Blackberry & Exchange 2007 OoO Issue

Okay so just for everyone (and for me to blow the dust off a few brain cells .. and what I understand the issue to be) .. This is a problem introduced with Exchange 2007, and affects any BES or Outlook 2003 user that is on Exchange 2007.

Essentially, a users Exchange 2007 OoO is actually stored at the top of the information for a users mailbox, and comprises of two messages in the folder. One has a message class of IPM.Microsoft.OOF.Log where the message body as a log of any OOF changes. The other is IPM.Microsoft.OOF.UserOofSettings, and this contains your Exchange 2007 OoO setting.

BTW, you cannot see these messages if you are using Outlook Cache Mode, you must connect direct to the server ;-)

All previous versions of Exchange and Outlook older than Outlook 2007 use a different mechanism for OoO.  The OoO settings are stored in a users mailbox under IPM_SubTreeInbox and is a hidden associated message with a message class of: IPM.Note.Rules.OofTemplate.Microsoft.

When you use Outlook 2007 or OWA 2007, any updates to OoO are changed in IPM.Microsoft.OOF.UserOofSettings and IPM.Microsoft.OOF.Log.  Then for the “legacy” purposes, Exchange 2007 writes a IPM.Note.Rules.OofTemplate.Microsoft to a users IPM_SubTreeInbox.

So you’re on Exchange 2007 and set and OoO using Blackberry, two IPM.Note.Rules.OofTemplate.Microsoft objects appear in the users mailbox. One is the original one set using Outlook and one the new OoO set using a Blackberry.  For a small period of time, the new OoO may work, but after a few minutes, the Exchange 2007 Store finds these two messages and runs the “legacy” process and makes the “IPM.Microsoft.OOF.UserOofSettings” the “master” OoO.

For RIM to fix this, they will need to rewrite the OoO bit to use the new Exchange 2007 methods, that is as long are the users mailbox is on an Exchange 2007 server.

So the workaround is to set the OoO using OWA 2007 or Outlook 2007 … or as I suspect some Microsoft folk will want you to migrate to Windows Mobile & ActiveSync ;-)

It doesn’t looks like BES 4.1 SP5 fixes the issue, and we will all have to wait for BES 5.0

RIM details features in BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0

Ari to the rescue! .. “RIM hopes to release 5.0 by year-end, but that will depend on the quality of the code” .. Which Year?


Source: http://www.infoworld.com/archives/emailPrint.jsp?R=printThis&A=/article/08/05/14/RIM-details-features-in-BlackBerry-Enterprise-Server-5_1.html

BES is a critical piece in RIM’s effort to make its software and smartphones a foundation for next-generation mobile applications By  John Cox, IDG News Service

May 14, 2008

A year after revealing a major upgrade of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server was under way, Research in Motion this week finally fleshed out what the new version will do, and put a delivery date on it.

The upcoming release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0, codenamed Argon, is a critical piece in RIM’s effort to make its software and smartphones a foundation for next-generation mobile applications. For that to happen, enterprise BlackBerry administrators need to move visibility into the BES. They also need tools to simplify and automate deploying and managing scores of mobile applications, including line-of-business programs. Finally, they need improvements in BES to make it more reliable and scaleable if it’s to be the linchpin for mission-critical mobile business and communications.

At the conference, RIM executives said the current software build of the 5.0 release is already running at 10 different customer sites worldwide, part of an “early adopter” testing program. The regular beta test will start “in a couple of months,” says Alan Panezic, RIM’s vice president for software product management. RIM hopes to release 5.0 by year-end, but that will depend on the quality of the code, Panezic says.

 

KB15155: Out Of Office text is not synchronized to Microsoft Exchange 2007 when updated from the BlackBerry smartphone

So at last RIM confirm they have a problem! .. Rumour control has the fix scheduled for BES 5.0 … god knows when that will hit the streets!.

So esentially you when you migrate a Blackberry user to Exchange 2007 they shouldn’t set an OoO from the BES device!?


Source: http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/article/458/KB15155_f.SAL_Public.html

Environment
BlackBerry® Enterprise Server software version 4.1 Service Pack 4 (4.1.4) for Microsoft® Exchange
BlackBerry smartphone
Microsoft® Exchange 2007
SDR145355

Problem
BlackBerry smartphone users with a Microsoft Exchange 2007 mailbox are unable to update Out Of Office text from their BlackBerry smartphones.

Cause
Microsoft Exchange 2007 provides the ability to set Out Of Office text for internal and external email messages. When internal Out Of Office text is set in Microsoft® Outlook® 2007, the Out Of Office text is updated on the BlackBerry smartphone. When setting or updating Out Of Office text on the BlackBerry smartphone, the internal Out Of Office text in Microsoft Outlook 2007 is not updated.

Resolution
This is a previously reported issue that has been escalated internally to our development team. No resolution time frame is currently available.

Workaround
Set or update Out Of Office text in Microsoft Outlook 2007 or using Microsoft® Outlook® Web Access 2007.