Daylight beckons but

The windows just won't open.

Audio testing.

 

Happy Summer Solstice everyone! Yes, today is June 21st, which means it's once again the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

 

Note. Slight clarification: we should say that today is the day that has the most daylight hours. The longest day of the year is more typically the day in which those of us here at Microsoft are required to attend an "all-hands" meeting.

 

At any rate, as the day with the most daylight of any day of the year, the author of today's haiku is spending his Summer Solstice sitting in his office (the one with the windows that are designed not to open) writing today's Lync Server PowerShell haiku. That, by the way, is exactly how the ancient Druids used to spend their Summer Solstice.

 

Note. Which explains why there aren't very many ancient Druids still around. "We're going to spend our Summer Solstice doing what?!? I'm starting to have second thoughts about this whole Druid thing …."

 

In case you're wondering, the reason we have a Summer Solstice in the first place (that is, the reason that days vary in their amount of daylight hours) has to do with the fact that the Earth is tilted somewhat in relation to the sun. (Many of the people on the Earth are also tilted, although that's a different story.) This tilting is known as the "obliquity of the ecliptic." When the author of today's haiku was a freshman in college (back in the days when people still believed that the sun revolved around the Earth) he took an astronomy class. At one point in that class the professor said that, "Guys, if you want to be irresistible to women, just remember this: the obliquity of the ecliptic in 23-and-one-half degrees." Ever since then, the author of today's haiku has remembered that the obliquity of the ecliptic in 23-and-one-half degrees. Has that made his irresistible to women? Well, actually he – say, aren't we supposed to be talking about Lync Server PowerShell here?

 

In honor of the Summer Solstice (Latin for "sun standing still"), we thought we'd talk about the CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlets: Get-CsAudioTestServiceApplication and Set-CsAudioTestServiceApplication. As it turns out, these were the two cmdlets most often used by the ancient Druids. Why? Well, the ancient Druids liked the fact that Microsoft Lync 2010 gave them an option to test their network connections before they actually tried to make a phone call. How did they do that? That's easy: from the Microsoft Lync Contact window they opened the Options dialog box, clicked the Audio Device tab, and then clicked Check Call Quality. A call would then be placed to an "audio bot" which would answer the phone and ask the Druid to record a short message. That message would then be played back, and the Druid could decide for himself (or herself) if call quality was up-to-snuff.

 

Of course, if you start up Microsoft Lync and click the Audio Device tab, you might not see the Check Call Quality button. Is this yet another example of advanced technology (such as time barrier gates) that were possessed by the Druids but have been lost to the ages? No. Instead, you'll only have the Check Call Quality button, and the ability to make a test call, if you install the Audio Test Service, something you can do by running Ats.msi, a file found in the Lync Server setup folder.

 

Note. Not sure if you've installed the Audio Test Service or not? Then just run this command:

 

Get-CsWindowsService –Name RTCATS

 

If nothing comes back (well, nothing other than an error message), that means that service has not been installed.

 

When you run Ats.msi, you'll not only get a new service, but you'll also get a new contact object representing your audio bot. This, in turn, is where the CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlets come into play.

 

Before we go any further, we should note that installing the Audio Test Service is the only way to get one of these audio bots (and, by extension, one of these contact objects); there is no New-CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlet.

 

Note. Did the ancient Druids have a New-CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlet? Well, needless to say, that's a very controversial subject, and we'd just as soon not get everyone riled up about that.

 

However, there is a Get-CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlet, which enables you to retrieve information about your audio test contact objects. Need to see detailed information about each one of these objects? Then just run this command:

 

Get-CsAudioTestServiceApplication

 

If you'd rather see information just for a specific contact object then use a command like this one, which includes the Identity parameter and the contact object's SIP address:

 

Get-CsAudioTestServiceApplication -Identity "sip:RedmondAudioTest@litwareinc.com"

 

And here's an exciting one. This command returns all the contact objects that use US English (en-US) as their primary language:

 

Get-CsAudioTestServiceApplication | Where-Object {$_.PrimaryLanguage –eq "en-US"}

 

Man, those ancient Druids really knew how to live, didn't they?

 

Meanwhile, the Set-CsAudioTestServiceApplication provides a way for you to modify the properties of a contact object. For example, this command changes the primary language for a contact object to French:

 

Set-CsAudioTestServiceApplication -Identity "sip:RedmondAudioTest@litwareinc.com" –PrimaryLanguage "fr-FR"

 

And this one changes the contact object's SIP address:

Set-CsAudioTestServiceApplication -Identity "sip:RedmondAudioTest@litwareinc.com" –SipAddress "sip:USAudioTest@litwareinc.com"

 

And so on and so on.

 

By the way, contact objects are a little unusual in that they include a number of properties that are real, live properties, but don't actually mean anything. For example, you can set these property values if you want, but they won't actually do anything:

 

·         DisplayNumber

·         LineUri

·         SecondaryLanguages

 

These properties exist only because they are properties of the underlying Active Directory object that the audio bot contact objects are derived from. But they make absolutely no difference: you can assign 10 million different secondary languages to an audio bot, but that bot will never use any of those secondary languages.

 

Ever.

 

Note. Were the audio bots used by the ancient Druids capable of using secondary languages? Yes. But don’t tell anyone we said that, OK?

 

That's about it for the CsAudioTestServiceApplication cmdlets. As for the Summer Solstice, here's an interesting piece of trivia for you. The Druids referred to the first full moon in the month of June as the "Honey Moon," and believed that this represented the best time of the year to gather honey. In turn, this honey was fed to newly-wed couples as a way to encourage love and fertility. And that is where the notion of a "honeymoon" came from.

 

Well, we thought it was interesting. Or at least one of us did.