Monday, September 28, 2009

500 errors on test insertion into Exchange 2007?

When you get a "500" error on validation or a test insertion, please verify your:

  1. CAS/MBX boxes are members of Windows Authorization Access Group
  2. Impersonation permissions stuck (and are not denied) through Active Directory Sites & Services
  3. Service Account is NOT a member of any Exchange Admin Group/Domain Admin group

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oracle Calendar / Meeting Maker to Google Calendar Migration

OK, for street cred, we did a Meeting Maker (it will work with Oracle or Sun Java Calendar as well) to Google Calendar migration extension.

Keep in mind, we'll morph this as it makes contact with the real world. Here's how it currently works.

We use our tools to produce ICS files. Not a problem for appointments, but for meetings the idea is to make them live.

Here's how we do it. We insert the emails of the attendees into the OWNER's agenda.

She or he can find these really easily after inserting into Google by searching for "(re-propose)" Open it and highlight the emails, copy / drag them into "Guests"

SAVE it and SEND it:
Voila, live meetings, simple, inexpensive, and done.

There's a few issues: I think we'll load all the To-Dos into an All-Day Event on the day of the migration (since Google doesn't have an import/export capability for Tasks yet).

We migrate Contacts via CSV files.

We looked at automated ways of uploading, but the Google Calendar API does not support uploading via ICS. So we're sitting on XML uploads via cURL until we have a corporate customer (which means we are not holding our breath).

We think it's more likely a corporate customer is going to want to get OUT of Google Calendar and into Exchange (you listening, Roche?).

NB: We only handle "re-propose" for meetings which have not yet ENDED -- any other meetings get turned into appointments in everyone's calendar.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Smartphones and your calendar server migration

We go over this a lot with folks and it's worth blogging about.

Let's say you're switching your calendar server and you've got BlackBerrys, Smartphones, ancient PDAs, whatever connected to your old server. And you want to use the same product when you're done in your NEW environment (let's call it Exchange).

Our recommendation is that as part of your migration process you blank out your calendars in your source system and re-synch completely on your target.

Why? Because the synch usually keeps track based on something called UIDs (or Universal Identification Numbers). You change your calendar server, you change your UIDs, and if you're not careful your Smartphone will get data from BOTH systems (and this is a hassle).

While migration is going on we strongly recommend turning off your BlackBerry server. Why? Sumatra generates a lot of email as part of re-creating end-user calendars in Outlook. While Sumatra’s insertion technology removes almost all of that email from end user’s in boxes, it can not remove those messages delivered to your device via the BlackBerry Exchange Server. So depending on your migration option your BlackBerry users will either be flooded with a lot of email (no EventSink) or some email (EventSink).

Since your BlackBerrys, Palms, or WindowsMobile PCs is synched with a system that is obsolescing – you will need to clear the calendars when you shut down your Oracle Calendar / Meeting Maker / Sun Java Calendar / etc. server, then have your users re-synch after the migration is completed.


For clearing the calendar on the Blackberry – see the following webpage:


For clearing the calendar on a Palm OS, you might use the Purge function:,kb=PalmSupportKB,CASE=obj(5029),ts=Palm_External200173

Windows Mobile (Pocket PC)
For Windows Mobile, you can:
· Open ActiveSync
· Double Click on Calendar.
· Change the settings such that it syncs only 0 past and 0 future appointments.
· SYNC - this will clear all calendar items on the IPAQ / most other Pocket PCs.
Note: Some earlier ActiveSync versions attempt to interpret the default Sumatra Category as a date field. If you have Windows Mobile PCs you should remove the keyword AFTER you have done your quality assurance testing on the migration. Sumatra also has a COM add-in for Outlook that will accomplish the same thing on a user-by-user basis.


Updated September 10, 2009 with info from Notify Technology.

Migration for NotifyLink Enterprise Server (NLES) Users with recent versions.

An administrator must:

  1. Make sure the NLES server and device software are up to date.
  2. Create the new mail and PIM servers
  3. Open the user administration list and for each user to be moved, select the “Edit User” button.
  4. On the “Edit User” page, switch the email and PIM servers to the new servers that were created.
  5. This should all be done after the actual migration is complete on the server side. Notify Tech claims their software should handle the rest. It should re-prime accounts and issue full resynchronization commands. The device PIM stores will be automatically cleared and reloaded with the new account info.

    Earlier versions of their software ran a more complicated, non-automatic process.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

"Run-As" for Vista/Windows Server 2008

Wondering how you can get the "Run-As" back in the context menus for Vista and Windows Server 2008? Thanks to Sysinternals Mark Russinovich and Jon Schwartz it's easy. Their tool ShellRunAs is located here: (

It's easy to use - Unzip and move shellrunas into windows\system32. Then type the following in the start/Run command line: shellrunas /reg. That's it. Right click on an item to see "Run as different user"


Friday, September 04, 2009

When the Cloud disappears why does everyone not fall to earth?

Gmail went down again on September 1, 2009.
My schadenfreude finally met my Weltanschauung.

Of course, I got THIS one at 3:43 PM PDT which was DARNED confusing:

So with everyone who's been looking to migrate into Google Calendar: be really careful what you ask for.
And to everyone already there: migrating OUT of Google Calendar into Exchange is a LOT easier than a real time server-side synch between the two.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Yes, we joined Twitter

You can now find us on Twitter:

We're sending all our future blog postings there, too.

Facebook is just not a natural match for us, though.