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Posts Tagged ‘Skype for Business Server 2019’

Set-CsFeatures.ps1 – Now With Support for Skype for Business Server 2019 and Windows Server 2019!

September 17th, 2018 No comments

Description

I’m happy to reach another major milestone for the Set-CsFeatures.ps1 script today, after many weeks of work. This PowerShell script, which installs prerequisites and post installation configuration and tools for Lync Server and Skype for Business Server, now adds support for a few new things. This includes a new version of Skype for Business Server, as well as another operating system. The major changes are listed below. See the full list of changes in the changelog (link at the bottom of this article). Having said all of that, let’s look at all the exciting stuff…

Support for Skype for Business 2019

The script will now install the prerequisites for Skype for Business Server 2019 roles, including front-end, mediation, and edge. “But Pat”, you say – “Skype for Business 2019 isn’t even out yet”. This is true. This script adds the support so that you can hit the ground running when the RTM version is released. If you’re already playing with the Preview version in your lab, this will work there as well. Since Skype for Business Server 2019 has more features related to Office 365, including Skype for Business hybrid and online, and Microsoft Teams, rest assured that I’ll be adding more options and features to support and utilize those.

Support for Windows Server 2019

Now supported by this script are the prerequisites for Windows Server 2019 when installing Skype for Business Server 2019. What what what? That’s right, I support a not-yet released version of Skype for Business on a not-yet released operating system. Crazy? Yep. But some individuals and organizations are already working with this combination, and I wanted to provide a solution that makes life easier for them. Rest assured that as the SfB 2019 and WS2019 solutions evolve, so will this script. Version 5.0 of this script was tested against build 17744.r5 of Windows Server 2019.

Optimized code

As I’ve said before, I don’t consider myself a developer. I’m merely a coder that manages to make things work. As my skills increase, I always try to revisit existing scripts and enhance them with better ways of accomplishing tasks. Some of that is from methods available in newer versions of PowerShell, and some are just in the discovery of better avenues of approach to tasks. There are a LOT of changes in the script to reflect that. If I had to guess, I’d say at least 1000 lines of code have been touched just in the past few weeks.

Skype for Business 2019 Control Panel. Click to view full size.

Enhanced logging

While I realize most people probably never look at the resulting log files generated from this script, they can be key in knowing what’s happened on a server as well as being able to review for troubleshooting in the event of an issue. I think I’ve built and provisioned more servers in my lab to test changes in logging than anything else. There is also the built-in ‘tail’ function that allows you to watch the log file in real-time to see what’s going on ‘under the hood’.

Set-CsFeatures.ps1 log file. Click to view full size.

Latest updates for key components

There are updates for some components that have been released recently. This includes the latest cumulative update for Office Online Server, and an update for Windows Server 2012 R2 that replaces a previously required hotfix for Skype for Business Server 2015.

Feature requests

Sometimes, someone suggests a feature or alternative option to something. This version is no different, incorporating some ideas presented by the community. A few are “why didn’t I think of that” type features. An example is popping up a folder browse dialog box if the script can’t find the Windows source files, instead of just throwing an error. Please continue to send feature requests!

Bugfixes

Yeah, bugs happen. As much as I test, some people still find things, although most are just minor things like typos, or features that work differently than what someone expected or wanted. And some are ones I notice that haven’t been reported by anyone else. These pop up either in my lab testing or when I’m working on an unrelated part of the code and just notice it.

More than 8500 lines of PowerShell code mean that the script is fairly complex. Perfect? Hell no. As I mentioned above, I’m a coder. I will say that I ferociously attack known/reported issues and feature requests, and strive to make this tool as best as it can be. While I can’t test every possible combination of environments, I think I’ve accounted for a lot of possibilities.

I sincerely appreciate when people notify me of issues. Seriously. There is an option, 96, in the script that shows you how to report a bug, including what log file to send me. That really helps me address problems quicker.

Finally…

Future additions currently under consideration include at least the following:

  1. Automatically add Windows Defender exceptions (auto discovery). This feature will discover an existing Skype for Business Server 2015/2019 installation, and automatically add the required anti-virus exceptions required for Windows Defender for a healthy operating Skype for Business deployment. Since both Windows Server 2016 and 2019 include Defender components, it makes sense to include this. These exceptions are based on the official exclusion list provided by Microsoft.
  2. Debugging tools, resource kit, etc. If/when these are added for Skype for Business Server 2019, the script will be updated to support the automated installation of them.
  3. Visual C++ 2017

So, with all of this newfound goodness baked into the script, where can one download this pot of gold? Head over to the home page for the script to grab this, or any version of it. The script fully supports using Get-Help for related information. All versions including this new v5.0, are signed with my Digicert code-signing certificate to verify authenticity. Digicert really makes it easy to use certificates, and they have stellar support, too. Also, any recent version of this script will notify you of an updated version when you run it (assuming it’s run on an Internet connected machine).

The changelog for the script shows all of the changes for each new version. Any bug fixes, feature additions & updates are reflected here.

Donations

I’ve never been one to really solicit donations for my work. My offerings are created because *I* need to solve a problem, and once I do, it makes sense to offer the results of my work to the public. I mean, let’s face it: I can’t be the only one with that particular issue, right? Quite often, to my surprise, I’m asked why I don’t have a “donate” button so people can donate a few bucks. I’ve never really put much thought into it. But those inquiries are coming more often now, so I’m yielding to them. If you’d like to donate, you can send a few bucks via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/PatRichard. Money collected from that will go to the costs of my website (hosting and domain names), as well as to my home lab.

Community Driven Conference Seeks to Fill Void

April 11th, 2018 1 comment

Several years ago, the first Lync Conference was held in Coronado. Maxed out at just under 1000 attendees, this was a great event for those in the Lync space. Networking, technical content, vendors, and a great location. The following year, the event was held at the Aria in Las Vegas, mainly because it could hold a lot more people. And it did. A bigger conference meant more vendors and more room for technical sessions. Another fun event. But soon after that, Microsoft stopped having the dedicated event, and rolling everything into the Microsoft Ignite event. First held in Chicago, then Atlanta, then Orlando. Monster sized events for sure – the Orlando location was eight million square feet. But this was a combined event across all of the Microsoft solutions. It was easy to get lost in the shuffle, and it felt less ‘personable’. Those dedicated to Lync/Skype for Business, or at least heavily focused on them, really wanted to go back to the days of the dedicated events. Well, we’re going to try to do just that. Four MVPs including myself decided to take the bull by the horns and do it ourselves! Introducing the Comms vNext Conference. We’re starting off as a one day, FREE event in Denver, Colorado. If you’ve attended or at least heard of the SQL Saturday events, this is very similar, with our event being on Saturday, June 9th, 2018. We’ll have a keynote speaker (Jamie Stark of Microsoft), along with eight one-hour technical sessions by some of the top Skype for Business and Teams folks around, including MVPs, Masters, and more. Topics will include Skype for Business, Teams, and related technologies. We’ll have vendors there, too! The event is being held at the BRAND NEW Microsoft MTC, and we’re expecting at least 100 people. If this works out well, we’ll expand it further at future events located elsewhere in the country, with the hopes we can eventually get to a regular, multi-day conference. There will also be a social event the evening before, where you can socialize with everyone and enjoy some good food and adult beverages. We’re ecstatic to announce that sponsors include Microsoft, AudioCodes, Landis Technologies, Jabra, Anynode, Pexip, and Plantronics.

Fore more information, and to register, see the website at https://commsvnext.com, and follow the conference on Twitter @CommsvNext. If you’d like to submit a speaker session for consideration, go to the website, as all of the details are there. We hope to see you there!

Prereq/provisioning script being updated to include Skype for Business Server 2019

March 27th, 2018 No comments

The biggest and most popular public script I’ve ever done is Set-CsFeatures.ps1. It performs tasks such as installation and configuration of all prerequisites for any desired Lync Server 2013/Skype for Business 2015 role, as well as many post installation tasks such as installation of many tools, and configuration of many parameters. What started out as a script to make MY life easier (as are most of my scripts), I’m glad to see the adoption by others. I’m ecstatic that enough people have reported their success and details to say that literally millions of seats have been deployed with this script.

As you can imagine, it’s a substantial effort, with the latest version weighing in at around 8000 lines of PowerShell code. And it’s constantly evolving to include more than 100 options, such as the latest version of tools and applications, features requests, and bug fixes, as the changelog clearly indicates. It’s also tweaked as my own development skills evolve. It’s a true labor of love, and I’m very grateful for all of the feedback, both good and bad. Please, keep it coming! With that being said, I’m happy to report that I’m already well into adding support for Skype for Business Server 2019.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to be involved in TAP/MVP/Elite groups that give you access to the bits, I’m hoping that you’ll use this script in your labs and provide any feedback (my email address is in the header of every script I release). For everyone else, don’t expect a lot of details about things with regards to Skype for Business Server 2019 other than what’s public. TAP/MVP/Elite groups are under strict NDAs. The changes I’m adding to Set-CsFeatures.ps1 don’t reveal anything that hasn’t been announced previously.

For those who continue to use the script to deploy Skype for Business 2015, again, please continue to provide feedback. While I can’t always accommodate every request, I do what I can to implement them. And I’m extremely grateful for bug reports. Seriously. I can’t test every possible scenario, so I’m glad that you take the time to send me info so I can correct it.

Donations

I’ve never been one to really solicit donations for my work. My offerings are created because *I* need to solve a problem, and once I do, it makes sense to offer the results of my work to the public. I mean, let’s face it: I can’t be the only one with that particular issue, right? Quite often, to my surprise, I’m asked why I don’t have a “donate” button so people can donate a few bucks. I’ve never really put much thought into it. But those inquiries are coming more often now, so I’m yielding to them. If you’d like to donate, you can send a few bucks via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/PatRichard. Money collected from that will go to the costs of my website (hosting and domain names), as well as to my home lab.