Monthly Archives: September 2005

Windows Sharepoint Services SP2

Did you notice that WSS SP2 has been released to web?  Here’s the link to the download…

and here’s the link to the Administrators guide

there are some new features that you may want to take a look at – particularly the enhancements for extranet and intranets. you’d be surprised what you can do with this, and its free, out of the box with Windows Server 2003.


How to open the Outlook calendar from the command line

I noticed that Allister has come up witrh some tips on Opening Outlook by using the command line, and by using switches.  I blogged about a handy list of switches that Outlook tips published, but the ability to open Outlook in a specific folder each time is really useful.  Just create a shortcut with Outlook.exe /select outlook:calendar.

Easy really.  Allisters blog is full of hints and tips for outlook users (not Outlook techies) like me.  Hard to believe he’s in marketing… 🙂

Secure and Well Managed Enterprise

We’re running a series of webcasts aimed at managing your enterprise.   Here’s the info…

 You can learn how to become a dynamic IT organization and achieve operational effectiveness through delivering higher quality of service, email availability, and a more secure Windows environment. Our technical experts will help guide you through step by step instructions on how to install, configure, automate and mange a more secure and well managed infrastructure. Topics covered will include Active Directory installation and monitoring, Step-by-step patch management implementation, server, application, and desktop monitoring, PKI Infrastructures, Security concepts and principals, and the utilization and configuration of Group Policy, SMS, MOM, ISA and Exchange. Don’t miss out on this series as we provide a clear road map on the journey to a more secure and well managed enterprise environment.
Bonus: Attend four of the five October webcasts in this series (live or on demand) by October 31, 2005 and you will receive a Microsoft “geek” t-shirt.  Attend seven of the eight November webcasts in this series (live or on demand) and you will receive a multi-tool kit.  And, by attending a live webcast in this series and submitting an evaluation, you will also qualify to win a Portable Media Center pre-loaded with some of our best webcasts.  Offers open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  See webcast landing page for details.

Bummer.  Why can’t we win a geek t-shirt over in Europe then?  don’t we qualify as geeks then?  Humph!  Shall I try and get some for over here then?  Let me know…

By the way – you really should also have a look at Johns series of blogcasts on the Secure and Well Manged Infrastructure (SWMI) where he’s building up the Infrastricture step by step…

Exchange 12 – Roadmap for Developers

If you’re an Exhange fan, likes new features, and a it of a developer (sounds like you John then!), have a look at this article that Terry blogged about the other week which covers a few of the architectural changes that will be happening in Exchange 12.  Interesting to note that bot CDOExM and WMI will be replaced (what the heck do cmdlets do then?).  so how the heck will the mailbox reconnect and mailbox moves work?

Interesting stuff though…

Find out how to migrate from Notes to Exchange

Dave Thompson, who is the VP for Exchange in corp. is coming over to speak at an event in London, Docklands next month.  The event is: Understanding the Microsoft Platrform for Notes Organisations.  I quite often talk to customers about their challenges when they migrate from Notes to Exchange, and some customers are concerned that they don’t have sufficient knowledge to hand before they start.  So this event brings together Microsoft Expertise, with customers and partners who have already migrated so you can ask questions about the tools used, and about any burning issues you may have.  Here’s the link to register. 

Here’s what the day will look like.  I pinched the copyof the invite below…

How Notes companies can get more value from Microsoft solutions
We are pleased to invite you to a very special event that looks in depth at the steps required to evaluate moving from Notes/Domino to the Microsoft platform.  Brought to you by Microsoft’s expert speakers, this session will give you an understanding of the collaboration market and Microsoft’s vision and strategy. Our experts will show how Microsoft Collaboration solutions work together with a “Day in the Life” demo using Microsoft collaboration technologies.

With in-depth drill-downs into the solutions that make up an effective collaboration infrastructure and a detailed overview of the transition project and Messaging/Directory Fundamentals, this full-day session will provide answers to many of the burning questions you face like:

• What does a typical migration process look like? 
• What are the best practices and learnings from previous experiences? 
• How can I complete an application assessment? 
• What’s best for my applications: migration or coexistence?
You will also get the opportunity to hear from UK partners that have delivered Collaboration solutions and customers that have made the switch.

Day’s Agenda:
8.30–9.00  Registration 
9.00–9.15 Welcome and Introduction
9.15–9.30 Directions on Collaboration
9.30–10.30 Microsoft’s Collaboration Story and Demo of “A Day in the Life” of using Microsoft Collaboration Technology
10.30–11.00 Break
11.00–12.00 Technical Solution Drilldown
12.00–12.30 Customer Case Study
12.30–1.15 Lunch
1.15–2.00 Overview of the Transition Project + Messaging/Directory Fundamentals
2.00–2.45 Application assessment, migration and coexistence
2.45–3.00 Break
3.00–3.30 Hear from UK Partners about their experiences
3.30–3.45 Summary and Close 

I’ll be there – so it would be good to see you and have a chat during the day…

Exchange Free / Busy message size

I saw this on an internal mail the othe day, and thought that this information was too good not to share around.  I only wish I’d had this level of detail available to me when I was an Exchange administrator.  So I’m sharing it.  Just in case you also want to know more … There’s a good document on TechNet that talks about how to Manage Free/Busy Folders  expecially on how Outlook handles Free/Busy but this is a nice edition to the document. 

If you want to change the amount of time published by Free/Busy – how much extra traffic would be generated?  Say for example you wanted to double the free busy schedule – how many bytes on the wire?  How large are the messages, and what would be the load on the free/busy server after the change had been made?

Jeffrey and Dave responded that you can get a good estimate by looking at the current PR_MESSAGE_SIZE and PR_CONTENT_COUNT values of the Schedule+ Free Busy folder for the site or Administrative Group.  You’ll then have to divide the size by the count to get a per user average.  Assuming that user’s currently have the default setting of 6 months, you can extrapolate the impact of changing the number of months published.
For example, in the sample  F/B folder:
PR_MESSAGE_SIZE = 18,499,128
Based on this calculation, the average free/busy message size is approximately1119 bytes.

Free Busy data is pretty small.  The data is stored as an array of pairs 16-bit words – each being the number of minutes into the month for the beginning and end time of each busy range. The maximum number of busy ranges can be forced by making every other minute in the month busy. 1440 minutes in a day, 720 marks every other one. 31 days in a month… leads to just shy of 90k per month in the worst possible case. Actual values will be substantially smaller than that. As more calendars get more and more booked, the amount of data stored actually goes down as the busy ranges get merged together.
The Free Busy server will experience pretty much the same load overall (“Open message, stream in data, close message”). The extra data is likely going to cause maybe one extra RPC operation. Also if you’re replicating the Free/Busy data to another Public Folder server, it’ll double the amount of replication traffic.

Talking about blogging

I was at an industry event for executives last week who seemed to be completely unaware of the reach and extent of the online blogging community and how much information is fed around the blogosphere.  It’s often fascinating, when some big news item hits the blogs, and watch it ripple around different blogs as news cascades around the world.  Blogging has certainly become a really effective mechanism to gauge opinions, find out news, and interact with other bloggers for insider knowledge and assistance.  Comments about products, on on my blog can often be escalated internally and we can change things wherever we can, or try to help when you have issues with the software. 

So I’m going to be delivering an event in he UK about blogs and blogging.  To try to communicate why blogs and blogging is such an effective mechanism for word of mouth information delivery. So if you’re available on 13th October, and would like to encourage some of your sceptical colleagues to come along, it’d be really good to see you on campus.  Here’s the link to register.

Hmmm. I’ve just though of something.  All the people who would really benefit from learning about blogs and blogging, probably won’t be reading this blog!  So could you forward the link to the cynics you work with, and encourage them to come along, and see how companies can gain benefits from encouraging their employees to show their human side through their blogs…

I look forward to seeing you there..