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Archive for January, 2009

All day events that span two days across time zones in Outlook

Posted by Milind Naphade on 23/01/2009

This is just a small follow up note to the Microsoft KB 262451. Sometimes, even if you choose the time of the meeting manually you still see the calendar entry spanned across two days. Why would that happen if Microsoft has already addressed the issue. Is this a bug? No it is not. It is a simple logic of time zones and the way outlook handles the time zone information in your calendar. The following should explain you why does it happen?

Scenario:

There are two users in my exchange organization Kate and Robb. Kate resides in Central Time Zone (US) and Robb resides in Pacific Time Zone (US). Rob sends a meeting request to Kate and marks this meeting as an All Day Event. Rob can see it correctly framed within a single day not spanning across the days.

RobsCalendar1_thumb[4]

However, when Kate receives this meeting she sees it spanning across two days and it appears the same even after she accepts it.

KatesCalendar1_thumb2

Basically, this behavior occurs because of the way outlook handles the meeting requests. If you observe correctly Outlook provides you a time frame of 24 hours to book someone’s or your own calendar. From 12:00 AM to 11:30 PM. When a appointment or a meeting request is marked as an “All day Event” outlook automatically adds the start time of the meeting request as 12:00 AM depending upon the local or mailbox time zone configured for a particular mailbox. This is one of the reasons why Kate’s calendar shows this entry spanned across two days. As written earlier if Rob’s outlook marked the start time as 12:00 AM 28th Wed according to Pacific Time it turns into 2:00AM 28th Wed in Central Time where Kate resides. Yet, the meeting is to complete after 24 hours and hence it spans across two days till 2:00 AM next day.

In an another scenario if this would have been a half day event which would have started somewhat around 7:00 AM and ended near about 7:00 PM in Rob’s calendar it would have reflected the correct booking in Kate’s calendar because according to her client time zone settings the meeting would have started around 9:00 AM and would have ended by 9:00 PM.

Another case where a meeting starts 7:00 AM PST and ends at 11:59 PM which is again more than a half day event will reflect spanned across two days to any users having its outlook client configured in CST.

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Posted in CAS, Exchange Server 2003, Exchange Server 2007, General, Mobility, Outlook | Comments Off on All day events that span two days across time zones in Outlook

Using Log Parser to determine the email traffic statistics to and from a particular mailbox

Posted by Milind Naphade on 21/01/2009

Several times there is a requirement to figure out how many emails are sent or received by a particular user in the exchange organization. Exchange Server 2007 makes it easier to determine by simply running a transport agent on an Edge Box which can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center Message Statistics Sample Agent. But, when it comes to Exchange Server 2003 it is quite difficult to trace such type of reports. Fortunately, Exchange Server 2003 still holds this information with it in the form of message tracking logs per server. If you have message tracking enabled on your exchange servers it would not be hard for you figure out the number of sent or received emails by a particular mailbox.

Still, the question remains unanswered. How do I do this if my boss asks me to provide such reports. There are many third party tool available in the market to do the same task. But, if you are not willing to invest money to buy a dedicated software for doing this; you can use the Microsoft Log Parser tool to export this information. Below are the steps to do it:

Prerequisites:

Microsoft Log Parser 2.2 – Download

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional or higher.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 or higher.

Message Tracking Log file structure:

Once you have downloaded the Log Parser from above link you can install the log parser by using the GUI interface. Yet, the application does not have a very good GUI itself. It’s a purely a console based application. Before you actually start using this application once the installation is completed we need to understand the format of the Exchange Server message tracking file. Message tracking files are saved in W3C format by default and can be parsed using Log Parser. Basically, if you open a sample message tracking log file in a text editor you can see the fields mentioned in it. They appear as below.

# Message Tracking Log File                                                                               
# Exchange System Attendant Version 6.5.7638.1                                                                               
# Date    Time    client-ip    Client-hostname    Partner-Name    Server-hostname    server-IP    Recipient-Address    Event-ID    MSGID    Priority    Recipient-Report-Status    total-bytes    Number-Recipients    Origination-Time    Encryption    service-Version    Linked-MSGID    Message-Subject    Sender-Address

In above example the Exchange System Attendant Version suggests the version of Exchange Server to which the log files belong and the text marked in maroon color suggests the fields in the message tracking log files according which details of each message is sorted.

Now we can go ahead and start sorting the things of our interest. To determine the number of emails sent/received or both by a specific user You can simply start with a simple command at Log Parser command prompt:

C:\Program Files\Log Parser 2.2>Log parser -i:w3c "SELECT * FROM C:\20090118.log WHERE Sender-Address like ‘F1E2K3-IS@warriorcorp.com’" -O:CSV >C:\Output.csv

Considering the above example as a specimen, Sender-Address can be replaced by any fields mentioned above and same applies for the replacement of ‘*’. At the end of processing you get a filtered output for it. Each of the fields can be separated by a comma (,) same will apply for email addresses as well.

Limitations:

  • You can not parse more files from different servers at the same time.
  • If you have multiple files  to extract data from; the queries has to be run on each file separately. As a work around to it a little bit of scripting would help you to accomplish your requirement.
  • Exchange stores the message tracking information for a single day in each file.

Posted in Exchange Server 2003, Exchange Server 2007, General | 3 Comments »

Exchange Team has announced a news on E14

Posted by Milind Naphade on 14/01/2009

Microsoft Exchange Team has written a new post today and has a news posted about E14. More details can be found at Announcing Exchange14 

Post does not talk about the technical details and architecture though the it appears that the new product is going to prove itself cost effective and resource scalable from the administrator’s perspective.

Posted in News | Comments Off on Exchange Team has announced a news on E14