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Customizing the Sumatra Double Booking cmdlet

There are a simple ways to customize the Sumatra Double Booking cmdlet, and most of them involve a text editor. Let's look at the mess...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Meeting Maker to Zimbra Migration Function Mapping

Based on requests from the field we've begun creating a full-function migration path from Meeting Maker to Zimbra calendar. As with our other migrations this method preserves recurrence patterns, guest responses, and the live nature of meetings. We have a prototype running in our lab the results from which are shown in the screen shots below.



Let's say Adam invites Claudette to three meetings, which in Meeting Maker she Accepts, Declines, and Decides Later.

Adam's calendar looks like this in Meeting Maker:






And after migration Adam's calendar looks like this in Zimbra:



Claudette's looks like this in Meeting Maker:





And after migration Claudette's calendar looks like this in Zimbra:


Note that the model for display of calendar state information is completely opposite between the two products. In Meeting Maker, the proposer / owner of a meeting is the one who sees an instant display of guest response status. In Zimbra, it is the guest who has the "one glance" view of her response status. In going from Meeting Maker to Zimbra this radically simplifies things for the guest (especially compared with the clunky "proposals box" in Meeting Maker). However, it does make it harder for those used to the symbols Meeting Maker uses to manage meetings to see them at a glance. This information does display very handily in the proposer's mail Inbox as guests make decisions.

Note that we are opting to map "Decide Later" as "New" in Zimbra rather than "Tentative" to highlight the need to make a decision on the meeting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

E2K3 to E2K7 Upgrade Problem: Exchange Resource Manager

Two of our favorite people on the planet, Nancy and Yoly at Qualcomm, report problems with Exchange Resource Manager resources when going from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007.

Symptoms
Meeting invitations/updates sent to conference rooms that have been moved from Exchange 2003 with ERM to Exchange 2007 with resource calendar assistant are ignored and/or deleted without being processed.

The Problem
ERM has a bug that causes mailbox attribute 0x8217 to be set to 1 (organizer) when it places meetings on the calendar.

In OutlookSpy you would see this:



A Microsoft representative was able to confirm via testing that when 0x8217 is altered prior to the resource mailbox being moved from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 the E2k7 Resource Calendar Assistant is unable to act on the meeting invitation/update and treats it as a non-meeting message (deletes it).

The fix is to set 0x8217 to 3 (invitee), with potentially 1000s of meetings with this issue it would be very time consuming to do it manually, so we wrote one to fix it.

Not surprisingly we put it into the Sumatra Utilities.

The latest version has the following additional flags:

/ERM:fix

This can change all calendar items with x8217=1 (from ERM) and set the value to 3.

If the /ERM switch is used without the :fix then the tool will run and produce counts.

If the ":fix" qualifier is used, then the appointments will be updated.

Can also be used with /e (show all) and /s (summary)

So for example, looking at the resource "LCD":

su /ERM /u:lcd /e

Gives the following REPORT in outfile.txt

User:lcd
Resource Mtg Organizer Mtg Name MtgStart MtgEnd Meeting Type
Validated lcd lcd - test test test - - Appointment
1 Resources processed.
1 Total meetings read.
1 meetings with ERM flag=1
0 meetings skipped (didn't have flag=1)
ReadFrom:
WroteTo: outfile.txt

su /ERM:fix /u:lcd /e

Will fix and record which ERM-managed meetings are repaired.