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Communicator Web Access Enhancements

Communications Server 2007 R2

Topic Last Modified: 2009-01-22

The 2007 R2 version of Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access provides browser-based client access to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2. In this release, Communicator Web Access introduces the following new features:

  • User interface customization options. Administrators can customize the Communicator Web Access client logon page, as well as tabs and menus displayed in the Web client.
  • Support for distribution groups. Users can add distribution groups to the contact list and exchange instant messages with those groups.
  • Audio conferencing. Communicator Web Access can initiate, receive, and control audio conference calls.
  • Desktop sharing. Users can initiate desktop sharing sessions using the Communicator Web Access client.
  • Hosting for Dial-in Conferencing Web page. The dial-in conferencing feature of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 includes a Web page for users that is hosted by the Communicator Web Access server.

You can use XML to customize the client logon page, menus, and tabs for Communicator Web Access. Some organizations customize the logon page using their organization’s logo. The default menus in the contact list and conversation windows can be supplemented with custom menus that link to other Web pages or applications used by your organization. You can supplement the tabs that appear at the bottom of the Communicator Web Access contact list window with custom tabs that link to other Web pages or applications used by your organization.

With support for distribution groups, Communicator Web Access users can more easily interact with multiple contacts. For example, users can send an instant message to some or all members of a distribution group that are enabled for unified communications. Similarly, users can add a distribution group to an existing conversation rather than adding members of the group individually. To engage in ongoing interaction with members of a distribution group, users can search for and add distribution groups, including nested distribution groups, to a contact list. Users can also more easily remove multiple contacts from a contact list by deleting a distribution group and, therefore, all its members.

Audio conferencing has been added to Communicator Web Access to augment the new Web application sharing feature. Users can initiate and receive multiparty audio conference calls (that is, calls in which there are at least two other participants) by providing the Communicator Web Access client with their local telephone number. Communicator Web Access connects the user’s telephone to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and then initiates calls to other conference participants by working with the Audio/Video Conferencing Server included with Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

Communicator Web Access can initiate audio calls from the contact list, in an open conversation window, or in an application sharing session as long as there are at least two other participants. If Communicator Web Access receives an incoming audio call in which there is only one other participant, the client can deflect the call to a telephone, but it cannot accept the call using computer audio.

Communicator Web Access users can create a desktop sharing session and invite other users, including users that are not enabled for unified communications. Users of Communicator Web Access on computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system can initiate, view, and take control of a session, while users on computers running an Apple Macintosh or Linux operating system will only be able to view and take control of a session. A user can add desktop sharing to an existing instant messaging conversation or conference or start a new desktop sharing session by opening a new browser window to the desktop sharing URL configured by the administrator. A user can join a desktop sharing session by accepting an invitation in a Communicator Web Access or Communicator conversation window, by clicking a link in an e-mail, or by opening a new browser window to the URL generated for the session.

Communicator Web Access hosts a Web page for the users of dial-in conferencing. The Dial-in Conferencing Web page displays dial-in conferencing phone numbers. The Dial-in Conferencing Web page also enables users to manage their personal identification number (PIN) and reservation-less conference information, including conference ID, and pass code for anonymous users.

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