Introducing Session Initiation Protocol Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Introducing Session Initiation Protocol Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is the protocol that Live Communications Server uses to transfer messages between Live Communications Server clients. While this book introduces SIP for its use within Live Communications Server, I recommend that you read the Request for Comment (RFC) 3261, available via the Internet by browsing to To describe SIP in laypersons terms, SIP messages are initiated by a client application that requests information from a SIP server. SIP manages not only instant messages, but also multimedia communications as a whole. In relation to Live Communications Server, Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 and Windows Messenger both initiate SIP requests to a Live Communications Server, and the Live Communications Server responds to each client by sending and receiving instant messages, invoking collaboration requests that include whiteboard sharing, and invoking video and voice communications. This is why when enterprises are interested in integrating Live Communications Server with their VoIP service, the VoIP routers and phones must be SIP compliant in order to provide a seamless connection. Session Initiation Protocol is the primary multimedia messaging protocol and it is heavily used not only by Live Communications Server, but also by VoIP, PSTN, and PBX providers, as these solutions are becoming increasingly popular in the commercial and residential markets. You ve likely heard the Vonage Woo Hooo commercial more than one million times. The point is that telephony services, instant communications, and collaboration are now both here and in demand, and Live Communications Server is the best interface for this technology with the release of Microsoft Office Communicator 2005. Real-time communications have become a necessity among business and consumer markets. The demand for instant communications between individuals has reached an unprecedented level, communications that include not only Instant Messaging, but integrated video, voice, and collaboration communication. Although many people think of teenagers as the prime users of Instant Messaging and webcams, using popular technologies that include Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and MSN Messenger, these applications have emerged in the business landscape and are rapidly becoming a preferred tool of communication over e-mail. Why not? You can now reach someone immediately and in return receive an immediate response. As suggested earlier, the main issue involved with enabling these popular applications within a business enterprise today is that public network messaging applications do not provide the level of security that businesses require to protect corporate data and communications. SIP Architecture SIP is divided into three different components. A SIP proxy receives client requests and then determines where to forward these requests (to other SIP servers). With regard to Live Communications Server, a client using Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 sends a SIP request to an LCS SIP proxy server, which sends the request to a Live Communications Server pool server or Standard Edition server. The Live Communications Server pool server or Standard Edition server then acts as the next component of an SIP server: a SIP redirect server. A redirect server receives requests from a SIP proxy or a SIP client directory and then responds to a client as to where the message is to be sent. The final SIP component is an SIP registrar server, which receives a SIP client request and then maps that client to a specific SIP uniform resource identifier (URI). The SIP URI is the sign-in name that LCS users will use to sign into the LCS service. It is important that you first outline what the SIP URI for your company or customer will be before deploying LCS, as the SIP URI will be a user s identity for all Microsoft Unified Communications products. Currently, the best practice is to use a client s e-mail address as the SIP URI, such as 16 Chapter 1
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