Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Free/Busy Information not Showing for Some Users

Today I was working with one customer for the Outlook Free/Busy information issue where I observed very interesting things, So I thought to share with you for future references.

Issue: -
Not able to see Free/Busy information for particular users.

Error Message: -

Issue Statement: -
                   Microsoft Introduced Calendar Assistance in Outlook 2003/2007/2010 and 2013 which will user to get the users free/busy information without access permission of the users mailbox. When outlook opened it will utilize SCP (Service Connection Point) by Autodiscover service to identify and validate users and server information/settings to connect Mailbox server. Basically all the client access servers will have Autodiscoverurl to propagate server settings which is known as SCP by the EWS API.

                   When outlook connect Microsoft Exchange Client Access Server the first outlook send the XML file which contained User Name, Password, Email address , AD Site information’s to Client Access Server (Load balancer if you have HLB/NLB) then CAS Server transfer the connections status to “Connection Manager” which will validate given information with Global Catalog servers, Based on response connection manager will respond to CAS server then CAS server allow clients to connects with Mailbox server.

                   When we requesting for Free/Busy information CAS server will communicate with Mailbox servers by utilizing SCP connections with the following phases,

    3.    SRV  - autodiscover.learnexchange.com

AutoDiscoverServiceClassName   : ms-Exchange-AutoDiscover-Service
AutoDiscoverServiceGuid        : 77378f46-2c66-4aa9-a6a6-3e7a48b19596
AutoDiscoverSiteScope          : {Exchange-A}

Following diagram illustrates SCP Lookup Phases,

In our cause Autodiscover return proper response with status 200 by running the “Test E-Mail AutoConfiguration” but am not receiving user free/busy information, I just quite curious to know the reason, than I checked the same by login to Webmail and Outlook Online Mode both showing the same result L.

Where is the issue? I recalled the outlook command switch that “Outlook /Cleanfreebusy” will clear the outlook corrupted free/busy cache, I ran the same command but still I was not able to see the particular user free/busy information.

I am literally pulling out my hair ^o) ^o), Finally I went to Exchange Command Shell to get the Calendar Permission and Testing the Autodiscover of the particular user,

Autodiscover Test: - I ran the Test-OutlookWebServices command and got Successful result.

Test-OutlookWebServices -TargetAddress "terrikarsten@learnexchange.com" |fl

Id      : 1122
Type    : Success
Message : Autodiscover was tested successfully.

Gathering Calendar Permission: -  I ran the Get-MailboxFolderPermission against Calendar Folder and found Access Permission set as “None”.

Get-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity terrikarsten@learnexchange.com:\calendar

FolderName   : Calendar
User         : Default
AccessRights : {None}
Identity     : Default
IsValid      : True

Which is not the default settings of Calendar for the regular mailboxes by default set in place of “AvailabilityOnly”.

Resolution: -

As we see above diagnose shows that Calendar should have “AvailabilityOnly” permission to get the free/busy information of user, So now we have to assign the permission to calendar. We can assign the permission by the following methods.

   1.    Microsoft Exchange Management Shell.

   2.    Microsoft Outlook.

The easiest way to assign the permission is Microsoft Outlook (I always prefer) by the following directions,

Open Outlook navigate it to Folder List select “Calendar” Right Click go to Properties

Select Permission Tab and change the “Default” User Permission from “None” to “Free/Busy Time” save the changes and close.

We have to wait for some time to replicate the changes. After 15 min (By default Replication Interval) checked the same now we able to see the user free/busy information.

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