports it (don’t do any “only” Dual forking without RCC, you wont get any phone presence in “only” DF senaries)

By getting X no. of pilot users in each category you can get feedback on what type of implentation will suit your organization, and normaly you won’t end up with just one profile.

Remember users don’t care about what IPT brand the company have in the basement, they care about whats on there PC or Desk, but they expect dial-tone every time they try to call someone :)

Here is a link to a great blog on USB connected Phone edition and also a good explanation on why they use a USB cable and not just a TCP connection



Doing my test on the Tanjay I found a bug or I think it’s a bug.
Depending on what level of access your contact are in you can or can’t search on display name.

searching for Kenneth typing “ke” it’s showing 2 times kenneth


kenneth and Kenneth (ocsblogs)

Please notes the display name Kenneth.
So when typing “ken” I was expecting still to have two contacts.
But if the contact is in access level public you can only search on SIP adresse and and by that I only see one Kenneth, because the SIP adresse is 


And if I was placed in personal on Kenneth’s contact list I could find two kenneth, finding them on display names.