Skill Based Search in Lync 2010

As we search in Lync for people in the organization by name, we can configure it to enable search for people by skill set. When I was searching for ways on extending Lync Client, I came across this built-in feature called “Skill Based Search” on Lync 2010. When we configure Lync Skill Search, users can search SharePoint Server 2010 My Site pages for names, keywords, or specific skills. We can also add a link at the bottom of the Lync search results window that opens the search results in SharePoint.

(My Sites in SharePoint 2010 is a personal site for individual users that gives a central location to manage and store documents, content, newsfeeds, links, and contacts. Also My Site contains a section defining and sharing profile information and content with other users in the organization. My Sites give users rich social networking and collaboration features enabling easily share information about themselves and their work. This article describes how to set up My Sites in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.)

In order to configure Lync 2010 Skill Search, "New-CsClientPolicy" or "Set-CsClientPolicy" commands are used with "SPSearchExternalURL" and "SPSearchInternalURL" parameters to configure a Client Policy. Then using "Grant-CsClientPolicy" we can assign the new policy/policies to users.

Also using "SPSearchCenterExternalURL" and "SPSearchCenterInternalURL" parameters we can add a link to the bottom of the Skill Search results that says, “View results in SharePoint…”. Users can use this link to refine search results by using the advanced search capabilities of SharePoint Server.

Commands to run in Power Shell to enable the Skill based search URLs;

Set-CSClientPolicy -SPSearchInternalURL http://<server>/_vti_bin/search.asmx
Set-CSClientPolicy -SPSearchExternalURL http://<server>/_vti_bin/search.asmx
Set-CSClientPolicy -SPSearchCenterInternalURL http://<server>/SearchCenter/Pages/PeopleResults.aspx
Set-CSClientPolicy -SPSearchCenterExternalURL http://<server>/SearchCenter/Pages/PeopleResults.aspx

SPSearchCenterExternalURL: This is for users logging on from outside the organization’s firewall. This URL will appear at the bottom of keyword search results giving the user the opportunity to conduct searches using the search capabilities of SharePoint.
SPSearchCenterInternalURL: URL for users logging on from inside the organization’s firewall to conduct searches using the search capabilities of SharePoint.
SPSearchExternalURL: Lync 2010 will use this SharePoint site when a user who has accessed the system from outside the organization’s firewall conducts a keyword search.
SPSearchInternalURL: Will use the SharePoint site located at this URL when a user who has logged on from inside the organization’s firewall conducts a keyword search.

For more information on Enabling Skill Search in Lync 2010;
For more information on getting this to work externally via Threat Management Gateway;
For more information on Lync 2010 Integration;