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Using Categories to Administer Group Chat Server

 

Topic Last Modified: 2011-02-03

A computer running Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Group Chat can host many concurrent chat rooms. Chat rooms can be organized hierarchically into a set of categories on the server. Each chat room has only one parent category, although categories can be nested into other categories to form a multilevel hierarchy. This organization creates a useful structure for identifying conversations based on their business purpose and facilitates delegated administration and simplified management.

noteNote:
Although many of the management features of chat rooms are available in computers running Microsoft Lync 2010 Group Chat, you must use Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Group Chat Admin Tool to create or manage categories.

To facilitate delegated administration, each category in the system can have a list of users defined as chat room managers. These users are granted user rights and permissions to manage all the chat rooms that are created in that category. To additionally refine this behavior, you can define nested subcategories as required. Management user rights and permissions extend down through multiple levels of nested subcategories.

Lync 2010 Group Chat includes features that simplify chat room management. You can define a set of default behaviors and membership lists, and you can adjust these settings on the category level. After you do this, chat rooms that are created in the category automatically inherit the default settings from the category. In this manner, a new chat room can be created quickly and easily by simply giving it a name and a topic. If a new user needs to be added to the membership list of an entire category of chat rooms, you, as the chat room administrator can add him or her to the membership list of the category; all the chat rooms in the category automatically inherit the change. Chat room managers who do not want their chat rooms to inherit the membership list of the category can opt to create a new membership list to prevent this behavior.

The chat room administrator can control and restrict the way in which category settings are changed. For example, by default, any user who is in the membership list for a category can create new chat rooms in that category. However, the administrator can prevent category members from creating new chat rooms. In this case, only chat room managers can create new chat rooms in the category. Alternatively, the administrator can lock the settings of the category and prevent chat room managers from making any changes to the settings (with certain exceptions). Lastly, the administrator has the option of defining a scope for the category that limits the pool of users from which chat room managers can select their membership lists.

Chat room managers cannot be restricted from performing the following actions:

  • Disabling a chat room

  • Changing a chat room name

  • Changing a chat room topic

  • Changing a chat room description

  • Changing a chat room type (Auditorium versus Normal)

  • Overriding an inherited membership list

  • Adding or removing members

  • Adding or removing chat room managers

  • Adding or removing an add-in

Chat room managers can be restricted from performing the following actions:

  • Setting the visibility of a chat room

  • Enabling or disabling invitations for a chat room

  • Enabling or disabling chat history for a chat room

  • Enabling or disabling file uploads for a chat room

  • Removing inherited chat room managers

After installing Group Chat, the system automatically creates a category called the root category. This category serves as the parent of all categories and chat rooms in the system. Settings that are made to this category affect all other categories and chat rooms. For this reason, access to the root category should be limited to a select group of users.

Creating and managing chat rooms is made much easier through the correct use of categories. A chat room administrator can define the default managers and membership lists for each category and also the default chat room settings and behaviors that will be applied to all chat rooms created in the category. If a hierarchy of subcategories is created, these settings are inherited in a cumulative manner.

As a best practice, you should not create chat rooms directly in the root category. Instead, you should begin by defining a hierarchy of subcategories that resembles the organizational structure of your company or of the community of users who will be using Group Chat. By doing this, you will have greater flexibility to expand or change the structure of your system later.

 
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