UC Extend – Extending the Microsoft UC Experience

UC Extend expands on the capabilities of the Lync and Skype for Business clients, and best of all its free! UC Extend’s vision is to build in functionality to extend the features of the Microsoft UC client, improve user adoption by delivering managed learning, improve customer satisfaction and make administration of non-domain joined machines easier.

Feature Summary

  • Presence Switcher – Change your Lync or Skype for Business presence based on time of day, day of week and for a fixed time and computer idle period
  • Registry Monitor – Monitor and enforce registry key values
  • Customer Support – Give your customers quick access to support and training information
  • UC Client Custom Menus – Create custom menus that are accessible directly from Lync or Skype for Business

If you find this useful and wish to support future development, please consider donating.

Installation and Release Notes

Download

Presence Switcher

The first 5 time of day options are processed from top down, with the last enabled and active time period being of higher precedence i.e if 2 time periods overlap and are both enabled, the one lower down the list take precedence. The application will only attempt to set presence once per day, sign-in, or when settings are updated. I figured it would annoy people if the application where to override a user initiated presence change, however I am considering a “force presence” option.

Set Me As options are processed in addition to the above mentioned settings and will always override the time of day settings for the period they are active. Currently both of these options revert presence back to “Available” when the conditions are no longer met and nothing else is active, however I am working on caching the previous state.

Ignore the Unanswered Calls stuff for now, but you get where thats going 🙂

Registry Monitor

Registry Monitor monitors a specified registry item, and when it changes enforces a set value.

Customer Support

The Customer Support function allows you to add quick launch items to the task tray launcher, and provides a “Contact Support” pop up so your customers can easily get in touch.

Quick launch:

 

Support Contact popup:

UC Client Custom Menus

Easily add custom menu items to the Lync or Skype for Business client. Custom menu items can launch web pages or applications.
The default application settings add a menu to open the Presence Switcher settimgs:

UC Client Installer

During installation you have the option to install the standalone Lync client using the Office Customization Tool. Here are the requirements:
  • The Lync 2013 installation files are located in the same directory as the installer in a folder named “Install_Lync2013Client”
  • Using the Office Customization Tool, create a setup customization .msp file named OCT_Lync2013Client.msp, and locate it in the same directory as the installer

Using UC Extend

On first run if the settings.xml file does not already exist, it will be automatically created. Currently only the Presense Switcher settings are avaliable from the application settings, all other settings need to be managed from the settings.xml file. Program images and icons can also be customised by overwriting the defaults with ones of the same size and type. Images are located in the program images directory.

XML Settings File%LOCALAPPDATA%Andrew MorpethCustomer Support ToolSettings.xml

 

Settings Menu

Some settings can also be accessed from application settings by right clicking the task tray icon and selecting “Settings”:

Logs

Logging is currently VERY limited but you may find something helpful to troubleshoot issues if luck is on your side 🙂

%LOCALAPPDATA%Andrew MorpethCustomer Support ToolLogs

Requirements

  • Lync 2013 or Skype for Business client (untested on Lync 2010)
  • Tested on Windows 8, 8.1 (more to come)
  • .Net Framework 4.5
  • Creating custom menu items in Lync requires permissions to the LocalMachine registry hive
  • Registry watchers may require permission to the registry, denpending on the registry keys you are watching
  • Run at Windows start up currently requires that the app runs as admin, this is problematic in newer versions of Windows that are more secure. I am close to releasing a version that stores application settings in the users AppData folder to alleviate the problem, and allow it to start. This initial fix will not help where Lync custom menus or registry watchers that access the LocalMachine registry hive are in use, but will hopefully be resolved in a later release.

Known Issues

  • Set Me As options revert presence to “Available” when conditions are no longer met, this will be resolved in a later build
  • Settings and input data validation requires further work

Feature Requests

  • Multi-language support
  • Centralised management of application config
  • Managed content delivery, initially for the purpose of training
  • Presence override mode
  • Build out separate app which only includes presence switching function?
  • Add custom presence states to drop down list
  • Improve logging
  • Separate user and application settings
  • Option to set DND during phone call

8 COMMENTS

  1. Hey there,

    what about something useful for us who woking on the shifts? It’s very anoying to change the time. It will be perfect if I could make 3 profiles (morning shift, afternoon shift and night shift, weekend shift) and just pick the right profile and checkmark the days when I’m on duty for a whole week. It would take me 5 minutes to set the whole week and not bother with it after.

  2. Cool tool! I have a question. Is it possible to extend the contact context menu. The menu that appears when you right click a contact in your list. I want to do something I consider very simple but am not sure if it is possible. I’d like to add a url to the right click menu that goes to a dynamic url of the person’s profile. right now the urls use the same string as the sip pefix. So JDoe@contoso.com has a url of /profile/JDoe. Possible?

    • Thanks for your feedback! Currently the tool doesn’t have any way to handle dynamic data for the creation of a URL in the context menu. It certainly wouldn’t be difficult to do, I’d just need to find the time 🙂 Your other option could be to use a GPO to push out the Lync/SfB menu’s, but I am not 100% sure how you handle dynamic data in this case.

LEAVE A REPLY