With Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Service Provider, administrators can implement basic instant messaging (IM) and presence functionality for users running Microsoft Office Outlook® Live. Prior to the Web Service Provider release, users running Outlook Live accessed this functionality through client applications such as Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 or Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access (2007 release).

Web Service Provider does not introduce features excluded from Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 release). It simply gives users running Outlook Live an alternative method for accessing basic instant messaging and presence information. For example, users who send e-mail will now be able to view presence information from within Outlook Live.

With Web Service Provider, users running Outlook Live cannot manage access control lists (ACLs), perform a contact search or expand a distribution group expansion, perform desktop sharing, or incorporate audio as they can in the Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 release) or Office Communicator client applications. The functionality exposed by Web Service Provider is a subset of the functionality available through Communicator Web Access (2007 release) and should not be considered a Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 release) replacement.

In the Web Service Provider operating environment, Outlook Live is the client application. Web Service Provider resides on the same server as the server running Outlook Live or Microsoft Exchange 2010 Client Access server and bridges the gap between Office Communications Server and the Outlook Live client. To facilitate this process, a trust relationship must be established between the server running Office Communications Server and the Outlook Live middle-tier server.

Relationship between Office Communications Server front-end server, the Outlook Live middle-tier, and the Outlook Live client application

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