Sunday, December 22, 2013 makes it easy to switch from Gmail

So Microsoft is talking about how makes it even easier to switch from Gmail.

Their statistics on email dissatisfaction are interesting if not completely compelling.  In general we've had little experience of users at the enterprise level who are really happy with Google as an enterprise solution.

As nearly as we can tell the migration Microsoft offers is exclusively email.

If there's any corporate interest in a full-state calendar migration from Google to Exchange -- let us know.  One of the only reasons we did a migration INTO Google was with the expectation we'd have bigger opportunities getting people OUT of Google and into Exchange.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Open Source Server-Side Lite Holiday cmdlet for Exchange

Holidays in Exchange.

The words send shivers down my spine.

We got our first request for a tool to insert holidays server-side after we did a migration for the folks at HMS (shout out to you guys!) for Exchange 2003.  That was CDO-based tech, with its positives and negatives.

After Exchange 2007 came out we re-wrote the tool for Exchange Web Services  (EWS), added a variety of features and found that folks really wanted it, but not at enterprise licensing levels.  Go figure.

But it's a good way of showing what we can do with calendars in migrations, so we've produced an open-sourced lite version of a holiday cmdlet.

Sample code where we build the holiday looks like this:

So you can find the CodePlex project at

We've also hard-coded a few things (like, it's picking up your credentials to authenticate against Exchange, so you ARE the service account!).

We think of this more as a mini-tutorial on how to do a calendar-centric cmdlet.

Why a lite version and not the full thing?

Mainly because the full version has a lot of expertise behind it that we're reticent to just give to those of you toiling out there on software knock-offs.  

Where from here?

We are market-driven.  We're keeping an eye on what we hear back.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's about time ... Outlook 2013 7 Day Preview is back!

It's about time (a calendaring geek's favorite expression) Microsoft fixed this issue!

I was very pissed that Outlook 2013 RTM no longer showed "future" appointments in the ToDo bar. I was thrilled to learn it's available -- see Microsoft's KB# 2837618. 

And now for the really good news:  The patch causes Outlook 2013's IMAP folders to fail to synchronize.  I'm thrilled to see my appointments 7 days out, but even more pissed that I can't get new mail sent to my inbox, or preventing me from setting up OOF messages. 

InfoWorld said it better than I could in a recent article: Botched Outlook 2013 patches KB 2837618 and KB 2837643 break Out Of Office reply, Free/Busy, and more. InfoWorld found a detailed synopsis of the issue, written by Matthew Stublefield from Missouri State University.

Bottom line: DO NOT apply this patch until Microsoft figures out how to fix the fiasco.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Oracle Beehive Unexpire and Unlock Accounts

Just to record all of this stuff in the event you need it.

If your passwords in Beehive / Oracle have expired, then Oracle Unexpire and Unlock Accounts is really, really useful.

So too is Oracle Database Security Checklist.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Protecting customer data from government snooping

Hell freezing over is too cliche.  

But Microsoft's Blog Entry from their General Counsel  is that kind of amazing just because I find myself in the rare position of applauding Redmond for taking some stand for user privacy against the knee-jerk, butt-covering, bureaucrats who think Orwell proposed a really great idea.

Keep it up, guys!

Yes, this is one of our rare posts that has nothing to do with calendaring but it is so momentous I need to get on record as supporting it.

Monday, December 02, 2013

BlackBerry Open Letter

I just get back from my second trip to the airport today and what's in my inbox but a weird BlackBerry email.

In similar words from Hamlet: methinks they doth protest too much.

Here it is with brief commentary on BerryReview.

Maybe BlackBerry is not living under a rock for acknowledging they are under siege, but they do not acknowledge that this is not in the same envionment as before.  Like Thursday's Macy's Parade the balloons have collapsed and the parade has gone by.  Rather than a leader of the smartphone marathon BlackBerry is now in a dash to safeguard its highest hanging fruit while the lowest hanging drops in other baskets. 

We've had our love/hate affair with the BES server over the years. As both BES and our migration technology for E2K3 were CDO applications anything that screwed up BES (usually permissions or CDO calendaring bugs) were harbingers for what was going to happen with our code.  To this day some of our all-time most popular blog posts are referenced on the BlackBerry forum to deal with permissions issues.

I wish them good fortune.  

But I also wish you the same thing we advise everyone:  look at all your options and test the snot out of them with the knowledge that your user base is seeking direction from you now and your next performance review is coming faster than you think.