We have Skype for Business Server 2015 up & running in the office! Testing is proceeding apace. Today’s post comes from the first thing I noticed.
One of the new features is integration with the Skype Directory. You can now add Skype users into your Skype for Business client. All it takes is a search.
Except my searches didn’t yield any Skype Directory results. Just the usual “My Contacts” and “Chat Rooms”.
I asked Larry about this. He confirmed that Skype is listed in our SIP Federated Providers. The Skype for Business Server installation went (fairly) smoothly. Edge services are working. What gives?
Skype? Hello, Can You Hear Me?
There’s a note on this TechNet page, as follows:
If Skype for Business Server is already configured to connect with Windows Messenger by using Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC), your deployment is already configured for Skype connectivity. The only change you may want to consider is to rename your existing Messenger PIC entry as Skype.
Apparently our pre-existing configuration to federate with Windows Messenger should be enough. But it’s not. Skype Connectivity requires a little more work to behave properly.
After consulting TechNet further, and a few of our fellow IT bloggers, we made the following changes.
How to Re-Enable Skype Connectivity – IF You Have PIC Provisioned
Before anything else: Communication with public federated providers requires PIC (Public Instant-Messaging Connectivity) provisioning. If you’ve federated your Lync Server with providers like Yahoo or AOL already, PIC is provisioned.
The following instructions work ONLY if you already enabled PIC for your Lync Server, pre-Skype for Business upgrade.
- Step 1: Enable Skype-Skype Federation on your Edge Server. Open Topology Builder to access the Edge Server. You’re looking for the Enable Federation screen (like this).
- Step 2: Verify that Ports 4443 between Front End/Edge, and Port 443 outbound on Edge are open & working. 4443 is the same port used by CMS; it should already be open, but check anyway. You’ll need to check your firewall for Port 443 outbound.
- Step 3: Remove and re-add Skype from the SIP Federated Providers list in Skype for Business Control Panel.
- Click the Skype entry.
- Click Edit -> Delete.
- Click New -> Public Provider.
- In the new provider window, enable these options.
- Check the box for “Enable communications with this provider”
- Provider Name: Skype
- Access Edge service (FQDN): federation.messenger.msn.com
- Default verification level: Select “Allow users to communicate with everyone using this provider”.
- Click Commit.
- Step 4: Restart Front End and Edge. Very important! If you don’t restart the services on Front End and Edge, the Skype Directory remains inaccessible.
- Step 5: Log out & log back in on your Skype for Business client.
That’s all. The old “yank it out and redo it”.
(Note: This can be done in PowerShell as well. However the cmdlet is long and cumbersome. You’ll find it in the cited pages below, if you prefer that route.)
If you don’t have any federation/PIC enabled, you have a few more steps to take. Please follow the full/”from scratch” steps listed on these pages:
- Deploy Skype Connectivity in Skype for Business Server 2015 – TechNet
- There’s a section here titled, “Accessing the Skype for Business Server public IM connectivity provisioning site from Skype for Business Server 2015”. Follow these steps first.
- Enable Skype for Business Directory Search – Martin Boam’s Microsoft UC Blog
- Enabling Skype Federation with Skype for Business Server or Skype for Business Online – The UC Guys
The same search functionality is available in Skype for Business Online. I haven’t worked with this yet, so I’ll direct you to the TechNet and UC Guys posts linked above for the how-to.
After we re-entered Skype as a SIP Federated Provider – and restarted the servers – guess what? Skype Directory names flooded into my search results. Exactly as expected.
What Skype for Business Server feature would you like more information about? Please comment or email. I’ll keep all requests in mind while digging through the new server.