The on-premise conferencing capability in Office Communications Server allows you to invite anonymous participants. These anonymous participants shouldn’t be allowed to have a meeting all by themselves, though. At least one authenticated enterprise user is required to be in the meeting.
With data conferencing in the Live Meeting Console, an anonymous participant can activate the conference. But — after a grace period — if no enterprise users join, the meeting will be terminated. Once the enterprise user does join, the meeting is safe. The enterprise user doesn’t have to be a presenter. A presenter will be needed to manipulate content in the meeting but the attendees can still talk to each other.
You would expect audio conferences to work similarly. (In an audio conference, the “presenters” are called “leaders.”) Except, there has been a bug in this feature until recently. (If you’d like more information on the OCS dial-in conferencing architecture, start here.)
The bug prevented the anonymous PSTN callers from being allowed into the meeting until a leader joined. Enterprise users that joined could talk to each other but the anonymous participants would continue to hear only music on hold until a leader joined.
The Conferencing Attendant fix just released will make the audio conferencing behavior consistent with the data conferencing behavior. Any authenticated enterprise participant that joins will start the audio conference and bring in the anonymous PSTN callers without the leader being present.
This fix is part of a big release of fixes for almost every component of OCS 2007 R2.
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