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Monday, August 17, 2009

Sun Java Calendar, aka iPlanet, full-state migration to Exchange 2007

Sun Java Calendar Server, previously known as Sun ONE Calendar Server, and before that iPlanet Calendar Server (the darn thing has had more names than that "Diddy" guy) is now among our full-state, server-side migrations into Exchange 2007.


It kept popping up sporadically and just came around for a 5000 user migration. Then this opportunity turned into a 500 user migration with a budget that would cover a few blended drinks at Starbuck's and we were wondering how we were going to make any money out of it. As any of you know, we're market-driven.

So here's how it's working.

We use Sun's WCAP protocol to extract the calendar and task data.

We run it through our conversion tools to morph into our intermediate format from which we can map user IDs and do all sorts of other wondrous things.

Then we insert it into Exchange 2007 using EWS (we parted ways with the now-deprecated CDO way back after Exchange 2003).


A few notes:

Recurrence patterns in Sun Java Calendar are a 1:1 match for Outlook, so we have thus far not seen any exceptions.


We can actually handle attachments. The big issue here is not the technical aspects of attachments, but the logistical ones. Often when running a migration the amount of data can cause low-set quotas to be exceeded pretty quickly, and you don't want to run into that at 2:00 AM on a Saturday. So we recommend extracting to a common directory and just passing a link to the attachment in the Agenda field. If you can avoid migrating them entirely, so much the better.

SJC has a limit on "on-going" meetings. Outlook / Exchange do not -- so we simply set an SJC "ongoing" meeting to an Outlook meeting with No End Date.

A word on versions.

We do version 6.x. With a little bit of prodding (in the commercial sense) we could be convinced to make it work for Sun ONE / iPlanet 5.x.

Future version 7 (now in beta) - we are not guaranteeing. You want to check out Calendar Server 6 and Calendar Server 7 Comparison and Coexistence. Since Sun does not currently have a migration path between 6 and 7 we're not anticipating we'll need to have a version 7 migration to Exchange path for a while.

However, since Calendar Server 7 us apparently based on MySQL (see : Best Practices for Backing up and Restoring MySQL Databases in Calendar Server Deployments) we are very optimistic a full-state migration will just involve reading their database and morphing it into our schema.

Bigger question is: Will Version 7 even make it out the door when the Oracle acquisition is final? Oracle is not likely to keep supporting two past-their-prime calendar systems.

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