This week Microsoft has begun the process to migrate all the current discussion forums for Unified Communications-related topics into a single category. As with any migration there is both an upside and a downside to these changes. Most importantly, going forward it will be much easier for users to locate the correct forum in which to pose a question on a specific OCS-related problem they are experiencing as there are not many different categories across multiple sites with similar topics to choose from. But on the downside none of the current content can be ‘pushed’ into the new forums. So all of the past discussion, full of helpful content, will still be located in the old forums as an archive.
Microsoft TechNet Forums – Office Communications Server
So I thought I would take some time to break down the reorganization that I assisted with in designing to make it easier to locate for anyone looking for older content. First off, here is the new streamlined configuration of 15 forums all located under a single category:
- TechNet Forums Office Communications Server
- Planning and Deployment
- Capacity Planning & Performance
- Monitoring, Archiving and Compliance
- Address Book and User Replicator
- Presence and IM
- Enterprise Voice and Telephony
- Edge Servers
- Communicator Clients and Devices
- UC Integration
And here are all the past forums and categories which are planned to be locked down to prevent new posts and will be retained indefinitely as archived contenting for searching and browsing. This list totals 33 forums under 6 categories across 2 separate sites (social.microsoft.com and social.technet.microsoft.com).
- Microsoft Forums Unified Communications Conferencing
- Microsoft Forums Office Communications Server Public Beta
- Microsoft Forums Office Communications Server
- Microsoft Forums Unified Communications Integration
- Microsoft Forums Office Communicator
- TechNet Forums UC Community Readiness
Each of the old forums now contains a ‘sticky’ post which describes the reorganization, explains that the forum will soon be locked to prevent new posts, and contains a link to the new OCS forum category:
Additionally, each new forum also contains a ‘sticky‘ post that contains links back to only the archived forums that contain discussion related to the same topic as that specific new forum.
So for example the new ‘Planning & Deployment’ forum contains links back to all of the previous forums related to setup and deployment tasks, while the new Certificates forum only points back to the previous Certificates forum.
A big ‘thanks’ goes out to all in the product and forum teams who have worked at getting these changes applied. Now that the OCS forums are in their rightful place on TechNet alongside the other server product forums, everyone from users to moderators should more easily be able to locate and update content.