Outlook 2007 + Public Based Free/Busy Information

I would like a show of hands for who thinks Outlook 2007 by default supports Public Based Free/Busy information. If this were last week, my hand would have been raised. However, thanks to a client of ours who found out different, I now know better. The client I’m referring too has an Exchange Server 2007 environment. But, for reasons that I may go over in another blog entry, we opted out of deploying and using the Availability Service for external users (which also happen to all be Outlook 2007 users). For those users we configured Public Folder based Free/Busy information which was then published using ISA Server 2006. To make a long story short, none of his remote Outlook 2007 users were able to see Free/Busy information. After spending some time looking at the Exchange 2007 configuration I decided to see if this was an Outlook 2007 issue. The result of my investigation was the uncanny conclusion that Outlook 2007 will not by default look for Public Folder based Free/Busy information. That’s right; it doesn’t even try by default. To force Outlook 2007 to look for Public Folder based Free/Busy information you need to hack the registry: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\Calendar Value Type: DWORD Value Name: UseLegacyFB Values:0 or not set (default behavior which is to use the Availability Service) or 1 (use Public Folder based Free/Busy information) This means that if you planned on deploying Outlook 2007 in an Exchange 2003 environment before Exchange 2007 you need to customize your Outlook installations. Furthermore, you will need to change the Outlook configurations yet again once Exchange 2007 is deployed. **sigh** Could it have killed you Microsoft to have Outlook 2007 check both the Availability Service and Public Folders for Free/Busy information? For all of today's Microsoft news, visit Microsoft Subnet

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