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Thread: Ongoing Calendaring issues

  1. #1
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    Default Ongoing Calendaring issues

    Hi!

    We've been running a ZCS "cluster" on three SLES9 (SP3) machines for about a year now. Since implementation we've dealt with a number of problems in the calendaring components.

    Two key problems that've resurfaced persistently are:
    1. Calendaring entries disappear (not unlike the description in bug 14311). This happens to users who make regular use several possible combinations of the Outlook Connector, the web interface, and blackberries (integrated via the third party service called Notifylink)

    2. Around DST (both this year and last year), we've had a bevy of appointments shift an hour - despite having all the appropriate OS level DST patches, and a ZCS update that should be aware of the latest DST definitions. Last year, all recurring meetings that were created before the DST change had to be manually recreated even once the DST change was fully in place. This year, we've been unable to ascertain any workaround for the problem - this particular set of symptoms makes me wonder if ZCS isn't using a GMT relative time definition (say GMT-5) rather than a DST time definition, but I've not been able to locate any documentation that would clarify this one way or the other.

    Everytime we've identified a known bug that might conceivable be creating these problems, we've update to the latest patch release; but (so far) we've only succeeded in moving the problem around - one or two users may see temporary respite, but a new batch of users will begin to see the problems

    Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any official channel that provides us the opportunity to communicate directly with the developers assigned to these bugs (even for a fee). Zimbra support has been quite polite, but utterly unable to provide any assistance on this set of problems.

    I'm hoping someone on these forums who've found solutions to similar problems may have a useful suggestion, because I've lately been asked to estimate the overall cost of a complete switch off from zimbra and on to MS Exchange. This is a step I'd prefer to avoid, for any number of reasons; but this problem's grown to affect users at the highest levels of the our company and my users' perception of this product is becoming quite poor - many now use the word "zimbra" as an adverb (as in "I just got zimbra'd"

    Anyone able to throw a drowning man a rope?

  2. #2
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    Default

    I've seen some issues like this as well, with various user paths creating either deleted appointments or shifted appointments after they've edited them.

    While my situation isn't as bad as venotar's, I've got some pretty ticked off users. One manager uses his calendar to schedule his week's work and he's claiming "he's not getting things done now". I would think he's just being dramatic, but I've come across this a couple of times.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Welcome to the forums, actually both of you are new members!

    Venotar I know your saying your issues go back a whole year, but any thought of getting off of the 4.5.x series onto 5.0.x?
    Our development efforts have been on that line for some time; so there very-well may have been nothing for support to do on say the new US time switch or something. Your tickets may have been escalated internally (with comments to engineers) or done so on request, info noted on the bugs, etc - even when you don't see the direct communication to the developers.

    It's unfortunate that your first interaction with the community forums has to be this way, but we're here to listen & feel your pain - no one wants to go back to exchange! Feel free to PM me some support ticket numbers so I can follow along a bit & get up to speed.

    If both of you could post some bug numbers that would also be great.

  4. #4
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    Default Feeling != Fixing

    MMorse,

    Thank you for your warm welcome! Your neighborliness typifies the high level of participation and deep attention to detail within these forums that initially convinced me to adopt Zimbra as our groupware solution. Hopefully you'll validate the basis of that decision with more than merely empathy (I'm sure I can find many an Exchange consultant who will also "feel my pain").

    Unfortunately, I need to move into our next series of steps with a sense of assurance that we're on a firm track to solving the problems I previously mentioned, rather than just taking stabs in the dark.

    You see, getting onto the 5.0.x series is one of the "hail-mary pass" options for which I've personally advocated; but my users have already been through one major release (4.0.x - 4.5.0) and 3 minor releases (within the 4.5.x series) in search of final solutions to their problems.

    If the choice is between a blind upgrade and an equally random switch to a "proven" technology from someone like Microsoft, I don't know that I'll find much support in advocating the fairly cavalier approach of simply upgrading to the latest release in the hopes that our problems are addressed by your development team's unrelated efforts.

    If someone in the Zimbra development effort can take the time to point out the ways that specific changes in the new version are likely to address our particular problems, however, I'll have a much stronger leg to stand on when suggesting an upgrade.

    At this point, without such a credible path - or even just a cost price quote for such attention - I've few options to argue against the approach of switching over to the "industry standard".

    Thanks - I'll be personally indebted for any assistance you can provide on this!

    PS. I can't speak to the other fellow, but I've already posted bug numbers in this short thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by mmorse View Post
    Welcome to the forums, actually both of you are new members!

    Venotar I know your saying your issues go back a whole year, but any thought of getting off of the 4.5.x series onto 5.0.x?
    Our development efforts have been on that line for some time; so there very-well may have been nothing for support to do on say the new US time switch or something. Your tickets may have been escalated internally (with comments to engineers) or done so on request, info noted on the bugs, etc - even when you don't see the direct communication to the developers.

    It's unfortunate that your first interaction with the community forums has to be this way, but we're here to listen & feel your pain - no one wants to go back to exchange! Feel free to PM me some support ticket numbers so I can follow along a bit & get up to speed.

    If both of you could post some bug numbers that would also be great.

  5. #5
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    Default No one else run across an answer, yet?

    Since I've not heard from anyone on or offline on this, I'm taking it no one else has discovered a reliable solution to similar symptoms?

    In the interests of minimizing impact and simplifying troubleshooting, I'm preparing a move off sles9 and onto sles10, in the hopes that a different build may alleviate some of this flakiness. I've noticed some rough spots in the sles9 builds that are reputedly addressed in the sles10 builds, so I'll certainly update this thread if that helps (or hinders) in any way.

    I am sorry for the lack of detail in this thread - these calendaring issues have, so far, been difficult to reliably reproduce and never throw any error messages at all. Unfortunately, they happen too persistently and with too wide a user base for me to suspect user error or client side problems; but not reliably enough to be able to reproduce at will. It's quite frustrating.

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