Monday, March 30, 2015

DIY calendar process to Migrate @MSFTExchange to #Office365 -- here is the application

The situation: you want to move from Exchange on-premises to the cloud aka Office 365.

You were shocked to discover Microsoft does not have a simple migration solution outside of email.  And the email solution is not even as flexible as imapsync.  All the current third-party tools treat calendaring as an afterthought to email leaving half your calendaring data behind (recurring patterns, guest lists, guest responses).

The result is that post-migration your users see what looks to be their same Outlook/OWA mailbox only to discover that their calendar meetings are broken.

We solved that problem.

Inexpensive solution to better calendar data migration
So we created a calendaring / task / contacts migration process for Exchange on-premises to Office 365  that is an improvement over existing methods in that it gives you more information about guests in meetings (it's an improvement over everyone else if we give you ANY information about guests).

On-premises a meeting looks like this:

Migrated to another Exchange server it will look like this in Outlook with our "flat" option:

Note that we can map user names and resource names and preserve information about attendees outside the domain.

And you can download and try it here with documentation here.  The trial version will insert your appointments for a month into the future.  We're licensing it for $299 for one domain for two weeks.  Based on our MDaemon migrations, we've seen under 1000 user migrations easily accomplished in that time.  If you need more time, ask us.

If you manage your own migration you can get your data in for very low cost with imapsync handling email and our tools handling calendars, contacts, and tasks.

For those of you who want fully-functional calendars post-migration, we offer:
Full-state calendar migration for enterprises with full-state sync.

Contact us for additional details on full-state (though the documentation above is a great place to start).

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Exchange Cumulative Update 8 - Automatic Profile Re-direct

Folks, especially those doing a DIY migration from on-premises Exchange to Office 365, you should look at CU 8.
The automatic profile redirect we'll need to look at but it sounds like it will be a really big help.

Oh yeah, and modern Calendar and Contacts Public Folders are now accessible in OWA.

Added March 24, 2015:  profile redirect is not the big help we thought unless your main worry is Smart Phones.  See: Exchange ActiveSync on-boarding to Office 365

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Time to replace the votive candle....

It comes as no surprise to anyone we've done migrations with that one of us has a superstition about keeping a votive candle burning during a migration.  With a migration this weekend our Misericordia Divina (from a bodega in LA, long story) burned its last.  Now we plan on replacing this with one of these time-oriented secular saints from the Unemployed Philosopher's Guild.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

DIY O365 Migration from Exchange - First Pass

Rarely do we get such an outpouring of "gimme gimme gimme."

So since we're really good at turning out stuff quickly, we've got a first pass at our DIY Guide to Migrating from Exchange to Office 365.  

We have focused on the heavy lifting of migrating email (via imapsync), and calendars, contacts, and tasks (via our tech).

Remember: It's BETA, folks.  You have comments, want additions, think you have something to add, we're really happy to take feedback.  

The other issues: like user provisioning, delegate access, swapping MX records, we've not gone into detail at all since those are pretty well documented on line.  If you need details on how to accomplish this, let us know.

Remember, you'll need to license imapsync.

If you need the calendar, contact, and task migration, drop us a line.

We'll have a simple flat version of our calendar migration software up in a couple of days.

It's simple to run, but unlike everybody else it will tell you who was in your meetings like this:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

DIY @imapsync to Migrate Email #Exchange to #Office365 -- We'll add a calendaring process

Your direct costs should never exceed 100 Euros (or $110 at the current exchange rate) for an email migration into Office 365 (From Exchange or any other IMAP server).

imapsync is more than capable of handling your Email migration. Buy the software and support.   

Cards on the table here: we do not get any money from imapsync, but we've found it to be a quality product with a great guy behind it and a good support community.  Add to that it's inexpensive nature and liberal software license and you really cannot go wrong.

You will need to make sure you have permissions on the Office 365 side if you wan to do multiple mailboxes without individual passwords. See our earlier posting on using imapsync to migrate email into Exchange

You can also handle migration problems with the wealth of Exchange information in their FAQ:

Pay special attention to the case of read receipts.   Going into Office 365 can re-generate read receipts.  So during your testing if that turns out to be a problem:

imapsync...   --disarmreadreceipts

Other very useful FAQ solutions include what to do when encountering individual attachments over the default limit set by Exchange (10 Mb) and Office 365 (25 Mb), as well as line length issues.

We're working on a DIY document to take you through your own migration.  Frankly, we get lots of questions that could be handled by such a guide.  And we're tired of Microsoft black boxes and over-priced third party offerings.

We'll offer a "flat" calendar migration in an imapsync-like model just so folks can get their migration done if they don't mind a simple calendar migration.  Contacts and tasks are included in this of course.

The goal here is to get your software costs for a migration to Office 365 to under US$1000 with you supplying your own elbow grease.

In rough numbers email, calendars, tasks, and contacts should be about 95% of the data you need to move.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Absurd Side of Daylight Savings Time

Put your personal politics aside for a minute and remember that this is SATIRE. I have raw memories of an expository writing class where half the people in it did not realize that A Modest Proposal was NOT serious!  Actually, it was serious, just not in the direction they thought.  Some of those people probably work for the Federal government now.....


Daylight Savings Time is the bane of the calendar server migration expert.   You need to have excruciatingly detailed knowledge about what is happening on both the source and the target server, and sometimes you just need to deal with bad situations.

Addition: March 9, 2015.  Nacho Punch has an entire series of DST-themed comedy.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Electronic Road Sign Hacking

Does this have ANYTHING to do with calendar server migration?

Well.... a teeny tiny bit.  In why we do not ever want your system passwords and why we purge any of your data as soon as we can if we need to look at it.

But it's also cool and amusing.  

Besides, I'm pretty sure at least one of the signs they have photos of is on Massachusetts Avenue in the vicinity of MIT, so I need to link to it.

Head over to Jalopnik for How to Hack an Electronic Road Sign.

The method is based on the usual lack of physical padlock security, usual use of default password ("DOTS"), and dirt-simple method of resetting the entire system to default (CTRL+SHIFT+"DIPY").

Moral is left for the reader.

Monday, March 02, 2015

MDaemon Migration European Translations - Thanks are in order

This is a shout out of THANKS to the folks who gave us high-quality translations of German and Dutch for the MDaemon calendar migration interface as well as helping us debug some issues in the European market.  

Christian in Germany,  THANK YOU!!!

In the Netherlands thanks go to Jesper Plass at JP Allaround-ICT.  

Jesper also found us one of the weirdest things we've seen in field data in a while: recurring appointments with end dates in the year 4501 AD.  How that happened in real life we have no idea, but we have already fixed the MDaemon migration code.

Latest version of mCalReader is 4.1.08 and contains the above fixes (as well as one that came out of Canada this weekend).