Monday, December 27, 2010

Oracle Calendar / Exchange Free/Busy

An odd combination today here in the Boston-Cambridge area. A request last week for Free/Busy interchange between OCS and Exchange, and a blizzard put one of us into the Zen-like frame of mind to come up with solutions that do not involve lots of custom programming.

If any sites currently in an OCS to Exchange migration with us want to try out Outlook based Free/Busy queries into Oracle Calendar, please drop your Sumatra contact a line.

We are looking for "informed consent experimental subjects."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quotas and Live @ Edu Migrations

The calendar elves were busy this weekend migrating TWO former Oracle Calendar Server sites into Exchange in this Cloud thing.

One went into BPOS (one of the dumbest acronyms EVER!) which is in reality Exchange 2007, which does NOT have submission quotas. (So now you know where this is heading)

The other site went into Live @ Edu which, despite their having had their submission quotas removed for purposes of migration, found the quotas very much in place.

So this is about what you'll see if one of your users hits submission quota in a migration.

In this example we kept inserting meetings until we hit quota. So one went in fine (you see the guest list and responses) and one did NOT (it says "Invitations haven't been sent for this meeting").

Once your submission quota rolls over (and when is that exactly?) you can send this and it'll go out like a regular meeting invitation. Not fatal in a migration, but we agree, it is darned annoying.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

EWS, Outlook Live, Exchange Release Levels, OWA, and WTF?

Come with us on a journey to mystery.

The subject started out as Holidays but morphed into the more general one of All Day Events (ADEs).

Using EWS, it is possible to insert ADEs and we do LOTS of them in the course of a migration.
BUT, some combination of EWS, Exchange release levels, and OWA are currently giving our usually stable process conniption fits.

Start off with inserting an ADE under either Exchange 2007 rules (with deprecated Time Zone, rules, but bear with us for a moment here) into Live@Edu (not that we have a client trying to do this exactly now or anything like that).

In Outlook attached to Live @ Edu they will appear correctly (as below) if you specify Exchange 2007 SP1. But it will appear as a two day banner if you specify Exchange 2010.

JUST to keep thing really really interesting, viewing the EXACT SAME ADEs in OWA shows the 2007 SP1-defined ADE showing up correctly, and the 2010-defined ADE spanning THREE days:

If your head does not hurt you have not been paying attention.
SO, for the time being while running a holiday insertion with our tools, specify Exchange 2007 SP1. Everything will be hunky-dory.

Don't believe us? Here's the VB .net code (we use Exchange Web Services Managed API v1.1. )

Public Function ewsBuildAllDayEvent() As String


Dim myUserEmail As String = ""
Dim myEWSURL As String = ""
Dim myExchangeVersion As ExchangeVersion = ExchangeVersion.Exchange2007_SP1
Dim myLogon As String = ""
Dim myPassword As String = "Gu3ssWh0"
'create Service
service = New ExchangeService(myExchangeVersion)
service.Url() = New Uri(myEWSURL)
service.Credentials = New WebCredentials(myLogon, myPassword)
service.ImpersonatedUserId = New ImpersonatedUserId(ConnectingIdType.SmtpAddress, myUserEmail)
'build appointment
Dim appointment = New Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Appointment(service)
appointment.subject = "MyTestADE"
appointment.Start = CDate(Now.ToShortDateString)
appointment.End = CDate(DateAdd(DateInterval.Day, 1, Now))
If myExchangeVersion = ExchangeVersion.Exchange2007_SP1 Then
appointment.StartTimeZone = System.TimeZoneInfo.FindSystemTimeZoneById("Eastern Standard Time")
appointment.StartTimeZone = System.TimeZoneInfo.FindSystemTimeZoneById("Eastern Standard Time")
appointment.EndTimeZone = System.TimeZoneInfo.FindSystemTimeZoneById("Eastern Standard Time")
End If
appointment.LegacyFreeBusyStatus = LegacyFreeBusyStatus.Busy
appointment.isalldayevent = True
Return "OK"

Catch ex As Exception
Return ("ERROR: " & ex.Message)
End Try

End Function

Monday, December 06, 2010

Migrating Email? Check out this blog

Frequently we get asked about email.
We do not touch email since we're calendaring guys and enough other people handle email.
But when we see a site that specializes in it and conceptualizes migrations in ways that we ourselves espouse, we just need to let you know.
Such a site is MigrationWiz.
I hate the name (any male who has been a teenager in the USA smirks when the word "wiz" shows up anywhere), but their analyses of email migration are right on.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Asynchronous Programming

Earlier this week I went to a Microsoft Firestarter Event on Windows Azure. The event was run by a Microsoft Developer Evangelist Jim O'Neil. Jim's talks always inspire me to tweak Sumatra's code bases, ensuring we take advantage of as much of the emerging Microsoft technology as practical. One segment of the day talked about patterns and practices, specifically, the use of asynchronous communication when interacting with cloud (and the web).

They told us about a new Asynchronous Programming module ( I'm very interested in this because many customers in Sumatra's Education market segment are migrating to Exchange in the Cloud -- Microsoft's
Live@EDU. When inserting lots of data, the variability of "network speed" makes insertion times difficult to predict. We explored changing the Sumatra code to run on multiple threads, but concluded it added more complexity to the code and didn't address the underlying bottleneck: network latency.

What I find interesting about this CTP is that the new async calls have the potential to work around latency issues without increasing code complexity. We'll be testing this in our labs in the next few weeks!