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Microsoft Releases a Ton of Lync 2013 Updates and Utilities

Lync 2013 logo 128x128It didn’t take long for the Lync people to return from Lync Conference 2013 and release a slew of updates, tools, and utilities. The lack of some of these has been a roadblocker for deployment of Lync Server 2013 for many organizations. So now you have no excuse!

Lync Server 2013 CU1 February 2013 Update

This is the first cumulative update for the 2013 version of the product. Two important features are added in this CU. The first is location-based routing, which should help ensure that voice traffic takes the best route, especially when users move around to other locations within the org. Another added feature is Group Call Pickup, a long requested feature allowing others in a group to pick a ringing line.

There are also some fixes in this CU. Among the changes in it are:

  • Update for Core Components
    • 2781550 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Core Components: February 2013
  • Update for Conferencing server
    • 2781551 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Conferencing Server: February 2013
  • Update for Web Components server
    • 2781564 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Web Components: February 2013
  • Update for Standard or Enterprise edition server
    • 2781547 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013: February 2013
  • Update for Web Conferencing server
    • 2787570 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Web Conferencing Server: February 2013
  • Update for Mediation server
    • 2796554 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Mediation Server: February 2013
  • Update for Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit
    • 2781555 Description of the cumulative update for Lync Server 2013, Unified Communications Managed API 4.0 Runtime: February 2013
  • Update for Call Park Service
    • 2781549 Description of the cumulative update for the Lync Server 2013 Call Park service: February 2013

Download the CU at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2809243. It’s VERY important that you read the entire documentation with this update. Like 2010 updates, there are some manual steps that must be performed once the update is installed. This includes some database updates. Also note that if you have SQL mirroring, you must break the mirror, update, then re-establish the mirror. Breaking/recreating the mirror is a short-term issue, and will hopefully not be necessary in future updates.

Lync Server 2013 Resource Kit Tools

Next up is the Resource Kit Tools. This long desired release includes many tools useful in a Lync environment, including the Address Book Config tool, Bandwidth Policy Service Monitor, DBAnalyze, SEFAUtil, the Topology Validator and more. It can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36821

Lync Server 2013 Persistent Chat Resource Kit

Here are some tools to help manage Persistent Chat, including

  • AffCheck – This tool confirms that Persistent Chat backend database user and group affiliation records match that in Active Directory
  • ChatMonitoringSummary – This tool summarizes the Persistent Chat monitoring information from the monitoring database into a CSV file. Information such as Persistent Chat total sessions, successful sessions, failed sessions with expected and unexpected failures (and their MS diagnostic id, counts and description) from the monitoring database is output so the administrator can understand the service reliability.
  • ChatStress Tool – This tool provides an easy way to simulate the usage of Persistent Chat to test your user model that represents your usage patterns.
  • ChatUpgradeVerifier – This tool compares your source Group Chat database (OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat or Lync 2010 Group Chat) to your Lync Server 2013 Persistent Chat database. This tool can be used to verify if your migration was successful and give you insights into the discrepancies.
  • ChatUsageReport – This tool generates an HTML report of Persistent Chat service usage and includes things such as Top Active Users, Top Active Rooms, Least Active Rooms, Inactive Rooms etc. The administrator can use this information to clean up rooms that are stale and get a better idea of the chat traffic they are seeing.
  • ScheduleADSyncForPrincipal – This is a SQL script that can be run from within SQL Server Management Studio and allows you to force Persistent Chat to synchronize it’s records of a user with those in Active Directory rather than waiting for the scheduled synchronization time.

Lync Server 2013 Whiteboard Archiving Viewer

Whiteboard info is stored in the archive as XML data. This tool is useful if you need to view archived whiteboard data in its original form. Download it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36822

Lync Server 2013 Planning Tool

Proper planning of a new Lync design is much easier with the Planning Tool. It’s now available for Lync Server 2013. Download from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36823

Lync Server 2013 Documentation Help File

The latest .chm file is also available. Download it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35405 and stay on top of the latest help documentation.

Lync client 2013 SDK

Interested in doing some client development? Then this software development kit (SDK) is beneficial. Download it from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36824

Lync Server 2013 Persistent Chat Server SDK

Build applications for Persistent Chat using the resources within this SDK. Download from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35458

Office 2013 Visio Stencil

A new stencil is out that includes the various Office 2013 products and features, and is available from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35772. This Lync 2013/Exchange 2013/SharePoint 2013/Office 365.

Other recent updates include

Cumulative update for Lync Phone Edition for Polycom CX500, Polycom CX600, and Polycom CX3000 telephones: January 2013

This is a firmware update for the Lync Phone Edition devices. Among the changes is the introduction of Music On Hold as part of the firmware. Download it from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2737911. Use my handy script to make getting these deployed easier.

Lync 2013 client updates

This was a long awaited update for the Lync 2013 client. The big feature added is the ability to hide offline/away contacts. Several other fixes included as well. Download from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2812461

Office Stencil for Exchange 2013

This stencil covers Exchange, including shapes such as On-Premises, Hybrid, and Office 365. It can be downloaded at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36448