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The basics of a Lync 2010 & SharePoint 2010 Web Part

July 28, 2011 1 comment

Lets make a web part that’s extremely simple to show you the basics of Lync 2010 and SharePoint 2010 development.  The web part will use Lync Controls (link) to display the current logged-in user’s picture, status, and allow them to change their status.  Lets get to it!

 

To Start, make sure you have the Lync 2010 SDK, UCMA 3.0 SDK, SharePoint SDK, SharePoint 2010, and Lync 2010 installed on the same server…its pretty ridiculous that you need all of that just to build this…I wish it was a little more simpler that that.

 

You will be building a Silverlight application using the project template provided by the SDK.  You can develop your .XAP file in that solution, and when you are finished, add it using the OOTB Silverlight Web Part (or add to your Visual Web Part).

 

For your first try at a Lync 2010 Web Part, I would use the controls that have a prefix of “MYxxxx”.  Drag the MyStatusArea Control onto your canvas for your first web part.  This is a good sample, because it will automatically match up your sip address (required for Lync Controls to show people info).  If all goes well, you should see your info in the control below.  Oh yea… don’t forget to add it to a Silverlight Web Part for the full effect =)

 

MyStatusArea Control

 

That’s all good…but I’m sure you want to do something a little more dynamic.  To do that, you will need to understand the concept of a SIP address as it relates to Lync 2010.  That address is the “key” that binds your Lync Control to a Lync Object (person, or asset) so that you can see the status and interact with that object.  The sip address is formatted in a specific way…but can vary between implementations.  Its usually in the form of an email address.

 

You can use another control, called a “CustomContactList” to display a custom amount of users in a list.  This control is great, because we can bind it to a collection of objects and bind properties of that object to the properties of that control (so…have a property called sip and bind it to the SOURCE property of the CustomContactList).  This is what it looks like when completed.

 

CustomContactList Control

 

So however you get your list of users…you can bind them to the source property and easily see those users in your custom application.  Theres about 20 controls that work with Lync and I’m sure there are more… endless possibilities for custom applications.  The final piece to this puzzle is to use the Silverlgiht Client Object Model to query data from SharePoint.  Thats for the next post… =)

Categories: Development, Lync 2010, SP 2010

SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010: Adventures in Integration Part 2

May 2, 2011 16 comments

So…part one of this series I started with a teaser about how I was tasked with building some SharePoint and Lync 2010 (the upgraded Messenger 2007 client) integration.  I’d like to talk about how to setup that development environment…because in the beginning…it was kind of annoying going through all of the Lync 2010 Server setups.

First off, lets talk about the completed setup.  I consider this the bare minimum that you would need to start developing for both Lync and SharePoint.

  1. 2 servers.  1 primary purpose is DC, 1 primary purpose is Lync, SharePoint & Visual Studio.
  2. I recommend VM.  Snapshots are nice….I can this setup on a laptop (core i7, 8gb ram) and I was still hurting performance wise.  
  3. SDK’s for Lync, UCMA 3.0, Silverlight 4.0 
  4. All windows service pack updates

Note:  You can do this with the new DC/SP2010 server (ALM TFS/SP VM package) and then create a Lync Server with VS 2010 on it.
Another-note:  You must have Lync Server installed on your development machine to take advantage of Lync Controls (the bits/pieces of the Lync UI that let you develop for the platform). 
Another-nother-note:  You can’t use the Lync/UCMA SDKs on machines that don’t have Lync Server 2010 installed.
Another-nudder-note:  You CANNOT install Lync 2010 on a Domain Controller.

I could keep going with those =)

Those are the specs…and this is how I would install it:

  1. Create a Sysprepped Windows Server 2008 R2 image (that is fully configured and updated minus roles).
  2. On server A:  add roles/features:  Active Directory Domain Services, Active Directory Certificate Services, RSAT.
  3. On server B:  add it to the domain.  Make sure you re-log in as the domain admin…and not the admin of that machine.
  4. On server B:  add roles/features:  RSAT, IIS, .Net framework 3.5.
  5. Install:  Lync Server 2010 (follow these AMAZING instructions to install Lync Server 2010), SharePoint 2010 (any version), Visual Studio 2010 (with SharePoint tools).  Don’t forget SDK’s UCMA 3.0, Lync 2010 SDK, Silverlight 4.0 SDK.

It looks simple, but the Lync 2010 install is far from it.  I highly recommend you look at the provided link and google all install errors as you see them.  It’s a frustrating install if its your first time.

Once you have that setup, you can IM between both of the machines.  To me, its amazing the level of encapsulation that goes in this product.  Find a user and chat with them.  The user is totally oblivious to the amount of technical complexity that is under the hood!

In the next part of the series, I’m going to show how to create a “Hello World Lync/Silverlight/SP” customization.  Fun Stuff…..stay tuned!

Categories: Lync 2010, SharePoint, SP 2010

SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010: Adventures in Integration Part 1

March 31, 2011 10 comments

Recently I was tasked with trying out some integration with SharePoint 2010 and Lync 2010.  I had a blast while learning more about Lync 2010 and custom development as it pertains to SharePoint 2010.  In this blog series, I want to share that experience with you.

Starting off… Lync 2010 is,  in a nutshell, Microsoft’s communication platform (IM, Voice, Video, etc.).  If you are familiar with MS Communicator 2007, it’s the same idea but much more improved.  Just to give a point of reference… below are images for MS Communicator 2007 and Lync 2010:

Then… Communicator 2007

Now… Lync 2010

Check out that new hotness!  So…switching gears… What’s even cooler, is that the development tools for Lync 2010 allow you to drag n’ drop pieces of the Lync client into your Silverlight of WPF application (these are known as Lync Controls).  If you have been using SharePoint 2010…you know that Silverlight easily integrates into it.  So…basically I’m saying that you can drag n’ drop the Lync client into a Silverlight app that is hosted on your SharePoint site!  When I first heard this, I was very excited…there’s so many possibilities that can be accomplished here!  Take these examples:

  • A dashboard that shows the Sales team and their clients.  Aggregates sales data using web services from 3rd party applications.  Shows their Presence information, location, and options to call that user.
  • Since I’m a branding dork… integrating a Silverlight object into a master.page that shows current logged in user’s information by their name (showing picture, location, changeable busy/away info, and thought bubble).

So, I think you get the idea.  The point is…Lync 2010 is cool and integrates with the client so well!  Its also not limited to that!  In the series, I’ll explore more about the different ways that you can use SharePoint data that integrates into the Lync 2010 client and vice versa.

I’ll post multiple parts about my development experience and integrating Lync 2010 with SharePoint 2010.  I’ll show the things that went well…and things that didn’t go so well.  Additionally, I’ll post up some of the customizations I built along the way.

–Matt

Categories: Lync 2010, SharePoint, SP 2010