New Tool: Lync Common Area Phone Management (GUI)


Update (August 15, 2014): We’re just a few days in and there’s already a revision ūüôā¬† Based on conversations I’ve had, there’s a desire for a 2010 version as well.¬†¬†There are also environments that are mixed 2010/2013.¬† I have modified this tool to work equally well with both.¬† The commands behind the¬†GUI are similar, however the 2010 commands do not have the ability to set PersistentChat, Mobility, or VoiceRoutingPolicy (hybrid O365 voice environments).¬† I can’t imagine these are policies that would ever be needed, however if you find a need, I can re-enable it for you.

Update (August 19, 2014): Version 1.2 released with the ability to modify multiple phones at once and filter by pool:

I created this tool to allow you to add, modify, and remove Lync common area phones with an easy to use graphical front end.¬† This functionality is not available within the Lync Control Panel and even modifications via the Lync Management Shell can be difficult to those who don’t have to modify¬†them often.

I hope you find this tool straightforward to use.  From a Lync server, you can simply right click it and run it.  However,  due to the modules it loads, it may start faster if you start it from a Lync Management Shell.  The opening screen looks like what you see below.  The glaring red warning is just a note to let you know that sometimes replication can take a bit of time and you may need to hit the refresh buttons a few times before you see updated data.  Within a six server Enterprise pool I was watching it take upwards of 8 seconds.

You should see a listing of all of your common area phones in front of you.¬† From here, just select them in the left box and change any settings you’d like.¬† As you change the settings, the colors of the fields should turn green letting you know that a change is pending.¬† Once you’re ready, click the Save Changes button.¬† If you change the DisplayName attribute, you’ll receive a warning letting you know to refresh your phone list.¬† This is because¬†this¬†we use this name¬†to ¬†display and reference the phones in the GUI and behind the scenes.


Clicking the Refresh Phone List button refreshes the list of Common Area Phones and redisplays them.  Clicking the Refresh Phone box only refreshes the information shown in the right side of the screen.

Clicking the Set Pin button resets the pin for the selected phone.¬† If you enter a pin and receive a failure, the¬†tool is¬†intelligent enough to let you know the error.¬† In the below screenshots, we highlight a phone, click the Set Pin button, enter a pin and click OK.¬† The pin we’ve entered is too short however and we receive an error.¬† Had we entered a pin with the required number of digits, we would have been returned back to the tool without additional prompts.



To remove a phone, simply highlight the phone of your choice and click the Remove Phone button.  You will be prompted for a confirmation before you delete.


To add a new phone, click the Create Phone button.¬† A new dialog will pop up which will allow you to supply information about the phone.¬† The OU, Pool, LineURI and DisplayName are required fields, and if you miss one of these you will be notified before you click Create.¬† The others can be left as is.¬† Typing an OU in can be cumbersome, so I’ve also added a Browse button that will load all of your OUs as well as the users container.¬† Drill in and select the OU you want the Common Phone to¬†be created¬†in and click the Select button.¬† Once you’re ready, click the¬†Create button.¬† You may need to wait a moment and click the Refresh Phone List button before the data is available to the GUI.


My own future thoughts for improvement include a multi-select mode where you could select multiple phones and modify them as a group.¬† Let me know if you’d like to see this implemented.

If you have any thoughts, comments, bug reports, or¬†feature requests,¬†the Q/A section in the¬†TechNet gallery is the best place, but I’m also watching here as well.

As with any free tool you find on the Internet, use at your own risk!

To download the program, please find it here in the TechNet Gallery:

If you like it, please give it 5 stars over at the TechNet Gallery.¬† If not, please drop me a line before you rate it and give me a chance at fixing whatever bug you may have found.¬† ¬†I might also be able to add a feature you’d like to see!

Thanks again and let me know what you think!

23 thoughts on “New Tool: Lync Common Area Phone Management (GUI)

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    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      I agree, because it can be cumbersome to add, but wasn’t sure how. Pre-populate with users container? Save the last chosen location somewhere?

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  5. JdG


    This is a great tool but would it be possible to add a “Call Forward Enable”- and “Call Forward Destination”-field in your GUI?

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      That gets difficult because there’s no native PowerShell method of setting call forwarding at this time. Typically, this would be done with sefautil, and assuming that sefautil is installed and installed correctly to make the changes could potentially lead to a broken experience for most. Let me think about doing it another way… any method we could employ would be a hack is my concern.

  6. Nathan V.

    This tools is very helpful! Thank-you! Especially since we have a lot of common area phones this makes it much easier to manage and reset PINs as needed. I have a script for creating them in bulk from csv which is helpful if you have a lot. We run a school system so all the classroom phones are setup as common area phones and the teachers are Lync users with their own DID or extension depending on location. Made more sense to us for ease of management and since teachers can move a lot but classrooms don’t. If I get the authors permission I’ll post the script he gave me for this.

  7. Curtis

    Great tool thanks! Anyway we could get an update / option to select an existing contact object rather than an OU? I,e -DN instead of -OU in the New-CsCommonAreaPhone cmdlet?


      1. Curtis

        So, in this case specifically asking for a way to enable a contact object already pre-created in an existing OU. Some of my clients do not have write access into Active Directory, so another team pre-creates the contact object in an OU; therefore when we run the command New-CsCommonAreaPhone we specific the -CN switch (and point all the way down to the CN object name) rather than the -OU swtich (to specific where to create a new contact object).

        Thanks for your replies!

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      Thanks for the compliment! Let me know if there are other tools you wish existed, I do this for fun.

  8. Ken Gornek

    Great tool! Any chance of adding a export function? This would assist in setting sefautil settings on Common Area Phones because of the long sip addresses. A export would make this a nice searchable database to associate the TN quickly.

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      Sure, let me know what you’re looking for… I use this tool to change those long sip addresses to something easier though. You can always also run the following command: Get-CsCommonAreaPhone |select sipaddress, lineuri |Ex
      port-Csv -path filename.csv

    1. C. Anthony Caragol Post author

      My own tool, the one linked on this page, you can change SIP addresses with it.

  9. Ken Gornek

    Ohhhhhh…. lol. I didn’t even realize that! Thanks. I will definitely use this feature.

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