Archive for April, 2010

Epicenter FAQ – Outlook

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The following Frequently Asked Questions help explain how end users work with Outlook when receiving updates from Epicenter Server.

Do my users have to run Outlook for Epicenter to work?

Most users do not need to run Outlook. All update are done server-side in Microsoft Exchange and do not require involvement from the Outlook client. The only exception is if you are distributing updates via attachments, in which case the users must be running Outlook on their computer.

We use Outlook Web Access (OWA). Our users don’t use the Outlook client. Will Epicenter still work?

Yes. The only exception is if you are distributing updates via attachments, in which case the users must be running Outlook on their computer.

Is there a  way to prevent users from adding or removing contacts in the Epicenter folder?

In short, no. However, if a user deletes any contacts, Epicenter will recreate them the next time during the next update. (Note that Epicenter only updates the address book when changes are detected in the source address book.)  To force deletion of any contacts that users may have created in a folder managed by Epicenter, select the task, open the Task menu, select Strict Updates, then click Send Now.

Why are my phone numbers being changed by Epicenter?

Epicenter does not change your phone numbers, but Microsoft Outlook reformats all phone numbers to standardize them. If you are having difficulty with part of phone numbers being lost, such as international dialing prefixes, then you need to properly configure your phone number settings on the computer running Epicenter Server. Go to Control Panel / Phone and Modem Options. Edit “My location” and make sure the telephone information is correctly configured.

Why did Epicenter change my display names from First/Last to Last/First, or vice versa?

Epicenter does not reformat display names, but Microsoft Outlook reformats them to standardize them. You will see exactly the same behavior if you manually create a new contact in Outlook. This is is on our issues list and we are investigating solutions for future versions of Epicenter Server.

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Epicenter FAQ – Exchange

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The following Frequently Asked Questions help explain how administrators can make the best use of Epicenter Server when used with Exchange Server.

Can I select which items in the GAL get synched to the users?

In Epicenter Server, edit the task, go to the Address Book page, click the Folder button, and select the desired address list. You can create a new static or dynamic address list from the Exchange Console if you have some other subset you wish to distribute.

How can I configure Epicenter to make it easier to manage?

The preferred way to configure Epicenter is to use an Exchange dynamic address list as the source address book and an Exchange distribution list (dynamic or static) as the recipient. With this strategy, Epicenter will automatically send to new recipients who appear in the distribution list, and will automatically include contacts that appear in the address list.

What’s a dynamic address list?

A dynamic address list allows you to define an Exchange address list based on a query instead of a specific list of people. This means that if people are added to or removed from Active Directory, the address list will automatically update.

How do I create an address list in Exchange?

Please see Microsoft TechNet:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124384(EXCHG.80).aspx

Please note that Connected Software cannot provide free support for how to use and configure Microsoft Exchange. This information is provided as a courtesy to our customers.

I use Hosted Exchange and I’m not allowed to create a new address list. What can I do instead?

Use a script for filtering. See the Downloads for Epicenter for an example of filtering by category.

I want to send just the Users in my GAL, not the Contacts. How do I do that?

Create a dynamic address list and set it as the source address book as follows: In Epicenter Server, go to the address book tab, choose Global Address List, click the Folder button, and select the new address list. Also see the next FAQ.

Why doesn’t my new Exchange address list appear in Epicenter?

Epicenter uses the Outlook Offline Address Book (OAB) to resolve names. A new address list will not appear in Outlook until Exchange has updated the OAB on the server and Outlook has downloaded it. To make the address list appear immediately, you can force the OAB to update on the Exchange server, then click Send/Receive in Outlook to download the change.

I’d like to send just part of a Public Folder. How do I filter it?

Epicenter supports using scripts for filtering. See the Downloads for Epicenter for an example of filtering by category.

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Epicenter FAQ – Licensing

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The following Frequently Asked Questions help explain how Epicenter Server is licensed.

How many licenses do I need?

Licensing is based on the number of mailboxes that receive updates. The number of Exchange CALs does not matter and the number of BES licenses does not matter.

Does Epicenter track how many licenses I use?

Yes. Epicenter tracks which email addresses are currently assigned a license.

If I have two tasks distributing different address books, and a user is in both lists of recipients, does it count for two licenses or just one

One license.

What happens if I accidentally exceed the license count? Does Epicenter stop working?

Epicenter will send updates to all licensed users. Unlicensed users will not receive an update. A warning message will be written to the log in Epicenter.

Can I add licenses?

Yes, please contact your sales person. Once your purchase is completed, you will be notified that your license has been updated. Go to Epicenter, open the Help menu and select Sync License. You may need to restart Epicenter for the change to take effect.

If I buy Epicenter and I do not renew after a year, does the product still works?

Yes, Epicenter will continue to work. However, you will not be entitled to upgrades or to technical support. If you choose to renew later, you’ll need to pay for all of the intervening time, or buy a new license if it’s been more than three years.

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Slow WiFi 802.11g on the iPhone 3GS

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Recently I downloaded the Speedtest.net application for the iPhone. This app tests your upload and download speeds. I ran it on my iPhone 3GS yesterday and got a speed of 0.5 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. That’s right – downstream was 10 times SLOWER than upstream. This is on a 50 Mbps connection to the Internet and there was nothing else running.

After seeing this terrible result, we tested an iPhone 3G with the same wireless router. It ran at 2.8 Mbps downstream. Thinking it might be a problem with the Speedtest app, we used the App Store to download the same purchase to each phone. The 3G finished in about 30 seconds. The 3GS took about four minutes. So there was certainly a problem with the newer iPhone. The question was, where?

I spent an hour reading blogs this morning. There were all the normal recommendations about resetting the iPhone (no effect), turning off encryption (not a chance!), resetting the router, resetting the WiFi connection on the phone - all of which were useless.

I finally found the answer at the SupremeTechs blog.  Version 3.0.x of the iPhone has trouble with the default settings on many routers for the Fragmentation Threshold and CTS/RTS Threshold. I dropped those values back to 2305 and 2304 respectively, set the Preamble Mode to Long, and suddenly my iPhone 3GS started working. (This was with a NetGear WNDR3700 router.) Here are the results immediately after the fix – a 5x improvement, making it on par with the iPhone 3G:

You’ll notice that there’s a very high ping time. I’m not sure what’s causing that as the typical ping time to the Tucson server is 100ms. However, I tried later in the day and got substantially better downstream results:

The ping time for this last measurement is down to 120ms, which is about right.

This measure is still 4x slower than the rated performance of the Internet connection. If you look at the reviews for Speedtest.net, you’ll see a lot of low ratings for the app for just this reason. However, there’s a very good reason for this difference. The iPhone is running a relatively slow processor with very limited RAM and is desperately trying to conserve every minute of battery life. So the lower performance is expected .