Saturday, September 13, 2008

Terminated with extreme prejudice

You know the scenario -- people in your organization are coming and going all the time. When they come in you have a handle on it. When they go, well, that's a different story.

In particular, Exchange has a nasty habit of letting them leave the building but linger on in broken meetings.

We've been working on the problem and we got asked about it yesterday, so I figured it was a good time for a running commentary.
Let's create a user called Elvis Morrison.

Elvis enters the company sets up a few meetings and, in the way of all flesh, is downsized or leaves for greener pastures. When he leaves this is what his calendar looks like:

We can delete Elvis from Active Directory in a few seconds:

But if we just delete him then his meetings will linger (with no way to cancel them). So in the Conference Room 222 calendar, Elvis is still very much alive!

He's also still in end user calendars.

Now, if we wanted to cancel all of Elvis's meetings BEFORE we deleted him from Active Directory, that would be easy. Just run our tool and click Test2: Report/CancelMtgs

You get options like

Let's say we want to cancel them.

And let everyone know why.

And it tells us what's going on.

BUT let's say users have been being deleted for a while or we deleted Elvis before removing his meetings. We can STILL clean out the resources (we can do the users, too, but let's focus on the rooms and resources).

Let's say we're looking to clear out the cruft from Conference Room 222.

Put in the Room ID and click
It will find all instances of Elvis's recurring meetings in it (as well as any other broken meetings, but I happen to know the only ones in there just now belong to Elvis)

And it creates a separate report

To get rid of them (you can edit the report to remove the ones you want to keep) click

Going into the calendar for Room 222 means it now looks like this, cleaned of the broken meetings Elvis organized.

The more astute among you will recognize there are some additional subtleties to this, but I'll save those for another blog posting.

Editorial addition (Sept 14, 2008)

The "Export Mailbox" cmdlet will archive all Elvis's data to a PST, but it does NOT cancel his meetings. See this discussion.


zyg said...

I just got my third anonymous post asking for this. Folks, if you want to try this out -- fine -- but please contact us and use your real name.

Unknown said...

This tool looks fantastic. Is it free and if positive, where to download?
Run on Server og Workstation?

Peter Bech-Lutzka

zyg said...

If you want to use it in a significant production environment (i.e., a corporation, major university, or government office) we do want to charge for it. But we will allow you to evaluate it for free. zyg ATSIGN sumatra DOTCOM

Mark said...

Sounds like something we could really use. We removed the "no end date" option via GPO to limit how this affected us. This sounds like a much better solution when terminating an employee than the hassles the above creates.

Unknown said...

I would like to use the trial version of the software (corporate usage) and if it suits our needs, we would like to purchase the same.

Please let us know from where can we get a trial version of the software and the cost of the full version.

zyg said...

No offense meant, but pretty much every inquiry from India has been from people who wanted to rip us off. (At least you didn't ask for the source code.)

If you are serious about corporate use, please have your US office contact us. Our email / web site is not hard to find on this blog. Looking in the above comments, for example.