Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ActiveSync bug in Exchange 2003 - Warning warning!

November looks like ActiveSync month. First I dropped my Sprint HTC SmartPhone because as a phone it was unusable (despite the fact that sync with Outlook was passable).

But Chris Quinn, one of our pals in the calendaring community, alerts us to a Microsoft KB Article 958781:

Some recurring calendar items disappear from the "Day/Week/Month" view in Outlook when a user uses Exchange ActiveSync on a mobile device to modify a recurring meeting in an Exchange 2003 environment

Much like Snakes on a Plane the title says it all.

But unlike SoaP there's more here to worry about (aside from whether you want the extended edition DVD).

The list of affected files for the fix to this problem includes pretty much all of CDO's associated files PLUS MADFB (the main Free-Busy updater).

This is a scary bunch of sensitive code to be changing all at once. And anything that relies on CDO (Anybody out there have BlackBerry Servers?) could get caught in the backwash.

So our warning to you still on Exchange 2003 is to test this HotFix BEFORE you deploy it if you have anything other than a vanilla Exchange 2003 environment

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seeing a Delegated Calendar in Outlook Web Access

It's really easy to get to another person's calendar in Outlook or even Entourage if they've given you delegate access.

But if you want to view that same schedule via Outlook Web Access (OWA) you need to know a few things.

Check out this article: How to Use Outlook Web Access Web Parts.

You want user interface? Fuggedaboutit.

If "Russ" is Delegate of "Zyg" via Outlook on the "VM" Exchange 2007 server he needs to use this URL:


Then he gets to view Zyg's calendar (NB: Regardless of level of delegate access it's read only).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remove "TargetAddress" in Exchange 2007

Forwarding meeting requests is a really bad practice.

See Outlook Meeting Requests: Essential Do's and Don'ts if you want the Microsoft dogma on it.

This is especially true in calendar migrations when you're creating more meeting invitations at once than you probably ever will again.

It is especially true when Exchange is forwarding automatically by defining TargetAddress (as could be done via an identity-management tool).

Such is the lead in to why you want to turn off TargetAddress before a migration.

To turn this attribute off where it is set, you simply need to follow this three step program:

1. ) EXPORT your directory data using LDIFDE

ldifde -s YOURSERVER -r "(targetaddress=*)" -l "dn" -f exportldf.ldf

This produces a file whose records look like this:

dn: CN=Adam Ant,OU=Client85,OU=Clients,DC=ex2007,DC=sumatra,DC=local
changetype: add


2. Edit the LDIFDE file "exportldf.ldf"
Replace "changetype: add" with "changetype: modify\ndelete: targetaddress\n\-\n\n"

i.e., the file should look like this:
dn: CN=Adam Ant,OU=Client85,OU=Clients,DC=ex2007,DC=sumatra,DC=local
changetype: modify
delete: targetaddress


  • If you want to restore the attribute after the migration, make a copy of the exportldf.ldf file before editing it!

  • The editing works best if you have a text editor that supports regular expressions. We recommend TextPad.

  • There must be a dash and a blank line between each command.

3. Re-run (import) your file
ldifde -s YOURSERVER -f exportldf.ldf –i

Why are we not doing this using either PowerShell or some of the other GUI-based management tools in Exchange 2007? Simply because we haven't yet figured out how to or if it's even possible.

Flashback: Those of you who have been through a migration into Exchange 2000/2003 will recognize the exact same worry with AltRecipient.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New option for Oracle Calendar Migration

You asked for it -- so we did it.
As the screenshot shows, OraCalReader will now give the admin the option of converting historic meetings into appointments on everyone's calendar or inserting them as live meetings.
Beware: As we warn folks over and over - live meetings take longer to insert into Microsoft Exchange than appointments (which is why we made this an automatic default in Oracle Migrations).

Friday, November 07, 2008

So if you're migrating to Zimbra and using Palms....

We just moved a site from Meeting Maker into Zimbra and everything was ducky until we got an email stating:

"After taking our Meeting Maker Database and getting it imported into Zimbra,
our Palm OS devices that are receiving over-the-air syncs to their Zimbra
calendars lock up and head into an infinite reboot cycle when they try to
access their calendar data. It appears that something in the formatting of
the calendar data now pretty much just causes the brain of the Palm devices
to explode... because the problem does not extend to Blackberry devices."

Being the responsible guys we are, we freaked. Then we read that the problem doesn't happen with BlackBerry devices. In calendar migrations if we do something really wrong we expect it to fail everywhere. Since they used Notify for both Palm and BlackBerry sync from Zimbra we started looking at Palm. I think I have an old VIIx sitting on my discarded electronics drawer from the days a decade ago when we started this company.

Being exceedingly motivated, however, our client managed to come up with a solution before us. Their significantly greater knowledge of the Palm probably also had a lot to do with this.

Seems to be related to recurring meetings on the Palm, which interpreted some instance as "Zero" and didn't like it -- but didn't gracefully recover either.

They suggest other users with this problem (which I really hope there never are any, but know there will be some out there)

  1. Go to
  2. Download the zipped Windows EXE.
  3. In Advanced Apps there is a file called 'dbscan'
  4. Open this on your PC
  5. It should set itself up to install on your next sync. Read the instructions! It is a database integrity checker.
  6. It will advise of the corrupt files and give you the opportunity to delete them from your handheld.
  7. Run a sync again - but set the options for **handheld to overwrite pc** - this will sort out the problem.

I would really like to thank the folks at Pimlico Software for their really good application for Palms!