Enable Skype Meetings App to replace Skype for Business Web App on Skype for Business Server 2015 with CU5

Following Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5 May 2017 installation as part of the release notes i noticed something regarding meeting join experiences and i had a light bulb moment perhaps the new meeting join experience that’s already live in Skype for Business Online has come on premises. I had to dig on this.

From release notes sparking my thinking

4015907 Update that enables simplified meeting join experience in Skype for Business Server 2015 from here

and “4. JoinLauncher: Port Modern Meeting Join Experience to W16” from here

Testing Post CU 5 Install

So after installing CU5 i tried to join a meeting and i got the same Skype for Business Web App Prompts. Seems nothing new here. Dam it. I thought the on premises guys are left behind again but fear not.

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Then i thought as its listed twice perhaps it needs enabling ? Then i found this

https://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/jj205190.aspx

And i noticed these steps

So it seems there is now a Skype Web App and Skype Meeting App more details on this here https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Join-a-Skype-for-Business-meeting-with-Skype-Meetings-App-Skype-for-Business-Web-App-4828ad18-ed21-422a-a870-94d676d4b72a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#Version=Skype-Meetings-App 

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and its dependent how the deployment is configured to which is available. Both still need a plugin installation. The default with SfB Server event with CU5 is SkypeWebApp.

Once i had the meeting app installed and went to join a meeting after when i click the Meeting join it launch the Skypemeetingapp straight away and i entered my join and i was in. Once better user experience than the SkypeWebApp.

If you don’t have the desktop version of Skype for Business, or don’t have a Skype for Business account, you can use Skype Meetings App or Skype for Business Web App to join a Skype for Business meeting from your browser.

Depending on how your organization is set up, you will use either Skype Meetings App or Skype for Business Web App.

It seems for to enable the Meeting App we need to do something on the backend and here it is.

It appears for the Meeting App we allow access to the CDN where the meetings App can be downloaded from instead of from your Skype for Business server.  Also allows the simplifed meeting join experience and noted more reliable than webapp.

What is the SkypeMeetingApp and SkypeWebApp and differences before we enable it from here

Whenever a user clicks a meeting URL but does not have the Skype for Business client installed, the user is presented with the option to join the meeting by using Skype for Business Web App.

The default server behaviour is to interact with a user to download and install Skype for Business Web App to join the meeting.

Starting with CU5, Skype Meetings App is available as a replacement for Skype for Business Web App. Skype Meetings App offers a simplified browser experience for downloading and installing the app and joining meetings, including one-click join for users of Internet Explorer. Skype Meetings App also has many improvements over the Skype for Business Web App for reliability and the meeting experience.

If Skype Meetings App is enabled, users will download the latest version of the app from the online Content Delivery Network (CDN) rather than from your Skype for Business server.

Skype for Business Server 2015 works with the Skype for Business Web App by default. The Skype for Business Web App is stored on the Front End Server and gets sent to the meeting attendee.

As of Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5 or later, meetings held using Skype for Business Online will no longer send a clientless user the Skype for Business Web App, they will instead be sent Skype Meetings App. As of Skype for Business Server 2015 CU5 or later, if you Enable the simplified meeting join experience and Skype Meetings App, clientless users will be sent Skype Meetings App instead of Skype for Business Web App.

CONFIGURATION STEPS

Enable Skype Meetings App to replace Skype for Business Web App (Optional)
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This procedure is optional. If you do not use it, external users will continue to join meetings using Skype for Business Web App.

Enable simplified meeting join and Skype Meetings App

1. When you enable access to the Content Delivery Network (CDN), users will have the ability to connect to CDN online and get Skype Meetings App, and will use the simplified meeting join experience.

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxUseCdn $True

2. Allow client side logging telemetry from the meeting join web page or the Skype Meetings App to be sent to Microsoft servers (the command defaults to false).

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -MeetingUxEnableTelemetry $True

Information sent to Microsoft is in strict compliance with Skype for Business data collection practices.

3. Set the timeout before fall back to the locally hosted Skype for Business Web App experience if CDN isn’t available. The default value is 6 seconds. If this value is set to 0, there will be no timeout.

Set-CsWebServiceConfiguration -JoinLauncherCdnTimeout (New-TimeSpan -Seconds 10)

Enabling

First i thought id check the settings after applying CU5

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By default the MeetingUXCDN was set to false so the Skype Web App was always being used.

So i went along and completed these steps on my Standard Edition Front End server in my lab

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After running the cmdlets i tried to join again and look what i got Smile I have the

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So i clicked the Install and join with Skype Meeting Apps

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The help link took me to Microsoft site for skype meeting help.

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Check out Toms Post on more details on the Skype MeetingApp

http://tomtalks.uk/2017/05/improved-skype-business-web-join-experience-skypemeetingsapp-msi/

 

And job done i have the same meeting experience as SfB Online now and its simpler and easier for my users. Again for an easier life Smile

 

References

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Announcing-the-release-of-Skype-for-Business-Server-Cumulative/ba-p/70921?utm_source=Direct

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3061064/updates-for-skype-for-business-server-2015

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4015907/update-that-enables-simplified-meeting-join-experience-in-skype-for-business-server-2015

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Join-a-Skype-for-Business-meeting-with-Skype-Meetings-App-Skype-for-Business-Web-App-4828ad18-ed21-422a-a870-94d676d4b72a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#Version=Skype-Meetings-App

https://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/jj205190.aspx

http://tomtalks.uk/2017/05/improved-skype-business-web-join-experience-skypemeetingsapp-msi/

Plan for Web downloadable clients

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425820.aspx

Supported Platforms for SkypeMeetingApp and SkypeWebApp

https://support.office.com/en-US/client/results?Shownav=true&lcid=1033&ns=SKFBWA&version=15&omkt=en-US&ver=15&HelpID=SfBWebApp4001

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