Lync Web App (LWA) is a web delivered software environment similar in functionality to Lync 2013 for Windows. Lync is a conferencing and collaboration tool.
LWA provides a venue for multiparty conferences, and can be used by people who do not have Lync enabled logins, or who do not have University logins at all.
It is not a replacement for the Lync client (you cannot call people from within the tool, for instance), but rather LWA is a feature of the conferencing service that allows people to participate in a meeting.
Guests (people who do not have Lync enabled logins and who do not authenticate when connecting to the meeting), have limited access when they connect to a meeting -initially guests are not permitted to enter the meeting, but have to be granted entry by a privileged participant. Once allowed into a meeting, guests can participate in the conferencing activity, but cannot present or shift the meeting focus between tools. Authenticated participants are able to elevate access for these visiting users so that they are able to participate fully in the collaborative activities.
LWA provides software tools on Mac and Windows systems supporting:
- audio and video conferencing
- shared presentations
- shared whiteboard
- shared desktop
- shared files
- text chat
- conference management/moderation tools
Brief testing using Chrome in Ubuntu 13.10 suggests that the audio video conferencing is not possible using this LINUX platform, but shared desktop, whiteboard and access to the shared files (or attachments) worked quite well.
Lync meetings can be created in Outlook by people with Lync enabled for their accounts.
These look like normal meeting requests, except that the Lync service adds details to the invitation that make it easy for attendees to activate the appropriate software.
The Join Lync Meeting link in the invitation can be clicked by each attendee to activate their local Lync software, or to connect to the Lync Web App. What happens will depend on the software environment.