• Oh you are going to like this….


Update #2.

Additional guidance was published today HERE

*Update* Thanks for bringing to my attention that fellow @theucarchitects member Michel de Rooij also did a post on this subject and explains some of this a little better than I did. Definitely take a look!

So you have Skype for Business 2015 deployed. You have followed the general instructions that we have all used for years really to integrate Skype for Business Server and Exchange Server 2010 and 2013’s Outlook Web Access (OWA, “Outlook on the Web”) for Instant Messaging and Presence (IM/P).

You then go hey, I am all hip and cool and I’m going to install Exchange 2016, which was released on 10/1/2015, and start to do that same steps to integrate Skype for Business and OWA. And so you do. And it doesn’t work. So you go “huh”. Then you bang your fists on the keyboard. You now feel like a failure so you take to drinking. You now have a drinking problem then you lose your job. Why does this not work you ask. Its been the same setup for years you say, so why not now?

Or you can just read this first.

To recap as there has been some inconsistent info on the overall setup for SfB\Lync and OWA over the years. Plus things have been changed on the Exchange side over time across different released and updates. If you look through the various guidance on configuring this interoperability you have 3 basic steps:

1. Create the trusted application and application pool on the Lync\SfB side.

2. Configure the certificate, and the OwaVirtualDirectory and OwaMailboxPolicy steps on the Exchange side.

3. Edit the web.config file on your CAS servers to add the certificate thumbprint and server name.

However, I call BS on the Exchange 2016 side steps now. In my testing, you DO NOT need to do either of the last 2 steps with Exchange 2016. “WTF is he on about” you ask. “Prove it” you say. Fine, here it goes.

The setup:

3 Exchange 2016 servers. Note how I say “servers” as we all surely have heard by now there is only a multirole server now in Exchange 2016 (HUZZAH!!!). All 3 servers are identical in every way.

1 Skype for Business 2015 Standard Edition Front End.

Also in the topology is Lync 20213 and Exchange 2013 but we aren’t talking about that. Well I guess I just did – oops.

First, lets verify we have no “legacy” settings for Instant Messaging in the Exchange 2016 side.



Note there are no InstantMessaging settings whatsoever for  the 2016 nodes.

Web.config file.


Remember as well that the server with the active database copy determines what settings are applied here. If, of course they were which they are not any more. 🙂

Ok so we have the Skype for Business or Lync side complete, so how do we get the Exchange side working now in 2016?

I had no idea but doing some looking around I came across this post and found this new way of setting up SfB and Exchange 2016 . This is very new to me as well so hopefully we will  get some more info on what this really does but mostly I warned to bring it to everyones attention. A million thanks to Benoit Hamet (@benoit_hamet) for putting this up.

Now we run:

New-SettingOverride -Name   -Component OwaServer -Section IMSettings -Parameters @(“IMServerName=<lync\sfb server=”” or=”” pool=”” fqdn=””>”,”IMCertificateThumbprint=”) -Reason “Configure IM” -MinVersion “15.01.0225.41”

Refresh the configuration

Get-ExchangeDiagnosticInfo -Server $ENV:COMPUTERNAME -Process Microsoft.Exchange.Directory.TopologyService -Component VariantConfiguration -Argument Refresh

Restart the OWA App pool via the IIS Admin snap in or by running

Restart-WebAppPool MSExchangeOWAApppool

After reloading a browser page in OWA, you should see the Event ID 112 come up in event viewer showing that Instant Messaging Endpoint Manager was initialized.


And BOOM! we now have presence.


So there you have it, the old ways are now useless it seems. Please feel free to comment if I got anything wrong or with more info on ‘New-SettingOverride’. I am not finding a ton on this. This definitely goes a long way to simplify the setup of these components.

Hope this helps!