OCS has so many components, there”s no way I could cover them all at once. Especially if I want to get any serious information out there. So I”m writing a series of posts to talk about each one in detail. Today we”re starting with Conversation History.

A big frustration with Instant Messaging: the clients don”t usually log conversations. Even when you turn logging on, you often get a code-jammed block of HTML/Text that HAL 9000 would have trouble reading. I can”t read that, Chris…

Fortunately for us, OCS includes a type of logging that”s breathtakingly easy to read. When enabled, it saves your IM conversations in a folder in Outlook! Which is called, of course, “Conversation History.”

So right away you can treat them like emails – sort by date, by the people you talked with, search through them, etc. And the Conversation History logs are formatted all pretty, just like the original instant messages.

It”s easy to enable Conversation History. Here”s how.

  1. In Office Communicator,click the Options Arrow (the small downward-pointing arrow on the top left).
  2. Select the Tools menu. Navigate to Options… and click.
  3. The first menu you”ll see is the Personal menu. The second-to-last option reads,”Save my instant message conversations in the Outlook Conversation History folder.” Check the box.
  4. Check the box below it too, if you”d like to save a log of your calls through OCS (this can be handy; I recommend it).
  5. As a precaution, click the General tab up top. At the bottom of this menu, you”ll see “Turn on Logging in Communicator.” Check this box too.
  6. Click OK. You”re done!

Think of it like someone following you around with a digital recorder all day. Every time you mumbled something out loud, like “Huh, I should tell so-and-so I”ll send this file tonight,” it was recorded. So you can check yourself anytime.

Conversation History has probably saved me a dozen times already. Can you imagine how handy a running log of on-the-fly conversations is? Say I talked with a co-worker about a client”s website over IM. Then I forgot the URL she gave me. No problem – I grab it out of Conversation History, boom. And I don”t have to bug her again.

OCS Components: Conversation History
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4 thoughts on “OCS Components: Conversation History

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  • August 14, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Does anyone know is a user migrates from OCS to MS Lync will that overwrite the coversation history in Outlook or should it retain all old OCS conversations?

    • August 19, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for commenting. OCS, wow, that’s a while back. If memory serves your OCS conversation history *SHOULD* be preserved during migration, if you’re using the same database server. But make a recent backup of it just in case.

      You will likely need to build a new database server anyway, if you’re moving to Lync Server 2013. Definitely for Skype for Business Server 2015. I would suggest upgrading the Exchange Server first to see if it holds onto the conversation logs. Best of luck here!


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