On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the availability of the public preview of Skype for Business Server 2019. You can read the announcement blog post here - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Announcing-the-Skype-for-Business-Server-2019-Preview/ba-p/218435
This new version delivers new cloud voice capabilities, improved hybrid O365 integration, and a support and maintenance roadmap right through to 2025.
We've been working closely with Microsoft to ensure our products are compatible with Skype for Business Server 2019, and we're in good shape to offer full support come GA later in the year.
Many of our customers are using Skype Persistent Chat as the backbone of their business-critical messaging services. We wrote about what you should expect from PChat in 2019 back in December.
Whilst there is no new version of the Persistent Chat Server role in 2019, there's actually little to prevent upgrading your Skype estate to 2019:
- 2015 Persistent Chat Server is fully supported in a 2019 topology.
- Users homed on 2019 Front End pools have full access to PChat rooms on 2015 pools.
- Skype for Business 2019 client continues to support Persistent Chat.
- 2019 Management Shell Persistent Chat cmdlets can be used to manage Persistent Chat pools/categories/rooms.
- 2015 Persistent Chat server is similarly covered under extended support through to 2025.
Microsoft's documentation is still a little hazy on PChat compatibility and requirements, so don't be alarmed whilst that documentation is fleshed out. In particular:
- You can move users to 2019 front end pools and give them PChat access.*
- PChat is supported in the Office 2019 Skype for Business client.
So it's business as usual for Persistent Chat, and well worth the while upgrading your Skype for Business Server to 2019 - Microsoft are planning to deliver further features in incremental CUs after this initial release.
* The caveat is 2019-homed users cannot access the "RM" chat room management website. MindLink can deploy alternative and customized chat room management and workflow solutions for your users that are compatible with 2019-homed users. This has been fixed in the latest builds.
Persistent Chat functionality in 2019 has improved since the preview build discussed here. See the new blog post on what's new.
Want to know more about our products?
- MindLink Anywhere: A feature enhanced, Skype for Business Web Client for secure web access.
- MindLink Mobile: A secure and containerised Skype for Business Mobile Client, that supports Persistent Chat.
- MindLink Chatbots: Chatbots built for Skype for Business, build your own or choose from ready-made chatbots.