Fixing the missing Skype Meeting Add-in for Outlook

This problem has been popping up for our users the last year: Whenever a user would start Outlook (after reboot or simply restarting Outlook) the Skype Meeting Add-in would be missing from the ribbon and had to be manually enabled to show up again.
In my experience the problem is not consistent between users with the same OS version or even local administrator privileges, but the solution was nevertheless easy in the end.

After trying all the official tips of

  1. Simply enabling the add-in (works for the current session, not after Outlook restart)
  2. Repair the Office installation
  3. Verifying the registry key of the add-in “LoadBehaviour” (should be the value “3”)

Situation still persisted, the user would have to manually enable the Add-in via the menu File -> Options -> Add-Ins -> COM Add-ins. Not a permanent solution.

What works in the end, and is covered in other blog posts, is this:

  1. Run Outlook as administrator (no need to set up a new account/mailbox if your logged-in user is not local admin)
  2. Navigate to File -> Options -> Add-Ins -> COM Add-ins. Now simply remove the Skype Meeting Add-in from the list.
  3. Re-add the Meeting Add-in from the same menu. Path to the add-in is dependant on your Office version. The add-in itself is named UcAddin.dll
    • If you are running x86 version then the path is %programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Office\Office 16 for Outlook 2016 or
      [..]\Office 15 for Outlook 2013
    • If your are running x64 version the path is
      %programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office 16 for Outlook 2016 or
      [..]\Office 15 for Outlook 2013
    • This may differ if you are running Click-to-run Office version
  4. Now close Outlook and restart in your regular user context.

Add-in should be available again.

Jabra headset stops working during Skype calls

This issue has been bugging me, or my Skype user colleagues to be more precise, since the anniversary update of Windows 10. The symptoms goes like this: during a call the user’s microphone will stop working. Most of the times, but not always, there will be an error message within the Skype client stating that “your microphone stopped working”. Other times the other party will just be like “Hello? You there?” and finally hang up.
For some of my colleagues working in the Customer support center the problem was getting really frustrating – as customers would think that she intentionally hung up or left the call intentionally. Continue reading

Unboxing the Logitech Smartdock

Ever since I first was introduced to the Smartdock during Microsoft Ignite last year I have been anxious to get my hands on one. Our company has been heavy on collaboration since Live Communications Server 2005, mostly with desktop users using audio and screen sharing. Lately the use of video enabled meeting rooms have been asked for, and for someone that thinks traditional Skype Room Systems are too expensive (at least for company wide implementation) the Logitech solution looks really promising.

This week the Smartdock finally arrived, and here are my initial thoughts on it.

Continue reading

Issuing certificates with longer validity

In my previous job as a hired consultant I generally wanted the Lync/Skype for Business servers to have certificates lasting beyond the two year default validity period. Why? Because I, along with the customer, would consider a Lync or Skype for Business solution to have a horizon stretching beyond two years – and therefore issuing a certificate that would expire only after two years would be meaningless.

Continue reading

Skype for Business server update fails with code 1603

Today I was taking advantage of the quiet days between Christmas and New Years eve to do some overdue patching and updates on our Skype for Business 2015 servers. As the blog post title suggests the update would not complete successfully. Keep reading to see my notes on the subject.

Continue reading

Persistent Group Chat appears broken after udate

After updating the Skype for Business Persistent Group Chat server I noticed that the Skype client would give me an error message:

Broken pchat

Old messages would not load, and trying to enter new ones would simply time out.

Suspecting a back-end connection error (not able to retrieve messages from DB) I ran the Test-CsDatabase -DatabaseType PersistentChat cmdlet, but it completed with success.

Looking into Event Viewer on the Persistent Chat server showed no errors.

A quick search online gave few results, but this blog post had some similarities. Going with the suggestion that this might simply be client related I restarted the client- and voilá, it started working again! The client had been running during server update and probably just needed a kick in the “behind”.

 

Speeding up Invoke-CsComputerFailover

As of Skype for Business server 2015 there is a new cmdlet for the update process if you are running a 3+ server pool, named Invoke-CsComputerFailover, which differs from previous versions. This cmdlet makes sure all services are drained before they are stopped, much like the older cmdlet Stop-CsWindowsService -Graceful. But where the Stop-cmdlet actually would time out if a service would’t drain, say an ongoing conference was hosted on the server, the new cmdlet will keep on forever (or at least an hour, by default).

But what if you are on a clock, maybe a maintenance window closing in?

Continue reading

Latest Skype for Business iOS client is not “foreign friendly” [LOCID]

I just got a new iPhone 6s and upon activating it I noticed the (Skype for) “Business” app being updated (v6.0.1447, released October 22nd).

When I logged in to Skype on the phone I noticed the UI being quite “funny”.

LOCID tag

At first I thought that the “LOCID” had some reference to my account being “local” or on-premise (not Office365). But even after logging in several status tags also had text like “LOC ID unavailable” or “LOC ID missed call”. I realized that this had to be reflecting some app code tag where my locale / location (language) settings were not being recognized by the app. So I tried to change the language settings to English.

Language preference

And voilá! Seems like “Norwegian Bokmål” isn’t Microsoft’s preferred language after all, even though it is listed as one of the supported ones in App Store.

Correct language

I don’t know if there are other foreign languages (non-English) that are affected by this, and I expect the bug to be fixed shortly. A funny one, though!

Upgrading to Skype for Business – some experiences

This weekend I finally got to upgrade our Lync 2013 servers to Skype for Business. The delay has been intentional as we have awaited at least the first cumulative update to be announced. We rely heavily on Lync/Skype for Business in our daily operations (1,362 A/V conferences over the last week and more than 103,113 participant conference minutes in our 250 pax company), both for telephony and collaboration, so any service disruption is poorly welcomed. As we are running an Enterprise pool with three Front Ends and the Lync 2013->Skype for Business requires an In-place upgrade this means quite some downtime as well as the added complexity of an Enterprise solution.

In the upgrade process I experienced several things that others might benefit from – so I thought I’d share some thoughts here. Continue reading