Sharing Exchange calendar between Exchange Online (365) and Exchange On-Prem

I’ve been asked several times over the years how you can view someones shared calendar on an iPhone or similar device. I’ve mostly chalked it up as ‘too hard’/’can’t be done’
However in a moment of annoyance the other day I stumbled on a method. It’s dead easy once you run through it and you’ll wonder why you didn’t always do it this way!

Additionally, if you’re midway through an Exchange migration from on-premise to the cloud, you will be faced with all sorts of scenarios where simple things like calendar shares don’t or won’t work.

Scenario: You have a share of a calendar that’s worked for years, now that user has moved to the cloud and for the moment you are remaining on premise. You still need that share and now it’s broken.

Remove the old calendar share, it will just have a broken lightning bolt against it and it won’t refresh.

Ask the user to re-share the calendar with you (remove your rights and re-add etc) You will shortly receive an email from them that looks something like this.

THis is the message that you get when a 365 user shares their calendar

This is the message that you get when a 365 user shares their calendar

Log into your Outlook Web App (2007, 2010 or 2013 – doesn’t matter)

Go to calendar view

Right click My Calendars and choose Add Calendar…

OWA Calendar Share

You’ll be presented with something that offers you the option to add from your organisation – tempting, but mostly it fails in this scenario OR to use a webcal or ICS calendar. It’s this we will use.

In the email that you were sent earlier (when they re shared the calendar) you will see a link at the bottom of the email, it starts with webcal:// This is the ics share link.

Paste the whole link (don’t forget the webcall:// piece) into the lower half of the window.

Webcal ICS

Click OK.

You’ll now see a calendar has been added called ‘reachCalendar’ and you’ll get a pop-up message saying that sync can take upwards of 10 minutes. just acknowledge the window. The reason for the name is in the webcal:// link right at the end. I guess you could rename it in the link, I wouldn’t bother.

Now wait.

After a good 20 mins or so, log back in and you will see that the calendar is populated.

Now right-click and rename it appropriately.

You’re done!

Now when you log into you Outlook client, you will see a calendar named as above (let Activesync do all the work)
Also, when you look in the Calendar app on your iPhone, you will see the same calendar which you can now view whilst on the move.

This shows the calendar viewable on your phone

This shows the calendar viewable on your phone

It seems like a laborious process, but it’s actually really simple once you’ve done it .

Outlook 2011 for Mac Reply with excerpt feature

One thing with the new Outlook 2011 for mac that I really like, is the ability to reply (reply all also) with just a portion of an email. As far as I know this isn’t part of the Windows based Outlook set.

When you receive an email, sometimes it’s useful to be able to hit reply but to not include the entire original mail body, just the portion to which you are wishing to comment upon or draw attention to. It’s simple in Outlook 2011 for mac, you highlight the portion you wish to include in your reply, as normal

Reply with excerpt

Then simply hit reply (or reply all), and your email will instantly include just the highlighted text, but retain the original to/from header information.

reply with highlight

Useful feature for me, especially when I want to jump on something somebody said, or praise a worthy comment etc.

Microsoft Communicator for Mac 2011 (Version 13.0.0)

The new version of Office for Mac 2011 (std) is available to download for MVLS customers. It’s very early as I didn’t expect the release until mid October. One surprise for me was the inclusion of a Communicator for Mac (Version 13). I hadn’t realised (I can’t admit to having done piles of research!) that there was the intention of releasing a full communicator client for mac. I have until now been using the MSN client, which functioned very well.

Microsoft Communiator for Mac

Setup was very easy with all the SRV records in place, it was very straightforward, email address, username and password and I was in. First impressions are excellent, I can’t see anything I am missing. It prompts for it to be your default presence client and also your default voice client for Telephone and Conference.
I’ve yet to try out the voice side of things, but I’m interested to se ow it fares with a live meeting request.
As per the Windows version of the Communicator 2007 client, logging options are offered, which I am pleased about, and places the log files into your /users/username/library/logs folder.
Mac features like bouncing apps in the dock are all present, with options for Once or continuous bounce.
Displaying of your out of office is optional as is presence indicators based on Exchange calendar.
Another intersting inclusion is the option to use Bonjour to allow local users to be displayed in your contacts list, additionally allowing to block or allow their ability to see you.
Video, conversation saving (prompted or auto) are also there.
Amusingly the status indicator (that has always been round) is a square, just to be different.

Moc for mac ver 13

Final verdict? Well, i think it’s great, I spent the day using it at home today to connect back to the office over dsl, and where the windows client would have dropped out a few times, it was rock solid. Fantastic.

Connecting to OCS on Linux and Mac

I spend most of my compute time in a Windows OS, and probably mostly that’s still XP. Lately I’ve started to force myself to use linux gui and now, as a result of a change of focus at work, MacOS.
This means getting other clients to connect to OCS. Sure there is always the fallback of WebMOC, but nothing beats a full-fat client imho.
Getting it to work in linux was new territory for me, so I enlisted the help of one of our linux happy developers, who ran through a ‘how to’ for using empathy under Ubuntu. Now even as a linux newbie, can see how this would port to Pidgin etc, and other distributions.

Linux:

Create yourself some root certificates from your AD cert authority.
Download the .cer file(s) to your linux desktop from somewhere you can get to ftp;Smb etc
Drop into a terminal session and make sure you know the path to .cer file(s) (e.g /etc/*username)
#openssl x509 -inform der -in Certfilename.cer -out Certfilename.pem

Do this for as many .cer files as you have (perhaps 1 from primary, 1 from secondary)
# sudo mv Certfilname.pem /etc/ssl/certs
# sudo apt-get install pidgin-sipe telepathy-haze
# sudo shutdown -r “now”

Now restart empathy
# add an account (f4)
# type SIPE
# Account = mail address,domain\username
# Password = domain password
# Advanced – use defaults
# You can try with servername if you know it, though providing you setup SRV correctly, it should be a case of Apply.. You’re on…

Mac:

Create yourself some root certificates from your AD cert authority.
Download the .cer file(s) to your linux desktop from somewhere you can get to ftp;Smb etc
Connect to this share – Connect to server (under the Go in the Finder menu)

Smb://blabla.lukedarby.co.uk/sharename/Rootcerts

Put in your Active Directory username and password, domain\username
Open Certfilname.cer and add to login then select ‘Always Trust’ when asked, you’ll then be asked for the keychain password (mac)
Then do the same for an other certs (perhaps you do primary and secondary)
Install  MS Messenger 7.0.2  (currently)
You’ll need to copy the install to your Mac then install it.
Go with Defaults until your asked to choose between Personal or Corporate and you need to select Corporate.
Then you need to enter your details, for the user ID you need to put domain\username.
Complete… You’re on…

Now, I need to get an iPad client working. Currently all the available apps for for iPhone or iPod touch. The most interesting looking being ‘Fuze Messenger’ but this is only supported for OS 4.0, which at the date of writing isn’t available for iPad.
There are some others claiming to answer the issue (iOCS) but they’re iPhone apps and just blow up to an enormous size on an iPad and look..well, silly.