I admit to being stumped. Not only regarding a solution to today’s question, but I’m also stumped as to why it’s necessary.

The other day I received an email from a consultant. They were asked to create a means by which a Lync user could IM multiple people at once. WITHOUT starting a conference or using Multiparty IM.

Did I know of a way to do this?

Multiparty IM without the Multiparty? Why?

The only way I can think to IM multiple people outside of a group conversation, is to just IM each person separately. That would take a little time, sending one IM after one IM. But it’s doable without any programming.

I don’t think Lync would respond well to multiparty IM, without the multiparty. Even with good coding. The Lync client depends on your IM conversations grouping, as this makes it easy for any user to add extra services (audio, video, app sharing).

I was curious though…if you could code a Lync process to IM multiple people at once, what form would it take?

The only thing I can think of, would be to code a PowerShell script to auto-open separate IM windows for users you select.

(Except you can do this now, without PowerShell. Just double-click on each user in your contacts list. Lync Server 2013 will load each IM into a separate tab in its Conversation Window. To send each person a message, just type it into their IM window.)

Coding Privacy into Private IM Conversations – Much Ado About Nothing?

The reason given for this was stated as security. In theory, excluding other Lync users from seeing a particular Instant Message would act like BCC in email.

Don’t get me wrong. Security IS important, especially during communications. But the thing is, an ordinary IM conversation between two people is already private! There’s no inherent need for extra separation.

I’m NOT passing judgment on the person who contacted me. They were asked to create this functionality, and came up dry on possible methods. Why they were asked, I’m not sure…but it’s not their fault!

Perhaps someone has a need to separate IMs for compliance with an internal process. Or they want to IM multiple people at once, to use for announcement purposes.

Either way, I’m baffled.

So I’m opening this post up to the Lync community. Have you ever encountered a desire for multiple simultaneous Instant Messages, without creating a multiparty IM conversation?

If so, how would you code a solution?

Can you IM 5 people at once – without Using Multiparty IM?

One thought on “Can you IM 5 people at once – without Using Multiparty IM?

  • May 8, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Fundamentally you”re talking about broadcasting a message. I don”t see anything odd about this at all. Say your email system goes down or your internrt link. How do you let everyone know the quickest? A Lync to everyone would be perfect (on the mobile front, BlackBerry messenger and WhatsApp have had this feature for years). At the moment, a custom written UCMA app is the only way I can see this being a possibility


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