The red exclamation point that appears in the Office Communicator notification area (top right corner) can indicate one of several different underlying problems.

Communicator uses the red exclamation point to notify a user that something needs attention. Clicking the button opens a list of errors and other notifications.  Common causes of the red exclamation point are missed calls/instant messages, Outlook integration errors, address book synchronization errors, or not having a correct Autodiscover record.

"Outlook Integration Error"

As the error suggests, Communicator is unable to connect to Outlook. Side effects of this include being unable to search for Outlook contacts in Communicator, reverse number lookup failing for Outlook contacts when making a phone call in Communicator, presence not lighting up in Outlook, and others. There are a couple of things to try that might fix the problem:

  1. Make sure Outlook is running.  If you didn’t start Outlook on your computer, Communicator will display this error.  If you already have Outlook running, try restarting Communicator (i.e. “exit” instead of just signing out).  It’s possible that Communicator failed to detect you have Outlook running, and restarting Communicator ensures that the Outlook detection code path (which gets executed during start up) is run.
  2. Verify that the Outlook account and Communicator sign-in profiles match.  By default, Communicator signs in using the Windows account.  If the Outlook and Communicator profiles do not match, Communicator will be unable to connect to Outlook (and you will see the integration error).  For instance, in Outlook if I’m using and my Communicator account is, then I will see the integration error.  Please make sure the two emails are identical.
  3. If neither of the above suggestions helps, try installing the June 2007 hotfix package for Outlook 2007.  A number of Office fixes related to presence and IM integration are part of this hotfix package.  For a description of the updates and a download link, see our KB article about the hotfix.

"Address Book Synchronization Error"

If you have no idea what ABS is, then it’s probably a good thing because you’ve likely never encountered this error.  For those who have seen the error, it’s probably extremely frustrating because its error description will tell you to contact your system administrator.

The local Global Address Book (GAL) file is needed for displaying contact data on the contact card, phone numbers in the click-to-call menu (in addition to other minor features) and, most importantly, for Communicator search.  Communicator’s fast search capabilities are possible because Communicator indexes the local GAL so it can return instant search results as the user types in the search box.

For more information about the GAL, see the Knowledge Base article What Is Global Address List (GAL)?

When an ABS error occurs, contact details you see in the contact card or search results may be out of date. There are several causes for this error that users can easily check on their end:

  1. Missing Autodiscover record.
  2. Make sure that the Exchange profile is the default Outlook profile (as described under "Outlook Integration Error" above).

If the error reads "File to download cannot be found" then it should be reported to Support for further investigation.

"Communicator could not determine the location of your Exchange Web Services"

This message may appear if you don't have a correct Autodiscover record created.

The last (and pretty rare) manifestation of this error can look like this:

"Communicator cannot synchronize with the corporate address book because the corporate address book file appears to be damaged. Contact your system administrator with this information."

To resolve this error, exit OCS and then delete the .db files in the following location:

Vista,Windows 7

Delete both the .db and .db.idx files, then start OCS and see if the error is gone.