Sunday, January 20, 2013

SuHoliday cmdlet and Exchange 2007

We've gotten a few inquiries about running the SuHoliday cmdlet on Exchange 2007 instead of Exchange 2010.

Short answer: Yes you can do it.  Nothing the the was we use the EWS API is specific to Exchange 2010 to the exclusion of Exchange 2007.

However, setting Permissions in Exchange 2007 IS VERY different from Exchange 2010, so you will have to adjust for that.  Taking all of the Exchange 2007 permissions stuff out of the documentation made it substantially shorter and clearer,

If you need help look at posts in this blog involving Permissions and Exchange 2007.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Read "Freedom for Users, Not for Software"

We've been watching the migration to the cloud for a while now -- wondering when everybody was going to wise up that data centers were farming them into cruelty-free meat by-products.

I was recently at a Christmas party with some people from a Redmond-based software corporation that makes Exchange.  Their take: Office 365 made their lives and their customers lives much more convoluted.  Where they could work solutions in on-premises servers, any changes to Office 365 need to be escalated at the corporate level.  And we all know how convenient and easy that is.  So they're increasingly seeing combined Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, precisely the opposite of what they and the customer predicted or wanted.

SO it's is with great fervor that I suggest you read Freedom for Users, Not for Software by Benjamin Mako Hill.

He hits it right on the money with his analysis of the market confusion initially arising from "free software" which was re-cast as "open software" (goals with which it is hard to disagree! What's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?) and the way this term was used and abused in the industry.  The aspect that I suggest you pay closest attention to is the emphasis on users. Focused on the server-side of the client-server model, we at Sumatra would substitute the term "consumers" for "users" to avoid the further linguistic confusion that comes from the distinction between "users" and "administrators" in such environments.  Both the admin and the user are consumers, and the user-admin collective together face the "user" conundrum.

After years in this business, I'm pretty sure the dynamics of the industry are never going to allow the ideals of the open software movement to be fully realized in any software that is both marketable and useful.  The lure of dollars is too strong.  When software remained the exclusive domain of academics and cowboys it was possible.  These guys were happy to have a car and an apartment.

But once venture capital and the stock market took hold these ideals were not going to stand up to the motivation of owning a private jet and a McMansion.

What's this have to do with the movement to the cloud?  It's all the same dynamic based on much of the same software with the scions of the same corporations promising freedom while actually building feudal digital fiefdoms.  Do not go mindlessly with the flow when you hear that your support problems are going to go away and your life is going to be easier.  You might luck out, but really look at what your business goals are and how you're going  to deal with realistic software disaster scenarios while your business processes are directly under someone else's control.

As we often quote Ronald Reagan: "Trust, but verify."

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Retiring Meeting Maker Migrations December 20, 2013

Folks, it has been a great evening out but now the bartender is calling for last orders.

As of December 20, 2013 we will no longer be doing Meeting Maker migrations.  We of course continue to do both full state and faster-simpler migrations from Oracle Calendar to Exchange, and faster-simpler migrations from Zimbra to Exchange.  Our Holiday cmdlet continues to thrive and our custom calendar engineering is unparalleled.

To those of you who have been asking us about migrating in the last few years: we'd recommend starting your test cycles sooner rather than later.

We're sympathetic to your budget cycles, so if you need to discuss timing we're open to that.  But we do need to put a stake in the ground so we can all move on.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Exchange 2010 Permissions Debugging Protocol updated

It being a new year and we having found a few new ways that Permissions could be problematic in Exchange, we've modified the Debugging Protocol.

The latest is available at this link: Exchange_2010_Permissions_Debugging_Protocol.pdf and supersedes all earlier versions.

Changes mainly affect the holiday cmdlet.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Turn on calendar publishing so people can share information

In general we don't just re-publish other links, but this one is so useful I feel the need.

How do you make your calendar available on Office 365 to users external to your organization?

Check out this article: Turn on calendar publishing so people can share information

A darned useful ability if you use it well.