by March 10, 2007 0 comments



The Microsoft Live Communication Server 2005 provides both instant messaging
(IM) and presence awareness, enabling different users to interact, communicate,
collaborate and share information. Recently, SP1 was released for it, which
provies improved administrative tools, and users can connect and communicate
with other users even through public IM services like MSN, AOL, and Yahoo!.

In this article, we’ll look at the Live Communication server 2005 Standard
Edition. It consists of a single, standalone IM and presence server along with a
Microsoft data Engine database for storing user data. It supports 1500
concurrent connections and each user is assigned to only one home server. User
data are stored in an SQL MSDE database on the same serve.

Live Communication Server appears identical to Windows Messenger, as it uses
Windows Messenger software as its client. Now, a new client has also been
released for it called Office Communicator. With this, it is possible to extend
the abilities of Live Communication Server to include integration with many
corporate telephone systems and Microsoft Office suite.

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Live Communication Server uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to
communicate. On the server side, it can encrypt IM traffic, and log and archive
all transactions between users using a single client and communicating with any
other user of MSN messenger, AOL or Yahoo!. Another key security feature is
protection against spam over IMs (SPIM). This can be configured to reduce
unauthorized or unsolicited messages that can reduce employee productivity and
increase network load. There’s also a URL filters application that provides a
way to block messages containing URLs, hyperlinks, or
attempts to initiate a file transfer. It prevents promulgation of viruses or
worms throughout the organization. It allows people to communicate across
firewalls with same ease as was enjoyed in the previous versions. Users can log
on from remote locations using an Internet connection and any Live Communication
compatible IM client.

The presence information from the server can be integrated into other
productivity applications and enterprise LOB applications. For instance, if
users are working on some documents and have a query, they can initiate an IM
session with a team member to share files and make the desired changes.

The new manageability tools help IT managers get more info about their server
at a glance and they can have control over the number of incoming and outgoing
connections created on an individual Access Proxy. Live Communication Server
works seamlessly with Windows Active Directory and Windows Server 2003, hence
providing IT managers more security and control over the network.

From the main console of
the Live Communication Server, you can see how many users are connected and
the authentication scheme used to connect

The server also simplifies the federation model thereby allowing for dynamic
access of proxies, so you no longer require static configuration. This allows
Network Administrators to limit federation to explicitly designated external
domain or extend it to any or all external domains.

Deploying it
For deploying the Live Communication Server, you need a server running Microsoft
Windows Server 2003 configured as the domain controller and a DNS server. You
can also install it on a non-domain controller server as well. You will also
need a client machine that will host remote users, who will connect to the Live
Communications Server from outside your enterprise network.

Before deploying Live Communications Server, an Active Directory must be
prepared. If you are installing the Live Communication Server on a
domain controller, then log on to to it as Administrator or a user with domain
Administrator rights and start the setup.

If you don’t have Live Communication Server, then you can download the trail
version from Microsoft’s website. Now launch the setup tool, which then launches
the Deployment Tool. In the requirements window, click Prep Schema. It will
launch a wizard and configure the schema automatically. Once the wizard has
finished, launch Prep Forest, which will again launch a wizard. When the wizard
completes, you can view the logs from the actions column.

Similarly, perform Prep Domain installation. This prepares your Active, after
which you can install and activate the Live Communications Server. To do this,
simply click Install Files for Live Communications Server and follow the wizard.
Once installed, the wizard will ask you whether you want to activate the server,
just click on Yes. It will launch Activate Live Communications Server Wizard,
click Next. It will then ask you to configure a service account for LCService.
Just provide a password and the wizard will configure it automatically.

Live Communications Server
lets you configure the control you want to have over your users. You can
allow/block them, and even archive their conversations

In the next step, uncheck the Enable IM Archiving page option (we will
configure this later) and then click Next. Now on the Start Service Option box,
check Start Service after activation option. Once the wizard completes, you can
verify by looking at logs whether the live communication is installed properly.

After installing Live communication Server 2005, we need to configure users
and clients. To configure users, launch Active Directory Users and Computers.
Here, right-click the new user who you want to enable for Live Communications
Server, and then click Properties. Select the Live Communications tab, and check
the option ‘Enable this user for Live Communications’.

After that, in the Primary SIP URL field, type ‘ sip:username@< name of your
domain>. Next in Server or Pool, select the Live Communications Server that we
just created and click on Apply/OK.

Now we need to configure clients and ensure connectivity. To install clients
you can either use Communicator 2005 or Windows Messenger 5.1. Both can be
downloaded from Microsoft’s website. Once you have installed Communicator 2005,
open it, go to Actions menu and click on  Options. Select the Accounts tab
and click Advanced tab. In the configure settings window under server name or IP
address option, type the FQDN (fully qualified domain name) of the server on
which you have installed Live Communication Server. Note that you do not enter
an IP address here. If you do, it won’t work. Now under Connect, select TCP as
the protocol that you want to use to connect. Try logging in with the
communicator to Live Communication Server. If you have configured everything
properly, it should work.

If you are using Windows messenger 5.1, go to Accounts from Options menu and
check the option My Contacts. There you include users of a SIP Communications
Service and provide your full login name in sip:<Username>@<domainname>. Next,
click on Advanced and in the SIP Communications Service Connection Configuration
dialog box, choose TCP and provide FQDN. Click OK and sign in with your account.
You will need to do this for all your clients.

This implements your Live Communication Server 2005. To perform
administration tasks, open Live Communication Server console, where you can see
which all users are connected, etc. You can also authorize Public IM
Connectivity, message archiving, etc on a per-user basis. Next we will be
implementing Message Archiving.

You can get live status of message
archiving on the server, which is color coded to quickly catch errors

Message archiving
With Message Archiving, you can archive all instant messaging conversations for
specific individuals or all users and also record usage data. To enable Message
Archiving, you need to have Windows MSMQ (Microsoft Message Queuing) installed
on the server where you want to run the Archiving service and on all Live
Communications Servers that you want to archive. You also need to have at least
SQL Server 2000 SP3a instance installed on the server running the Archiving
service or on a dedicated database server. Once all that is in place, you need
to install Messaging Archiving service.
For that you again have to launch the Live Communication 2005 setup and click on
Archiving Service. Follow the wizard to install the service.
When the installation is complete, from the Install Archiving Service menu Click
on Activate the Archiving Service and Backend to activate the messaging service.
A wizard will appear, where on the Select Service Account page, provide password
for the service account. By default this account name is LCArchivingService.
Next, in the Select SQL Server Instance window, enter the SQL Server Name and
the Instance name. Enter a database name or accept the default name.

Once the service has been activated, from Administrative Tools open Live
Communications Server console. Here, Expand the Forest node, expand the Domain
node, and go to Pools and Servers. Next right-click the pool on which you want
to enable archiving and then click Properties and select the Archiving Tab.
Click on Activate Content Archiving check box. Now a warning message will appear
to inform that one or more servers do not have an archiving queue associated
with them. Click OK to continue. Now, restart your Live Communication Services
and you have Messaging

Archiving in place.
To enable Message Archiving for all users in Live Communication Server,
right-click the Forest node and then click Properties. In the Global Properties,
click the Archiving tab. Check ‘Archive All Communications with internal users’
option to archive all communications between your internal users. Click OK and
restart Live Communication Services. Also, there are third party applications
available to effectively view and deploy message archiving in Live

Communication Server, which we will be discussing in future.

Saurangshu Kanunjna and Swapnil Arora

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