Monday, 28 January 2013

How does the integration between Outlook and Lync work?

Lync needs to communicate with Exchange in order to read/update the following information:
  • Create the Conversation History folder
  • Handle voice mail notifications
  • Handle missed Conversation notifications
  • Read Contacts folder
  • Find related conversations
  • Open contact card
  • Create a personal Outlook contact
  • Open voice mail
  • Write contacts (on demand) (EWS and Exchange Server 2010 SP1 only)
  • Write Conversation History items (on demand)
  • Read or delete Conversation History items
  • Read or delete voice mail items
  • Read free/busy times
  • Read Out of Office message
  • Read working hours information
  • Handle Exchange contact sync
Lync has two ways of communicating with Exchange; EWS (Exchange Web Services) and MAPI (Messaging API). EWS is only available in Exchange 2007 and above. So previous versions of Exchange (such as Exchange 2003) does not have this feature.
 
In order to communicate with Exchange, Lync first tries to connect through EWS, and only if EWS is not available then it will fall back to MAPI.
 
It is important to know that integration through MAPI does not cover all the integration features that you would get with EWS. The following are the features that are NOT available with MAPI:
  • Read or delete Conversation History items
  • Read or delete voice mail items
  • Read working hours information
  • Handle Exchange contact sync
 
And also with EWS you don’t get the following (this is MAPI only):
  • Communicate with Exchange delegates
Note: As I mentioned earlier, Lync tries EWS first and if it is not available then it falls back to MAPI. However as you can see, “Communicate with Exchange delegates” feature is only available through MAPI connection, so if you have EWS and MAPI in place and you notice you have connections on both, then that’s probably because you have Exchange delegates.
 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Amin,

    Do you know how Lync integrates with Exchange in terms of keeping contacts up to date? We have the option ticked on our Lync 2010 clients to save Lync contacts in Outlook, but it seems that if a contact's info in AD is changed (e.g. SIP address or phone number), it updates in Lync but is not updated in the personal contacts in Outlook.

    Thanks!

    Simon

    ReplyDelete