Plan for Meetings clients (Web App and Meetings App)

 

Topic Last Modified: 2018-01-18

Summary: IT Professionals should review the support requirements for the Skype for Business Web App and Skype Meetings App while planning for Skype for Business Server 2015. This article is not intended for the users of these apps.

Once you've implemented Skype for Business Server, your organization's users will presumably have the Skype for Business client installed as part of the deployment process.

Later on, those users may create meetings and invite users from outside the organization, and those meeting invitees may not have any version of the Skype for Business client. When those users click the URL for the meeting invite, the lack of a client will be detected and the invitee without a Skype for Business client will be asked to download and install a lightweight, meetings-only client so they can join the meeting.

noteNote:
The Skype for Business Web App and Skype Meetings App are only available when trying to log in to a meeting without having a Skype for Business. User help for these apps is at https://aka.ms/smahelp.
You can't pre-install either the Skype for Business Web App or Skype Meetings App, but smart phone and tablet users may be able to install inexpensive mobile clients they can use to attend meetings.

By default, the server hosting the meeting will direct the user to download and install Skype for Business Web App to join the meeting. The Skype for Business Web App is stored on the Front End Server and gets sent to the meeting attendee.

Starting with Skype for Business Server CU5, Skype Meetings App is available as a replacement for Skype for Business Web App, but providing the Skype Meetings App requires the additional configuration described in Enable Skype Meetings App to replace Skype for Business Web App (Optional). If Skype Meetings App is enabled, users will download the latest version of the app from the Office 365 Content Delivery Network (CDN) rather than from your Skype for Business server.

Skype Meetings App offers a simplified browser experience for downloading and installing the app and joining meetings, including one-click join for users of Internet Explorer. Skype Meetings App also has many improvements over theSkype for Business Web App for reliability and the meeting experience.

noteNote:
As of Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5 or later, meetings held using Skype for Business Online will no longer send a clientless user the Skype for Business Web App, they will instead be sent Skype Meetings App. As of Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5 or later, if you Enable the simplified meeting join experience and Skype Meetings App, clientless users will be sent Skype Meetings App instead of Skype for Business Web App.

To use the Skype for Business Web App, a user must have one of the following supported operating system and browser combinations.

Operating System and minimum browser support for Skype for Business Web App

Operating system

Edge

32- and 64-bit Internet Explorer 11 or later

32-bit and 64-bit Version of Firefox 12.X or later

32-bit Version of Chrome 18.X or later

Windows 10

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes 3

Windows 8.1 1

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes 3

Windows 8 (Intel based)1

N/A

N/A

Yes

Yes 3

Windows 7 with SP12

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes 3

Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP12

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes 3

Mac OS X 10.8 and later (Intel-based)2

N/A

N/A

Yes

Yes 4

1 The Skype for Business Web App browser plug-in requires a specific sharing plugin to use computer-based voice, video, sharing, and viewing of ongoing screen sharing and other features. A meeting attendee is given the option to install the sharing plug-in either when they join the meeting or when they initiate one of these features. On Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, the sharing plug-in can be installed only if you’re running Internet Explorer 10 or Internet Explorer 11 for the desktop. These features are not available with non-desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

2 On supported Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Macintosh operating systems, all features are available including computer-based voice, video, application viewing, application sharing, desktop viewing, and desktop sharing. To use these features, you must install a plug-in when prompted. Note that Mac OS X version 10.7 is no longer supported.

3 Accessing the Web App from Chrome on Windows will launch a small program which loads the Web App in an embedded Internet Explorer frame. This program requires one of the supported versions of Internet Explorer be installed for the Web App to load properly.

4 Accessing the Web App from Chrome on Mac will launch a small program which loads the Web App in an embedded Safari frame. This program requires one of the supported versions of Safari be installed for the Web App to load properly.

noteNote:
Office 365 users can use Internet Explorer 10 or later with Skype for Business.

The Skype Meetings App runs as an app on computers using Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7 operating systems. There are no browser dependencies.

For any other dependencies, refer to Supported platforms for Skype Meetings App

Computer hardware requirements are determined by the operating system and browser. Voice and telephony features require a microphone and speakers, headset with microphone, or equivalent device compatible with the computer. Video features require a video device compatible with the computer. For detailed information about video hardware support and expected video quality, see Skype for Business client video resolutions.

If a user of Skype for Business Web App or Skype Meetings App experiences meeting connection issues, chances are their organization's network infrastructure is not configured to support Office 365 as described in Office 365 URLs and IP address ranges. This is the case whether the meeting was created by a user of Skype for Business Online or Skype for Business Server 2015.

If the user is on a network not configured as described, many app features may or may not work and they may not be able to connect to the meeting at all.

This table compares the Meetings features available to users of the Skype for Business client, Skype for Business Web App, Skype Meetings App, and Lync Web App. Lync Web App is listed for feature comparison purposes: a user would only be downloading and using Lync Web App if the meeting was hosted on a Lync 2013 server.

 

Feature/capability

Skype for Business 2016 client

Skype for Business on Mac client

Skype Meetings App

Skype for Business Web App

Lync Web App

Add computer audio

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

Add video

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(requires plug-in)

Switch audio to a phone for authenticated participants

checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Switch audio to a phone for guest participants

checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off  

View multiparty video (gallery view)

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Video-based screen sharing

checklist check-offchecklist check-off

(for meetings hosted in Skype for Business Online only)

checklist check-off

(View-only)

  

Use in-meeting presenter controls

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Access detailed meeting roster

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Participate in multiparty IM

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Set IM messages as high importance

checklist check-off    

Share the desktop (if enabled)

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off read footnote 1

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off read footnote 1

(requires plug-in)

checklist check-off read footnote 1

(requires plug-in)

Share a program (if enabled)

checklist check-off  checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

Take control of another user’s shared desktop or program

checklist check-off  checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

checklist check-off

(On Windows only; requires plug-in)

Let another user take control of your shared desktop or program

checklist check-off    

Add anonymous participants (if enabled)

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Invite participants by name

checklist check-offchecklist check-off   

Invite participants by phone number

checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Invite participants by email

checklist check-off checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Use dial-in audio meetings

checklist check-off read footnote 2checklist check-off read footnote 2 checklist check-offread footnote 2 checklist check-offread footnote 2 checklist check-offread footnote 2

Initiate a Meet Now meeting

checklist check-offchecklist check-off

Record a meeting

checklist check-off    

Add and download attachments

checklist check-off checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Add and present Microsoft PowerPoint files

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Navigate Microsoft PowerPoint files

checklist check-offchecklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Add and edit OneNote meeting notes

checklist check-off 

Edit only (not add)

Edit only (not add)

Edit only (not add)

Use a whiteboard

checklist check-off  checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Conduct polls

checklist check-off  checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Upload files to share with others

checklist check-off  checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Schedule a meeting or conference

Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Outlook or Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Q&A Manager

checklist check-off  checklist check-off checklist check-off checklist check-off

Disable attendee video

checklist check-off    

Disable meeting IM

checklist check-off checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Mute audience

checklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-offchecklist check-off

Make everyone an attendee

checklist check-off    

Produce Skype Meeting Broadcast

checklist check-off    

read footnote 1 Participants can't control desktops that are shared by Lync for Mac 2011 or Communicator for Mac 2011 users. Lync for Mac 2011 and Communicator for Mac 2011 users can control desktops shared by Windows users. This also won't work for Skype for Business Web App on Max OSX.

read footnote 2 For Skype for Business Online, this feature requires Microsoft PSTN Conferencing, Exchange Unified Messaging, or a 3rd party audio conferencing provider.

read footnote 3 The Lync for Mac 2011 client cannot view Microsoft Office 2013 PowerPoint presentations when they have been shared in a conference by the Skype for Business Web App.

For End-users, the online help for these apps is readily available. IT Professionals should be aware of the following issues:

  • If the user is on a network not configured to meet the Network requirements, many app features may or may not work and they may not be able to connect to the meeting at all.

  • Some users may have corporate-administered computers with disabled permission to install apps. for those users, neither app is an option, but smart phone and tablet users may be able to install inexpensive mobile clients they can use to attend meetings.

    Other installation issues are also covered in the help topics.

  • Users may see a firewall warning the first time they run the meetings app. They may be prompted to open ports to optimize the experience, and this may require Admin privileges on the machine they may not have. The app should still function and the user can safely decline to open the requested ports.

  • You must have ActiveX enabled without filtering in Internet Explorer, even if IE is not your default browser. In Skype for Business Web App, an ActiveX control—a small module that adds additional features to a web app or other program—is required for audio, video, and screen sharing.

  • For some features of Skype for Business Web App to work correctly, you must allow your browser to save cookies on your computer or device.

  • You may need to turn on JavaScript support in your browser for some Skype for Business Web App features to work as expected.

As of Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5, AES is not supported for ASP.NET 4.6 and this may cause Skype Meetings App to fail to start. If a client is using AES as the machine key validation value you will need to reset the machine key value to SHA-1 or another supported algorithm on the Skype Meetings App site level on IIS. If necessary, see IIS 8.0 ASP.NET Configuration Management for instructions.

Other supported values are:

  • HMACSHA256

  • HMACSHA384

  • HMACSHA512

The values AES, 3DES, and MD5 are no longer allowed, as they once were in ASP.NET 4. Cryptographic Improvements in ASP.NET 4.5, pt. 2 has more details.

 
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