Microsoft Office Integration One of the major differences between Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and its competitors is its integration with the Microsoft Office suite of products. Microsoft developed the Unified Communications (UC) platform correctly by building a foundation of integrated desktop applications such as Microsoft Office Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Live Meeting, and SharePoint. Microsoft realized that millions of users started their day out in Microsoft Office. I personally spend most of my time in Microsoft Outlook or, in the case of writing this book, Microsoft Word. Having the capability to quickly find and communicate with my peers, partners, and customers with one click is simply awesome. I increase my productivity ten-fold knowing that I do not have to look up someone in my contacts list in a separate application to communicate with them or switch between multiple applications, and lose my train of thought. Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and the entire Microsoft Unified Communications suite of products (Live Meeting 2005 and Communicator 2005) are part of the Microsoft Office system. This integrated approach enables the Office applications to be used with the UC applications right out of the box. The purpose of this chapter is to showcase the integrated LCS features within the Office system. In this chapter you will see how presence is represented in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 One of the richest features of Live Communications Server 2005 SP1 and Communicator 2005 is the integration with Microsoft Outlook 2003. The out-of-the-box integration between these products includes calendar-based presence with free/busy information, one click access to e-mail, and contact integration.
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