Skype for Web Is Here: First Impression Review #Skype4C


Requires a plugin


Now download the 6.18MB plugin (installs quickly & smoothly)


A couple things I noticed: (Below)

  • Overall UI seems well laid out and snappy
  • 1 – sending an emoticon from Skype for Business (Skype4B) didn’t display as an emoticon in Skype for Web (skype4C)
  • 2 – Sending an emoticon from Skype for Web (Skype4C) to Skype for Business presents properly
  • 3 – Nicely shows a notification of a new Instant Message. I think it presents it nicely.


New IM notification in tasks


Audio Call




Some things Skype for Web does not do currently:

  • Phone Calls
  • Emergency Calls

Installing Skype for Business Server Monitoring Role Collocated on Standard Edition Front End Step by Step

NOTE: SQL Server 2016 CTP may/may not be supported in live environment. this is a lab scenario.

The Skype for Business Monitoring role requires installing Full SQL Server. (SQL EXPRESS will not cut it). For our lab we will use SQL Server 2016 (CTP). Put SQL CD in place and run Setup.exe.


Product Key: Next
License Terms: Next
Microsoft Update: Next (you can get past)
Setup Role = SQL Server Feature Installation

Feature Selection. Below are the SQL features we need:

  • Database Engine Services
  • Reporting Services  - Native
  • Management Tools – Basic
  • Management Tools – Complete


Instance Configuration: (no picture)

Check “Named Instance”.
Instance ID = MONITOR

Server Configuration: (below)

NOTE:SQL should run as system account
NOTE: No password required.


Database Engine Configuration:


Reporting Services Configuration:

  • Native Mode

Now click Install (15minute install/wait time)


When done test SQL Reporting Services by running “Reporting Services Configuration Manager” (from Start menu)


Click “Connect”


Sure enough, it is running!


Define Monitoring SQL Server Store on our Front End Pool and Publish Topology

Open Skype for Business Topology Builder. Drill down to your Standard Edition Front End (as shown below) then right click and Edit Properties.


Next we want to add a Monitoring role to this topology by going to General, scrolling down to and selecting “Monitoring (CDR and QoE metrics)” and then click New.


We will type input our Front End as the FQDN (as shown), select “Named Instance” and give it the name “MONITOR” (we will later install a SQL instance with this name) and click OK, Ok.


Ok | OK

Action | Topology | Publish.


Run the below PowerShell command: Install-CsDatabase –LocalDatabases  (~5min on my lab)


Deploy Monitoring Reports

Run the Skype for Business Deployment Wizard again and click “Deploy Monitor Reports”


The Monitoring database & SQL Server Reporting Services (SRSS) Instance should be auto filled for you


Specify credentials to access monitor SQL database. (for this lab I used domain Administrator)




When you click Next, the report will be deployed…




Great, the reports are deployed!
You will be presented with the URL (highlighted in the picture above) or you can go to the Skype for Business Server Control Panel | Home | (Top Actions) to open the Skype for Business Monitoring Report main page.


Monitoring Reports has been successfully installed!


Skype for Business Server has 2 new reports: Conference Join Time & Media Quality Comparison. click here


For additional community reports to add to your Skype for Business Monitoring Server, take a look at the Skype for Business (Lync) Community Monitoring Reports Repository:

Read the Entire “Skype for Business Server 2015 Step by Step” Series

Installing Skype for Business Server 2015 Standard Edition Front End
Enabling Skype for Business Server Enterprise Voice Features
Installing Skype for Business Server Monitoring Role
Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business Server 2015 In Place Upgrade

Enabling Skype for Business Server Enterprise Voice Features: Enable Users, Configure Call Park & Unassigned Numbers Step by Step – Part 5

In this step by step we will look at enabling Enterprise Voice features in Skype for Business Server 2015.

Enable Users for Enterprise Voice

To enable our users for Ent. Voice lets open the Skype for Business Server Control Panel. Now click on Users. To save on CPU no users are shown by default so just click on Find to show all your currently enabled Skype for Business users.

Now we will see a list of Skype for Business enabled users. Note in the Telephony column that our users are enabled for “PC-to-PC only”. Let’s changed that by double clicking on a user to edit.


Now we can change a few setting

  • Telephony:Enterprise Voice
  • Line User: tel:+18005551001;ext=1001

Now click “Commit”.


Now you can repeat this step for each user. (or use Powershell). Now if we give our Lync clients a few minutes a new “Phone” tab will show up inside our Skype for Business client! (NOTE: there is no need to log out or do anything on the Lync client side. This will automatically show up. Took about 5 minutes on my lab)


Alright, now our users are enabled for Enterprise Voice (EV).

Trying Out the Audio Test Service

If we click on the Phone Tab/Button we will see our phone dial pad. From here we can make our first “Voice” call. If we click the “Check” button Lync will call the Lync Audio Test Service. Go ahead.


Hey, it looks like EV works!

Enabling and Using Call Park

To enable the call Park feature go to Voice Features | Call Park | New


Configure a  Park using the below example. In our example we are making 5 parking “slots” or spaces so we can park up to 5 calls. We could make this the amount we want to, but for this lab we’ll make it 5.

  • Name: Call Park Orbit
  • Number Range: #500
  • Number Range: #505
  • FQDN of destination server: SFE01.landislab.local

Now click “Commit”


Now we need to enable Call Park in the Voice Policy”. Go to Voice Routing | Voice Policy | Enable call park | Ok


Select Global” policy | Commit all | Ok


Now let’s call another Lync user and test our new Park feature. After we are connected, hover over “Call” then click “Transfer Call” and then “Parking Lot”

{picture of parking a call}

Once the call is Parked, you will be notified which of the “slot” the call is in. In the below case it is in #500. Anyone on Lync with Ent. Voice enabled can pick up this call Parked by dialing #500. You can  click “COPY” to IM this to someone or verbally.

{picture of parked call from user that parked the call}

Some Quick notes about Call Park

  • By default, if no one picks up the parked call in xx minutes, the call will ring back to the person who parked the call.
  • Unlike some PBX systems, you will not be able to see if someone is currently in Park via a light/button on a phone
  • You can only have 1 call park orbit per user/desk phone. So, for example, you can not have a Park for Sales and a Park for Service
  • There is only 1 Call Park Number range per Skype for Business Server pool
Setting Up Normalization

Since we probably don’t want to be walking around dialing things like “tel:+18005551003;ext=1003” to reach another extension, (I suspect our users would suspect us of being insane? ;-) we need to make a Normalization rule that turns “1003” into “tel:+18005551003;ext=1003” for us automatically.

In the Lync Control Panel we’ll make this new Normalization Rule under “Dial Plan”. To do this Click “Voice Routing” | “Dial Plan” | select the “Global” dial plan | “Edit” | “Show Details” as shown below.


Now under “Associate Normalization Rules” click “New”.


Now define the New “Normalization Rule” like below.

  • Name: Extensions
  • Length: Exactly 4
  • Pattern to match: ^(1\d(3))$
  • Translation rule: +1800555$1;ext=$1
  • Internal extension = checked

To save this “Normalization Rule” click “OK” | “Commit” | “Commit All” | Ok | Close


Note: The normalization rule we just setup will only take care of extensions in the 1000-1999 range. In our lab exercises we’ll make sure we stay in that range, but if you to a little “exploring” just be aware.

Update Address Book (so our new normalization rules work)

Because of the way Lync Server is designed the changes we made above will take some time to propagate out to all the clients if we just let the process happen normally. We can “push” this process by taking the below steps on each client we want to test “right now”.

  • Run Update-CSAddressBook from the Lync PowerShell and wait about 5 minutes
    • you can check Lync Server event log to see when this happens
  • Signed out of the Skype for Business (Skype for Business) Client and delete everything under:
    • Skype4B = C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Lync
    • Lync 2010 = C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Communicator

Now you should be able to dial Lync user’s by their Ent. Voice 4 digit extension number.

Unassigned Number

Unassigned Numbers allow you to play a message to a caller when they dial an unassigned number. There isn’t a Skype for Business Control Panel method to make an Unassigned Number announcment, so we’ll do that using Powershell and then finish using the SfBS Control Panel

The first thing we need to do to create a “Unassigned Number” is to create an announcement. This requires Powershell New-CsAnnouncement command. Here is an example:

  • New-CsAnnouncement –Identity ApplicationServer SFE01.lab.local –Name “Welcome to Lab 001” –TexttoSpeechPrompt “Welcome to Lab Announcement” –Language “en-US”


New we will define the new Unassigned Number in SfBS CP. After filling the form below click OK. Then “Commit all”

  • Name: Welcom
  • Number Range: tel:+18005551100;ext=1100 - tel:+18005551100;ext=1100
  • Announcement Service = Announcement
  • FQDN of destination server = ApplicationServer:SFE01.landislab.local
  • Announcement = Welcome to Lab 001 (the one we just made using PowerShell)


Quick Notes About Unassigned Number

  • If you have an “ext” LineURI you can only have 1 number in Unassigned Number range. If a normal DID you can have a range.
  • If you have a legit number that falls inside an unassigned range you will still be able to call it

    SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services (SSRS): What Is New?

    What is new in SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services? According to the Microsoft white paper on “Deeper Insights Across Data”:

    • Now supports all major browser: Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
    • Power BI Integration
    • Report templates and themes similar to Power BI
    • Customize Report Themes using CSS
    • Improved report parameter UI
    • Now supports mobile BI and data visualization on Windows, iOS, and Android devices
    • From Other Sources
      • Report Builder will live on (click here)
      • New Chart Types
      • Responsive Design

    Complete white paper paragraphs:

    Report UX enhancements

    SQL Server 2016 makes several enhancements to Reporting Services, especially in the areas of the user experience and mobile reporting. SSRS now supports report consumption from all major modern browsers, including the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

    SSRS report styles have also been enhanced with new report templates and themes that are similar to those in Power BI. You can also customize report themes using CSS, allowing you to easily create and apply a company branding for your reports.
    SSRS has improved the UI for working with report parameters. For example, you can now display hierarchical parameters as a tree. You also have more control over the layout of parameter panel, and parameter text fields now support autocomplete and search.

    Additionally, there are more data sources available due to the integration with Power Query. And Power BI integration means you can view reports with on-premises data in the Power BI service on the cloud.

    Mobile BI

    SQL Server 2016 now supports mobile business intelligence and data visualization on Windows, iOS, and Android devices (Figure 12). This allows users to visualize and interact with data on their mobile devices, using the native mobile apps available at no charge at the respective app stores. You can use these tools to connect to enterprise data sources, integrate with Active Directory for user authentication, deliver live data updates to mobile devices, and personalize data queries for each user.

    Since Skype for Business Server 2015 Monitoring Reports are based on SQL Server, by implication these enhancements should make their way to Skype for Business Server monitoring report eventually.

    Read the SQL Server 2016 Deeper Insights Across Data technical white paper