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Missing calendar items in Outlook 2003 running in a Citrix environment

Posted on 2008-10-17
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I have a client who is using Outlook 2003 in a Citrix environment (the Exchange server is running 2003 as well). Sometimes when they accept an appointment that they are invited to, it will not show up on their calendar.  However, they can see it on their iPhone and they also get the reminder about the appointment through Outlook as well.  Also, if they try to double schedule a time, they get the alert that there is already another appointment, however, even then it still doesn't show on the calendar.  Outlook is not running in cached mode.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:ThinkSmartInc
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by:EFHC
ID: 22745031
It seems like you have a setting set that will not allow this to be shown. Is this for all meetings\appointments or random?

I haven't used outlook in a while, sorry have to deal Notes where I'm at. I will help you out where I can from memory.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22745283
It's random.  I'd say less than 25% of the appointments have this issue.  And it seems to only happen with ones that they are invited to.
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by:sk_raja_raja
ID: 22750126
Are you using Chached Exchange Mode?  If so, how about turning it off on the assistant's computer long enough to see if the appointments all appear?
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22761904
She isn't an assistant, she's a C level employee and is simply accepting invites to meetings.  And no, cached mode is disabled.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22777586
Still looking for a solution to this issue...
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22800033
I'm going to restate this question as I really need a solution:

I have a client who is using Outlook 2003 in a Citrix environment (the Exchange server is running 2003 as well). Sometimes when they accept an appointment that they are invited to, it will not show up on their calendar.  However, they can see it on their iPhone and they also get the reminder about the appointment through Outlook as well.  Also, if they try to double schedule a time, they get the alert that there is already another appointment, however, even then it still doesn't show on the calendar.  Outlook is not running in cached mode.  Any suggestions?
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by:ET0000
ID: 22859058
Because of the detection of a scheduling conflict, the appointment is apparently in the calendar, just not being shown. Check the calendar view settings to be sure that some appointments aren't being filtered out of the view.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22868340
All filtering has been turned off (that was the first thing I did to try to resolve this issue).
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by:ET0000
ID: 22868965
Does the appointment show up in the web-based Outlook?
Does it show up if you exit and logout of Outlook and then restart it?
If the calendar is shared with another user, can they see the appointment?

   (None of those are solutions, but the answers might point us to a solution...)
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22868997
I haven't looked in the web-based Outlook (I'll have to wait until the client complains about discovering another appointment that is missing).  It does show up after exiting Outlook and launching it again.  I've gone as far as closing out of Outlook and logging out of Citrix, then coming back in.  They don't share their calendar with anyone else.
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by:ET0000
ID: 22875968
If it appears after simply exiting Outlook and re-launching Outlook, then the appointment is in the calendar and the view settings aren't hiding it, but the Outlook calendar display isn't recognizing the appointment is there to show.

When they accept the appointment, are they doing it from Outlook, or from the iPhone?
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22877810
Now that's a good question.  They still don't see the appointment no matter how many times they relaunch Outlook, but I do know that they do accept appointments through their iPhone, from Entourage on their iMac and in Outlook 2003 in Citrix.  I'll have to contact the client and find out if they've noticed a pattern with where they accept an appointment and it's visibility.  I'll also have them test by getting some generic appointments sent to them and have them accept different ones by different methods.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22877824
My previous comment about appointments showing up after relaunch was erroneous, it should have said "they don't show up after a relaunch".
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22887635
I just spoke with the customer and they stated that the only way the accept appointments is through Outlook in Citrix, never through Entourage or their iPhone.  As soon as they accept the appointment they go and check to see if it's visible, if not they add it manually and get the conflicting appointment error and ignore it.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22976727
Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Please read everything before making a suggestion.  One point to keep in mind is that I mistakenly said that the appointments reappear after closing and launching Outlook again, it should have said that they DON'T reappear.
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by:ET0000
ID: 22977336
Did you do any of the generic appt testing you mentioned on Nov 4th? It would be useful to know whether the problem can be replicated 100% within Outlook, or if another app like iPhone or Entourage is part of the problem.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22977573
I contacted the customer and they said that they only accept appointments through Outlook over Citrix.  They only use Entourage and the iPhone to look at their inbox and respond to some email.  They make a point of using Outlook as much as possible, and as I stated, they have made it a point to never accept appointments through anything but Outlook.  That being said, so far there isn't a pattern where we can see this getting replicated 100% as of yet.  The part that makes this really hard is that there is about 300 miles between me and the person having this issue.
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by:ET0000
ID: 22980342
I thought Citrix and shadowing was supposed to make those miles melt away...

Were you able to see whether the appointment shows up in the web-based Outlook?

Is it worth having the customer temporarily share their calendar (read-only) with you or someone else so you can check to see if the appointment is visible there?

Can they search for text in the appointment title to see if it is found in a search?

Those would let us know whether the appointment is in the calendar, or if it just reserved the free/busy time and then disappeared.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 22988067
Thanks for the suggestion, I've contacted the client to have them test.  Results as they happen.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23014220
My client I'm working with is in the office until December 1.  She said she'll check to see if she can view a missing appointment in the web version, her iPhone and Entourage as well as search for it and report back to me.  Now it's the waiting game.  Thanks for your patience.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23036101
I still haven't heard back from the client yet.  They said it's random, so it could pop up at anytime.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23078632
Here is the results of the testing.  Not only is she unable to see some of her new appointments in Oulook through Citrix, she can't see them in OWA, Entourage or her iPhone.  Also, sometimes when an appointment is canceled, she'll accept the cancellation notice and the calendar still shows the appointment in all the same locations.  If she goes to her deleted items, she can see the accepted cancellation, accept it again, it'll prompt her again about removing the appointment from her calendar, she says yes and it's still visible.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23078666
Also, just a reminder that she only ever accepts anything that has to do with her calendar in Outlook over Citrix.  She used Entourage and her iPhone simply to keep track of appointments and normal email.
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by:ET0000
ID: 23083324
You may want to try using Outlook command line switches to clean things up, in particular, /cleanfreebusy. Here is a site with some command line info:
   http://www.outlook-tips.net/howto/commandlines.htm
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by:ET0000
ID: 23083329
If all else fails, you can use the "big hammer" of creating a new Outlook profile for the user. They may need to re-establish some options and settings, but a new profile often overcomes oddball stuff that isn't found during normal troubleshooting.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23090636
Thank you ET0000.  I've tried to find a time to test these out, but the client is busy in Outlook today.  I'll update you as soon as I have a chance to check these out.
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by:ET0000
ID: 23092496
No rush - thanks for the update.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23159688
I received a call from the client that they were having the issue manifest itself but they wanted me to stay out of the system until a few hours later.  When I looked through Citrix as her on Outlook, all the appointments were there as they were supposed to be.  I emailed the client back with screen shots of my findings.  They said they are going to start keeping a weekly log and updating me in case the problem this whole time was that they were being too impatient.
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by:ET0000
ID: 23164269
I guess you can't complain too much if the problem turns out to not be a problem!
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23228399
Another week of things working fine.  I'm going to track this issue for another 4 weeks to account for the fact that the end of the year is usually slow.  Updates as I get them and hopefully the issue this whole time was impatiences :-)
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23310824
I hope you are still monitoring this ET0000, I got a call this morning that we have a hit.  The client received an invitation yesterday for a meeting on 1/14/09 @ 1:00 PM, she accepted it and the appointment is not showing up on the calendar.  I looked at the deleted items and sent items folders and confirmed that the appointment was in fact received and accepted and I also verified that there are no filters on the calendar.  This is through Outlook in Citrix.  I also logged into my admin account in Citrix and added her account to my existing Outlook profile through Tools -> Email Accounts -> Change -> More Settings -> Advanced -> Add, and even there her appointment doesn't show up in her calendar.  Any suggestions?
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by:ET0000
ID: 23313588
Checking it through your profile rules out a lot of the filter-type problems. Before doing anything else, it is probably worth verifying the date of the appointment (especially in January, when people sometimes get the year wrong). You can check the appointment in sent items, and it probably wouldn't hurt to do a search in the calendar for the subject of the appointment just to see whether it shows up misfiled or not at all.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23316267
I made sure to check the year as well, it was one of my first thoughts was "maybe they set it to 2008 instead of 2009" so it wasn't that.  Doing a search for the appointment both through her account and also through the administrator account both find nothing.  I also did a search against an appointment that I could see in her calendar to verify that searching is working, and that was successful in both accounts.
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apache09 earned 250 total points
ID: 23332195
Found a similar issue with Iphones syncing with Outlook on Exchange 2003.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=958781

I wonder if it might be the same for Entourage

Some more on the issue:
http://www.slipstick.com/problems/iphonesync.asp
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Assisted Solution

by:ET0000
ET0000 earned 250 total points
ID: 23332725
The issues in the links apache09 provided don't quite match your symptoms, but it could be worthwhile looking into the hotfix from Microsoft.

The MSFT article mentions that the affected items can be viewed in OWA. Since Outlook doesn't find the item at all, I suspect that you won't see it in OWA, but it is worth looking.

Because it looks like the appointment is being processed but not fully stored, which is something that shouldn't be caused by a user or by normal sync operations, your next step might be to report the problem to Microsoft.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23396231
Trying the hotfix early next week.  Update when I have one.
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by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 23651381
So far the hotfix appears to be working, however, the client is still a little gun shy and won't let us call the case resolved.
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by:ET0000
ID: 23652516
Glad to hear things seem to be working!!
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Author Closing Comment

by:ThinkSmartInc
ID: 31507229
The Hotfix resolved the issue, and all the help ET0000 gave was most helpful in getting to the resolution.  Thanks to both ET0000 and apache09.
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