Skype for Business Online Connector Retires in February 2021

Part of Skype for Business Online Retirement Process

 Running the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet
Figure 1: Running the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet

As has been well advertised, Microsoft will retire Skype for Business Online on July 31, 2021. Organizations should now be well on the way to deploying and using Teams to replace Skype for Business Online. Or, if they’re really brave, moving to a different communications platform.

The Skype for Business Connector includes the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet, used to establish a new remote connection to the Skype for Business Online endpoint. Once a connection is made, the cmdlets used for policy management can be imported into a session and used. Documented in Office 365 notification MC230065 on 15 December, Microsoft will retire the Skype for Business Online connector on 15 February 2021.

Time to Check Scripts

Teams shares a common policy framework with Skype for Business Online, which means that to interact with Teams management policies through PowerShell, many scripts use the Skype for Business Online Connector.

Before the Connector is retired, organizations need to check any PowerShell scripts used to manage Teams management policies, such as:

Teams PowerShell Module Replaces Connector

The Teams PowerShell module replaces the connector. Launched in September, version 1.1.16 and future versions contain New-CsOnlineSession and other cmdlets previously found in the connector:

Get-Command -Module MicrosoftTeams -Name *-Cs*

CommandType     Name                                               Version    Source
-----------     ----                                               -------    ------
Function        Get-CsBatchPolicyAssignmentOperation               1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Function        Get-CsGroupPolicyAssignment                        1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Function        Get-CsUserPolicyAssignment                         1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Function        New-CsBatchPolicyAssignmentOperation               1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Function        New-CsGroupPolicyAssignment                        1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Function        Remove-CsGroupPolicyAssignment                     1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          Get-CsOnlinePowerShellEndpoint                     1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          Get-CsPolicyPackage                                1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          Get-CsUserPolicyPackage                            1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          Get-CsUserPolicyPackageRecommendation              1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          Grant-CsUserPolicyPackage                          1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          New-CsBatchPolicyPackageAssignmentOperation        1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams
Cmdlet          New-CsOnlineSession                                1.1.6      MicrosoftTeams

To use the cmdlets used for Teams policy management, you don’t need to connect to Teams before connecting to the Skype for Business Online endpoint; all that’s necessary is to install the latest version of the Teams PowerShell module and run these commands (Figure 1):

$TeamsPolicySession = New-CsOnlineSession -Credential $O365Cred
Import-PsSession $TeamsPolicySession -AllowClobber

Once a remote connection is made and the cmdlets are imported into a session, you can use policy management cmdlets like Get-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy and Cs-TeamsMessagingPolicy. Updating scripts should be a matter of making sure that the cmdlets are loaded from the Teams module and removing any reference to the Skype for Business Online connector.

The Missing Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection Cmdlet

The Teams PowerShell module doesn’t currently feature the Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection. This cmdlet enables a session connected to the Skype for Business endpoint to reconnect it it times out. A timeout can happen at random intervals. In most cases this isn’t a problem as the interaction with Teams policies and other cmdlets accessed through this endpoint is often brief. If you work with the policy and management cmdlets for extended period, consider using this script to mimic the functionality of the Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection cmdlet. Run it in your session after importing the Skype for Business Online cmdlets.

It’s easy to miss out on small but important details like the retirement of a connector. Other books don’t cover stuff like this because they are written once and then published. The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook is refreshed with changes and republished monthly to our subscribers.

7 Replies to “Skype for Business Online Connector Retires in February 2021”

  1. I still don’t see cmdlet Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection in Teams module. Also certificate authentication works only for Teams cmdlet, it fails for SfB online cmdlets. I dont think this fill be available before the retire connector module.

  2. Hello
    For Enable-CsOnlineSessionForReconnection there is this tip
    But on my side I have issue with accounts MFA enabled:
    New-CsOnlineSession : Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message : The WinRM client cannot process the request. It cannot
    determine the content type of the HTTP response from the destination computer. The content type is absent or invalid. For more information, see the about_Remote_Troubleshooting Help topic.
    At line:1 char:15
    Any person have same issue?

  3. you’re my saviour. I have about 20 Microsoft help site windows open and not one of them helped at all. Needed to check that we have attendee list download enabled. You helped a lot, thank you

    1. The same way as you did it with the Skype for Business Online connector, except that you must connect to Microsoft Teams first (Connect-MicrosoftTeams). Once that’s done, connect to the Skype endpoint and run Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration.

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