Update: Configuring Lync Client Access Capabilities to Meet Client Access License Requirements

This article outlines the specific parameters within Lync Server policies and settings that can be configured and applied to groups of users. These parameters control which users have access to what functionality based on the Client Access License (CAL) requirements that apply to these users.

September 19, 2012 Update:

The updated article now lists correctly how to set EnableAppDesktopSharing in order to prevent users with Standard CAL from using app/desktop sharing in peer to peer calls and enable it in Enterprise CAL users’ organized conferences.

Authors: Jason Smith, Thomas Binder

Original publication date: October 13, 2011

Publication update: September 19, 2012

Product version: Microsoft Lync Server 2010

Lync Server 2010 offers a choice of three different Client Access Licenses: Standard CAL, Enterprise CAL, and the newly introduced Plus CAL. The Client Access License required for a user is based on the specific Lync functionality assigned to that user. An authoritative description of the Lync Server licensing options, including details on Standard CAL, Enterprise CAL, and Plus CAL can be found in the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide.

Note. For Lync clients, Microsoft offers a device-based CAL (Device CAL) or a user-based CAL (User CAL) for purchase. For detailed information on the different CAL options, please refer to the Microsoft Lync Licensing Guide, section 2.1.3. This article focuses on configuring Lync policy based on the User CAL.

Policy Settings for Standard CAL Users

Every user enabled for Lync 2010 requires a Standard CAL.

To verify that a user is enabled for Lync 2010, run the Get-CsUser command in the Lync Management Shell, and check the enabled parameter. All users with a value of true are enabled for Lync and require a Standard CAL. To get a list of all users enabled for Lync, run Get-CsUser –ResultSize Unlimited –Filter {Enabled –eq $true}.

Policy Settings for Enterprise CAL Users

In addition to the required Standard CAL, the following policy settings require an Enterprise CAL. The specific capabilities are:

  • Dial-in conferencing hosted by the user.
  • Video conferencing hosted by the user.
  • Application/desktop sharing in meetings hosted by the user.
  • The ability to initiate peer-to-peer application/desktop sharing.
  • Web conferencing/data collaboration in conferences hosted by the user.
Note. Audio conferences hosted by the user require either the Enterprise CAL or the Plus CAL–this means if a user has either of these two CALs, the user is licensed to create Audio conferences. This CAL also includes Audio conferences that utilize Lync dial-in capability.

The settings applied to a particular user apply to all meetings created by that user. The respective settings of attendees are not applied. For example, if a user’s video conferencing policy is disabled, this user cannot create video conferences for any user. However, this user can fully participate in video conferences organized by users whose video conferencing settings are enabled.

The settings for conference organizers and participants are defined by conferencing policies. One administration option for creating conferencing policies is to use the Lync Server Control Panel. This is described in detail in Modify the Default Conferencing User Experience.

Note. Lync administrators determine the default policy settings for users based on their specific requirements. For example, one approach is to restrict the default policy (aka global conferencing policy) to apply only to capabilities allowed for Standard CAL users. Then, add a second less-restrictive policy for users with Enterprise CAL rights.

The other administration option is to use the Lync Server Management Shell. The Lync Server Management Shell gives you all the options that the Lync Server Control Panel provides, plus several additional configuration features. These additional features, however, do not affect licensing requirements. The conferencing policy parameters in the Windows PowerShell command line interface cmdlets that correspond to the capabilities listed above are as follows:


Possible setting


False or True


False or True


False or True


False or True

To prevent users without the Enterprise CAL from using these capabilities, all settings should be set to false.

Note: If you want users to inherit the application and desktop sharing functionality of the meeting organizer (Enterprise CAL user), set the EnableAppDesktopSharing parameter to Desktop or SingleApplication.

The syntax to use PowerShell to set the conferencing policy using Set-CsConferencing Policy can be found here: Set-CsConferencingPolicy.

Note. An easy way to view the effective conferencing policy is to use the Lync Server Control Panel. From the control panel, click the User tab, and search for the user. Open the User details, and check the Conferencing Setting shown there. If it is set to automatic, you can use the View button to see the effective policy.

Plus CAL Usage

A Plus CAL is required for all users using Enterprise Voice. If the user needs to host conferences with audio and does not have Enterprise CAL, the Plus CAL also provides that capability.

To determine if a user is enabled for Enterprise Voice in Lync, use the get-CsUser cmdlet. If it returns EnterpriseVoiceEnabled as true, the user is enabled for Enterprise Voice.

To determine if a user is enabled for hosting audio conferences, check the conferencing policy that is effective for the user. If AllowIPAudio is set to true, the user is enabled for this feature.


This article lists the specific policies in Lync Server 2010 that correspond to each User CAL and provides guidance for Lync Server administrators who manage licensing compliance. All users enabled for Lync require a Standard CAL. The need for an additional Enterprise CAL or Plus CAL is determined by the features and capabilities configured for those users.

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Comments (6)
  1. Christopher Knill says:

    If you a client has a standard user CAL and leaves can the CAL be transferred to their replacement?  or would the new user need their own CAL?

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