Free/Busy Server Information Not available

Posted on 2009-02-12
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We are running Exchange 2007 with Outlook and Entourage. This was a new deployment, not an upgrade from 2003. Until recently, Outlook and Entourage clients were able to view Free/Busy information. I have done some research, and it appears that Outlook uses the availability service on the CAS, and Entourage uses public folders for this information. Neither of these seem to be working now; however, Free/Busy information is still visible in OWA.
Question by:kirkmeldrum
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution


    For Free/busy to work on Outlook 2007 you will need to have a SAN/UC certificate on the Exchange server.
    If you allready have a SAN/UC then i would run the "Test E-mail Autoconfiguration" from the Outlook client to see what errors you get.
    You can run that test by pressing the "CTRL" key and then righ-clicking the Outlook Icon in the SysTray.
    Then run "Test E-mail Autoconfiguration"
    Remove the Guessmart checkmarks and run the test with a Valid account and password.

    Look at errors and post them

    Also check get-ewsvirtualdirectory |fl
    and get-autodiscovervirtualdirectory |fl

    check the permissions and the external URL


    Author Comment

    We already have a valid SAN/UC Certificate. I started the Exchange services, and this did not immediately resolve the issues. We tested free/busy access immediately after and about 2 days later and it was not working. It is apparently working now, however, and I do not know what has changed.

    I did notice that I did not have a DNS record for autodiscover. I have since added a CNAME for this alias. But I do not believe this was what resolved the issue. This could explain why we were unable to contact the free/busy server when outside of our network; however, it looks as though Outlook 2007 queries AD for a Service Connection Point (SCP) object. Without a vaild DNS record for audodiscover, we still  should have been able to find the free/busy server using the SCP object in AD.

    After figuring this out, I temporarily deleted the autodiscover CNAME from our DNS. After doing this, I cleared my cache and connected to Exchange through HTTP over RPC from outside out network. This should have prevented me from retrieving Free/busy information since I had no contact with AD to find the SCP object and I had no DNS record for autodiscover. I was, however, still able to connect.

    So it is working now, but I do not understand why this problem occurred, or how it was resolved. This is not the first time I have seen this with Exchange 2007.

    Author Closing Comment

    Although the answer did help shed some light on the process, the issues were not actually with the SAN/UC. The issues were related to the absense of a DNS record for Autodiscover. It appears that there were also some communication issues with AD for the SCP object, but this appears to have resolved itself. Once the DNS record was added. Clients were able to contact the free/busy server as expected.

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