SOLVED

SRS V2 externally hosted meetings

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New Contributor

We have been evaluating SRS V2 and Logitech Smartdock for a couple of months now and we really like the solution. We have however found a problem that we would like some input on.

 

Joining the SRS V2 system to an externally hosted Skype Meeting. 

As shown in the app itself, to do this the organizer should invite the room acoount to the meeting. Simple solution, but requires the organizer to do something he already did when he invited one of our users to the Skype meeting.

 

We thought the best solution for this scenario would be to forward the calendar item (the Skype Meeting) to the room account as this had been tested with internal usage (i.e a receptionist can forward meetings from a users account to the room resource in case of a change in meeting rooms etc). 

 

First issue was that the room resource does not accept external adresses. Easily fixed by changing a setting on the room resource via PowerShell. (When you forward an external meeting invite to the internal room resource, the room resource sees the invite with the external senders adress, not the internal users adress).

 

So now the room resource accepts meeting invitations and forwarding of meetings from external senders. It even shows up in the SRS device. The problem is that the SRS device does not recognize the meeting as a Skype meeting. 

 

After a lot of research we found out the following:

- SRS requires the MAPI property OnlineMeetingExternalLink. If it does not find this property with the link to the Skype Meeting URL, it does not recognize the meeting request as a Skype Meeting.

- If you add this property with the URL from the "Join Skype Meeting" link in the body of the meeting request to the calendar item, it shows up correcly as a Skype Meeting on the SRS device and works correctly. (We did this with the MFCMAPI editor)

 

The reason that forwarding meeting requests works interally in an organization is that the property OnlineMeetingExternalLink is preserved when sending internally in Exchange. When you send a Skype Meeting request out of your organization, the standard settings in Exchange strip this information from the meeting request. You can change this according to this article: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb310786%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx

 

The catch is that changing the TNEF settings has to be done on the organizers end, and it is not possible for everyone to do that.

 

At this point we started brainstorming ideas to hack together a solution which would:

- Find the URL to the Skype Meeting in the body of the meeting request

- Insert this URL with the MAPI property OnlineMeetingExternalLink to the calendar object in the room resource

 

No progress has been made on that, so I would like to ask the developers of the SRS V2 app to look into this as it would make the system much more robust in regards to handling Skype Meeting requests. The ability for our users to simply forward meeting requests or calendar objects to whatever room resource with SRS installed that is available would make this solution extremely simple in use. 

 

The app is already so easy to use that everyone can just start using it, but by adding this functionality it would make the whole process extremely easy to use.

 

If anyone else has similar experiences I would really like to hear them, or if you solved this issue somehow that would be awesome! 

11 Replies
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You are correct, TNEF should resolve this issue but getting everyone to do it is a bit hard. I like the idea of simply scanning the message for the URL. I'm sure there is a security concern of potentially spoofing the address. I know the SRS team is listening to feedback on the device and the app. In an effort to help, I'll submit this as feedback. Maybe if enough of us do it we can move it up the priority list.

Richard

Hi Anders

 

We came across the same problem and opened a case at MS Premier Support. They confirmed that this was a known issue (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt691563.aspx) but have sent this to the SRS product team for future releases, I really hope they fix it.

 

Only workaround we have found is to join the Skype meeting from a PC and then add the room as a participant via the O365 SfB client.

 

/ivar

 

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Thanks for submitting it to the SRS team.

Anders
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Hi Ivar,

Good to see that I'm not the only one noticing this "hole" in the SRS Solution.
Thanks for opening up a case with MS Support as well.

That workaround is actually something we have not looked at yet, but in theory it seems like a workaround that actually would work for us.

We are currently planning to buy SRS units for all our meeting rooms, even with the problems described in this thread. Our planned workaround was to have a regular laptop available and then simply plug in the HDMI from the SRS for Audio/Video and connect the Microphone and Camera USB ports usually connected to the SRS unit to the laptop and connect with the normal SfB client. We would still have to do this to connect to other videoconferencing solutions than Skype.

I'm always up for sharing experiences regarding this system, so feel free to message me.

Anders

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Solution

Hi Anders

 

Happy to inform you the "hole" is now gone!:-)

 

Can't see that MS has created a knowlegde base article on this yet so I just include the text from the closing of the premier support ticket:

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Symptom:

The SRSv2 UI only showed a “…” button, instead of a “Join” button, when receiving meeting invitations from remote parties that did not have TNEF enabled for contoso.com.

 

Cause:

The calendar processing rules for the SRSv2 room mailbox did remove the meeting content. With that, the meeting join links got removed too and the SRSv2 device could not identify that the meeting is an online meeting.

 

Resolution:

Setting “Set-CalendarProcessing meetingroom101@contoso.com -DeleteComments $false” resolved the issue.

 

More information:

The Skype Room System v2 tries to extract a meeting link out of a meeting invitation in several ways.

 

First (with TNEF enabled), we are searching through the non-viewable content of the meeting invitation. With TNEF enabled on the sender side and when sending the invitation using the Skype for Business Add-in, the meeting invitation meta data will contain meeting join information. That is the reason, why it always worked throughout our testings, when TNEF was enabled.

 

As an additional step, we are also trying to parse the viewable content of the meeting invitation. The SRSv2 code is searching for links, using http://, https:// and the HTML tag <a href>. If we find links, we try to identify if they are normal links to the Internet, or if the link is indeed a meeting join link. In case we identify a valid join link, the UI of the SRSv2 console will show the Join button.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

/ivar

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Thanks for sharing the response from MS Ivar :)

We tested the solution and it works great. SRSv2 parses join links in the email body. It also works on rewritten join links, in case you have a spamfiter that rewrites all HTML links - as ours does.

Thanks again.
Anders
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As I understand it - the (unpublished) article above means that the external user needs to invite the room for this to work. Microsoft is investigating if it would be possible to simply cut'n'paste the join-URL from the meeting where the SRS system would search for the https:// join URL to join the meeting but this solution is still under investigation. Correctly understood?

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Hi Jonas, haven't tried copy&paste but an easy workaround if the external user hasn't invited the meeting room is to just for you to forward the invitation to the meeting room yourself in Outlook, works like a charm! 


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A colleague of mine would like to join an externally hosted Skype meeting from the SrS.   I asked him to forward the invite to the room but the meeting is not showing up in the room calendar and on the SrS device.    He tried forwarding the meeting from OWA and also from Outlook for Mac.

Calendar processing for the room is set for 'AutoAccept' and I also have DeleteComments=False.

 

I then asked him to forward the invite to me.  The invite appears in my outlook calendar and it looks like the Join URL is preserved.   I will also state that we have URL rewriting software at our email gateway but that doesnt affect the ability for me to get to the Skype login page when joining the meeting.

 

The SrS is on 3.1.100.0

Skype4B server is CU6--9319.510

 

Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated.

Dave

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Hi David, if not only the "Join" button is missing, but that the whole meeting is not appearing on the SRS, I don't think the root cause is related to SRS and the above mentioned challenges. I think I would start looking into the mailbox settings and if the resource automatically accepts meeting invites from externals the same way as for originators within the domain. I'm no Exchange expert but I suspect our email guy had to change something there as well. You could test this for another meetingroom without SRS if it's registered as a resource, get someone external to send an invite.

 

This article might give some pointers

 

https://practical365.com/exchange-server/enabling-external-users-to-book-exchange-room-calendars/

 

 

/ivar 

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Wow...I wasnt aware of that with Exchange Room resource mailboxes.  Thanks Ivar