[This is pre-release documentation and subject to change in future releases. This topic's current status is: Milestone-Ready]

Topic Last Modified: 2010-04-19

Public instant messaging (IM) connectivity enables users in your organization to use IM to communicate with users of IM services provided by public IM service providers, including the Windows Live network of Internet services, Yahoo!, and AOL. You can authorize use of public IM connectivity for your entire organization or on a per-user basis.

Use the Communications Server Control Panel to manage the IM service providers that are allowed to federate with your organization. You can add or remove an IM service provider, and change other settings for any IM service provider (including temporarily blocking the IM service provider). The settings that you can specify for each IM service provider include the following:

In the case of IM invitations, the response depends on the client software. The request is accepted unless external senders are explicitly blocked by a user-configured rule (that is, the settings in the user’s client Allow and Block lists). Additionally, IM invitations can be blocked if a user elects to block all IM from users who are not on his or her Allow list.

By default, the Windows Live, AOL, and Yahoo! are available in the list, but are not enabled. For a public IM service provider, public IM connectivity may require the purchase of additional service licenses and provisioning the connections. For details, see the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 licensing information at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=144873. Pricing and licensing information for public IM connectivity are available through Microsoft Volume Licensing programs. For details, see the Microsoft Volume Licensing page at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=144874. For more information about specific requirements for public IM service providers, see the Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity Provisioning Guide at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=155970

Use the following procedure to configure IM provider support on an Access Edge service. If you want to provide support for one or more IM service providers, use the Communications Server Control Panel to configure server-side support at the global level (for the forest) and enable and disable support for each user. For details about configuring user settings, see Configure Federation, Remote User Access, and Public IM Connectivity for Users.

To configure IM service provider access

  1. Open Communications Server Control Panel.

  2. Click External Access, click Providers, do one of the following:

    • To create a new provider, click New, and then click Public or Hosted. In Provider name, create a unique name. In Access Edge (or FQDN), type the name of each individual Access Edge service.

      Select Hosted if your IM service provider is internal to your organization, running as hosted services. Some organizations allow external users to establish federation with internal servers as a hosting provider, similar to establishing federation with a public provider like MSN.
    • To modify an existing provider, click the appropriate provider listed in the table, and then click Modify.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To enable this provider, select the Enable communications with this provider check box, and then do one of the following:

      • Select the Allow communications only with users verified by this provider check box.

      • Select the Allow communications only with users on recipients' contact lists check box.

      • Select the Allow all communications with this provider check box.

    • To prevent communications with this provider, clear the Enable communications with this provider check box.

  4. Click Commit.