Thursday, April 24, 2014

Burt's Bees calendar Advertising

From the New York Times, Burt's Bees is promoting a new line of anti-aging products via opt-in calendar events.

I first saw calendar spam in Yahoo calendar in 2008.  This at least is an active opt-in which I have no problems with.

Going to be interesting to see if it catches on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Curious Case of the Outlook 2013 Contact Notes

UPDATE 9/4/14: Microsoft released a fix for this issue. See our Disappearing Contact/Calendar item body fixed in Exchange 2013 CU6 blog post

Found something weird with Outlook 2013.

This showed up in our Beehive to Exchange migration but it would not be limited to that particular situation.

Let's look at the results first.  All of these clients were accessing the exact same contact record on our Office 365 test system, though we have confirmed the same behavior with Exchange on-premises as well (no surprise there since this looks to be an Outlook 2013 bug).

Contacts and Notes (including some data we capture to the contact notes either because of EWS bugs or there's no other place to put it) show up fine in Outlook 2007 post-migration.

And they show up fine in Outlook 2010.

OWA and the Surface are no problem.

THEN we get to Outlook 2013:

PROBLEM!  Where did the Notes go?  The situation seems to only show up if you have a contact created using EWS.

This gets weirder because you can CREATE a contact with notes in either OWA or Outlook 2013 and it will properly display and edit in either.

This gets EVEN WEIRDER because in Outlook 2013 you get Notes displayed correctly in the PEOPLE view....
but not in any other view (Business Cards for example):

We think this is fairly definitive proof that Outlook 2013 has a bug in it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Exporting Contacts to a CSV file using the EWS Managed API and Powershell

Exporting Contacts to a CSV file using the EWS Managed API and Powershell by Glen Scales will show you how to get this information OUT of Exchange server-side if you want to.

Normally we see people wanting to put this information INTO Exchange server-side, but there are legit reasons for wanting this capability:  archiving crucial customer data from former employees, saving vital contact data, legal discovery, migrating to Google, etc.

For the same reasons you will want to check out his scripts in Export the GAL or Address list with EWS to Vcards in 2013 MEC sample 1.

Arm yourselves with knowledge.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mailbox Migration to Microsoft Exchange Performance Analysis

Microsoft recently gave guidelines on Mailbox Migration Performance Analysis.  

The article is a perfect example of how to drown in data before you come up with any concrete solutions -- if you ever come up with solutions.

Basically, read the article BACKWARDS to have it make more sense.

Look at all the reasons Office 365 can be slow (and there are a lot of them)

Then look at the reasons YOUR side might be slow (the suggestion of "get closer to our data center" is REALLY useful, thanks for that, guys!).

THEN consider putting (more of) this in YOUR OWN control with imapsync.  Might as well be frank, the Microsoft data center is a black box and will stay that way.  But you can seize more control over how your data is processed on your side of the wall.  Read our posts on email migrations to see how this works out in the real world.

And OF COURSE the Microsoft analysis and migration tools ignore calendars, tasks, and contacts, but we've all come to expect that from Microsoft.  That is why you have us at Sumatra.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Distribution Lists Now Working in MDaemon Calendar Migration

We've been on a mission to completely automate an MDaemon to Exchange migration.  Email, contacts, calendars, the works.  We'll tell you more about that later after it's fully field-proven.

In this case "the works" also means MDaemon private distribution lists (which in the language of Exchange/Outlook are called "groups") which we have added to our calendar migration application since (as glorified contacts) that is where they belong.

Post-migration in Office 365, it'll look like this:

We do the smart thing in this case:  if a contact on the list is on the legacy domain and needs to be mapped to a new domain or a different email, we automatically do that.  Users outside the legacy domain we leave alone.

Please note: In Exchange, users create distribution groups by linking to existing contacts (or contacts from Active Directory). This way, when a contact name/email address changes, the distribution group gets updated.  However, in the case of this migration, MDaemon does not provide any  indicator if the entry is an existing contact.  We don’t want to automatically create contacts because if they do exist, the user will see double contacts – something that will confuse them.  So communicate to your users that if an email address changes in the private group mailing lists, they will have to either manually edit and fix the name, or delete the name and link it to a previously created contact.