Time wasted with buggy software

Summary:Software that just doesn't work out of the box, is very frustrating. I probably spend countless hours per year, wasting away time by going in circles, due to software that just doesn't work as advertised.

Software that just doesn't work out of the box, is very frustrating. I probably spend countless hours per year, wasting away time by going in circles, due to software that just doesn't work as advertised. Have you ever followed the instructions, yet come out empty-handed?

Yesterday, I was troubleshooting an issue with Microsoft Exchange 2010. There was a resource mailbox (a room mailbox) that all of a sudden stopped showing its free/busy data to the users in the company in the Scheduling Assistant and in OWA. However, the users could open the resource mailbox calendar in Outlook 2010, and view the contents of the calendar just fine. So, they appeared to have permissions to the calendar folder in one view, but not another view. The first tool I grabbed was "ExFolders.exe" which is an Exchange binary, located in the "bin" folder on the Exchange 2010 server. This tool is supposed to allow the administrator to connect to a mailbox and adjust permissions. Unfortunately in my case, it did not work as advertised. I used the tool and viewed the permissions on the "Calendar" folder in the resource mailbox which appeared correct. I removed the permissions and re-added them with the ExFolders.exe tool, double checked that they set by closing ExFolders.exe and opening it up again. But Outlook and OWA would continue to show "you do not have permissions to view free/busy data" for the resource mailbox. I went in circles for about 2 hours, trying to figure out why permissions looked correct in ExFolders.exe, yet users could not access its free/busy data, even though they could view the Calendar contents just fine (which puzzled me even more).

Finally, I connected Outlook 2010 directly to the resource mailbox and checked permissions on the calendar folder and uh oh!, they were set to the default, which denied everybody. Huh? I had already checked them in the ExFolders.exe and they looked fine. Anyway, the problem was solved once I applied the permissions in Outlook (which by the way, were set to the exact same permissions that were set with ExFolders.exe), and everything is working fine now. I walked away scratching my head, and also content with the fact I wasted 2 hours that I would have rather put toward something more constructive. I see this type of problem with a lot of Microsoft software, where things just stop working and get "corrupted" and need "repair". There are countless Microsoft software products that have the corruption/repair problems, in all sorts of areas. We see these types of issues in Mac OS X, but I definitely do not see this type of problem as much in GNU/Linux.

Topics: Open Source

About

I have been a systems administrator of both Windows and Linux systems for over 17 years, in educational institutions, enterprises, and consumer environments. Throughout the years running Linux and Windows side by side, I have seen Linux countless times surpass Windows in performance, reliability, cost savings, and more recently user expe... Full Bio

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