My manager asked me to add a new user to one of our Persistent Chat rooms. Since we hadn’t used this particular room yet, I was happy to do so. (It meant starting up a new project!)
However I encountered a minor issue…in the form of an “Invalid Member” message.
Now this was curious. I had no trouble adding the new user as a contact, or talking with him on Skype. Why would Persistent Chat have any objections?
Time to investigate (and document along the way)!
Check if Users are Enabled for Persistent Chat
The particular person is a new hire. Is their account set up in Active Directory? Yes.
Are they able to use Skype for Business? Yes.
Am I able to add someone ELSE to the Persistent Chat room? Yes.
So is the problem with the user account, or Persistent Chat itself?
Let’s check to make sure the user account is enabled for Persistent Chat. You can do this via the Control Panel or the Management Shell. I like the Control Panel myself, but if you prefer the Management Shell, this is the command you’ll use:
[This configures the settings for an existing room, and lets you assign users or groups to the room.]
In the Skype for Business Control Panel, click Persistent Chat. You’ll see four menu options: Category, Add-In, Persistent Chat Policy, and Persistent Chat Configuration.
Under Persistent Chat Policy, we have a Global policy and a Pool policy. Both have Persistent Chat set to Enabled. Which means new users should have Persistent Chat access. Hmmm.
Over to the Category section. We have one pool. I open the pool.
Ahh, what’s this? We defined membership by individual users! If your account isn’t on the Allowed Members list, you don’t get to use Persistent Chat.
Let’s see what happens if I add the new user, using the “Add” button. (When you click it, you see this “Select Allowed Members” screen.)
I enter the user’s first name, click Find, and there he is! A quick OK, and he shows up in the Allowed Members list. Click Commit to save. All done in the Control Panel.
Now let’s see if I can add him to the Chat Room. First, I open the Chat Room from Skype4B. Then go to More Options and click “Manage This Room.” (You must log in again, of course.)
Then I see the “Edit a Room” window. Under “Members,” I enter the new user’s name, and then click the Check Names button on the right.
No “Invalid Member” error!
I click Commit Changes, and voila!
Unable to Add Users to Persistent Chat? Check Your Allowed Members List
I’ve also come across a similar issue, where admins aren’t able to add users to Persistent Chat rooms. It comes from adding “Domain Users” to the Allowed Members list.
I found the solution on Georg Thomas’ blog: Persistent Chat, Unable to resolve names or add Members and Managers: Invalid members – Georg Thomas on Skype for Business, Lync and Universal Communications
If you did use “Domain Users” in the Allowed Members list, user names won’t resolve when you add them to a chat room. You’ll have to add individual users to the Allowed Members list (like we do), or use an OU.
Good catch there Georg.
How’s your experience with Persistent Chat? Great value-add, or do you forget it’s there? Please comment or email your thoughts.