Friday, July 15, 2011

Lync Contact Card Regular Expressions

The contact cards in Lync are a nice feature but is a cause for confusion for some. You may notice that the phone number fields for some of your AD users do not populate or are not populated the same way you've inputted them into Active Directory. The reason is because the Lync server uses a generic set of regular expressions to format them into E.164 format. Why does it do this? A lot of people integrate their phone systems into their Lync server so that you can dial people directly from your computer, by clicking on their phone number. Phone systems need these phone numbers to be in a specific format so they can handle them accordingly.

A client of mine had a situation where multiple hands had been into Active Directory over the years and therefor employees phone numbers were entered in multiple formats. For example:

(111) 222 - 3333
111-222-3333 x44
111-222-3333 x4444
111-222-3333 ex 44

This client did not have an integrated phone system but wanted to utilize the contact card functionality for reference without having to go through their entire AD and re-enter them all. Seems reasonable and easy enough eh? Meh.

Lync Server looks in your share that you setup during installation for address book files. This is typically in \\server\share\1-webservices-1\abfiles in the Company_Phone_Number_Normalization_rules.txt file. This is the file where the regular expressions need to go.

I contacted Microsoft Support (greatest enterprise support known to man) for some help with coming up with a series of regular expressions to help accommodate all of the different variations we could think of. Here is what they came up with and they work perfectly:

## Normalize 10-digit phone number patterns from Active Directory into +E.164
##(?:\+?1[-. ]?)?\(?([0-9]{3})\)?[-. ]?([0-9]{3})[-. ]?([0-9]{4})?\D*(\d*)
##+1($1) $2-$3 $4

#For normal phone numbers with 10 digits

#Various configurations of the 10 digits





#For 10 digit numbers using X as the extension notation (2 digit extensions)

#For 10 digit numbers using X as the extension notation (4 digit extensions)

#For 10 digit numbers using Ex as the extension notation (4 digit extensions)
+1$1$2$3 Ex $4

#For 10 digit numbers using ex as the extension notation (4 digit extensions and case sensitive)
+1$1$2$3 Ex $4


Keep in mind, you'll have to regenerate your Address Book files manually or wait about 24 hours for the new database files to be updated. You also might need to delete your local galcontacts.db files that are located in C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Communicator\

Hopefully this helps you if you're in the same situation!

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