DefinIT

Online Archiving with Exchange 2010? Can’t see your Online Archive in Outlook?

Exchange-2010-Logo-748516

Having recently managed several Exchange 2010 migration projects, one of the best new features which really sells it to systems administrators is the Online Archive. “No more managing PST files? When can we have it installed by?”

The problem is, once they’ve purchased licensing for Exchange 2010 and installed and configured the server, migrated the users’ mailboxes and decommissioned the old Exchange 2003 server, the Online Archive feature is not available. The users have been enabled, and as of SP1 we have a separate Archive mailbox database configured on slow (cheap) storage, but the Online Archive is nowhere to be found in Outlook. If the users log on using OWA, lo and behold the Online Archive is available.

Now, fair enough, Microsoft require an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) per user for this feature – it’s an Enterprise level feature and you pay for it. What is not so apparent unless you dig around the licensing site is that you also need the Volume Licensing version of Outlook 2010 or 2007 called “Pro Plus”. An OEM or Retail copy of Outlook will not cut it.

Where does this leave them then? Small companies who have shelled out for OEM/Retail copies of Office Professional cannot afford to simply purchase a whole new VLK copy and upgrade. You can’t upgrade and OEM/Retail license to a VLK license, there’s no path. These companies have paid for the Enterprise CALs to use Enterprise features, only to find out that it’s not just the CAL they need!

To me, this is a BIG flaw in the way Microsoft are selling Exchange 2010. Licensing is complex enough without adding this sort of gotcha to a solution, and the companies have paid for an Enterprise CAL. They’re not trying to use an Enterprise feature on a Standard license, they’ve paid for it!

And people like me can’t turn round and recommend an upgrade to a client without upgrading the entire Office licensing too. I hope Microsoft sort this out, I really do, because in all honesty, it puts a real downer on an otherwise superb product that up til now, I have had no hesitation in recommending.

I normally make it a rule that what I post on here is a solution, unfortunately in this case the solution is expensive and involves upgrading your licensing.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007: [0x80070533] Logon failure: account currently disabled.

Just a quick note on a little error I had installing OCS 2007. We have a lot of users that are set up to run services for applications – as such we have a fairly tightly controlled group policy regarding the permissions required to run as a service. This causes the error above to occur because the newly created users aren't given permissions to run a service. The solution is to add the newly created users to our Application Service group.

I added the RTCService user after the first installation failed, and ran again. It will fail a second time because the RTCComponentService is not created at the time the RTCService user causes the installation to fail the first time. Add the RTCComponentServiceto the group and it will install without any issues.

Exchange 2007 and Outlook 2007 remove categories from emails, tasks, calendar etc.

| 22/05/2008 | Tags: , , ,

It seems that the nice people at Microsoft were looking out for us, lest the evil people in the world see how we categorise our email, and decided to strip away any category information from sent and received objects by default. Sure, I understand if you were categorising emails from someone as "sneaky git" or "numbnuts" then you might not be too happy about sending those out…but really it should be your choice right?

Did you know, for example, that In your Outlook 2007 rules there is a sneaky little enabled by default rule that clears the categories?

DefaultRuleOL2007

Removing that is an obvious first step!

The next step involves editing the registry, so make sure you know what you are doing before editing, always back the registry up first

There are also some registry keys you'll need to add, so open up Regedit and in HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Preferences, create DWORD keys SendPersonalCategories and AcceptCategories with values of 1. You'll need to restart Outlook for them to apply.

Finally, as per this TechNet article,  log on to your Exchange server as an Exchange Organisation Administrator and run the following command in the Exchange Management Shell

Set-TransportConfig -ClearCategories $False

You should be able to send and receive emails, appointments, tasks and any other Exchange object that supports categories, complete with category intact.

Office 2007 woes

| 30/05/2007 | Tags: ,

Originally published Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

Wahey! I got published this week in IT Week, ok it was only a readers letter, but I got in! Here’s what I wrote:

“New software always excites me, so I was enthusiastic as I installed Office 2007 on my laptop. The machine offers more than enough grunt for my media applications, but sadly not quite enough to install Office in less than 15 minutes, plus one restart.

Next came a surprise when I double-clicked on a Word document and saw the familiar Office 2003 interface. A quick check showed that my “upgrade” had left a side-by-side install of both Office 2003 and 2007. So I thought: “I’ll just uninstall 2003 – what harm can that do?” Bad move. One uninstall and reboot left me with no working office software. Office 2003 is no more; Office 2007 is crippled by grief for its lost brother.

Another 15 minutes for repair, another reboot and at last I was ready to revolutionise my productivity. A report was due by the end of the week, so I clicked on the SharePoint library to retrieve the document, and IE crashed. Debugging showed a problem opening Office 2007 documents…

Can someone remind me why Office 2007 is better?”

You can check out the article on the IT Week website

Rather than just a whine though, I thought I’d add some tips on getting your 2007 install working.

  •  Most of the problems are due to a mix of versions – if you can avoid having old versions installed, do it.
  • Make sure you’re not trying to deploy/manage older verisons of Office through Group Policy as this will upset 2007 (Remove the computer/user from the policy, run a gpupdate, reboot and then check it!)
  • Run the office repair tool. It’s pretty effective at spotting the problem, but don’t expect to get away without a reboot. Now is a good time to get a cup of tea, read a book, paint that masterpiece you’ve always wanted to.
  • You may get a “ExSec32.dll is not compatible with Outlook” error – this is the same issue as before with the 2003/2000 version being used instead of the 2007. Office repair should sort that, but you may need to manually delete ExSec32.dll.