Haiku #29

If there's a meeting

And no one can find it, is

It a real meeting?


There's no doubt that the author of today's haiku has a fondness for Zen koans; he's even used a few of them in a previous article on this site. But, then again, what's not to like about koans and riddles, especially those that seem to have an obvious answer? For example, everyone knows this one: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Everyone who hears this riddle immediately dismisses it: of course it makes a sound.




And yet, how do you know it makes a sound if no one is there to hear it? Sure, it probably makes a sound, but probably is not the same thing as definitely. (We looked that up to make sure: they aren't the same.) And what about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which states that the very act of trying to observe or measure something changes the behavior of that something? In other words, maybe a falling tree doesn't make a sound unless someone is there to hear it. At that point, the simple presence of an observer changes the behavior of the tree and causes it to make a sound.


Note. Impossible, you say? Well, then you've never had children. Everyone knows that the first thing a kid who falls down does is look around to see if anyone saw their tragic accident. If they don't see anyone they won't cry. But if they do see someone, they cry. The simple presence of an observer changes their behavior and causes them to make a sound!


And yes, we're pretty sure that proves our point. We just aren't totally sure what our point actually is.


Oh, and what about solipsism, the belief that nothing exists except you and the things in your mind? (Not that the authors of the Lync Server PowerShell blog buy this theory; it's obvious that no solipsist has ever tried driving in Seattle traffic at 5:00 PM on a Friday.) And what about – what's that? What about Microsoft Lync Server 2010? What about Windows PowerShell? Beats us, what do those things have to do with today's haiku?


Oh, yeah; good point. With that in mind, let's see what we can do to relate today's haiku to Lync Server.


And yes, that is going to be a challenge.


To begin with, if there was a weakness in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (and note that we said if) it would have to be meeting URLs; any time you scheduled a meeting in OCS 2007 R2 that meeting would be given a URL similar to this:




If you've ever wondered why you don't see many tattoos of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 meeting URLs, well, now you know.


But it wasn't just the tattoo industry that found these URLs to be a pain in the … uh, to be a pain. Long, ungainly URLs like that aren't always easy to copy and paste into an email or a Web browser. And forget about reading something like that over the phone; the meeting would be over long before you finished reciting the URL.


Fortunately, that doesn't have to be the case in Lync Server 2010. In Lync Server, you have the option of using "simple URLs." With a simple URL, that same meeting URL might look like this:




As you can see, Lync Server URLs are, well, simpler than the URLs used in Office Communications Server 2007 R2. And that doesn't just mean meeting URLs; you can also configure simple URLs for the dial-in conferencing Web page and for administrators to use when firing up the Lync Server Control Panel. All in all, pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves.


We can't provide you with detailed instructions here on how to configure Lync Server in order to get simple URLs to work; suffice to say that it: 1) involves doing such things as creating DNS records for each URL; configuring reverse proxy rules for external access; and adding the simple URLs to the your Front End Server certificates; and, 2) is covered in more detail in the Lync Server Planning Guide. What we can do, however, is point out that, once you're set up to use simple URLs you can then manage those URLs by using the CsSimpleUrlConfiguration cmdlets: Get-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration; New-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration; Remove-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration; and Set-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration.


Note. We should probably note that simple URL configurations represent a collection of simple URLs. For example, if you have simple URLs for meetings, dial-in conferencing, and the Lync Server Control Panel, those three URLs would be collectively referred to, and managed as, a simple URL configuration.


So how do you go about managing these simple URL collections? Well, suppose you want to review all the simple URLs currently in use in your organization. (We might mention that you can use one global collection of simple URLs or you can configure different sets of simple URLs for your Lync Server sites.) Reviewing all your simple URLs isn't very hard; in fact, this command will do the trick:




Here's another one. You say you want to delete the simple URLs assigned to the Redmond site? Okey-doke:


Remove-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration –Identity "site:Redmond"


Alternatively, you can leave the collection in place but remove all the simple URLs included in that collection:


Set-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration -Identity "site:Redmond" -SimpleUrl $Null


Note. Good question: if a simple URL collection doesn't have any simple URLs in it, is it really a simple URL collection? We're surprised the Zen koan writers didn't think of that one.


Now, admittedly, things can get a bit more complicated if you want to do something like change the simple URL for meetings, or maybe add a new simple URL for dial-in conferencing. For that, we recommend that you check out the help topics for the CsSimpleUrlConfiguration cmdlets.


Note. Yes, for most technical questions related to Lync Server you should first turn to a haiku in order to get help. This is one of those rare exceptions where you might want to start with the actual help itself, and only then turn a haiku.


At any rate, that's the meaning behind today's haiku: meetings used to be really hard to find, and many people would say that a meeting that no one could actually find isn't really a meeting after all. Personally, we'd say that a meeting that no one could actually find would be fantastic. But, then again, we're not really meeting people.




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