David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Diagnosing connectivity problems to Exchange and Office 365

    I was asked today about an Outlook synchronisation of the address book over the web (RPC over http) and did some digging and found this excellent diagnosis tool - https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com .  The nice thing is that it tests many products – Exchange, ActiveSync and Office 365 . Once you start the tool you have to choose what diagnosis you want: or After you have completed your sign-in details, you get the results.  In the example below it shows that my certificate is not publically signed and a number of other issues that I could address if they were the cause of connectivity issues (but I don’t need to as I get the functionality I want with the current setup)   ttfn David
  • Business Productivity Online Suite training for partners in Manchester and Birmingham

    Business Productivity Online Suite Launch Join us in Birmingham and Manchester The UK software market is evolving, and customers are looking to embrace the change. Forecasted growth for subscription software is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of +30% during the next three years - considerably outpacing traditional market growth and providing a tremendous resale and service opportunity for Microsoft partners. In a tough economy, subscription services are more digestible to cash strapped customers. Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), provides a new IT solution for their needs, delivering enterprise-class software as a subscription service, hosted by Microsoft and sold by you. Costing £10.04 for the entire suite, per user per month, BPOS includes: > Microsoft Exchange Online > Microsoft SharePoint Online > Microsoft Office Live Meeting > Microsoft Office Communications Online > Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services For Microsoft Partners BPOS provides an annuity...
  • Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP) not working or slow with SBS 2008

    I’ve been working with the Microsoft support teams to diagnose non-connection and very slow syncing for someone who uses SBS. The team came up with a fix and while there is no KB article on this yet, below is a link to a workaround that made logging on go to a few seconds from what was about 5 hours :-) Slow Connectivity for Outlook Anywhere and Sites that use the SBS Web Applications App Pool [Today's post comes to us courtesy of Wayne McIntyre, Justin Crosby, and Damian Leibaschoff] We are currently investigating an issue where connections to Outlook Anywhere are extremely slow or fail completely. This issue also affects other sites that use the SBS Web Applications app pool. If you notice these symptoms and wish to verify you are experiencing this problem, open IIS management console and check the worker process queue for the SBS Web Applications app pool as shown below. The Official SBS Blog : Slow Connectivity for Outlook Anywhere and Sites that use the SBS Web Applications App Pool ttfn David Technorati...
  • Catalog of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Error Messages

    So there I was talking about migration issues and Chris Pucket pointed to this GREAT store of error messages and resolutions for SBS installs.  I've copied the links for now, but expect them to be updated over time!! Still let me know Migration issues on the link above! Catalog of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Error Messages This topic links to information about errors that you might encounter while installing Windows SBS 2008. If you encounter an error that does not appear on this page, see “Troubleshooting Windows Small Business Server 2008” in the Windows Small Business Server Technical Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=111318). Click a link to view information about that error message. An error occurred while installing or configuring a Windows SBS 2008 application An error occurred while promoting the server to a domain controller Anti-spam agents for Exchange Server 2007 cannot be installed Anti-spam automatic updates for Exchange Server 2007 cannot be configured...
  • SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 migration thoughts and issues

    I've been part of a lively debate on the Yahoo UK SBS Group about how to migrate from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 and what the issues are.  The information I have so far is good, but I need much more to take it to the product teams. For sure, the issues so far are: Concerns around the "state" of AD before a migration is started - how do you check it - look at this blog post Concerns around the Exchange migration in terms of time taken and failure scenarios - how to remove the chances of this? Concerns around "on-site" versus "off-site" strategies Concerns around recovery options in the event of failures (restore from backup not being ideal if you want it diagnosed) My problem is that I have no data to take to the Microsoft product teams, which means I can't ask them to fix things so this is a two fold open invitation. If you have had an issue, share it via comments below, but also PLEASE e-mail ( doverton@microsoft.com ) as well so I can get in touch with you and potentially...
  • How to change spam settings on Exchange 2007 / SBS 2008 to enable some / all / more spam to be delivered to an account for analysis

    One of the settings I wanted to change in SBS 2008 was the spam filter settings – some mails that I was receiving were being deleted without any option for me to review them. Since I had to go and read the manual on this, I thought I would share the answer on this. Open the Exchange Management Console Select the Organization Configuration and then Hub Transport Select the Anti-spam and look at Content Filtering By default the “Reject messages” SCL rating is set to 7. I change this to 8, enable "Quarantining messages” for messages above a level of 6 Finally, you need to enter the e-mail of a mailbox to receive the quarantined e-mail You can see how this impacted the e-mails themselves in the daily report – notice the number of mails still rejected / quarantined: That is it. See all the other SBS 2008 items at http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/SBS+2008/default.aspx ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS , SBS 2008 , Small Business Server 2008 , Exchange 2007 , Tips , Spam , Content Filtering
  • Pricing for SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 released (US FPP) and public beta for EBS, with public beta for SBS 2008 to follow

    My blog has been quiet recently – think of it as a the quiet before the storm (or I’ve been maxed around quarter and year end business, family and partner visits to the US). Anyway, this has crept up on me before I re-installed my server, so I thought I would just share the love. Microsoft Announces Public Preview and Pricing for Windows Essential Server Solutions Today Microsoft announced the following prices for the Windows Essential Server Solutions family: Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.) Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.) Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.) We also announced availability of...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in...
  • Small Business Server 2008 (formally known as Cougar) announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the SBS 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business Growth Windows Small Business Server 2008,previously known by the code name “Cougar,” is ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers. The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current, award-winning Small...
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built...
  • "Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products" announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the "family" section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . To help small and midsize organizations improve business efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. The company also unveiled details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008. The Windows...
  • How to get Windows Desktop Search, SharePoint, Windows Home Server, Search Server, Exchange 2007 and SQL 2005/2008 to see Office 2007 documents in their search filters

    If you use Windows XP and need WDS to index Office 2007 files, or SharePoint, Search Server or any other product that used IFilters then this is the KB article and download for you. This obviously includes Windows Home Server which uses WDS to enable you to quickly search for a file on a file share from Vista This download will install and register IFilters with the Windows Indexing Service. These IFilters are used by Microsoft Search products to index the contents of specific document formats. This Filter Pack includes IFilters for the following formats: .docx, .docm, .pptx, .pptm, .xlsx, .xlsm, .xlsb, .zip, .one, .vdx, .vsd, .vss, .vst, .vdx, .vsx, and .vtx. Because Windows Desktop Search (WDS) consumes IFilters from Windows Indexing Service, the IFilters will be automatically registered and available for use by WDS. To register these IFilters with a specific Search product, please see the associated KB article below: Office SharePoint Server 2007 - Office SharePoint Server 2007 registration steps Search Server...
  • Got Lotus ... "Microsoft's ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus" - CRN and VARBusiness - where are the tools

    It is always nice to see good news and SharePoint and Exchange are providing lots of it at the moment. I thought I would share this story and also some tools. Microsoft: ISVs Cashing In On Lotus Exodus Microsoft earlier this week released an updated version of its Transporter Suite for Lotus Domino, a set of tools that helps organizations migrate from IBM Lotus Notes and Domino to Microsoft products. As interest builds around unified communications, Microsoft in the last six months of 2007 saw more than 300 enterprise customers -- representing some 2.8 million users -- begin making the movie to Exchange Server, Office SharePoint Server and the Office suite, according to Clint Patterson, a director with the unified communications group at Microsoft. This groundswell of interest has spawned a whole ecosystem of Microsoft ISVs offering products that ease the migration process. For example, companies that have large amounts of information stored in a Notes database have found it difficult to capture that data and...
  • Exchange and Unified communication - Blogs and News

    This is an extract from the TRM blog which can be found here http://blogs.technet.com/trm/ . I have removed the KB article list and some items which I don't think are relevant to small business / ISV partners, however the full info can be found on the blog page too Unified Communications Partners Rally Around Microsoft Unified Communications Software Q&A: Microsoft partners discuss how and why they are taking advantage of the company’s unified communications platform to meet the needs of customers and tap into a US$45 billion market opportunity. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/oct07/10-16uclaunch.mspx Exchange Team Blog http://msexchangeteam.com/default.aspx Outlook Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/default.aspx Unified Communications Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/uc/default.aspx This content is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties express or implied, as to the information in this document. If you are a customer of Microsoft, please refer to the terms...
  • Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : What is going to be in "Cougar?"

    I thought I would repost this as it is a very often asked question. Eric who posted this has said as much as can be said today. I hope to be able to break silence soon on more :) The statement for me that has the most interest as many partners don't think about it is " Embracing Live Services". I can honestly say I don't know the details here, but for all those nay sayers about online / live / Software plus Service etc, this is another loud gong that the world is changing! Also, just one of those side notes, Exchange 2007 does not include Outlook anymore (Exchange 2003 did), so your customers must buy Outlook / Office to use Exchange outside the web based views. What is going to be in "Cougar?" There have been a few questions floating around about "Cougar," the next version of Windows Small Business Server, and what it will include and be based on. I thought I would post some of the information that is publicly available to help address some of these questions: Based on the...
  • How to give a user the ability to send mail 'on behalf of' a Public Folder

    I have been asked several times how someone can have an e-mail alias, such as "support@mycompany.com" which not only receives into a public folder, but also has the ability to send e-mails. Obviously the setting up of the public folder, e-mail etc is well documented, but since I have been asked this again I thought I would share my source of knowledge - How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder How to Give a User the Ability to Send Mail on Behalf of a Public Folder To give a user the ability to send mail on behalf of a public folder, perform the following procedure. In Exchange System Manager, under Folders , right-click the public folder for which you want to give a user the ability to send mail, and then click Properties . Click Exchange General , and then click Delivery Options . Click Add to specify a user. You may have to make additional modifications if the following conditions are true: The user's mailbox resides in a domain that is different from the public...
  • How to change the welcome mail sent to new users on SBS 2003

    This is just a small tip that I recently saw. If you wish to change the e-mail that is sent to new users when they are set up on SBS 2003 then you need to edit the html file found in this location: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Administration\samplemail.htm that is it :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Tips , New User , e-mail
  • If you want to deploy Exchange 2007 with SBS 2003, how do you remove the Exchange component?

    I posted the other day on adding Exchange 2007 to an SBS 2003 environment , but for some, there is also the desire on how to remove the Exchange component on SBS 2003. Obviously there are the install / uninstall options from the SBS setup screens that can be accessed through add/remove programs, however because SBS has the 1st Exchange server in a group you need to go a bit further. More information can be found on how to remove the first server via http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;822931 which discusses "How to remove the first Exchange Server 2003 computer from the administrative group". In this KB article it tells you how to: Replicate all public folders to another server Rehome the Offline Address Book folder Change the server that is responsible for generating the Offline Address List Rehome the Schedule+ Free Busy folder Rehome the Organization Forms folder Rehome the Recipient Update Service (RUS) Designate another server to be the routing group master Create another Site...
  • Adding Exchange 2007 to an SBS 2003 / Exchange 2003 network

    This question has come up lots of times and the general statement is that it is not trivial. In fact the normal question is can Exchange 2007 be run on an SBS 2003 box. The answer to this is a resounding NO. Exchange 2007 is 64-bit and SBS 2003 is 32-bit and never the twain shall meet. The closest you can get is installing a Windows Server 2003 64-bit system and putting Exchange on it. You will have to buy a Windows Server license, Exchange 2007 license and CALs for each client that uses it. (note if you want Outlook Voice Access then you need Enterprise CALs even if you are only installing Exchange 2007 Standard edition). Once this is done you need to decide if you are going to keep your Exchange 2003 box or forward ports to the new system. If you are keeping both then you also need to be aware of (note this comes from an e-mail from Karan in our support team and should not be considered complete, but a pointer in the right direction): Please note that Exchange 2007 would appear in a different administrative...
  • How do I take a public folder offline

    I seem to have been asked this a number of times recently, so here is the answer. To take a public folder offline, simply add it to your favourites and then enable synching of public folders. Mark the public folder as a favourite (right click on the folder and select make favourite Go into your account settings and ensure that public folders are enabled for caching Tools / Account / Properties for the Exchange Account / More Settings / Advanced - then tick the box Now, when you sync the favourite public folders will be copied too. That is it ttfn David Technorati Tags: Offline , Public Folders
  • How unified communications could be with Exchange 2007 and Office Communications Server (OCS)

    Unified Communications, VoIP, IM, e-mail, messaging, call redirecting, talking to your calendar - so hard to explain in words, so easy to watch in this short demo. A bit cheesy, but it works ttfn David Technorati Tags: Unified Communications , Exchange 2007 , Office Communications Server , VoIP
  • Exchange 2007 updates - Blogs for Exchange and Outlook, Virtual Machines, Webcasts, Service Pack 1 (SP1) and more

    This information is from the last 2 Technet Newsletters ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet ). Webcasts that have occurred in the past are available for download by clicking on the URLs. Blogs Exchange Team Blog http://msexchangeteam.com/default.aspx Outlook Team Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/default.aspx Awards Exchange Server wins CRN award The 2007 CRN Channel Champions Awards have been recently announced! http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/05/11/438675.aspx Evaluation Quickly Evaluate Microsoft and Partner Solutions Through a Series of Pre-Configured Virtual Hard Disks Microsoft Exchange on virtual hard disk (VHD) lets you try out the key features of Exchange Server 2007. With the VHD Test Drive program, you can download VHDs and evaluate them for free in your own environment, without the need for dedicated servers or complex installations. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=692a6e3c-81c9-4d8a-93fa-266d651735dc&DisplayLang=en Educating Information Workers About Exchange Server...
  • Unified Communications

    This information is from the last 2 Technet newsletters ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet ) Unified Communications Team Blog http://blogs.technet.com/uc/default.aspx Unified Communications - Office Communication Server 2007 Videos Two videos, one on Office Communications Server 2007 and one on Office RoundTable http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=4&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d67d3e846-ae4a-4b30-9e0c-eac22bd2a58a%26DisplayLang%3den Unified Communications and Collaboration Event Presentation Downloads Unified Communications and Collaborations Event Downloads http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3da10931b2-dceb-4ddc-8c5a-25c4b2c5804c%26DisplayLang%3den Using Exchange Server 2007 for Unified Messaging and Fax How can you best implement the Unified Messaging (UM) features of Exchange Server 2007...
  • Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders

    I have been asked lots of questions about public folders recently and thought this little section here might come in handy. It is from the Best Practices for Exchange Server Public Folders site on Technet and is geared towards Exchange Server 2000/2003. I have snipped just the articles that I think are useful, so there are more on the page above including the ability to take the document offline. Which Solution Works for You? Before you deploy Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 public folders, you should make sure that the functionality that is provided by public folders meets your business needs. It is a good idea to evaluate the features and functionality that are provided by public folders and to compare them to the data repository solution that is provided by Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Products and Technologies. For detailed information about both options, see Selecting the Appropriate Public Folder Solution . How to Select the Appropriate Client After you have decided to use public folders,...
  • You can't use Outlook Web Access because you can't send or reply to mails. You've seen a server update will fix it, but you can't get the server updated - here is the simplest way to work

    I have to thanks Lauren for bringing this to my attention. She had found my posting on how to update Exchange so that this did not happen, but she could not get the SBS / Exchange Server updated. Her research said that using Firefox would fix the problem , but to me this was just a huge sledgehammer to crack a nut, so I guessed there must be a much easier solution and there is. Use "basic" or "light" mode. This may sound complex, but it is about as easy as it gets. Here is the Exchange 2003 login screen, simply select "basic" client and you are done. Here is the Exchange 2007 login screen, simply select "light" and you are done. Gosh, so easy. For the technically minded the issue comes from the Active-X control that Exchange is using. The answer is to either apply the update to the Exchange web components, or use a browser without the Active-X control. ttfn David Technorati tags: Outlook Web Access , IE7 , Internet Explorer

(c)David Overton 2006-17