Tag Archives: contacts

Change Lync 2013 Privacy Relationships via Update-CSUserData

A question came up recently where a Lync 2013 admin was pre-populating contacts for users.  They were using a custom XML that was generated from a Export-CSUserData dump from a template Lync user.  (If you want to know more about how to do that, I can explain another time, just ask).  They then modified the DocItemSet file within the exported zip to match each user and were running either Import-CSUserData or Update-CSUserData to merge the data into the user’s contact lists.  The issue was that they couldn’t figure out how to set the privacy relationship within this file.  This took a bit of reverse engineering, so take this with a grain of salt, but the key is to look at the container tags.


In the above pic, you’ll see under DocItemSet.DocItem.Data.HomedResource.Containers there are several containers each with a unique ContainerNumber.  The important ones to know are the following:

  • 100 = External Contacts
  • 200 = Colleagues
  • 300 = WorkGroup
  • 400 = Friends and Family
  • 32000 = Blocked
  • No container = Default

Adding the <UserMember Member=”sipaddress@domain.com”/> tag directly under the appropriate container number and merging the data using Update-CsUserData appears to properly reassign the user’s privacy relationship.  Removing all <UserMember> tags that correspond to a user sets them back to the default relationship, for internal users this would be Colleagues.

For more information on running the Export-CSUserData, Import-CSUserData, and Update-CSUser data commands, please see the TechNet Wiki article below: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/25001.backing-up-and-restoring-lync-2013-contacts.aspx

For more information on the differences between privacy relationships, please look here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/lync-help/control-access-to-your-presence-information-in-lync-HA102925421.aspx


New Tool: Lync 2013 Contact Backup and Restore Tool (GUI)

I developed this tool simply because I realized when attempting a Lync 2013 contact restore that it’s difficult to tell which backup to use.  This is especially true when the user can’t quite remember when or how the contacts were removed.  I also realized that for some companies, not all of the staff is PowerShell savvy and enabling them to make easy backups and restores through a GUI would prove to be quite helpful.  What I’ve done is written a tool that allows for easy backups and restores of contact data, and also allows you to review the contents of your backup before you merge the data into your production system.  To run the tool, simply download the script from the TechNet Gallery and run it from a Lync server.  One item to note before we start, the PowerShell commands this tool uses do not work with the unified contact store (UCS).  What this means is you’re fine with this tool if you’re running Exchange 2010 or prior, or if you’re running Exchange 2013 but haven’t enabled the unified contact store to move your contacts out of Lync and exclusively into Exchange.

Run the script and right away you’ll see a form like below.  Click the Step 1 button to load up an existing backup file.  These backup files are created by running Export-CSUserData and should be included as part of a script that runs on your systems nightly.  If you don’t have one (you should), you can also create one by clicking one of the backup buttons at the bottom of the form.  Once you click the Step 1 button, a browse dialog will pop up allowing you to select your backup file.  The script will then load your users into the box above the button.


Once your contacts are loaded, you can then select a user by highlighting them.  If you know the data is good, you can proceed directly to Merge Selected User, which will be described later, or to review the contents of the backup file, you can click the Step 2 button.


This button should load the contact information for the selected user only and display it for you to see.  Again, if the appropriate information is selected, you can skip right to the Merge Selected User button, or if you’d like to compare the information to the current contact information, you can click the Step 3 button as seen below.


You should now see both the current and backup contact information displayed side by side for comparison.  In the picture below, I found a deleted phone number and distribution group.  I can now simply click the Merge button and the contacts will be merged into your current Lync contacts.  Once the user has logged out and back into the Lync client, the restored contacts will reappear.


Finally, there are two buttons at the bottom that allow for easy user level and pool level backups.  Simply enter the sip address or the pool FQDN when prompted, and select a save location for your newly created file.


To quit, please press the Quit button to allow the program to properly clean up after itself or you might see a temporary directory where the contents of your backups have been extracted.

To download the program, please find it here in the TechNet Gallery: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Lync-2013-Backup-and-1f3167c8

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!


Lync Quick Tip: Disable Pre-Population of Contacts

You may have noticed when enabling a fresh Lync 2010 or Lync 2013 user, upon first login they already have some contacts in their favorites or frequent contacts.  Sometimes these contacts are odd and show up as a phone or mobile number.  Where do they come from and how do you get rid of them?

Well, it’s actually been around and is a feature introduced in Lync 2010.  From the article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398159.aspx we read:

“The Frequent Contacts group shows the 10 contacts a user most frequently has conversations with (not necessarily the most recent). Lync pre-populates the group with the user’s team members. Users can pin their favorite or important contacts to the top of their Frequent Contacts group.”

In Lync 2013 of course, Frequent Contacts was renamed to Favorites.    These team members can be found in the Organization tab of the Active Directory User:


So, how do we turn this off?   Well, we can remove the direct reports in AD, but it’s probably there for a reason (we don’t want to go head to head with whomever in HR may have published them).  Enter the AutoInitiateContacts  parameter within the privacy configuration.  We can set this with the Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration command: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398484.aspx.  From the article: “If True, Lync will automatically add your manager and your direct reports to your Contacts list. The default value is True.”

To disable this for all of your privacy configurations, run the following command:

Get-CSPrivacyConfiguration | Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration -AutoInitiateContacts $False

To set it for a specific site, you’ll want to run the Set-CSPrivacyConfiguration with the identity parameter pointing to your site if you have this configured.