Saturday, July 12, 2008

Funambol and Migration into Exchange

We got an inquiry about Funambol and how after migration data we inserted wasn't being sync'ed by Funambol but calendar items created directly in Outlook were. After we looked up what Funambol was (usually we see folks use ActiveSync) and the client did some rooting around on their own, we had a reason.

Here's what happens.

You know our UNDO process?

In going into Exchange 2007 we insert the keyword "mmconv102659080256Z" into the Mileage field of an Exchange calendar object.

Why did we choose the Mileage field? Because it's easy to surface when using Exchange Web Services. So in the event we need to do an UNDO we can search through every mailbox and remove only the data we inserted. Very convenient, and a very good safety net.

BUT Funambol is looking at that field and analyzing it to make sure it's actually a Mileage (i.e., a numeric string). So looking at an alphanumeric string is causing it confusion.

Two possible solutions:
  1. Post migration: Just remove the Sumatra tags. Of course, do not do this until AFTER you've validated the data.
  2. Pre-migration: Choose a different tag that's purely numeric (e.g., "99999999999")

Either one will get you there.

We also insert data into the Billing field (for the technically inclined, they're the GUIDs of the calendar objects so we're sure we're acting on the correct objects when migrating).

We also know of at least one other application that uses the Mileage field for internal purposes - so keep an eye out.

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