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Zimbra Calendar to Office 365 Full-State Migration Video

As we promised, here's a video demonstrating our (pre-release) full-state calendar migration from a live Zimbra server (on Ubuntu in our...

Monday, March 20, 2017

PowerShell cmdlet for Determining Double Booked Meetings

As we've said before, we've seen a lot of interest in this.

Here's a preview of the syntax we're using:

If you want to get in on testing this in your environment, drop us a line.

No guarantees on any of this yet, but we're so far into it we're definitely going to finish it.

Russ is spending his time with it in on-premises Exchange 2016 and Zyg is using it in our Office 365 test bed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Detecting Resource Double Bookings in Office 365

So if you have Microsoft Exchange / Office 365 settings for resources which ALLOW for double bookings, sometimes you need to FIND where these double booking are.

Take this screen shot of the calendar for Conference Room 222

We aren't showing you the email notifications yet (because it's not done) but it's easy to find and generate the list of conflicts (notice we also have some in the next week).

Monday, March 06, 2017

New York Times: Four Ways to Be More Effective in Meetings

From The New York Times a good, succinct article: Four Ways to Be More Effective in Meetings.

Often you'll see people try to institute applications in schedulers for some of these points.

Usually it doesn't work.  

The best scheduler applications are the ones that handle timing selection, communication, and resource booking and leave the social interaction to the human social environment.  Don't over-complicate these things.  Down that path lies much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The best advice we ever see is: don't propose a meeting without an agenda. 

'Nuff said.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sumatra DBA: Double Booking Alert for Resources in Microsoft Exchange and Office 365

We started to get curious when what we thought was a dry, technical issue of double booked conference rooms became one of the most-read posts on our blog.  We DO pay attention to this stuff.

I refer of course to Double-Booked Meeting Rooms in Office 365 (and how to avoid them).

In the space-time-convenience continuum which is always a struggle with different views of how to optimize your Microsoft Exchange calendaring experience, Outlook and Exchange 2016 do a good job of warning you at booking time of future conflicts with resources and recurring meetings.

But 1.) time management is a very dynamic entity so conflicts creep in at awkward times and 2.) it's easy to procrastinate and then lose track of future conflicts.

The best summary of the problem was here:
We are not happy; our users are not happy.

This brought us down a path of looking at simple means to accomplish checking for double bookings and (more importantly!) to make fixing double bookings actionable on the part of end users! 

We found a serviceable script (from the author of the above quote) at Auditing Exchange Rooms for Double Bookings.

This has a few problems: it's very good at saying "yes there are double bookings in your resources, Mr. Administrator."   And then what the heck is supposed to happen?

We thought it best to let the Exchange Administrator do what they're good at (managing Exchange, installing and maintaining software, handling permissions) and to create a mechanism to get the information where it is most needed -- into the hands of he affected meeting organizers.

To this end we've created Sumatra DBA: Double Booking Alert.

Sumatra DBA: Double Booking Alert

We see the following advantages of our approach:
  • Installs and runs Server-side (no Outlook add-ins to distribute / manage)
  • Pro-active instead of reactive
  • No user training involved (notices come to the inbox of meeting organizers)
  • Admin configurable
  • Notifications configurable by site
Stay tuned for screenshots and examples.

Want in on early testing?  Contact us.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Installing Exchange 2016 CU4: Service 'WMSVC' Failed to Reach Status 'Running' On This Server

Upgrading our Microsoft Exchange 2016 servers to CU4 failed with this error:

Service 'WMSVC' failed to reach status 'Running' on this Server"

In our case, we had a valid SSL certificate.  Why did it mysteriously disappear from IIS' Management Service??? I reapplied the certificate, restarted IIS, and resumed the Exchange CU4 in-place upgrade.

Here is the error screen, btw:


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Outlook won't remove Exchange Mailboxes: "This group of folders is associated with an email account. To remove the account...."

What a way to start the morning: Outlook added 25 account folders to my list of folders. (perhaps that's why it took four minutes to open.) Selecting a folder, then Right-click to close "Ted Kelly" brought up a message: "This group of folders is associated with an email account. To remove the account, click the File Tab, and on the Info tab click Account settings. Select the email account, and then click remove." (See image, below)  Problem solved!?!

It does not work -- there are no accounts with that name to remove.  A Microsoft Answer was not helpful.  What changed?

Well, this weekend we tested the latest build of our Exchange-to-Exchange migration tool.  I granted "Full Access" to several accounts to see how they migrated.  Hmmmmm.  I wonder if it's a feature from Exchange 2010 SP1:.... auto mapping of shared mailboxes to user’s Outlook 2010 profiles will remove a support headache.  Ok.  They swapped one headache and replaced with a migraine.

How do you un-automap the mailboxes?

Two ways:  
1. Use Exchange Management Shell Powershell to turn automapping false:

Add-MailboxPermission -Identity  -User  -AccessRights FullAccess -InheritanceType All -Automapping $false

2. Use ADSIedit to edit the MsExchDelegateListLinked attribute for that User Object, and remove .

Failed to remove additional account folders

Thursday, February 02, 2017

To our domestic and international readers

We're NOT with this guy.

We just live in the same place he's trying to control.

If you've been following current events you get the impression that the political system in the US is really fucked up right now.

That is a correct assessment.

Please know that NONE of us in Sumatra Development are supporting Trump or his racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist agenda (how many prejudices does this guy and his deplorable supporters HAVE? Short answer: all of them).

And we're giving time off for anyone with no active projects to protest or take action as they see fit.

American liberty is too precious to lose now.