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    OWA Customization: PSS support policy for Exchange Server 5.5, 2000 & 2003


    OWA 2003Per the support KB, Microsoft PSS has the support policy for customization of Outlook Web Access for Exchange that cover its versions like 5.5, 2000 & 2003.

    Per the article, we can get more information regarding the support policy for OWA customization for its various versions like,

    “…The Exchange 5.5 version of OWA is made up of Active Server Pages (ASPs).
    The Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 versions of OWA are composed of two main components: templates and controls. Templates are served from a binary Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) extension that communicates with the Exchange store. Controls are referenced by the templates and are located in the Program Files\Exchsrvr\Exchweb folder. Controls are made up of script or HTML files, such as JScript files (.js), HTML Component files (.htc), cascading style sheet files (.css), Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) transform files (.xsl), and graphics files.


    You may want to customize OWA by changing features or by modifying the user interface or by using the article. Although you can customize OWA objects by modifying either the script code or the HTML, Microsoft does not recommend that you do so. Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) also cannot help you with the customization. However, if you want to customize OWA, the following limitations and considerations apply:

    • PSS does not provide assistance to customize OWA objects.
    • If you contact PSS about an OWA issue for a server that OWA is customized on, you must replace the customized files with the original versions of the files and verify that you can reproduce the issue by using the original versions of the files. If the issue occurs only with the customized versions of the files, and you cannot reproduce the issue with the original versions of the files, PSS cannot help you troubleshoot the issue.
    • If you install a service pack or hotfix that updates the files in the Program Files\Exchsrvr\Exchweb folder, any customized files that exist in that folder are overwritten. If you do not want to lose the customizations that you created, create a backup of the customized files, and then restore the files after you install the service pack or hotfix.

    Although PSS cannot help you customize OWA, the following resources are available:


    But still lot of guys around the world customize the OWA though.

    You can find the following article,

    Customizing the Outlook Web Access Logon Page

    Still want to customize the CSS and Dynamic styles, you can refer these articles,
    W3C: Cascading Style Sheets Home Page
    W3C: Adding a Touch of Style
    W3C: Cascading Style Sheets, level 2: CSS2 Specification
    MSDN: Introduction to Dynamic Styles

    Hope this helps!!

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    Legacy CDOEX application throws error 8004011B when we open appointment created using Exchange Web Service (EWS)


    My customer has CDOEX based legacy application which pulls the calendar and appointment items. Later they had merged their Exchange Server 2003 SP2 along with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 – mixed mode environment. He had an unique issue, whenever he tries to access couple of appointments created in Exchange Server 2007 environment, his CDOEX application throws the error : 8004011B: Unknown Error which means MAPI_E_CORRUPT_DATA.

    When we started troubleshooting we found that those appointments were created using their Exchange Web Services(EWS) using their .Net application were throwing the error. We found the support KB which has the resolution. It’s because the appointments has the culture property and its value as “en-US”. Per the support KB, we recommended the customer to update with Update Rollup 5 for Exchange Server 2007 SP1. After updating the Exchange Server 2007 we found the issue got resolved.

    Reference article(s):

    - Culture property please refer the MSDN article.
    - Rollup 5 for Exchange Server 2007 SP1 refer the support KB

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    Virtualize your Exchange 2007 SP1 environment?


    With continuation of my previous article… now you can get support for Virtualized Exchange environment with the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a virtualized Exchange 2007 SP1 server is no longer restricted to the realm of the lab; it can be deployed in a production environment and receive full support from Microsoft. This past August, Microsoft published our support policies and recommendations for virtualizing Exchange, but many people have asked us to go beyond that guidance and weigh-in on the more philosophical question: is virtualization is a good idea when it comes to Exchange?

    Due to the performance and business requirements of Exchange, most deployments would benefit from deployment on physical servers. However, there are some scenarios in which a virtualized Exchange 2007 infrastructure may allow you to realize real benefits in terms of space, power, and deployment flexibility. Presented here are sample scenarios in which virtualization may make sense, as well as checklists to help you evaluate whether the current load on your infrastructure makes it a good candidate for virtualization.

    For more information, you can read this article.

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    Cannot rename default folder using Outlook Object Model (OOM) ?


    One of my customer reported that when he tried renaming the default folder using VBA & Outlook Object Model (OOM) for Outlook 2003, he received the following error: “You don't have appropriate permission to perform this operation.”

    As the Outlook 2003 object model was intentionally changed so that you cannot rename default folders, we recommended the customer to make use of Collaboration Data Object library (CDO 1.21) & requested to do the changes per the Knowledge base article.

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    Migrating CDOEXM based custom applications


    As you know Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Management or CDOEXM is used to create applications that manage Exchange servers, databases, public folders, and user mailboxes. It provides the fundamental Component Object Model (COM) classes and interfaces that are used to manage the Exchange store.

    From Exchange 2007 onwards…

    From Exchange Server 2007 onwards you can’t use the CDOEXM functionalities, because Exchange Server 2007 doesn’t include CDOEXM i.e., CDOEXM does not ship in and is not supported by Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. CDOEXM that runs on Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 computers cannot be used to manage computers that are running Exchange 2007.

    So what will happen to my existing application which uses CDOEXM…any replacement in Exchange Server 2007?

    Well, in Exchange Server 2007 onwards you can use Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS) commands that work with Exchange replace CDOEXM in Exchange 2007. It is easy to migrate applications that use CDOEXM to Windows PowerShell commands. The Windows PowerShell commands that control Exchange 2007 servers, storage groups, databases, and users are simpler to use than the corresponding CDOEXM APIs; but it won’t be a straight forward migration though…

    You will have to redesign applications that were created by using CDOEXM to use Exchange Management Shell. Consider redesigning custom applications as early as possible, as starting from Exchange 2007 and its future versions of Microsoft Exchange not contain the CDOEXM API.

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    Context-sensitive speller for Spanish in Office 2007


    A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced an initiative targeting the Hispanic community, with special offers for Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2007 Language Pack in Spanish.

    It may be worth pointing out that the Spanish proofing tools in Office 2007 include a brand-new context-sensitive speller in addition to the regular spell-checker, thesaurus, hyphenator and grammar checker. You can get more info from Microsoft Office Natural Language team’s post.

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    Video : Exchange 14 ?

    • Do you want to know information about the forth coming product Exchange 14 ?
    • Do you know that there are over 3.5 million students using hosted Exchange 14 in the US and giving some great feedback – it shows how it scales too.

     Announcing Exchange 14

    …then… please view this Introductory video  which has information about Exchange 14 by Jim Lucey, Product Manager for Exchange labs and KC Lemson… Hope you’ll get more insight from this!! It’s an great video with more information about E14.

    This video is the first in a series covering what's new in Exchange 14, check back over the coming months to see what else is new in the product.

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    Entourage for Exchange Web Services released


    The new Entourage Web Services (EWS)  public beta went live yesterday.   You can review all of the product details and minimum requirements here on the official EWS beta site.  

    Entourage for Exchange Web Services has been completely redesigned for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 with Update Rollup 4 or later.

    Experience tighter integration between Entourage and Microsoft® Exchange Server and greater parity between Entourage and Outlook with Microsoft Entourage for Exchange Web Services Beta. Entourage now uses Exchange Web Services instead of WebDAV for better compatibility, performance and reliability. Exchange Web Services is a modern, robust protocol that enables client applications to communicate more efficiently with the server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 with Update Rollup 4 or later.

    The update offers performance improvements to e-mail and calendaring; synchronization for tasks, notes and categories, and Autodiscovery. These improvements represent a critical step in the Macintosh Business Unit’s long-term commitment to deliver Microsoft software and services across platforms that helps people work smarter, faster, and better with greater choice and flexibility.

    Some highlights from the new and improved Entourage for Exchange Web Services:

    • Enhanced Autodiscover service to keep user account settings up to date after the account setup.
    • Synchronization between Exchange Server and Entourage 2008 Notes, Tasks, and Categories.
    • Addition of an Enable Logging (troubleshooting) preference, to log all events that can be used as diagnostic information.
    • Use of attachments in Entourage for Exchange calendar events.

    To apply for the Entourage for Exchange Web Services beta, you must meet the minimum Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 with Update Rollup 4 requirements (see more information here). If you do, click here to apply.

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    Behavior changes in Outlook : MAPI & Custom properties


    Per the knowledgebase the implementation of MAPI in Outlook has been changed to control how custom properties can be created. To guarantee consistent use of custom properties, custom properties must already be used in the organization or on the Outlook client. As soon as custom properties are being used or are registered, the custom properties can be freely transmitted to other Outlook clients or to servers that are running Exchange Server. The custom properties can also be sent over the Internet.

    E-mail messages are typically sent in MIME format over the Internet. When Outlook receives an Internet e-mail message, the message is converted into a MAPI representation. The following are examples of Internet e-mail protocols:

    • POP
    • IMAP
    • HTTP (Hotmail)

    By default, Outlook no longer enables Internet mail to create new custom properties. Only properties that are already created in the default mail delivery store are preserved for incoming e-mail messages.

    This change mostly affects messages that are sent in encapsulated TNEF (Winmail.dat), where the sender has used the Send using Outlook Rich Text Format option. However, Internet messages that contain X-message header properties are also affected.
    Note Messages that contain custom properties that are sent in an Exchange organization are not affected by these changes.

    Custom properties can also be saved in .msg files and in .oft files. If a user opens a .msg file that has custom properties, those custom properties are not saved to the default store when the message is saved, forwarded, and so on. Typically, .oft files are used to back up Outlook custom forms. With .oft files, the new behavior applies to all kinds of items. The custom form will not open. Instead, the message will appear in the default form for that particular item type.

    In summary, this change in design can cause two things to occur:

    • Outlook ignores non-existing custom properties. If a custom property does not exist in the delivery store, the property will not be created, and its value will be lost. If the custom property already exists in the delivery store, its value is persisted. This change applies to the following:
      • Internet e-mail messages that have TNEF and their embedded messages.
      • S/MIME messages.
      • .msg files when you drop the .msg file into an Outlook item window to add the file to another item. This change also applies to .msg files when you drop the .msg file into the main Outlook window to add the file to a folder or in the Microsoft Word window when you use Word as the e-mail editor.
      • .msg files that a user double-clicks or right-clicks to open.
    • Outlook ignores the one-off form definition. If a one-off form specifies a custom property and that custom property does not exist in the delivery store, the one-off form is not rendered. Instead, the user will see the default form for that particular item type. This change applies to Internet e-mail messages that contain a one-off form definition that is encapsulated in TNEF. This change also applies to .oft files that a user double-clicks or right-clicks to open.
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    Tutorial : Using Internet Free/Busy (IFB) information – Series # 3


    With continuation from the previous free/busy article 1 & 2, now we will see how to view other people’s free/busy information on the internet; also how to set the free/busy search path for a specific contact using Internet Free/Busy (IFB) feature & ical.

    How to view other people's free/busy information on the Internet?

    You can view the free/busy information for any one of your contacts that publish this data on the Internet. If all your contacts store this information on the same free/busy server, you can set the search path for this information globally for all contacts. Or, if the location of this information varies by contact, you can set the search path specifically for each contact. Use one of the following methods to view other people's free/busy information on the Internet.

    How to set the global free/busy search path for all contacts?
    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
    2. On the Preferences tab, click Calendar Options.
    3. Click Free/Busy Options.
    4. In the Search location box, type the URL from which you want to view other people's free/busy information.
    5. Click OK three times to close all dialog boxes.

    How to set the free/busy search path for a specific contact?
    1. In the navigation pane, click Contacts, and then double-click an entry to open a contact.
    2. Click the Details tab.
    3. Under the text that reads Internet Free-Busy, type the fully qualified path of the location that you want to search for this Contact's free/busy information in the Address box.
    4. You can use any valid URL format, such as: http://..., file://\\..., or ftp://....
    5. The following is an example of a valid format: ftp://Contactserver/Freebusy/Contactname.vfb
      Internet free/busy information appears on the Scheduling tab of appointments and meetings.
    Related articles:
    For a Microsoft Outlook 2003 & 2007 version of this article, see 827775  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827775/ ) .
    For a Microsoft Outlook 2002 version of this article, see 291621  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291621/ ) .
    For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 version of this article, see 196484  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/196484/ ) .
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    Tutorial : Internet Free/Busy (IFB) & ical – Series # 2


    With continuation from the previous free/busy article, now we will focus on Internet Free/Busy (IFB) feature & ical.

    What is Internet Free/Busy or IFB?

    It is a feature in Outlook 2007 and in Outlook 2003 that allows you to see when others are free or busy so that you can efficiently schedule meetings.

    • Outlook users have the option to publish their free/busy information to a user-specified URL file server.
    • You can share this URL file server with all users, or you can limit it to a specific set of users.
    • The IFB feature allows you to publish your personal free or busy information on a URL file server.
    • You can view the free/busy information of any one of your contacts and setup meetings with other users by using the IFB feature.

    So what is an ical or iCalendar..

    iCalendar defines a structure for representing free/busy information in a standardized way.

    So how IFB associated with ical…

    The IFB feature uses a part of the iCal standard named iCalendar, an emerging standard for the format and storage of schedule information.

    1. Le Café Central de DeVa

      Troubleshoot : Outlook Web Access (OWA) logon failures in Exchange Server 2007


      I have found the article, which can help you to check when you face issue regards to Outlook Web Access (OWA) logon failures in Exchange Server 2007. The article should guide you through eliminating the most common root causes for this type of scenario.

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