Migrating from Domino to Exchange 2007 (Part 4)

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Here in part four of this article we continue our look at how Exchange 2007 and Lotus Domino 7 can coexist with the future aim of migration from Domino to Exchange. In our sample scenario, nghcloud.co.uk is running Lotus Domino 7 and neilhobson.com is running Exchange 2007. In part three, we prepared the nghcloud.co.uk Domino environment so it was ready for the Free/Busy Connector. In this part, we’ll prepare the neilhobson.com Exchange environment so it is also ready, then we’ll proceed to create and configure the Free/Busy Connector so that users can swap calendar free/busy information.

Prepare the Exchange Environment

The first requirement that must be met is to download and install the Exchange MAPI Client CDO 1.2.1 package from Microsoft, available here. From the link you should download a single file called ExchangeMapiCdo.exe that can be run to extract ExchangeMapiCdo.msi. The MAPI and CDO 1.2.1 package is required to be installed onto the Exchange 2007 server because the transporter suite requires it for some functionality; starting with Exchange 2007, MAPI and CDO are no longer supplied by default. The actual installation of this package consists of nothing more than a welcome and license screen within a wizard, so I’ll not detail this any further.

You may remember from your reading that it’s possible when installing Exchange 2007 to install it without creating a public folder store. Outlook 2007 no longer relies on system folders found in a public folder store to store free/busy data and so if all clients are running Outlook 2007 it’s no longer strictly necessary to have a public folder store. This is the case for neilhobson.com since it has all desktop clients running Outlook 2007 and has installed Exchange 2007 without configuring a public folder store. Why is this of importance to neilhobson.com’s coexistence with Lotus Domino? The answer to that lies in the fact that the Free/Busy Connector requires the free/busy system folder for functionality. Therefore, it’s a requirement to have a public folder store in neilhobson.com’s environment.

Let’s first go over how to create this public store using the Exchange Management Console. You can obviously skip this part if you already have a public folder store.

  1. Run the console. In the console tree navigate to Server Configuration and then Mailbox.
  2. In the work pane, right-click the relevant storage group and choose New Public Folder Database… from the context menu. This brings up the New Public Folder Database wizard.
  3. In the Public folder database name: field, type a suitable name for the new public folder database. In this example, we’ll call it Exchange Free Busy since that is all it is going to do; you might choose a different name if the store is to hold user public folders too. Click the Browse… button next to the Database file path: field and ensure that the public folder store will be located where you want it to be. Once you’ve got the right location, click the Save button which will then take you back to the opening screen of the wizard. Ensure that the Mount this database check box is selected then click the New button. The completed screen is shown in Figure 27.

Figure 27:
New Public Folder Database Wizard

  1. The new public folder database should then be created and mounted successfully. If you want to use the Exchange Management Shell to create the public folder database, use the New-PublicFolderDatabase cmdlet.
  2. We now need to use the shell anyway to complete the configuration. To define the access method used for free/busy requests across forests, the Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace cmdlet must be used. The parameters we need are as follows:

    a. ForestName. This needs to be the SMTP domain used by nghcloud.co.uk’s Domino users, namely nghcloud.co.uk.

    b. AccessMethod. The AccessMethod parameter should be set to a value of PublicFolder.

    Therefore our full cmdlet becomes:

    Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace –ForestName nghcloud.co.uk –AccessMethod PublicFolder

If all has gone well you should see a screen similar to that shown in Figure 28.

Figure 28:
Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace cmdlet

Disable Public Virtual Directory SSL

There is one more step required before we proceed to create the Free/Busy Connector. This step may or may not be required, depending on the Exchange 2007 configuration. Microsoft states that if the Mailbox and Client Access Server roles exist on the same server, it’s a requirement to disable SSL on the Public virtual directory in Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. Here’s what to do:

  1. Run IIS Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Default Web Site and locate the Public virtual directory.
  3. Right-click the Public virtual directory and choose Properties from the context menu. The Public Properties window appears.
  4. Go to the Directory Security tab and click the Edit… button found in the Secure communications section. This brings up the Secure Communications window.
  5. Clear the Require secure channel (SSL) check box as shown in Figure 29. Once this has been done, click OK twice and then exit IIS Manager.

Figure 29:
Clearing SSL on the Public Virtual Directory

Creating the Free/Busy Connector

That was quite a few steps required to configure the Exchange and Domino environments and we’ve not actually created the Free/Busy Connector yet! The actual creation of the Free/Busy Connector is very easy. However, before we get to that, here’s a quick note about permissions. You’ll remember that for this article I’m using the default Domino administrator account when connecting back to Domino. The account connecting back to Domino requires a minimum of Editor access to the Domino directory file, names.nsf. Fortunately, the default Domino administrator account has Manager access and thus this requirement is met; this was shown in Figure 3 from part two of this article. In a similar manner, Microsoft states that the account used to connect back to Domino requires at least Reader access to the Domino Local free time info database file called busytime.nsf.

Now it’s time to create the Free/Busy Connector. From within the Transporter Management Console the steps are as follows:

  1. Select the Connect option from the console tree.
  2. Either right-click the Connect option and choose Create Free/Busy Connector… from the context menu, or choose the same named option from the Action pane.
  3. You’ll now be at the Create Free/Busy Connector wizard introduction screen. Click Next here and then click Create at the Progress screen. Like the Directory Connector created in part one, that’s all there is to it. You can then click Finish to exit the wizard.

The result is a newly created but un-configured Free/Busy Connector that’s shown below the previously created Directory Connector. This is shown in Figure 30.

Figure 30:
Newly Created Free/Busy Connector

To create the connector within the Transporter Management Shell all you need to do is to run the New-DominoFreeBusyConnector cmdlet.

Configuring the Free/Busy Connector

Like the Directory Connector, you can configure the Free/Busy Connector at the same time it is created by using the various command line parameters. Later we’ll look at the cmdlet used to create the Free/Busy Connector created via the management console. For now, here’s how to configure the Free/Busy Connector from within the management console.

  1. Highlight the Free/Busy Connector that was just created, right-click it and choose Properties from the context menu. Alternatively, choose the Properties option from the Actions menu.
  2. The properties of the Free/Busy Connector are displayed and you will see two tabs to be configured. The default General tab is displayed which can be configured as follows. A completed screen shot is shown in Figure 31.

    a. Schedule. This is obviously how often the free/busy process runs. You have a choice here of never, every 30 minutes, or every 1, 6, 12 or 24 hours. We’ll choose every 30 minutes for this article.

    b. Days of Free/Busy information. By default, 60 days worth of free/busy information will be retrieved but this can be changed if required. The default is fine for this installation.

    c. Maintain information in cache (seconds). This is set to 900 seconds by default, which is 15 minutes. Retrieved schedule information is held in cache for 15 minutes using this default value, which means that any if other schedule requests for users whose details are already held in the cache occur within 15 minutes, that information will be returned from the cache rather than being retrieved again.

    d. Timeout (seconds). The Exchange server will wait 15 seconds whilst contacting the Domino server for free/busy information, otherwise a timeout will occur.

    e. Domino Server running the ExCalcon.exe task. In this case, this is obviously nghcloud.co.uk’s Domino server that we just installed excalcon.exe onto. It’s important to enter this information using the hierarchical Domino server name, which is domino/nghcloud.co.uk in this case.

    f. Notes Password and Confirm Password. Here we need to enter the Notes ID password for the account that’s configured on the Notes client installed on the server containing the transporter suite.

Figure 31:
Free/Busy Connector General Tab

  1. Finally, switch to the Advanced tab and enter any Domino connected SMTP domains via the Add button. In this case, nghcloud.co.uk is entered as this is the SMTP domain name in use by nghcloud.co.uk. The completed screen is shown in Figure 32.

Figure 32:
Free/Busy Connector Advanced Tab

  1. Once all parameters and fields have been configured, click OK to close the properties window and you’ll then be returned to the main transporter suite window.

You can also create and configure a Free/Busy Connector at the same time via the New-DominoFreeBusyConnector cmdlet. Like the Directory Connector there are a lot of parameters that I won’t repeat here; the Syntax portion of Figure 33 should give you an idea of what the parameter names are. The transporter suite help file has full details.

Figure 33:
New-DominoFreeBusyConnector Syntax

You can now start the Microsoft Exchange Free Busy Connector for Lotus Domino service on the Exchange server. Don’t forget to set it to a startup type of Automatic as well.

Testing Free/Busy Access

Earlier in Figure 16 from part three of this article, you saw the situation where Exchange User 1 attempted to book a meeting with the nghcloud.co.uk user called Domino Administrator. Without the Free/Busy Connector, the neilhobson.com user saw the familiar ‘no information’ hatched line when querying for free/busy information. What happens now? Let’s have a look at Figure 34 and see what has happened.

Figure 34:
Free/Busy Information Across Systems

As you can see, Exchange User 1 can now see that the nghcloud.co.uk Domino user is busy at a potential meeting time.


Here in part four we’ve completed the installation and configuration of a Free/Busy Connector between Exchange 2007 and Lotus Domino. We’ve then seen that meeting request information is indeed shared across the two systems when viewed in Outlook Web Access. In part five, we’ll look at migrating the Domino users to Active Directory in preparation for them having their mailbox data moved across.

If you would like to read the next part in this article series please go to:

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