This article discusses a Microsoft Windows Script Host deployment script that provides a complimentary or a complete solution for deploying or upgrading Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2, the Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 client, and the Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook to desktop users.
Author: Curtis Johnstone
Publication date: March 2010
Product version: Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 Client
When deploying, upgrading, or configuring Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2, you can also choose to deploy the Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 client and the Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook to your users' desktop. This helps empower them with the following features that are also integrated with Office Outlook:
Depending on your IT infrastructure, you may have several deployment options, including the following:
Each of these deployment options has strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:
Remote and/or roaming users Some of your desktop users might typically connect and use corporate services externally (for example, by using a VPN or external authentication). Remote connections can introduce challenges (such as pushing the software to the remote client) for automated deployment software or group policy solutions.
Customized Unified Communications client configuration In addition to deploying the Unified Communications client software, automatically configuring it helps your users get up and running faster, and can simplify the deployment process to customize the clients when you deploy. For example, you might want to automatically configure the user sign-in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) address so that users do not have to set this option.
Multiple versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems Your user base might have a variety of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP operating systems. This can present a challenge for some deployment or upgrade solutions.
Customized deployment needs Depending on the functionality (such as Web conferencing) that you need to provide to your users, you may need to deploy one or more Unified Communications clients. If, for example, your organization is using a Web conferencing solution other than Office Live Meeting 2007, you might decide to not deploy the Office Live Meeting 2007 client to your desktop users. With these considerations in mind, the Unified Communications client deployment script may provide either a complimentary or a complete solution for deploying, upgrading, or configuring the Microsoft Unified Communications client software.
With these considerations in mind, the Unified Communications client deployment script may provide either a complimentary or a complete solution for deploying, upgrading, or configuring the Microsoft Unified Communications client software.
The Microsoft Unified Communications client deployment script is a Windows Script Host (WSH) file (a Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) script that is wrapped in a .wsf file). It can be used to deploy, upgrade, or configure Communicator 2007 R2, Communicator 2007, Live Meeting 2007, and the Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook clients. The deployment script can be customized and used for a particular deployment; however, following are the two primary ways that it can be used:
To use the script in this manner requires that the user account that is doing the installation must have local administrator permissions on the computer where the Microsoft Unified Communications clients are being installed.
The script can also be attached to a Group Policy Object (GPO). Depending on what type of GPO the script is attached to (for example, either local computer or domain user), the script automatically runs when the user logs on to their corporate Active Directory directory service domain or when their computer is restarted and the computer account authenticates into the Active Directory domain that it belongs to.
In addition to performing a basic installation of the Microsoft Unified Communications client software, the script-based solution discussed later in this article provides the following major features. Some features, such as prompting the user to shut down Office Outlook before installing the Conferencing Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook, are not easily available if you do not use this script-based solution:
Most of the features previously listed, along with several bug fixes and other improvements, are a significant upgrade to a previous Microsoft unified communications client installation script that was made available by the Microsoft Office Communicator Team in February 2008 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=187429.
Most of the features listed in the previous section are enabled through script customizations. They are contained in one section at the beginning of the script. The beginning and end of that section is clearly identified in comments. Important customizations affect the user's experience when they install the Microsoft Unified Communications client software. Some of those customizations are as follows:
All client script customizations are documented and available in "Script Customizations" on the script Help webpage at http://www.insideocs.com/Tools/DeployUC/DeployUC_Help.html#Script_Customizations. They should all be reviewed and set accordingly before you use the script in your deployment.
In addition to customizing how the script runs, you can customize how the Microsoft Unified Communications client software is configured after it has been installed.
The Microsoft Unified Communications client software deployment script is capable of basic Microsoft Unified Communications client configuration after the software has been installed. This has the advantage of not needing to train users on how to configure the Microsoft Unified Communications clients.
For details on all the Communicator and Office Live Meeting 2007 client settings that can be customized, see the script customizations section of the script Help webpage at http://www.insideocs.com/Tools/DeployUC/DeployUC_Help.html#Script_Customizations. These customizations range from configuring how the client connects to Communications Server 2007 R2 (for example, manual or automatic log on) to tailoring the Help information that is available to your organization in Communicator 2007 R2 and Communicator 2007.
One of the most useful customizations is the ability to automatically configure the user SIP address to several different formats-including setting this value to be the same as the user's e-mail address in Active Directory.
Microsoft provides the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 client group policy and its associated documentation. They can be downloaded at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=140494. This download contains specific settings for the majority of the Communicator functionality. The group policy can be used in conjunction with, or as an alternative to, configuring Communicator in addition to the script that is described in this article. The GPO contains many more customized settings than those described in this article. However, automatically configuring the user SIP sign-in address can be done only through the deployment script.
The script requires that the Microsoft Unified Communications client software must perform an installation or upgrade to customize the configuration of the respective client software. The script, when it does an installation or an upgrade, performs the customization. The script can be easily modified to execute only the customization functionality, if that is all that is needed.
The following are two common reasons for upgrading Office Communicator:
To upgrade a major client version by using the script, make the appropriate installation files available for the new version as documented in the Prerequisite Installer Files section of the script Help webpage at http://www.insideocs.com/Tools/DeployUC/DeployUC_Help.html. The script attempts to manually uninstall the old version (as is the case for Communicator 2005), and then use the installation file (.msi) of the new client version to do the upgrade for other versions of Communicator.
To meet the challenges of deploying, upgrading, or configuring the Microsoft Unified Communications clients in a diverse Windows desktop infrastructure, a flexible Windows Script Host script, such as the one described in this article, could be either a complete solution or a complimentary tool when used with your existing deployment methods.
The advantages the Microsoft Unified Communications client deployment script discussed in this article are summarized as follows:
The script is generic and must be customized for a particular environment. Customization is made easier because all customizations are documented and stored in one section at the beginning of the script.
The script was tested with most major Windows desktop operating systems and in several diverse lab environments, but it is an unsupported script. Any reported defects or enhancements will be made on a best-effort basis.
To learn more, check out the following resources:
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Deploying Communicator 2007 R2 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=187442.
Follow tweets from the Communications Server team at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=167909.
Where is this script located?
It is located here www.insideocs.com/.../DeployUC.html (the first lync in the Additional Resources)