Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fully automating an #MDaemon to #MSExchange 2013 migration

One of our customers wanted to migrate from MDaemon to Exchange in stages (vs our typical "big bang".)  A staged migration is more delicate.  It requires you configure (and then re-configure) active directory accounts and Exchange mailboxes pre- and post- migration.  It's not hard, just a lot of steps. This called for a script!  And so, we did.

We have successfully field-proven that an MDaemon to Exchange 2013 on-premises migration can be fully scripted.

We're going to outline our approach:

First some background on the main show: email and calendars: 
  • For email we used and recommend imapsync.  It's an excellent, effective, and efficient product.
  • For calendars, tasks, contacts, and distribution lists we wrote our own application.
But a full migration methodology has to include more than just moving the data.

So before any email or calendars are migrated we take care of:
  • Reading the MDaemon user list (and passwords)
  • Provisioning users -- first as Exchange contacts, then as mail-enabled users
  • Re-configuring Outlook to point to your Exchange server and removing the MDaemon Outlook Sync. (Note: there are publicly available scripts.  But we found they don't work. After hours of debugging, we gave up and wrote our own.)
  • Pre- and Post-cut over scripting so that legacy emails are moved to the target system, and new emails redirected to the target system.
If you have a few dozen users, it's difficult to make this cost-effective and you might as well do it on your own  (Hint:  you can export PSTs from MDaemon, then import those PSTs into Exchange.)  Tedious and time-consuming, yes, but free.  This assumes your time is worth less than the cost of third-party migration tools.  If it takes as long to just DO it (apologies to Nike) as it does to deploy a third-party customized method, just do it.

If you have several hundred users and want to license our tools and methods, you can contact us.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Transferring Palm Desktop Calendar and Contacts Data

Palm Pilots.  

There's nostalgia for you.  

But apparently the data can live on in their Desktop app.

The New York Times had an article on Transferring Old Palm Desktop Data (to Outlook) that is worth having around in case you find yourself in that situation.

Needless to say this is client-to-client.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why Room 222?

Why we get asked, are our example resources called Room 222?


Well, Orwell's Room 101 is a little too downbeat.

But a 1970's-era show that took place in an American public school has some positive connotations. You might recognize Michael Constantine (the principal) from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Please nobody ask us who this "Jimi Hendrix" guy is that we also use an example.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scripting Sumatra's MDaemon to Exchange calendar migration tool

We've turned the mCalReader application for migrating calendars from MDaemon to Exchange into a scriptable application.

So from the Command Prompt or PowerShell you can issue the commands

mCalReader /usersrc:  /userex:  /cfg: /undo

What each of these mean:
  • /usersrc:  the full email address of your source user on MDaemon.  e.g., zyg@sumatra.local
  • /userex:  the full email target address on Exchange.  e.g.,
  • /cfg:  the full path to the configuration file
  • /undo:  remove the data mCalReader inserted for this user.
So a typical scripted insertion for a user would be:
  /cfg:"C:\Docs and Sets\Administrator\Desktop\mCalReader\_Config_bCalReader.xml"

To remove Sumatra-inserted data:
  /cfg:"C:\Docs and Sets\Administrator\Desktop\mCalReader\_Config_bCalReader.xml"

Each individual user using this method will get their own individual log file:

How do you set the Configuration file?  Simple: Via the user interface to the tool.  You CAN edit the XML if you want, it's pretty straightforward, but the interface exists to make it as simple as possible to test that access to Microsoft Exchange is working.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Create a Company Shared Contacts Folder in Office 365

We got asked to look into shared contacts folders in Office 365.

It turns out we did not need to do anything because some folks at Cogmotive have already done it.

Check out their article Create a company Shared Contacts folder in Office 365.  It's very detailed and thorough.