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Testing Unified Messaging connectivity in Exchange 2007

There are several things to consider and test when configuring a Unified Messaging server in Exchange. But if you want to be sure that your UM server is fully functional, you should test the UM connectivity.

There are several things to consider and test when configuring a Unified Messaging server in an Exchange environment. To be certain that the UM server is fully functional, test its connectivity. This tip from Microsoft Exchange Server expert J. Peter Bruzzese explains how to test UM connectivity using either the Test-UMConnectivity cmdlet or an Exchange UM Test Phone .

Setting up Exchange Server involves more than installing the necessary roles and making sure that services and server side are operating correctly. Things can get more complicated if you're configuring an Exchange server running the Unified Messaging server role. The Mailbox server role can be tested in Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access using either internal or external send and receive tests. But how do you test a UM server configuration?

If you have the infrastructure in place -- an IP-PBX or VOIP Gateway with a legacy PBX -- you can test your server in a live environment. If not, you'll have to test it in a lab environment.

After you install the Unified Messaging role, configure a dial plan, a UM gateway, a UM Mailbox Policy and then enable the UM auto attendant. Next, associate the dial plan with a server and enable users for unified messaging. Ultimately, you want to test that this server is working properly.

Using the Test-UMConnectivity cmdlet
Running the Test-UMConnectivity cmdlet can help to ensure that a UM server is properly configured. In fact, you can use this cmdlet to either test the server software configuration of a UM setup or the entire system from front to back. This should happen after a telephony expert confirms that the infrastructure is in place and your telephony components are ready. Figure 1 shows the results of running the cmdlet on the local system without parameters.

Figure 1. Here are the results of running the cmdlet on a local system without parameters

Visit Microsoft TechNet to see the full list of settings and parameters for the Test-UMConnectivity cmdlet.

The cmdlet can run in different operational modes. If you run it on the local system without using any specific parameters, it will verify that the UM service is ready to respond to invites. A remote voice mode can provide an end-to-end test to verify that everything traveling from the UM server to the PSTN is working properly. You can also use TuiLogon mode, which ensures that the UM server can connect to the mailbox servers.

Using an Exchange UM Test Phone
Having a cmdlet tell you that your UM server is functioning may be acceptable, but when you're excited to try out an auto attendant , the cmdlet output isn't going to suffice. You can use an Exchange Unified Messaging Test Phone to call your UM server and test its functionality without having the telephony infrastructure in place (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Use an Exchange UM Test Phone to check server functionality without a telephony infrastructure.

The UM Test Phone is installed automatically when you install Exchange Server. The actual executable is found here: Exchange Server\bin\ExchangeUMTestPhone.exe. However, there are a few different .dll files that you need to have in a specific location in order for the phone to work. Check out the TechNet site for details on  setting up an Exchange UM Test Phone to see a list of files.

Note: There are different versions of the phone and different files that you will need for it to operate between Exchange Server 2007 RTM and SP1.

Move executable and corresponding .dll files to a client machine with a sound card. Because Exchange is most likely running the 64-bit version, you'll need a 64-bit OS client. You may be wondering why you can't run the phone on your server considering the files are already in place. But the sound card is the key factor in using the test phone function.

After you have the phone running on your client machine and can ping the Exchange server running the UM role, you can configure your UM Test Phone settings. Select Tools -> Setup to match your Exchange server settings (Figure 3).

Exchange UM Test Phone setup dialog
Figure 3: Configure your UM Test Phone settings .

Provide the IP address of the UM server and click on the green phone button on the test phone to make a call. You should hear the auto attendant pick up and make the initial default introduction, unless you've created a .wav file introduction.

This is one of the benefits of the test phone. You can test how the auto attendant functions and how your modifications sound to someone calling your company.

Other settings you may need to configure include the SIP port (the default is 5060); call security settings, which depend on whether or not you're using SIP secured (TLS); and the pilot identifier. To learn more about configuration options for the UM Test Phone, visit Microsoft TechNet.

J. Peter Bruzzese (Triple-MCSE, MCT, MCITP) an Exchange MVP, is the co-founder of ClipTraining, an Exchange and SharePoint Instructor for Train Signal. He is also a well-known technical author for Que/Sams, SearchExchange and others, a product reviewer for, a technical speaker for Techmentor, Connections and, at times, TechEd. He is the Enterprise Windows columnist for InfoWorld. Follow him on Twitter @JPBruzzese.

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