Free/Busy info not available outside the network

If you are having problems with free/busy information in Outlook, it is most likely due to misconfiguration of the Exchange 2007 Autodiscover service.

The Autodiscover service provides info to the Availability service, such as the addresses (internal and external) that Outlook 2007 clients should use to connect to Exchange.  More info here.

I would recommend that you read this post at the Microsoft Exchange Team blog and the referenced whitepaper at the top.

Most likely, you do not have the internal/external addresses configured correctly in Exchange.  Double-check these.  In addition, with Outlook open, you can hold the ctrl key and right-click on the Outlook icon in your system tray to get the “Test Email Autoconfiguration” option.  Run this to see how Outlook is trying to connect to your Exchange server.  You may notice that Outlook first tries to connect to “domainname.com”, then to “autodiscover.domainname.com”.  These are the default addresses that Outlook tries.  You may need to create a CNAME for “autodiscover.domain.com” which points to your Exchange proxy address.  That is the address that you have in the Exchange proxy connection settings in Outlook, and is likely the same as your OWA address.

Once you have the Autodiscover/Availability services configured correctly, you will likely find that your free/busy info problems have been resolved.

Outlook Macro to Move Messages to Another Folder

First, this is not something I created, but that I have found very useful.  Credit goes to the original author at ‘Chewy’s Blog‘.

But before you go running off and create a macro with this in Outlook, I have a few caveats for you:

  • When you use a macro made from this code to move a message, it changes the timestamp on the message to the time you move it.  If you need to see the actual time a message was sent or received, you have to open the message and look at the sent/received time there.
  • This moves the selected message, not necessarily the message you have open in the foreground.  This is and important distinction, and I’ll give you a scenario.  Let’s say you create a button for the macro using this code, and you put the button in the quick access toolbar which shows up in your actual message window.  You might assume that if you click the button for this macro in the message window, that it moves the message you are looking at to your specified folder.  And it might, if that happens to be the message that is selected in Outlook.  However, if you open a message window and have it open for a while and go back to Outlook and you have selected a different message, when you come back and click the macro button, it will move the message you have selected in Outlook.  Then, if you click the button and the message doesn’t go away you might think you missed it and keep clicking.  This will keep moving messages in your inbox to the specified folder and you might not even see it happening if Outlook is behind the message you are looking at.  So, be careful.  Don’t put a button for this macro in your message (quick access) menu.

A few instructions:

  1. Go to Tools –> Macro –> Macros… to create it.
  2. Name the Macro “MoveSelectedMessagesToFolder”
  3. Delete what shows up in the macro window by default and copy/paste the following code in the window
  4. Replace the folder name which is “_Reviewed” in this example, to whatever folder to which you want to move messages
  5. Create a toolbar button for the macro (http://blogs.technet.com/kclemson/pages/87358.aspx)






And here is the code:





Sub MoveSelectedMessagesToFolder()

On Error Resume Next

Dim objFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder, objInbox As Outlook.MAPIFolder
Dim objNS As Outlook.NameSpace, objItem As Outlook.MailItem

Set objNS = Application.GetNamespace(“MAPI”)
Set objInbox = objNS.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
Set objFolder = objInbox.Folders(“_Reviewed”)
‘Assume this is a mail folder

If objFolder Is Nothing Then
MsgBox “This folder doesn’t exist!”, vbOKOnly + vbExclamation, “INVALID FOLDER”
End If

If Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Count = 0 Then
‘Require that this procedure be called only when a message is selected
Exit Sub
End If

For Each objItem In Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection
If objFolder.DefaultItemType = olMailItem Then
If objItem.Class = olMail Then
objItem.Move objFolder
End If
End If
Next

Set objItem = Nothing
Set objFolder = Nothing
Set objInbox = Nothing
Set objNS = Nothing

End Sub