Monday, April 13, 2009

Microsoft Office Protocol Documents – Geek Heaven

I’m just back to the UK after a month on the road, topped off by a week in Redmond attending an OCS Voice Ignite Train-The-Trainer session. Last week was a week in geek heaven. We spent a lot of time exploring the inner workings of OCS. In particular, how OCS operates on the wire – both between servers and between client and server. Fascinating stuff – sheer geek bliss.

Both last week and in my Voice Ignite classes, I see huge interest around how MS has implemented SIP on the Wire within OCS.  When looking at OCS wire captures, or SIP logs, you can see a huge number of Microsoft extensions to older style SIP traffic, in addition to the updates to both SDP and RTP. In preparing for my upcoming TechEd talk (SIP – Naked in all it’s Glory), understanding these better has taken on a new importance.

Whilst in Redmond, superstar VI Trainer Dennie Klama pointed me towards updates to the Microsoft Office Protocol Documents.  I first came across these last summer, as noted in a blog entitled: Open Geek Goodness From Microsoft.  It was cool to get access to this level of detail – although I was disappointed that the documents themselves were not open to Community Content on the MSDN site. Thus there was no way for the community to clarify or perhaps better document the details of the protocol. I’d love to see more real-world examples to illustrate the text better.

Thanks to the pointer from Dennis, I was very exited to see not only more documents than I recall seeing last July, but much more importantly, there have been updates to these documents. The most recent set of updates to the OCS related documents I’ve read so far occurred in March 2009.

You can browse the index to the OPDs on the TechNet site at: You can also download a zip file of all 61 documents from:

If you want to understand what OCS is doing on the wire, these documents are a must read.

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