Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inserting holidays into hosted Exchange without an Outlook client

Holidays.We've been doing them server-side for years now.
So extending Decaf to insert holiday files was not too much of a stretch.
Since we focus on migrating OCS to Exchange, we used the relevant parts of their ICS format for our template.
Create a text file using this template to insert holidays:

SUMMARY:New Year’s Day
LOCATION: Any time zone in your system
DESCRIPTION: No work day
SUMMARY:Holiday on the 14th
LOCATION: Company-Wide
DESCRIPTION: Suppose Jan 14 was a holiday in your company

This will insert server-side and happen on the given dates, regardless of time zone (!) So a user in the USA or Canada need only put one holiday file together and can use it for all users.

And you go here to insert it.  Our usual restrictions apply.  Of course UNDO works for this.

As always, any feedback is welcome.

We're debating whether to include an option to insert for all users on a domain -- which is certainly possible but we're a little leery if it's in demand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sumatra Decaf: Insert Oracle Calendar ICS into Hosted Exchange

We made our street cred on full-state migrations server-side to server-side.
But there have been folks who either want to try out just ONE user or go for a simpler migration that trades off full-state migration for something faster and simpler.
This is the reason we've done Sumatra Decaf which we're now happy to open for general inspection at
A few things to note:
  • This works only for hosted Exchange (e.g., Live at Edu, Office365, BPOS)
  • We keep track of the domains that insert and limit it to 5 accounts on that domain by default
  • We've geared this to the ICS exports from Oracle Calendar System. Others MIGHT work, but they are a lower priority to us. Each ICS upload is limited to 1 Mb and it inserts only from Today (i.e., the date you are inserting) forward.
  • In a few days we'll show you how to use this to insert holidays server-side.
  • Read the Help PDF at the site for more information.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Silverlight web service times out after 60 seconds

For Silverlight apps with web services calls that time out after 60 seconds:

You've set httpRuntime executionTimeout and binding SendTimeout, but your app still times out after 60 seconds. The problem is the CLIENT, not the server, is timing out.

In your Silverlight app, set a timeout after you instantiate your service client. For example, set a 30 min timeout on your service called "mySvc:"

mySvc.ChannelFactory.Endpoint.Binding.SendTimeout = New TimeSpan(0, 30, 0)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Creating All Day Events with EWS in Office365

You might remember our recent post:

about the head trip that we went through with migrating all day events into Exchange using EWS and how weirdly the display was different between versions of Outlook and OWA.

Well we're adding this to tell you it's the same head trip in Office365 (no real surprise there but we just feel the need to document it).

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Web-Based, one-step Oracle Calendar to Hosted Exchange migration

This is an early look at something we call Sumatra Decaf and a call for informed consent volunteers.

We've built a really good business out of migrating calendars full-state into Exchange.

But some folks do not need the whole magilla and are just looking for the simplest way of getting data from your legacy system into Exchange in a "good enough" fashion. So we've done that as well.

So yea, we have server-side ICS insertions to Hosted Exchange.

Let's take a look at Puffy Amiumi's calendar in OCS (also in Japanese Standard Time)

Use UNIICAL to export it and then read it into our web-based application (shown here in Alpha):

and in Outlook Web Access on Live at Edu, the results look like this:

Notice we're prefacing them with _TEST_ for the moment to make sure it does not get into the wild before we're ready.

The 5:00 PM Meeting at which Puffy is a guest looks like this in the agenda so that you know who's organized it and who else is supposed to be there.

Quick, simple, and executable without a lot of prep time.

Now our other option for a migration remains: longer, planned, and full-featured.
We're looking at how we want it to evolve and would welcome some input from you folks.