Back in October 2011, the Update to UAG (SP1 Update 1) finally added support for Lync publishing with UAG. However, much confusion has risen around to what extent Lync publishing is supported. Many customers deduced that the new UAG feature supports the entire range of Lync features and clients…but sadly, this is not the case.
In the time since the update was released, I’ve witnesses many customers struggle with trying to make Lync Mobility and the Lync client work through UAG, as well as various blog posts that describe how to do it. Technically, there are some aspects of Lync that can be made to work, but essentially, this entails forcing UAG to do something it was not designed to do.
I’m writing this post to clarify this. At the time of writing (November 2012), UAG does not support accessing Lync using Lync Mobility on any platform, nor the use of the Lync software client. The only thing that IS supported is using the Web-based version of the Lync client. For customers who need to publish Lync for Mobility and the software client, Microsoft recommends publishing the Lync Edge server using TMG, or a comparable transparent-publishing firewall solution (note, though, that using the TMG server that’s on your UAG server is not supported for this purpose). While some companies have been able to provide some form of access via UAG to the unsupported clients, this would work only partially at best, and would not be supported by Microsoft.
As for why this doesn’t work….well, the reason is that UAG is a product that was designed to primarily interact with browsers. It also has some special functions to interact with other clients such as Mobile phones and Office applications (including Outlook), but these functions are specially designed code that doesn’t extend to other applications. Different functions of the various Lync clients behave differently and so some can be made to work, but until the UAG product team specifically designs UAG to interact with the various Lync clients, we will not have full support for it.