Office Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 Release) Deployment Guide

Topic Last Modified: 2009-11-20

Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 release) enables you to provide Office Communications Server services – such as instant messaging (IM), presence, audio conferencing, and desktop sharing – to users who do not use Office Communicator. This includes users who:

  • Do not run Microsoft Windows. For example, Macintosh and Linux users can participate in audio conferences or desktop sharing sessions as long as they use a supported Web browser.
  • Log on from outside the organization’s firewall. For example, a sales person can stay in constant contact with the home office by logging onto the Internet from a hotel room or Internet café. You do not need a virtual private network (VPN) connection in order to use Communicator Web Access.
  • Have locked-down computers. No software other than a supported Web browser is required to access features such as instant messaging and rich presence.
  • Do not have accounts in your Active Directory domain or the Active Directory domain of a federated partner. Anonymous users can be invited to participate in audio conferences or desktop sharing sessions without needing to be authenticated.

Communicator Web Access is an extension of Office Communications Server 2007 R2. It is not a stand-alone application. You cannot install Communicator Web Access unless you have already installed Office Communications Server 2007 R2 somewhere within your Active Directory forest. In addition to needing Office Communications Server 2007 R2, there are hardware and software requirements for both Communicator Web Access servers and clients. For details, see Verifying Communicator Web Access Requirements.

Communicator Web Access offers a number of deployment options based on your needs and budget. For example:

  • Communicator Web Access can be deployed on a single, dedicated server. A single Communicator Web Access server can handle approximately 5,000 simultaneous users. (This assumes that the server meets the minimum hardware requirements, and that the users are only engaged in instant messaging.)
  • If you need to handle more than 5,000 simultaneous users you can create a pool of Communicator Web Access servers. If you deploy a hardware load balancer, users can use the same URL to access any available Communicator Web Access server, and you can help ensure that the workload will be equitably distributed among those servers.
  • You can configure Communicator Web Access to handle service requests from three different types of users:
    • internal users (that is, users located behind your organization’s firewall)
    • external users (that is, users on the Internet)
    • anonymous users (that is, users who do not have an account in your Active Directory or the Active Directory of a federated partner)

Regardless of how you design your Communicator Web Access infrastructure, the tasks required to install, activate, and configure Communicator Web Access are always the same. This is true whether you are installing Communicator Web Access on one computer or on an entire array of computers.


You can download the Office Communicator Web Access (2007 R2 Release) Deployment Guide as a Word file from the Microsoft Download Center at

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