Where are my Lync contacts?!

For those that might have missed it, recently there was an issue with OAuth settings in Office 365, which resulted in funny scenario for some users. Namely, their contact list in Lync all of a sudden turned blank. Empty. Void. They opened the Lync client and saw nothing. Search was still working, and stored conversations were available, but where did the contacts go? For the short version, you can refer to this KB article.

The timing on this was also funny. Just the day before I was explaining to some users why they are no longer able to edit their contacts in Lync. The issue of course was the Unified Contact Store, combined with the fact that only Lync 2010 client was deployed in the corporate environment. When using Lync Online, you are not really given an option, you will end up using the UCS. After the mailbox has been migrated to Exchange 2013, the first time user logs in to Lync 2013 client (either desktop or mobile), the contacts will be migrated to the UCS. And you can forget about editing them using the 2010 client, it’s not supported (KB 2752582 and 2757458).

And so the incidents about people not being able to see their contacts in Lync started pouring down on us. I checked with my test account and everything was fine, so I started eyeing UCS. Some more checks later, and it was confirmed – only users that have been migrated to the UCS were affected. The issue was obviously on the server side, so there was nothing we can do. The SIE information appeared shortly on the Service Health Dashboard, so it seemed like the issue is being taken care of. At the same time the same users were also reporting issues with signing in to Lync via OWA, and no information about such issue was posted on the SHD, so we ended up opening a ticket anyway. About an hour later everything was back to normal.

So we quickly had some hand-on experience with the reliability of the UCS, and I start to understand while some admins are bashing the feature. While it sounds good on paper, it certainly has some bits to fix and it seems that Lync Online customers will be the beta testers. Did I mention that the customer has no say on the matter? If you are using Office 365, you are stuck with UCS. There is no going back!

I have a bad feeling this will turn into series of posts on the troubles we are yet to face with UCS…

EDIT: Oh, well, the joke is on you Microsoft:

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