The Great world of Lync UC SDK

After some time , i decide to write this post to share some of my thoughts about Lync developing. Some time ago I’ve wrote a Lync plugin (CallViaPhone app ) that let to use Lync client to start calls directly from an ip-phone, and it gave me a lot of challenges . So, questions could be :

  • Why do I need to develop an application for Lync ?

Professionals that know Lync , know that a lot of features are still not available (or not designed at all) and sometimes this lack of features, could move customers decisions to another technology. In this case we could “extend” Lync with SDK. A good example of cauldron of ideas could be : http://lync.ideascale.com/  .

  • Where should I start and what approach should I have?

First of all , we must have little confidence about developing, example could be install Visual Studio and try to develop some “hello world” application on different enviroments like WPF (XAML) to develop Windows applications with rich graphical interface, or console applications to develop Windows services , or .NET web applications , web services , and so on. But the question could be, why should I have to learn all of these ? Because we need to have a 360° vision and we must use the right enviroment for the project.

Secondly we must have clear what we want to do : do we need a client application to extend Lync client , or we need to develop a server side application centralized for all users , or both? In all of these case we could find a lot of example on how to do it . A good starting point could be this : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj162980(v=office.15).aspx , in which there is a lot of explanations about these :

  • Lync 2013 SDK (client side)

– These API gives you the possibility to control almost all Lync client behavior ,and interact with it. Example could be CRM integrations , client PBX integration , etc…

– There are also the option to add some custom menu in Lync interface to call applications or web url with registry key; for more information visit : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj945535(v=office.15).aspx

– One of the most advantage of Lync Client API , compared to the others Lync API, is that you can develop also in a Office365 enviroments without the needs of a Lync On-Premisev env.

  • Lync Server 2013 SDK (server side)

– With these API you can manage,  in Lync Front End role , all sip communications. This means that, for example, i would like to create the BusyOnBusy feature (actually missing from Lync features)  , so i could develop a “Sip application”  with the “SIP application manifest” (MSPL script) that intercept a call if the user lync called is actually in another audio call.

– Another way to use Lync Server 2013 SDK is to develop a “Managed SIP applications API” ;  the mode is similar to MSPL script , indeed you must start from a MSPL script that route (forking or forwarding) the sip signaling to one or more specific endpoint, and then you can develop a .NET application that manage it. An example could be a reporting third party solution, or some advanced applications that take care of all Lync conversations .

  • UCMA 4.0 (Server side)

– With UCMA we can develop almost all of advanced features needed in enterprise scenario , for example , based on business needs we can develop a full functionally contact center with IVR (not response Group 🙂 ) , routing logic and so on. Great advantage is that we can extend it with all lync communications channel  , such as Audio, Video, IM, federation, Public (Skype, etc…) . UCMA give us also all tools that typically you have to pay so much with other vendors , for example : “Text To Speech”, “Speech Recognition” in a IVR enviroment.

  • UCWA 1.0 (web side :))

–  Unified Communications Web API ,  actually with these API you can develop your own web applications with some features like authentication, presence, IM and the Call Via Work (you simply manage the call forwarding , simultaneosly call, of your lync user) . We hope as soon as they will be ready , also Audio, Video and other lync features could be used in web applications. http://ucwa.lync.com/documentation/core-features .

  • Lync Software Defined Networking (SDN) API

– Imagine that you are at carrier side and you have to monitor some indicators for Lync quality , network performance , etc.. You have to integrate all of these in a third party monitoring system  ; these API is exactly what you need; take a look at this for other informations : http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn387069(v=office.15).aspx . A very interesting tool inside this API is the “SIP Obfuscator” that let you to hide username for privacy.

Conclusion

We have a lot of other sources to read about Lync SDK, for example these resources below are absolutely useful and saved my time in a lot of situations   :

Remember that deep knowledge of Lync API is not enough to develop a Lync applications ready for the market , we have to consider that there are a lot of aspects in terms of exceptions, enviroments , usability , integration with other not Lync application  , licensing , security, and so on .

A lot of companies today invest in Lync developing , awesome example are :

 

CallViaPhone Advanced new feature for Outlook 2010/2013

Hi all,
I am pleased to announce a new version of CallViaPhoneAdvanced 2013 . As already mentioned in my previous posts,  CallViaPhone application,  through Lync interface, can be used to make and handle calls (similar to Better Together features of snom and polycom) to your phone (make call, close, hold, transfer, conference) , for more details please refer to this post CallViaPhone post detailed description .
Here below you can find new features of this version more in deep :

  • One of the most important new feature added is  that, from now, you can also use Microsoft Outlook 2010/2013, regardless of Lync. So the “call by phone” can be made ​​as described below:
    • From contacts in mail header or in appointment header:

mail-item

  • From Outlook Contacts Folder :

contact-item

  • New menu in configurator to use CallViaPhone with these ip-phone models :

PhoneModelsChoose

    • Snom Phones (default selection)
    • Cisco ip-phone (require some configuration on Cisco Call Manager, with this version we don’t have yet features like Close call, Hold Call, transfer call and conference call and Incoming call feature)
    • Yealink ip-phones (not available Incoming call feature)
    • Automatic check for new applications updates

You can download full version  (15 days limited) :

  • If you don’t have Lync  installed you can install any of these above for using Outlook callviaphone feature.
  • If you already have an old version of CallViaPhone , you don’t have to uninstall it, just install over.

For any questions don’t hesitate to contact sales@callviaphoneapp.com or support@callviaphoneapp.com

Call Via Phone ADVANCED for Lync 2010 & Lync 2013 , deep review and download link

Hi all ,

As i wrote in my previous article that you can find here : CallViaPhoneAdvanced  , this plugin is developed for SNOM phone and Lync 2010/2013 and permit to control the phone with right click on a contact in Lync (Lync contacts, Outlook contacts , Active Directory contacts) and start calls directly from the phone, like CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) .

We know that in WPC 2013 , SNOM demonstrate Enhanced Better Together that could be available at the end of 2013 , in Matt Landis blogpost here , you can find a detailed description.  This new SNOM feature add a new driver in Lync that let you choose what default Audio device use for every call that you made from lync , these calls start from the phone , also when you receive a call you pick up the call from the phones and not from the client (if you have already configured  the snom audio device in Lync down- left menu ), but a good things is that you when you are in conversation , you can switch this call between Lync client and snom phone.

So what’s the difference between CallViaPhoneAdvanced and SNOM EBT ? There are more than one difference and benefits :

  • CallViaPhone Advanced doesn’t not require Lync user to have Enterprise voice for Outgoing call functionality (for example if you use snom phone connected to other vendors like asterisk, cisco ,etc.. and you use Lync with or without PBX integration )
  • When you start a call , if you want to decide call per call which phone use (snom phone or lync client) with CallViaPhoneAdvanced you can.
  • CallViaPhone Advanced allows  future customization and it’s in continuous developing  (Programming Phone keys, full interaction with any functionality available on the Phone)

Thanks to Michael LaMontagne,  a very skilled Lync Expert in Canada , i also develop the incoming call feature that let you to answer an inbound call from the phone, this simple adding another toast in left side of Lync toast with an “Answer by Phone” button, simply and immediate for user experience. But starting from this imagine how many customization we can implement :

  • when and incoming call arrive, start an external application with caller information (CRM?)
  • Busy on second call or based on presence status

In addition i want to encourage who want try the application (15 days limited) to download from link below  :

For last version please refer to this post.

if you want to learn more you can find an awesome review here made by  Michael LaMontagne.

Don’t hesitate to comment or ask information about it .

Call Via Phone ADVANCED for Lync

Hi all ,

I’m glad to announce the new Call Via Phone ADVANCED for Lync 2010 & Lync 2013 .

Call Via Phone Advanced application is a plug-in developed for interoperability between Microsoft Lync 2010/2013 and SNOM (but not limited to). This plug-in permits making call from your phone directly using your Lync client 2010/2013, via a simple click on a contact or a number and selecting “Call Via Phone” from Lync menu; the call will start directly from your phone without having to dial the number or search your contacts on the phone itself. The usage scenarios can be many, and the common denominator is surely to simplify and consequently save time in day by day activities.

Call Via Phone Advanced is fully integrated with Lync client, in fact after  installation you don’t need to run any additional service or application, but it’s called through a menu inside Lync client.

CallViaPhoneADV2

Below some scenarios in which Call Via Phone ADV can be used  :

  • Infrastructure Lync 2010/2013 integrated with voice, and phones connected directly to Lync .
  • Infrastructure Lync 2010/2013 not integrated with voice, and ip-phones connected to any other PBX .
  • As we know Lync 2013 and Skype are integrated also with audio, with Call Via Phone Advanced you can quickly call a skype users from Lync client and use IP-Phone insted of Lync client.

Call Via Phone Advanced installation is very simple and can be installed centrally because it’s provided with the installation package MSI (Microsoft Installer) and distributed through group policy on all clients.

The configuration of each client is due by entering IP Address of the phone to associate with, Lync extension or username, password or Lync PIN.

With “Call via Phone Advanced” you can also have the ability to handle the call (today only for SNOM phones) with various tools that allow to :

  • End Call
  • Hold call
  • Party adding
  • Transfer
  • Conference

The product is under continuous development with additional features, and on specific demand it can be also change to adapt to your enviroment.

Today Call Via Phone Advanced is available for SNOM ip-phones.

Under specific request to sales@callviaphoneapp.com , Call Via Phone Advanced can also be used in enviroment with these ip-phone vendors but not all models  :

  • Cisco
  • Polycom
  • Grandstream
  • 3CX
  • Yealink

Don’t hesitate to contact sales@callviaphoneapp.com for information and to request your evaluation copy.

If you want you can also download free-version here :

Link to : Call Via Phone freeware

Here below you can find brief functions description that you can have with freeware version :

Call Via Phone Description

NEW: Call Via Phone application freeware for Lync 2013 and Lync 2010

Hi all,  after a couple of months I’m happy to inform that I implement a new version of  Call Via Phone app for SNOM device. This version work also for Lync 2013 and obviously Lync 2010.

Step to install this new version :

  • Uninstall any old version of callviaphone   before install this one.
  • Install the latest KB for lync 2013 kb2760512, otherwise it don’t work on lync 2013 and work only on Lync 2010. 

Following all Windows version tested :

  • Windows 7 32/64 bit
  • Windows 8 64 bit

Following is a brief guide:

Unique Installation for 32 and 64 bit :

Download link :  Call Via Phone app

Once installed go ahead with the setup.

Configuration

  • Start Lync 2013/2010 Client and go to Tools –> Configure Call Via Phone App
  • After that a Message Box appear , and after you fill the field with phone IP address  , Extension or Username and PIN or Password,  click to save.
  •  After that, you are now ready to use the call via phone app.

Usage

On your buddy list , right click to a contact and click “Call Via phone” , at this point your SNOM phone must start to call the contact selected from Lync.

Please give feedback and do not hesitate to contact me for any kind of information or problem.

if you want to donate to help and encourage the development you can follow this link :

 

NEWS *  :  You can find also Call Via Phone Advanced version here :

Link to Call Via Phone Advanced for Lync 2010/2013

Feature added on CVP Advanced :

  • When you click on a contact you can choose which number to call using the phone (Lync , Mobile, Work, Voice mail)
  • After a call has started you can control  (Close, Hold, Add call, Transfer, Conference)

UPDATE 1.1.5: Call Via Phone application for Lync 2010

Hi all, I developed an application  to grow the capabilities of the call via telephone in an environment that includes Lync and SNOM as ip-phone with the firmware Apollo or oldest. At this time only Lync IP-PHONE version with a “USB “Better Together” can make call via Lync 2010 Client. So with this application you can able to do also with all the SNOM UC Apollo firmware and also with the oldest SNOM OCS firmware. As most of you know the new Apollo firmware allows authentication by inserting Extension and PIN, or as an alternative, but more cumbersome, the use of username and password.

At this time it work only in Lync 2010 client , the extension of Lync 2013  is still in development.

Following all Windows version tested :

  • Windows 7 32/64 bit
  • Windows 8 64 bit
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit

Following is a brief guide:

Installation

Updated 32 bit version 1.1.5 download:  Call Via Phone app 32

Updated 64 bit version 1.1.5 download:  Call Via Phone app 64

Before install it , unistall the old version from Control Panel. This new version  solve an issue regarding “phone-context” string manged by the SNOM phone , thanks to Olivier Kiel for feedback about it.

Once installed go ahead with the setup.

Configuration

Start Lync 2010 Client and go to Tools –> Configure Call Via Phone App

After that a Message Box appear , and after fill the field (information below is not real, provide you own configuration) click to save.

 After that, you are now ready to use the call via phone app.

Using

On your buddy list , right click to a contact and click “Call Via phone”

Please give feedback and do not hesitate to contact me for any kind of information or problem.

if you want to donate to help and encourage the development you can follow this link :

Download Link :

Updated 32 bit version 1.1.5 download :  Call Via Phone app 32

Updated 64 bit version 1.1.5 download:  Call Via Phone app 64

NEWS *  : New Call Via Phone Advanced version  coming soon with this feature :

  • When you click on a contact you can choose which number call using the phone(Lync , Mobile, Work, Voice mail)