Using Lync like a LyncPRO – Use custom presence states!

LyncGuruUsing Lync like a LyncPRO is a segment on The UC Architects podcast where I go through tools you as a LyncPRO may want to use to make your experience cooler, easier and you can showcase features to your peers. The tools are typically

- Applicable to the desktop client
– Community developed
– Have requirements outside just running Lync
– Use PowerShell and registry to apply settings

Check out the other articles in this series: http://msunified.net/tag/lyncpro/
If you have a LyncPRO tips you want to share, head over to The UC Architects LinkedIn discussion for this topic, or leave a comment below

Using Lync like a LyncPRO – Use custom presence states!

Ok, this is a topic that has been around since the early days, where you can add more presence states than the predefined you find in your client today. Custom presence states lets you pimp your presence field with your own states that reflect how you feel and what you are doing. Lately things got a bit more awesome, here is why:

  • MVP Greig Sheridan has created a tool that lets you set presence states with shortcuts
  • Now this tool support custom presence states
  • I went and created a PowerShell script for automating the process of creating the xml file and correct registry settings
    • For those of you who do not have centrally deployed custom presence states
    • Or for those of you who want your own states

How-To

  1. Download the script and run it
  2. This will create the following custom presence states
    Custom

  3. After you have played with the new presence states you can download HIDnLync 2013
  4. It is easy to set up
  5. You can choose your own custom presence states and be able to change them with keyboard shortcuts
    Hidn
  6. I use it to tell my peers that I am in a mobile call or am teaching Lync in a class
  7. Got any useful presence states, share them in the comments field below :)

Office Communicator Custom Presence States

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or similar post to provide credit to the original author

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb963925.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/toml/archive/2007/11/30/oc-custom-presence-states.aspx 
http://blog.tiensivu.com/aaron/archives/1341-Little-known-Office-Communicator-2007-feature-Custom-Presence-States.html
http://blogs.technet.com/brettjo/archive/2008/08/19/communicator-and-ocs-tech-tip-8-custom-presence.aspx

Office Communicator 2007 offers a few user defined areas, the Note, your location and Custom Presence

Please note something important – there is no defined custom presence that includes the Yellow (away) status. The reason is that it is not supported as it was deemed to be a value that you wouldn’t set yourself but would be set based on your activity. I would agree with that for Away but Be Right Back I can set but it is what it is. What happens if you set one of the states to the Yellow (away) states – none of the custom presence items show.

Another item to note that can be a bit annoying – you can’t sign in with the custom presence, you have to sign in with a standard state and then change. My approach is to pick the state that matches what I will eventually select with my custom text.

Universal limitations

  • You can only define up to 4 custom entries.
  • Maximum length of the custom presence description is 64 characters.
  • XML customState availability can be set to “online”, “busy” and “do-not-disturb”.
  • If you want the custom states set for everyone on the computer system instead of the current user, you need to change the .REG file from HKCU to HKLM. (Mostly only useful for TS servers)

Here is syntax for presence.xml used for what you see and a reg file syntax is also included. Please note that you can put the xml anywhere just update the reg file syntax for the correct path.

NOTE: The LCID=”1033″ specify the language of the clients you want the custom presence to be displayed . 1033 is english, if your contacts have clients with different languages you need to find the corresponding language code. See list of locale ID (LCID): http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-gb/goglobal/bb964664.aspx You can have multiple languages for the same state so that it works for different clients. If you use the program that you can download at the bottom of this post you need to manually change the LCID in the generated xml

<customStates>
    <customState ID=”1″ availability=”online”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Out and about – use mobile</activity>
        <activity LCID=”1044″>Out and about – use mobile</activity>
    </customState>
    <customState ID=”2″ availability=”Busy”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Down in the lab – use mobile</activity>
        <activity LCID=”1044″>Down in the lab – use mobile</activity>

    </customState>
    <customState ID=”3″ availability=”busy”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Reviewing program documents</activity>
        <activity LCID=”1044″>Reviewing program documents</activity>

    </customState>
    <customState ID=”4″ availability=”do-not-disturb”>
        <activity LCID=”1033″>Executive Briefing with Customer</activity>
        <activity LCID=”1044″>Executive Briefing with Customer</activity>

    </customState>
</customStates>

and here is the syntax of the reg file

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator]
@=””
CustomStateURL”=file:///C:/Users/toml/Documents/presence.xml

image_4 

 

A program has been written to automate this process

Setting the Pre-Req’s on Vista and MOC R2

Amending the registry:

1) Start –> RegEdit.exe

2) Navigate (by double clicking) to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator

3) Change the EnableSIPHighSecurityMode key name to be 0

4) Right click EnableSIPHighSecurityMode –> Modify –> change it to 0 –> OK

It should look like this:

image

5) Close the registry editor.

Go here to download the tool: http://www.confusedamused.com/notebook/communicator-2007-custom-presence-tool/