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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...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Creating Delegates / Proxies in Zimbra

Sometimes we find out the coolest stuff while searching for something else.

And this was how we discovered how Meeting Maker users can migrate their read-write and read-only proxies and Oracle Calendar users can migrate their designates into Zimbra Viewer or Manager Roles.

As the Zimbra Wiki points out, zmmailbox can be used to set calendar READ-ONLY permissions (Viewer):

zmmailbox -z -m zyg@DOMAIN mfg -i /Calendar account russ@DOMAIN r

and the followng will set READ-WRITE (Manager):

zmmailbox -z -m zyg@DOMAIN mfg -i /Calendar account russ@DOMAIN rwidx

In the above examples Zyg makes Russ a delegate/proxy/pick your term.

So how do you get the list? In the intermediate MS Access database we use for Meeting Maker conversions it's in the PROXIES table. So the logical next step is for us to write a macro that just exports a batch file you can use to execute this command for everyone you're migrating. Any of you working on a Zimbra migration now we'll happily work with on this (though Zyg is taking a crack at it anyway).

For Oracle Calendar Server conversions it's even easier. Look up UNIACCESSRIGHTS in your OCS Reference Manual.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tasks in Zimbra 5 - migrating them in

You know the simplest things always have some kind of hellacious complication lurking in them. So it is with what in Zimbra and OCS are called Tasks and in Meeting Maker are called To-Dos.

Meeting Maker has 7 Task Priorities while Zimbra has only 3.

This is how the priorities map when we do a migration:

Meeting Maker Urgent-> Zimbra High
Meeting Maker Important-> Zimbra High
Meeting Maker High -> Zimbra High
Meeting Maker Medium -> Zimbra Normal
Meeting Maker Normal -> Zimbra Normal
Meeting Maker Low -> Zimbra Low
Meeting Maker None -> Zimbra Low

For “Progress” options, Meeting Maker has only 2 levels (Done or Not Done) and Zimbra has 5 (Not started, Completed, In Progress, Waiting on Someone Else, and Deferred). “Done” maps to “Completed” and “Not done” maps to “In progress.”

Tasks are ICS files, but they can't be uploaded with the calendar data so we need to do them separately.

The following curl command will insert “tasks-zyg.ics” into User Zyg’s Tasks list:

curl -vvv -u zyg:PASSWORD --data-binary @tasks-zyg.ics http://SERVER/home/zyg/Tasks?fmt=ics

Oracle Calendar has a weirder case that we're not sure what to do with yet. OCS has priorities 1-9 and A-Z. In Outlook we map to priorities 1-5 with anything above “5” becoming “5.”

For Zimbra from OCS we'll wait until it's an issue for one of you and just define it that way from then on.

Oracle's other bugaboo is in access levels: Personal, Confidential, Normal, Public. Personal and Confidential map to PRIVATE in Zimbra, the other two map to PUBLIC.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why can't I create mailboxes in Exchange 2007 via VMware

I thought it would be simple to create an additional user mailbox in our Exchange 2007 server running in VMWare virtual server. The mailbox creation process fails with this message: "An Exchange 2007 server on which an address list service is active cannot be found."

Why do simple tasks that fail drive me nuts, and take forever to resolve?

What broke? The Microsoft Exchange System Attendant failed to start! Once restarted, I created the mailbox with ease. This was the same thing I saw when creating mailboxes for an Exchange Resource Forest Trust. So for whatever reason, the SA continues to randomly fail to start. A three minute task stretched to fifteen. Reminds me of the joke... I always give 100% effort at work: 10% on Mon, 25% on Tue, 35% on Wed, 25% on Thu, 5% on Fri.

Friday, March 07, 2008

DST: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The new North American Daylight Savings Time rules are a lot like the message in Repo Man: the life of migrating calendar servers is aways intense.

Here's the thing to keep in mind: If you're going into Exchange 2003 -- make sure you've applied patches for the new DST shifts.

EHLO has this good posting on the subject: Exchange 2003 and DST fix.

Exchange 2007 automatically has the DST shift dealt with.

Now there are some vendors out there who tell you that as long as you're in the same time zone you're covered, you don't need to upgrade Meeting Maker or Oracle Calendar Server. That's true -- until you migrate.

We can handle re-basing the events in either of these to make them work if necessary. Please just be on the lookout in your test lab for meetings and appointments off an hour in the "DST Delta" in March and November.

As always, it is much easier to deal with these if we find them early.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Entourage adds spice to recurring meetings in Exchange 2007

This has been the week to report about Entourage and its unusual calendar behavior. The day after our blog about Entourage seeing double, Microsoft released another KB article about Entourage and problems with calendaring. We are thrilled to share the spice of life that Entourage has added to our jobs. Brace yourself folks:

"Unexpected modified instances of a recurring meeting may appear when you use Entourage to access a calendar on a computer that is running Exchange Server 2007". This will happen after modifies one or more instances of a recurring meeting. Please see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949113. We have not come across this issue, so we don't know the version of Entourage......

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Seeing double with Entourage and Exchange 2007

One of Sumatra's academic clients has a significant Mac user base. They use Entourage to access their Exchange 2007 calendars. The Mac users have reported that after a few days of use, they saw duplicate items in their calendar. We suspected Entourage (OWA or Outlook 2003 did not create dupes when accessing the same calendars), but we couldn't pinpoint the root cause of the duplicates.

Microsoft reported the duplicates are an Entourage problem. The problem occurs whenever users edit an appointment with a subject line that is identical to other calendar items. Come on... That has to be rare....you're more likely to find a four-leaf clover. Anyone have "Weekly Staff Meeting", "Lunch", "Vacation" on their calendars?

See the KB article: Duplicate calendar items may appear when you use Entourage to access a calendar on an Exchange 2007 server (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949114)

Note: They were using Entourage 10. The KB article didn't specify the version.

Monday, March 03, 2008

1,300 recurring appointment limit fixed in E2k7 SP1 Update Rollup 1

Remember back in June 07 when Sumatra blogged about how 1,300 recurring appointments broke Exchange 2007? (OK, I forgot, too.) Well, as of 2/28/2008 Microsoft fixed this bug and others in the "Update Rollup 1 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1" .

Sumatra recommends its migration clients -- and any one who uses calendaring -- install SP1 and Update Rollup 1.

There are many things this update fixes. Here are some that impact calendaring users: