After we upgraded our Instant Messaging to the new version of Microsoft Office Communications Server, I have been told to install Office Communicator 2007 in order to be able to connect from outside of our firewall. The new version of OCS apparently requires two seperate connections: one if you are inside the firewall, and one if you are outside on the internet. Why OCS requires two different IP addresses to work this way, I have no idea.
“So what?” you ask.
Due to the general crappiness of Office Communicator, and the fact that I use many different IM services, I have been using Miranda for a long time now.
Miranda is an open-source IM platform that supports pretty much every Instant Messaging protocol out there. I use it for Google Talk (Jabber), AIM, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, and SIP which is OCS’s communications protocol.
I used to use a program called Trillian but support for it was spotty at best and the program wasn’t nearly as flexible as Miranda. Plus, Miranda is updated much more frequently and has many more plugins available for it. One major problem I had was that whenever my laptop went into Standby mode, Trillian would not reconnect to OCS. With a few plugins such as KeepStatus, Miranda will reconnect for me.
The SIP Plugin for Miranda does not support the concept of internal and external servers which I now need. So what I did was download the source code and add it myself. The solution I came up with is to alternate between both servers when trying to connect. Since I use the KeepStatus PlugIn, Miranda will retry the connection until it finally connects. This is not the perfect solution but it was the easiest for me to implement, not knowing the plugin code well.
If this solution sounds like it will work for you, and you are interested in the plugin, let me know and I will post it here.
I have found out that the latest compiled Miranda SIP plugin won’t work with OCS 2007 properly. Whenever I signed in, everyone would show me as offline. I found out on this page (for the Trillian SIP plugin) that in order to work with OCS 2007, you need to compile against the OCS 2007 SDK.
I did that and once again I showed up as offline. What I found out was that Office Communicator has to be running. All of my IMs still go through Miranda, and I show up as online. It seems that Microsoft is making it a pain to use their SDKs on purpose. At least everything is working like it used to!
In order to use this plugin, you must install Microsoft RTC. You can download it at the SIP RTC plugin site.