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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Skype for Business @ Microsoft Ignite What You Need To Know

I wasn’t able to go to Microsoft Ignite this year in Atlanta, but 4,078 miles away I have been watching social media, Microsoft blogs, live and on demand streams to gather as much relevant information as possible with regards to Skype for Business. The intention of this post is to summarise the key points I have come across, and there are quite a few.

Keynote

At the Ignite Keynote I picked up on the fact that Microsoft’s message for this Ignite was all about Cloud and Business Transformation. Not suprising right? The cloud bit not so much, but now Microsoft have taken their gloves off, removed their arm from around SI partners and are now pushing more and more direct services to businesses.  The message was clear, Corporate Vice President Julia White said that I.T no longer stands for Information Technology, but Innovation and Transformation. What does this mean?

Each of us will have our own intepretation of this, but for me:

Innovation – 75% Microsoft driven application services, 15% partner driven application services and 5% home grown application development. The decade 2020-2030 will be known as the decade of the Dev, like 2000-2010 was the decade of virtualisation and optimisation.

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Give Your Skype for Business PowerShell Scripts a UI In 10 minutes

First off, this is not really a Skype for Business post, and I do not pretend to be a Dev, so if you are looking for in depth coding then there are others out there who are way better than me. However, I wanted to share with you a method that can be easily adopted to give your PowerShell scripts a nice User Interface.

Previously, designing a UI in PowerShell meant you had to either write hundreds of lines of code referencing the Windows.Forms library, drawing out objects, assigning styles to them etc. etc. Or buy expensive software such as Sapien’s PowerShell Studio that did most of the heavy lifting for you, but you needed to be somewhat of a PowerShell wizard to create even basic scripts. Neither solution for me was ideal, PowerShell Studio just made my head hurt, while going old school and writing line by line was inefficient and often a simple script would bloat out from 50-60 lines of code to easily 2 or 300 lines. This of course may be down to my n00b coding skills but I imagine there are many people out there like me.

Looking around, I found a few projects that had made PowerShell modules you could reference to build your UI, but still there was a dependency on that module being installed on the system the script would eventually run on. I stumbled on a forum post that suggested to use Visual Studio to build your UI and then import it into your PowerShell script.

I have never used Visual Studio before, mainly because I am scared of it and didn’t really know where to start. Plus I am an impatient man, so I just wanted to get things working as fast as I could. However, I was astonished how easy it was.

The process is really simple. Create your UI in Visual Studio using.. you guessed it, a UI to design your UI, drag and drop, select component etc. Once complete copy the code to your PowerShell script, convert into variables, then reference the variables in your code to “do stuff”.

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Legacy PBX Number Presentation to Skype for Business Using Sonus SBCs and AD based RNL

A customer messaged me last week and asked me a question regarding number presentation to Skype for Business when users still on their legacy PBX system placed a call to a Skype for Business endpoint. The customer explained to me that when a Skype for Business user called an extension on their legacy PBX system, the caller display name showed the name of the caller. However, when a legacy PBX user called a Skype for Business endpoint, the caller display showed the extension number rather than the name of the caller, therefore not allowing the Skype for Business user to easily identify the caller.

The reason why when a Skype for Business user calls the legacy PBX extension the caller’s name is display is because out of the box, Skype for Business sends both the extension number and the name of the caller in the FROM header in the SIP INVITE to the legacy PBX. For Example:

FROM: “David Williams” <sip:+441270212000@skypefe1.domain.com:5068;user=phone>

Using SIP standards, the legacy PBX automatically interprets this and is able to display the name of the caller to the handset.

However, the legacy PBX system appeared to be configured with just extension numbers only. The system had no local directory to associate an extension with a name of the employee who has that extension supplied to them. The result of this was that when the legacy PBX sent the INVITE to Skype for Business the FROM header simply included just the extension number, like

FROM: sip:1005@legacypbx.domain.com:5060;user=phone

End user experience on a Skype for Business client is:

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