Sunday, 30 September 2012

New Microsoft 2013 Lync, Exchange and SharePoint Exams Posted

Just a quick update for the ones that haven't been on the Microsoft Learning website.

The new Lync 2013, Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013 exams have been posted on the Learning site.

The new exams will require you to be a MCSA: Windows Server 2012 by either taking exam 70-410, 70-411 and 70-412. or if you have an upgradeable MCITP you can take the 70-417, you can read more about the MCSA upgrade here.

As for the new 2013 exams, here is the information I have gathered for everyone as a quick reference.

Lync Server 2013 exams 70-336 and 70-337 are currently in development, and expected to be published November 06, 2012!!

You can find out more including all skills measured on the Microsoft Learning site.

Exchange Server 2013 exams 70-341 and 70-342 are currently in development, and expected to be published January 31, 2013.

For more details on the Exchange 2013 exams, you can find them on the Microsoft Learning site.

And finally the new SharePoint Server 2013 exams 70-331 and 70-332 are also still in development and are scheduled for release the name time as Exchange 2013 January 31, 2013.

And here is the site link for SharePoint Server 2013 on Microsoft Learning.

So it looks like us Lync Pros will get a taste of the new certifications in November!! I have been waiting for them to publish this information, and I personally will be writing the 2 Lync Server 2013 exams very close after the November 06 release! but from now to then need to upgrade to my MCSA: Server 2012 by writing my 70-417!

Good luck to everyone writing exams, and the dedication to the Microsoft ecosystem. Microsoft does throw us hurdles to jump over but that's what makes our jobs much more interesting!

October 25 2012 Update

I noticed while browsing at the certifications for Lync and Exchange, on the 70-341 and 70-342 they specify a "around" release date on the Overview page. As noted on the learning page "The beta of this exam (71-341) is testing on Microsoft Exchange 2013 Customer Preview. The live exam testing Exchange 2013 RTM will be released around January 15, 2013."

The Lync exams don't specify anything like this, but would be safe to assume Lync is on a similar path.


Monday, 17 September 2012

OWA Integration with Lync - Wildcard issues

My apologies for no new Lync Server 2013 Preview posts, my home lab died on me. So I had to move it to my computer for the time being but with 16GB ram trying to run 7-12 servers is a challenge. But this post is regarding a real world issue I was in front of and hope it will resolve another issue out there.

I have seen dozens of Exchange 2010 deployments using wildcard certificates to publish OWA. Which works great, unless your trying to integrate Lync and your wildcard OWA!

The process of getting around this is pretty straight forward, but is not at straight forward coming up with the solution.

When configuring your OWA virtual directory for Instant Messaging you need to assign the certificate thumbprint you will be using

The problem is if you use the wildcard certificate you will not able to sign in to IM in OWA. you will see " Instant Messaging isn't available right now. The Contact List will appear when the service becomes available".

To resolve this we need to request another certificate from our Internal Certificate Authority to use strictly for this integration.

Go to MMC -> Add/Remove Snap-in and select Certificate. Select Computer. Navigate to Certificates -> Personal, right click Personal -> All Tasks and "Request New Certificate..."
If you do not have the "Web Server" template available. You need to add your exchange server to the certificate template as Allowed to Enroll under the Security tab.

Next specify the Trusted Application FQDN of the exchange server you used in your Lync Topology
Also you can add additional SAN names if your users use different FQDN to access OWA (internal and external)

Confirm the thumbprint of your new certificate

Apply the new certificate thumbprint to your owa virtual directory by running the following command
PS: > Get-OwaVirtualDirectory | Set-OwaVirtualDirectory -InstantMessagingCertificateThumbprint <New Certificate Thumbprint>
Just for safe measures, confirm the new thumbprint was added

Next is to do a iisreset /noforce for the changes to take effect in IIS, once IIS is restarted, check our OWA for success!

And note that the certificate I'm using for OWA is still the wildcard! The new certificate is only being used for the integration, and not assigned to any exchange service.