Integrating Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013


Topic Last Modified: 2014-07-09

Exchange and Lync Server have a long history of integration and compatibility. This integration is most noticeable within their respective client application. For example, Lync presence information can be reported in Microsoft Outlook; likewise, Lync can use Outlook calendar to automatically update that presence information. (For example, Lync can change your status to Busy any time your calendar shows that you have a meeting scheduled.) Although you do not have to run Exchange in order to run Lync Server (or vice-versa) there's little doubt that using the two products together epitomizes the very definition of the term "better together."

This is especially true with the release of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. In addition to features, such as unified messaging and IM and presence, that are found in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Lync Server 2010, the 2013 releases of the server products include a number of new capabilities. These capabilities include such things as:

  • Lync Archiving Integration. In Lync Server 2013 administrators still have the option of having instant messaging and Web conferencing transcripts archived to SQL Server (the same way these transcripts were archived in Lync Server 2010). Alternatively, however, administrators can choose to have transcripts archived to Exchange 2013, storing those transcripts in the individual user mailboxes in the same way in which Exchange archives communications. That means a single repository for all your electronic communications (from both Exchange and Lync Server), which makes it much easier to search for and retrieve those archived communications should the need arise.

  • Unified Contact Store. In Lync Server 2010, users had to maintain separate contact lists in Outlook and Lync; in fact, to ensure that you had the same contacts available in both products you had to maintain duplicate contact lists, one for Outlook and one for Lync. With Lync Server 2013, however, user contacts can be stored in Exchange 2013 and the unified contact store. Using a single contact store enables users to maintain just one set of contacts, with that same set of contacts being available in Lync 2013, Outlook 2013, and Outlook Web Access 2013.

  • Lync Meeting Scheduling from OWA. With Lync Server 2013 and Exchange 2013 integration, users can schedule Lync meetings from Outlook Web Access 2013.

  • High resolution photos. Lync 2010 could only display small photos of your contacts; that's because those photos were stored in Active Directory, and Active Directory imposes a 48 pixel by 48 pixel size limitation on stored photos. With Lync Server 2013, however, photos can be stored in Microsoft Exchange; that allows for high-resolution photos as large as 648 pixels by 648 pixels. As you might expect, Lync 2013 has been upgraded to allow for the display of these high-resolution photographs.

Keep in mind that these new features require the use of both Lync Server 2013 and Exchange 2013. In addition to that, users who hope to take full advantage of these new capabilities must have accounts on Lync Server 2013 and Exchange 2013, and must be using the latest versions of the client software (e.g., Lync 2013). For example, the unified contact store is not available to users who have been homed on Lync Server 2010; likewise, high-resolution photos cannot be displayed in Lync 2010.

This documentation provides information on integrating Lync Server 2013 and Exchange 2013. including step-by-step information on enabling new features such archiving Integration and the unified contact store. What this documentation does not do is discuss the initial setup and configuration of these two products. For details about deploying Lync Server 2013 see the Lync Server 2013 Tech Center at For details about deploying Exchange 2013 see the Exchange 2013 Tech Center at