The Three UC Amigos

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Desktop Sharing with OCS R2

Desktop Sharing with OCS R2

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I was asked by a school to provide more detail around the new desktop sharing feature in OCS 2007 R2.


What is desktop sharing?

Desktop sharing is the ability to share your desktop from a PC directly from the Communicator client with other communicator users either with a PC communicator client or to users using Communicator Web Access.


This feature is an excellent addition for OCS R2 as you can now do even easier ad-hoc collaborations with up to 100 of your peers. I use this feature all the time now during my ad-hoc meetings. You can also give control to other participants (e.g. helpdesk), take back control, etc.


                         View from desktop sharing host (above)


                  View from someone joining a desktop session (above)


                      Communicator Web Access desktop sharing (above)


What is the desktop sharing architecture?

The Application Sharing Server role is installed as part of the Front End server architecture automatically.




What do I need to do to enable this?

•Available in Standard and Enterprise Edition by the Application Sharing Server role

•No client configuration is required for users to participate in a desktop sharing session with OC2007 R2

•Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access role for web access and anonymous access

•CWA Plug-in required to share the desktop


Inside of the OCS R2 administration console, select Global Properties, Meetings tab, locate Default Policy (under Policy Definition) and click Edit.  Check “Enable Program and Desktop Sharing” and “Allow control of shared programs and desktop”


For anonymous desktop sharing use, select “Allow users to invite anonymous participants” within the OCS global properties



What protocols are used for desktop sharing?

•C3P (Centralized Conference Control Protocol).

•Session Description Protocol (SDP)

•RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol)

•RTP (Real Time Protocol)

•AV Edge Service

–ICE (Internet Connectivity Establishment)

–TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT)


–HTTPS: Desktop sharing requires a secure connection (HTTPS)

What type of sharing can I do with the browsers?

•From Windows browsers


    –Take Control


•Apple & Linux browsers


    –Take Control

What browser versions are supported?


Can people outside of OCS join a desktop sharing session?

Yes, you can share your desktop anonymously with people outside of your school/campus via Communicator Web Access.

Within CWA properties, select the next hop pool FQDN for anonymous CWA users.


The external user will get an invite such as below via federated IM or email. The external user will select ‘No’ when visiting CWA login page asking if you have a user account.




This is an anonymous desktop sharing session via CWA with someone who does not have an account in OCS. (above)

  • Desktop Sharing between PC and MAC - Can a MAC user take control of the PC and vice-versa or is it just a view only session?

  • Anish,

    Using Communicator Web Access from a Mac, a Mac user can view a desktop sharing session from a PC and take control if allowed. The reverse is not true currently where a Mac user can share a Mac desktop with a PC. This is functionality slated for the upcoming CS14 release.

  • Is this feature only available in OCS Enterprise R2?  I do not get the sharing option in the communicator client and cannot find the configuration screen in the administrator console.  Any help is appreciated.

  • Dave,

    Desktop sharing should be available in Standard Edition as well. Make sure you have 2007 R2 version.

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