IT Services



Oxford Nexus upgrades to Exchange 2010 - important information


Contents

The Oxford Nexus email, calendaring, address book (etc.) service is built upon Microsoft Exchange. On 14 February 2012 we began the process of upgrading the service from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010. These pages are designed to inform you as to the impact of this change and what you may need to do.

Why do we need to upgrade to Exchange 2010?

The main benefit that most people will see is that Outlook Web App (or OWA) is improved, but also it is the same for users of the most popular browsers (not just Internet Explorer). This means that users of the recent versions of Firefox, Safari on Mac, Chrome and Internet Explorer will see the same functionality and a rich interface for web-based working. There are other benefits regarding the running of the service (more cost effective, easier to maintain) as well.

Look out for the following effects during and after the Valentine's day turn on. On 14 February 2012, the Nexus Team turned on some Exchange 2010 functionality and on 16 February further functionality was enabled. These changes had to happen before anyone is upgraded to the new service. However, there may be a few lasting effects:


1. What differences should I expect with Exchange 2010?

Most users will notice only an improvement to the Outlook Web App (OWA) interface.

Figure images/owa2010.JPG [Graphic of the general email appearance of Outlook Web App for Exchange 2010.]

Which web browsers can now use the full version of OWA?

With Exchange 2007 (our old implementation) only some recent versions of Internet Explorer could use the full OWA functionality. In Exchange 2010, the following web browsers should use OWA-full.

On a computer running Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows 7:
On a computer running Mac OS X 10.5 and later versions:
On a computer running Linux:

Source: http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/bb899685.aspx.

If you use a Web browser that doesn't support the full feature set, Outlook Web App will open in the light version.



2. Known issues during coexistence

The following problems will exist to a greater or lesser extent during the coexistence period. Note that, on the whole, users will notice the coexistence effect only until their mailbox is upgraded to Exchange 2010. Coexistence began on 14 February 2012.

Most people should be aware of the following issues:

The intended audience for the following notes on this page is IT Support Staff and users of email clients who are confident in making changes to the set up of their software.

Table 1. Coexistence problems and their suggested work-arounds.
Problem Mitigation / work around
OWA has difficulties opening calendars cross platform (i.e. when one user/mailbox is on Exchange 2010 and the other is on Exchange 2007). Migrations have been scheduled Unit by Unit in order to avoid the occurrence of this problem. In OWA/Exchange 2010, the work around is to delete the entry/short-cut to the Calendar and add it again.
Outlook 2011 (for Mac) cannot open delegated calendars, inbox or full mailboxes cross platform. Could add a delegated mailbox as a separate account if you know the password.
Entourage 2008 EWS cannot open delegated calendars, inbox or full mailboxes cross platform. Could add a delegated mailbox as a separate account if you know the password.
Apple Mail and iCal cannot open delegated calendars cross platform. Could add a delegated calendar as a separate account if you know the password.
New Apple Mail profiles will not auto-configure correctly for iCal and Address Book. After an account has been added, the 'internal' Exchange server URL has to be altered. Ensure that both 'Internal' and 'External' server settings are updated correctly.
Davmail cannot view free/busy information across platforms. None.


3. Known issues with Exchange 2010

The following changes also accompany the move from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010:


3.1. Apple Mac related issues

Apple Mail (and Address Book and iCal) adding in (or removal) of ".legacy"
Before following the instructions at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nexus/upgrade/index.xml?ID=applemail disconnect from the network. (There is a problem of new email coming down after the connection settings have been changed, and before the client is restarted, that causes the appearance of duplicates).
If you see duplicates in Apple Mail after adding (or, later removing) the ".legacy" server connection details
This may be cured by going and selecting Mailbox->Rebuild from the main menu. However, please ensure that the client has been restarted (Applekey-Q and restart).
Apple Mail users who use IMAP being told to change settings to use the correct EWS connection
This can confuse IMAP users (as Exchange Web Services should be irrelevant to them). There are three main reasons why they could have been told to change their settings:
They have another Mac client and that is set up to use EWS
Address Book and/or iCal could be set up to use EWS
Even though they may never use AB or iCal this can be why the person showed up in the logs (and was sent an informative email). If they genuinely don't use AB and iCal, then they can ignore everything and not make any changes.
They may have received a warning regarding IMAP and NTLM
Nothing about EWS but the IMAP settings are using NTLM in their password connection. Please check the OUCS help page and change this setting. The connection should have stopped working on 16 February 2012.
Apple Mail users get their Apple Mail rules broken
(N.B. This does not apply to server-side rules or rules set up via OWA.) The namespace change (from nexus.ox.ac.uk to legacy.nexus... and - presumably - back again) can cause rules to break within Apple Mail. There is no simple fix for these problems after they have occurred. The advice is


3.2. Browser issues

Double authentication to OWA?
If you have bookmarks like https://nexus.ox.ac.uk/CookieAuth.dll?GetLogon?curl=Z2Fowa&reason=0&formdir=2 this will cause a prompt for you to log in twice. Either remove everything after the 3rd slash (i.e. Cookie....) or bookmark https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk (either will work perfectly well).
After you are upgraded, you continue seeing OWA-Light, when you were expecting the more advanced OWA-Full
There are two main reasons for this:
  • Your browser/operating system combination is incorrect. See the list of supported browsers on the What differences should I expect with Exchange 2010? page.
  • You are using a correct browser/operating system combination, but you have "Use the blind and low vision experience" set as an option. To remove this setting:
    • Click on the 'Options' link near the question mark in the top right-hand corner of the OWA window.
    • Click on 'Accessibility' in the list on the left.
    • Un-tick the 'Use the blind and low vision experience' check box.
    • Click on the 'Save' icon.
    • Sign out and log back in again.
    This should cause your OWA interface to transform to OWA-Full. If it does not...
  • The cause could be that you have not yet been upgraded. Please check with your local IT Support staff for more information.
You see the "Use Outlook Web Access Light. Faster interface with fewer features. If you are not using Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, this is your default interface." message each time you log in to Nexus (and you are unable to select or de-select the checkbox).
Known issue. You may well be using a supported browser (see the list on the What differences should I expect with Exchange 2010? page). This prompt will stay with us for some time and will continue to be a little misleading. Future work (after all of the upgrades have been completed) will address this. If you prefer to use OWA-Light, you must select the 'Use the blind and low vision experience', as per the instructions above (but in reverse).
You can't find your 'remembered' email addresses
Instead of saving email addresses as proper 'Contacts', some people had grown to rely upon the last 100 'cached' email addresses that OWA remembered. In OWA-Light, these were collected in a little box alongside the email interface. In OWA-Full, they magically appeared as you began typing. These are not migrated between Exchange 2007 and 2010 (there are very good reasons why this would be a bad idea for most Exchange migrations). Those who rely on these lists need to re-build them by looking or searching through their Sent Items. All email addresses will be in Sent Items, as it is only by sending someone an email that their email address can be added to the cached email address list.
Picking up external calendars (e.g. google calendars) via OWA
In the interface, it appears that you can do this. However, it does not work as yet. We are attempting to get this functionality to work at the moment.
OWA defaults to grouping your emails in 'Conversation view'
This has proved to be quite unpopular (for understandable reasons). It would appear to default to that view for some, if not all, users. The Nexus Team have not been able to change this for new upgrades, so everyone (who doesn't like it) needs to uncheck the 'Conversations' checkbox that can be found within the 'Conversations by...' drop down list. (This can't be turned off 'globally', so you need to do it the first time you visit each folder).
Using Internet Explorer, I don't see when new emails arrive
Some people have noticed that they need to keep pressing refresh to see new items. This may be due to the namespace change and to the way Internet Explorer works with trusted sites. The fix is to add https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk as a Local intranet site. To do this:
  • Go to Tools > Internet Options > and find the Security tab.
  • Click on 'Local intranet' (the planet+monitor icon) and click the Sites button.
  • Leave the settings in the 'Local intranet' pop up window the same as before, but click on the 'Advanced' button.
  • Add in https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk and click 'Close', 'OK, and 'OK'.
  • The figure below summarises this process.

    Figure images/OWAintoTrustedSites.png [Graphic showing the editing of Local intranet sites in Internet Explorer to include https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk]



3.3. Outlook issues

Adding in a mailbox where you have full access, but where that mailbox is hidden from the Global Address List (GAL)
There are some changes here which are difficult to express concisely. It is still possible to do this, but you may have to contact the OUCS Help Centre (and then the Nexus Team) for advice. A few pointers:
  • If the person trying to connect to the hidden mailbox is using Outlook 2003, this is not possible.
  • If the person trying to connect to the hidden mailbox is using Outlook 2007, please contact OUCS to have something called 'automapping' switched on.
  • If the person trying to connect to the hidden mailbox is using Outlook 2010, using 'automapping' (as above) is probably the easiest option. However, the method outlined at Running multiple Nexus mailboxes under one profile (Outlook 2010) still works, but the end result is that the mailbox is displayed a in a somewhat 'unfriendly' way.
Sharing calendars with people who are hidden from the Global Address List (GAL)
This is difficult, although not impossible! If person A wishes to see hidden person B's calendar, and presuming person B has enabled this, person A must create a personal contact entry for person B before accessing the calendar. Full details of how to do this will shortly be documented within the general OUCS Nexus documentation.


3.4. BlackBerry issues

BlackBerry problems for people with a BIS contract
(N.B. This does not apply to those using the Oxford Nexus BlackBerry Enterprise Service, i.e. BES). For people who have a BlackBerry, using BlackBerry Internet Service, (BIS) and who have found that their connection no longer works, they should do the following only until their mailbox is upgraded. Change the Outlook Web Access URL field to:

https://legacy.nexus.ox.ac.uk/owa

N.B. Once your mailbox has been upgraded (We will notify when this will happen for you), you need to change it back to:

https://nexus.ox.ac.uk/owa

The OUCS BIS instructions provide help about configuring this on your Blackberry Smartphone.



3.5. UNIX and Linux-related issues

Certificate problems with UNIX IMAP clients
We have heard that some UNIX IMAP email clients have shown some certificate errors. There is no fundamental reason why this should be restricted to UNIX clients, as the cause is a new type of certificate (Comodo) that the Nexus service is using. However, some older systems assume that the user will take on the responsibility of updating certificate chains etc. (Most modern Linux systems, e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, etc., will automatically update).
  • If this affects you, then the system administrator (possibly you) need to install the root Comodo CA certificate) into the trusted certificate store. Visit https://support.comodo.com/ for more details.


4. Unconfirmed issues and breaking news

These are issues that have come in mailboxes that have already been migrated. The information here is in order to alert people to possible issues that have not yet been researched or confirmed by the Nexus Team, or of issues that appear to be very rare and difficult to reproduce.



4.1. General issues

Out of office/vacation/OOF is switched off or reports an error
This problem would appear to be rare, but we have had one instance of the end date of an Out of Office (OOF) message being corrupted, possibly due to the migration. The fix has been simply to switch OOF off (i.e. into the state where the person is 'at work') and then re-set it with an appropriate end date.


4.2. Apple Mac related issues

N.B. The Apple Mac clients have proved to be the most troublesome to early adopters!
(This does not include iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod etc, which have tended to work fine). If your mailbox is about to be upgraded, or you are about to make some changes to the server connection settings as outlined at Important changes for Apple Mail users, you are strongly encouraged to avoid potential problems by disconnecting your computer from the network. Make the changes, or wait for your upgrade to happen (and make any connection changes that you know are necessary), restart the software and re-connect to the network.
iCal gets confused when >1 Nexus mailboxes are displayed
This issue was discovered by early adopters. iCal on Snow Leopard has been observed to behave oddly, after the mailboxes have been upgraded, in that entries from one calendar are displayed as duplicates in another calendar. The solution is to ensure that all calendars have their server settings are updated before restarting the software. To pro-actively avoid this problem, If the problem has already occurred,
  • check all iCal server settings. Ensure they are correct and re-start the software (as outlined in the main instructions).
  • Refresh all calendars
Rogue entries such as "casxx.ac.oak.ox.ac.uk" appearing in server settings
This has been reported. It should not happen unless a new profile is created (something we have advised against in these pages). However, it would appear that this can happen for users of iCal or Address Book where Apple Mail is not fully configured. If this has happened to you, our advice is:
  • Ensure that your mailbox upgrade has taken place before making further changes
  • Disconnect your Mac from the network (including wireless network)
  • Follow the instructions at Important changes for Apple Mail users to update all three clients (Apple Mail, iCal and Address Book), regardless as to whether you use all three.
  • Restart the software
  • Re-connect to the network.


4.3. iOS, iPad, iPod, iPhone issues

iPod notes having problems synching
We have had reports of iPod 'notes', that used to synch successfully with the server via IMAP, remaining on the server but disappearing from the iPod. If this happens to you, we have not found a way of restoring the old notes to the iPod, but new notes created on the iPod may be synched. One report found that it was possible to use an email client (such as Outlook) to find the 'notes' and email them somewhere, but not to get them synching again without creating them anew on the iPod.


4.4. UNIX and Linux-related issues

Inability to use Chrome, or other browsers, with Linux to give the full OWA experience (simply defaults to OWA-Light)
This is as expected. See the list of supported browsers on the What differences should I expect with Exchange 2010? page. Microsoft's recommended browser for Linux is Firefox.


5. Frequently asked questions

Click on one of the topic names to view the questions for that topic. To view the answer for any question, click the '+/-' link. Click again on any link to hide its contents. (If the links don't work for you, see the advice at the bottom of this page.)

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6. What is the timetable for upgrades?

After circulating a draft timetable (for comments) to all units' IT Support Staff (ITSS), a final schedule was published on 15 February 2012. Your ITSS should be able to tell you when your upgrade is likely to occur. (You will also receive a personalised email at least a week before informing you of the date/time. For more information please see our FAQs page.) Upgrades are divided into 'early adopters' and the 'main group'.

After the 'turn on' of Exchange 2010 on 14 February 2012, a group of early adopters will be upgraded on the night of 19-20 February 2012. The early adopters, which includes all OUCS staff, will assist (amongst other things) in validating documentation (see http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/nexus/help/).

The main group of mailboxes (the rest of the University) will be upgraded from 4/5 March 2012. We hope that the upgrades will be largely complete by 30 March 2012. The weeks of 2, 9 and 16 April may be used for any final mailboxes that could not - for whatever reason - be upgraded during the main schedule.



7. Important changes for Apple Mail users

Note, this will also affect the Mac iCal client and Address Book, if you use these software clients.

Apple Mail users accessing Oxford Nexus via Exchange Web Services (EWS) experienced a change on or after 14 February 2012. (If you use Apple Mail and did not notice any interruption in service on 14 February, it may be that it is configured to use IMAP - in which case you should do nothing.)

If you are affected, you have the following options:

** Note - this change/impact is regarding this specific software only. Other Apple hardware (e.g. iPhones, iPods, iPads etc.) and the Safari web browser are not affected. **

What to do to set up Apple Mail after 14 February but before your upgrade to Exchange 2010

Instructions for re-configuring an existing Apple Mail client (and iCal and the Address Book)

The main changes that you need to make on 14 February is to go into the 'Preferences' to find the 'Account Information' or 'Server Settings' of all three of these applications (or whichever ones you use) and change the Internal server: and External server: settings both to legacy.nexus.ox.ac.uk.

When your mailbox has been upgraded, again go into the 'Preferences' to find the 'Account Information' or 'Server Settings' of all three of these applications and change the Internal server: and External server: settings both back to nexus.ox.ac.uk (i.e. just remove the "legacy." that you added previously.

The following notes have been taken from an installation of Snow Leopard. Other versions are roughly similar.

To make these changes in Apple Mail, in the main menu (top of the screen):
To make these changes in iCal, in the main menu (top of the screen):
To make these changes in Address Book, in the main menu (top of the screen):

Useful screen shots for re-configuring existing Apple Mail clients

Apple Mail main menu, Mail -> Preferences

Figure images/applemailusual.JPG [Graphic of the usual configuration for Apple Mail (before 14 February and after mailbox upgrade)]

During coexistence...

Figure images/applemailcoex.JPG [Graphic of the coexistence configuration for Apple Mail (from 14 February until mailbox upgrade)]

Note that it may be best to disconnect from the network (wired and wireless) while making these changes. After making changes, don't forget to close down Mail entirely by pressing the Apple button (Cmd) and the letter Q or, via the menu, Mail -> Quit Mail. When you next start up Mail, the new settings should take effect.

Useful screen shots for re-configuring existing iCal clients

iCal main menu, iCal -> Preferences -> Accounts -> Server Settings.

Figure images/icalusual.JPG [Graphic of the usual configuration for iCal (before 14 February and after mailbox upgrade)]

During coexistence...

Figure images/icalcoex.JPG [Graphic of the coexistence configuration for iCal (from 14 February until mailbox upgrade)]

After making changes, don't forget to close down iCal entirely by pressing the Apple button (Cmd) and the letter Q or, via the menu, iCal -> Quit iCal. When you next start up iCal, the new settings should take effect.

Useful screen shots for re-configuring existing Address Book clients

Address Book main menu, Address Book -> Preferences -> Accounts -> Server Settings.

Figure images/addressbkusual.JPG [Graphic of the usual configuration for Address Book (before 14 February and after mailbox upgrade)]

During coexistence...

Figure images/addressbkcoex.JPG [Graphic of the coexistence configuration for Address Book (from 14 February until mailbox upgrade)]

After making changes, don't forget to close down Address Book entirely by pressing the Apple button (Cmd) and the letter Q or, via the menu, Address Book -> Quit Address Book. When you next start up Address Book, the new settings should take effect.



8. Important changes for Davmail users

Users of DavMail (for example Thunderbird/Lightning users) accessing Oxford Nexus should have experienced a change on 14 February 2012. In order to continue to access calendar information for your Nexus mailbox you will need to do one of the following:

Instructions for re-configuring DavMail at the start and end of the coexistence period

On or after 14 February 2012, re-configure your DavMail client by amending the "OWA (Exchange) URL" from to Also, this may be a good time to ensure that EWS is being used (see below).

When you are informed that your mailbox has been migrated to Exchange 2010, this process must be undone, but to a new URL that should be somewhat more future-proof. Change from: to However, if you have already made it, do not reverse the EWS change. EWS is a requirement for Exchange 2010 as support for WebDav has been dropped.

N.B. In some newer versions of Ubuntu, within the Default Unity desktop for instance, there is no system tray to launch Davmail. It may be necessary for you to manually edit your Davmail properties file to configure the correct URL and Exchange protocol settings. The settings probably looks something like this:

davmail.enableEws=true

davmail.url=https\://davmail.nexus.ox.ac.uk/owa

Alternatively, you can configure the Unity desktop to display the notification area.

A note about EWS

In order for DavMail to work with Exchange 2010, the Exchange protocol used must be EWS. EWS is a requirement for Exchange 2010 as support for WebDav has been dropped. Find the Exchange protocol settings in your DavMail configuration and ensure that EWS is used and "WebDav" is not. This change can be made on 14 February alongside the "legacy." addition, or you can choose to make the change when your mailbox is upgraded (i.e. when you remove the "legacy." and add "davmail.").

Instructions for configuring Nexus Calendars in Thunderbird using Davmail and Lightning are given on the OUCS web site.



9. Impact points: a summary for ITSS

This page is intended to give a summary of the issues of which ITSS should be aware. Documentation exists within these 'upgrade' pages (this single XML document) giving further details. Note that for users of Outlook (on Windows) 2003, 2007 and 2010 there should be no visible coexistence or reconfiguration issues.

Table 2. Summary of issues for ITSS
When issue is likely to arise Issue
On 14 February 2012 During the upgrade (7-9 am), users of OWA will see a "Service Unavailable" page. Mobile devices may see a "server unavailable" (or similar) message.
Any client issues should first be approached by closing the client software (*fully*) and reopening.
When using Outlook Web App (OWA), users may notice a redirection to a URL which reads https://legacy.nexus.ox.ac.uk/owa (This is normal: nothing to worry about, but will stop after the user's mailbox upgrade.
Users of Davmail (e.g. Lightning users), Apple Mail, the Mac iCal client and Address Book must re-configure to use legacy.nexus.ox.ac.uk during coexistence.
OWA double authentication for if bookmarks/favourites/shortcuts/history similar to https://nexus.ox.ac.uk/CookieAuth.dll?GetLogon?curl=Z2Fowa&reason=0&formdir=2 is used. (Use https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk to logon to OWA. Ask users to amend bookmarks.)
New Apple Mail profiles will not auto-configure correctly for iCal and Address Book (problem disappears when coexistence ends).
On 16 February 2012 IMAP switchover to Exchange 2010. IMAP clients may need to be restarted.
NTLM Authentication over IMAP ends. Some users may need assistance. Set authentication to "Normal" or "Normal password" (or equivalent).
Upon start of mailbox upgrades Early adopters scheduled for 20 Feb. Main body of University from 5 March.
OWA cannot open calendars cross platform (i.e. when one user/mailbox is on Exchange 2010 and the other is on Exchange 2007).
Outlook 2011 (for Mac), Entourage 2008 EWS, Apple Mail and iCal cannot open delegated calendars, inbox or full mailboxes cross platform (there are work-arounds but this problem disappears when coexistence ends).
Davmail cannot view free/busy information across platforms (problem disappears when coexistence ends).
Upon upgrade of mailboxes Most coexistence issues/problems should stop. However, where colleagues' mailboxes have not yet been upgraded, the cross-platform issues may continue until their upgrade.
Any client issues should first be approached by closing the client software (*fully*) and reopening.
Loss of 'Messageware enhanced' OWA Light.
Users of Apple Mail, the Mac iCal client and Address Book must re-configure (only if they configured to legacy.nexus.ox.ac.uk during coexistence: otherwise clients should automatically work again).
Entourage 2004-2008 stops working. (User needs to upgrade to later version of Entourage/EWS, Outlook 2011 or other).
WebDav is lost.
Users of DavMail (e.g. with the Lightning plug in to Thunderbird) must configure their "OWA (Exchange) URL" to https://davmail.nexus.ox.ac.uk/owa and it becomes necessary to use EWS to replace WebDav.
Lightning calendar plug in for Thunderbird must use the DavMail connection with Exchange Web Services (EWS).