The other day, a Lync Insider reader asked a question in the comments:
“Is it possible to have Lync users auto-logout after a period of inactivity?”
He wanted to know if MSPL could be used to control an auto-logout process. If so, how would it be done?
Intrigued by this question, I did some research. And while I didn’t precisely find what our reader was looking for, I did find some helpful information.
I’ll start with MSPL itself.
What is MSPL?
MSPL stands for Microsoft SIP Processing Language. It’s a part of the Lync Server SDK. You can use MSPL for modifying Lync SIP routing behavior: intercepting calls, rerouting them, logging configuration and more.
It’s a pretty powerful tool. If you’d like to explore it – and don’t worry, I will in future posts – here’s some links for you.
MSPL Scripting Reference – Office DevCenter
SimpleRoute – MSPL Scripting Tool
All that said, I do not think MSPL is the way to enforcing automatic logout. Its focus is on SIP routing, not the Lync 2013 client controls.
You would use MSPL scripts to control where certain calls are sent, or through which voice routes each office goes. Local client modification is more the preserve of PowerShell and GPOs. Which is where my research went next.
I looked for a PowerShell cmdlet which may control user logins or session logouts – but there was nothing relevant. Which disappointed me a little – I thought PowerShell, with its extensive cmdlet library, would have at least one cmdlet for governing Lync 2013’s login/logout behavior.
Next I looked into GPOs. Here I did find some success. Not directly so, but close enough that I can say we have 2 possible solutions to the reader’s question.
2 Ways to Control Lync 2013 Logout
#1 – Use a Custom Group Policy Object (GPO). There isn’t a standard GPO which controls session logoff (at least not yet!). After much research, we did come across a custom GPO which comes close though. It was written by Murali Krishnan over at UnifiedMe.co.uk:
Lync 2013 Group Policy to Enforce Ringtones Centrally
Murali has graciously made the .ADM file available for download on this page. One of the functions it provides is setting users’ Idle Timeout and Session Timeout. Which accomplishes close to the same thing.
#2 – Configure Windows to auto-logout instead! When you log out of Windows, Lync automatically signs out too. And it’s very simple to log users out of Windows at the admin level. It’s a workaround, but hey, it does work!
Here’s one way to automatically log users off on Windows 7. You can also enforce logoff via Power Options in Control Panel, or through another GPO.
Or, if you’re using a Terminal Server, try this:
Open gpedit.msc (Local Group Policy) and configure the following:
User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Session Time Limits
Jas, I hope this gives you something to work with. Honestly, I’d never thought about administration of Lync’s login/logout before. Since it’s normally dependent on the user’s actions – or in this case inaction – the system’s default functions were sufficient. But I can (now) easily see the need for control of such – if you’re in a large corporate environment and need to schedule updates, for instance.
Do you know of another way to automatically log users off of Lync 2013 clients? If so, please comment or email!