Today is a day

For love. Also a day to 

Test group expansion.

 

The author of today's haiku doesn't believe in horoscopes – well, to be honest, these days the author of today's haiku doesn't believe in much of anything. His wife doesn't believe in horoscopes, either, but she does get a kick out of reading them, and of occasionally letting the author of today's haiku know what his horoscope has to say. For example, the other day she told him that – based on his horoscope – his career would soon be on the upswing, thanks in large part to his ability to influence people.

 

Skeptic that he is, the author of today's haiku has to admit that that particular horoscope gave him pause. For one thing, his career definitely did seem ripe for an upswing; after all, it couldn't sink any lower than it already had. For another, well, he is the author of the daily Lync Server PowerShell haiku. We probably don't have to tell you how much influence a position like that carries around Microsoft.

 

However, several days have passed now, and nothing much seems to have happened. His career isn't exactly on the upswing; after all, he's still the author of the daily Lync Server PowerShell haiku. As for his ability to influence people, let's put it this way: they recently went around and asked everyone in the group for their ideas on how we could make the group function even better.

 

Well, they asked almost everyone in the group for their ideas on how we could make the group function even better.

 

See? Horoscopes are always wrong.

 

Of course, no sooner did the author of today's haiku type that last paragraph then he read his horoscope for today:

 

"Today holds great promise for Sagittarians. Get some exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and write a haiku about the CsVoiceNormalizationRule cmdlets."

 

Was the author of today's haiku stunned to read that horoscope? You bet he was. After all, today's haiku is about the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet.

 

See? Horoscopes are always wrong.

 

So what exactly is the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet? Well, as you might have guessed (or as your horoscope might have told you), the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet enables you to verify that group expansion is working as expected. As you no doubt know, Lync Server enables you to configure Active Directory distribution groups as Microsoft Lync contacts; among other things, that allows you to start an instant messaging conversation with everyone in the group simply by sending a message to the group. (Instead of sending the same message to each individual member of the group.)

 

So then what's group expansion? Well, with group expansion you can "expand" the group in the Lync Contact window and see the name – and status information – for each user in the group. At that point you can still send an instant message to the entire group, or you could pick out a few group members and send just those people an instant message. It's entirely up to you.

 

Note. Funny you should mention that: we do have a haiku that explains how to do such things as enable or disable group expansion. Thanks for asking!

 

At any rate, the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet lets you verify whether or not group expansion is actually working. As it turns out, there are two ways to test group expansion: by testing a "direct connection" to the Address Book server and by testing the group expansion Web service.

 

Note. Why two ways of testing group expansion? Because there are two different ways users can access the Address Book server (and, by extension, can access group expansion).

 

To test the direct connection all you need is a command similar to this:

 

Test-CsGroupExpansion –TargetFqdn "atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com" –GroupEmailAddress "finance@litwareinc.com"

 

As you can see, there's nothing too fancy there. We simply specify the fully qualified domain name of the pool we want to test (atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com) and the email address of an Active Directory distribution group (finance@litwareinc.com). In turn, Test-CsGroupExpansion will attempt to locate the group in question and verify that it can retrieve all the group members and their current status. If all goes well, you'll get output similar to this:

 

TargetUri  : https://atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com/groupexpansion/service.svc

TargetFqdn : atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com

Result     : Success

Latency    : 00:00:00

Error      :

Diagnosis  :

 

Pretty simple, eh?

 

Trivia note. In its first incarnation, the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet actually made you list the email address of each group member as part of the command. If there were 40 people in the group you had to include all 40 email addresses in your command or the command would fail. Fortunately for all of us, that approach was soon changed.

 

If you'd like to test the group expansion Web service then use a command like this one:

 

Test-CsGroupExpansion –TargetUri "https://atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com/groupexpansion/service.svc" –GroupEmailAddress "finance@litwareinc.com" –UserSipAddress "sip:kenmyer@litwareinc.com"

 

As you can see, there are several differences between this command and the first command we showed you. For starters, this time around we use the TargetUri parameter followed by the URI for the group expansion service.

 

Hint. If you don't know the URI for the group expansion service one really easy way to retrieve that value is to first do the direct connection test. The group expansion URI will be included in the test output.

 

Second, we also need to specify the SIP address of a user account we want to use for testing the Web service. When testing the direct connection we don't have to specify a user account; instead, Test-CsGroupExpansion will use the credentials of the logged-on user when making its check.

 

Incidentally, when you call the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet your screen will be littered with a ton of XML data before you finally get to the test results. We've tried several different tricks to suppress that XML data, but we have yet to come up with a way to hide it and just show you the test results. The only thing we could come up with was a modified command that shows you all the XML but then clears the screen before displaying just the test results. It's not much of a workaround, but it's the best we have for now:

 

$x = Test-CsGroupExpansion –TargetFqdn "atl-cs-001.litwareinc.com" –GroupEmailAddress "finance@litwareinc.com"; cls; $x

 

That's about all there is when it comes to the Test-CsGroupExpansion cmdlet. Just for the heck of it, however, the author of today's haiku did check his horoscope for today (emphasis added):

 

"You have more than just the gift of gab. Your words and ideas can transport listeners, carrying them beyond the world as they know it, into the world as they wish it could be. Your sense of what connects all of life is felt in the way you communicate. You love a good story and a sense of the mystical permeates every one you tell. You are at home in the world of myths and dreams--your mind soars on wings of imagination."

 

Wow, so maybe there is something to this horoscope stuff after all. Just wait until you guys see Monday's haiku; you'll be in for a real treat then.

 

Enjoy the weekend!