A question a lot of people ask me when talking about Lync, and how it’s a single client used for IM/Presence, Conferencing, and Voice, is “what happens when you invite someone to a conference who doesn’t have a Lync client"?”… and that’s when Lync Web App shows up.
Defining Lync Web App
Looking at Technet, I’ll just copy-paste its definition from there:
Microsoft Lync Web App is an Internet Information Services (IIS) web client that installs with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 and is enabled by default. No additional steps are necessary to either enable Lync Web App on the server or deploy the web client to users. When users click a meeting URL, they are presented with the meeting join page, which provides the option to join the meeting by using Lync Web App.
Your main consideration during client deployment is whether to install the following software prerequisites for Lync Web App in advance or to allow users to install them as needed:
- The Microsoft Silverlight 4.0 browser plug-in is required for Lync Web App. You can deploy Silverlight 4.0 to client computers, or you can allow users to be prompted for installation when they first start Lync Web App.
Time to have a look at Lync Web App, both on a Windows and a Mac platform
Step1. Windows Platform
When I send an invite to join a Lync hosted conference, to a non-Lync user, this is what happens when the user hits the URL Join Meeting:
I’ll go in more detail into the Lync Attendee, in a next post, but for now, the user decides to click “Join the meeting using your web browser”.
As clearly stated in the Technet article, Silverlight 4.0 at least is required, in order to be able to join this online meeting! And you need sufficient administrative permissions to install Silverlight. Once Silverlight is installed, you are ready to join the meeting
Here you have the option to join as a guest, or using your corporate credentials. In this example, I’ll be joining a s a guest , and enter a Display Name to join the meeting.
Depending on the meeting configuration, I’ll first be put a the meeting lobby or not.
Once admitted to the meeting I have full access to the meeting experience, but I do not have Audio, nor Video!!
For Audio, I have several options:
* Have Lync call me at a number I give
* Join the Audio Conference, by using the conference information provided in the meeting request, or when asking for it in Lync Web App
Or the presenter can choose to call me as well:
A Lync Web App attendee can be promoted to Presenter!
And a Lync Web App presenter can share…
Step 2. Lync Web App on Mac
Using Outlook 11 on a Mac, I can very easily click Join Online Meeting…and I will be given the option to join the meeting using Lync Web App:
As with the Windows platform, you do need to install Silverlight!
And you will get the exact same screens as on a Windows Platform…
A Lync Web App attendee on a Mac platform can be promoted to be a Presenter, and can share:
And when a participant decides to share his/her desktop using the Lync client, a Lync Web App attendee on Mac can see it
And can even request & get control…
And you have the ability to share eg PowerPoint docs, that can be shared from a Lync client in the conference…
And when recording is happening, it will be shown in Lync Web App as well:
Remember, there is no Audio and Video available!!!! The same options to join Audio are available here as when launching Lync Web App on a Windows Platform
There is also the Communicator 11 application available for a Mac platform, that I will also cover in a next post, together with the Lync Attendee