Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Release Notes

Communications Express Interoperability Issues for Connector for Microsoft Outlook

The following issues relate to the interoperability between Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook and Sun Java System Communications Express:


Address change in From: header.

The name in the From: header changes if an attendee replies to an event invitation and attaches the winmail.dat calendar invitation. For example, Joe (using Outlook) sends an invitation to an event to Bob. Bob replies to Joe, using an email client that automatically sends the original winmail.dat calendar attachment back to Joe. When Joe opens the reply, the From: header is changed to Joe.

Workaround: None.


Email ID is a must for Outlook.

If a person with a calendar ID but no email ID is invited to an event in Communications Express, this person is not displayed as an attendee in Outlook. An email ID is required for Outlook.

Workaround: None.


Unsubscribing to a calendar does not remove the calendar from the folder list.

If you subscribe to or unsubscribe from a calendar in Communications Express, the information is updated in Outlook only after Outlook has been restarted. Additionally, if the LDAP configured for lookup is a replica, the subscription list is not updated until the replica is updated.

Workaround: None.


Error generated when Outlook synchronizes with server.

If a task is created (either in Outlook or Communications Express) while Outlook is synched with the server, then the task is deleted and the user attempts to switch to the Tasks folder in Outlook, an “Unable to display all cells due to low memory” error is generated.

Workaround: Switch to another folder and then back again to the Tasks folder.


Configuration parameter needs to be set in order for address book server contacts to be properly synchronized.

Workaround: The Communications Express configuration parameter delete_perm in the file needs to be set to false in order for Outlook to capture contact entries which have been deleted from Communications Express. The entry should be:


The default is true. The entry can be found at /var/opt/SUNWuwc/WEB-INF/config/ldapstore/ .


Folders with the same name but different case cannot both be displayed.

Only one folder is displayed. If a user creates a folder in Outlook (for example, TEST) and then later in Communications Express creates a folder with the same name but different case (for example, Test ) only the first folder created ( TEST) is displayed in Connector for Microsoft Outlook.

If the user then deletes the existing folder TEST in Communications Express and keeps (or creates) the folder of the same name but different case ( Test), when the user first logs onto Outlook, the folder TEST is deleted but the folder Test is not shown until the user exits and logs back into Outlook.

Workaround: None.


Limitations in calendar alarms.

Because of the difference in how Outlook and Communications Express handle alarms and reminders, changes in one interface are not reflected in the other. Outlook utilizes popup windows as alarms, while Communications Express (Calendar Server) sends email reminders. In order to not replicate alarms when both interfaces are used (having both a popup and email reminder sent), Connector for Microsoft Outlook allows alarm synchronization upon creation of events in a single direction only. For example, when a new event is created using Communications Express, the alarm is copied to the Outlook event (as a popup). But when creating an Outlook event, the alarm is not set on the server.

Workaround: To allow the synchronization to work from Outlook to Communications Express, a registry value can be set in outlook: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Sun Microsystems\Outlook Connector\Sync Cal To turn this on, set the value to 1, and to turn it off, set the value to 0 (or remove the key. Note that setting the registry value will only have effect when creating new events. Modifying existing events only affects the alarm type associated with the client performing the modification.


Menu option Insert>Item is disabled when event body is modified.

If a new event is created in Outlook 2003, then later the event body is modified using Communications Express, the Insert>Item menu option is disabled when Outlook syncs with Communications Express.

Workaround: None.


The following are additional issues related to Communications Express interoperability that do not have IDs:

  • RTF formatting in Outlook is not preserved if the description text is edited using Communications Express.

  • Differences exist in privacy classes between Outlook and Communications Express.

    Outlook has two privacy classes (Private and Public), while Communications Express has three classes (private, Date and Time only, and Public). In Outlook, a private event is created as a “Date and Time only” event in Communications Express. A public event in Outlook maps to the public event in Communications Express. Similarly, a Communications Express “Date and Time Only” event maps as a private event in Outlook, and a public event maps as a public event in Outlook. A Communications Express private event also maps to Outlook as a private event. To create a private event in Outlook so it appears as a private event in Communications Express, select “Free” from the “Show time as:” field. The Communications Express private event cannot be seen in a shared Calendar folder by another user.

  • There are differences in the way free/busy is implemented in Outlook and Communications Express.

    The default private event is free in Communications Express. If the event is to be included for free/busy lookup, then it should manually be set to busy. In Outlook the default events are busy for both private and public events.

  • If you export an event from Communications Express to a file in Outlook format, you cannot import the event from the same file into Outlook.

  • Incompatibilities exist in how recurring tasks are implemented in Outlook and Communications Express.

    Recurring tasks in Outlook do not conform to RFC 2445 while Communications Express is specifically designed to work with RFC 2445-compliant information. This causes problems when recurring task information is passed between Outlook and Calendar Server.

    Information stored locally by Outlook does not always match information which is stored on the Calendar Server. Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook, for example, does not transfer any information dealing with the recurrence of a task to the Calendar Server. Any tasks created in Outlook (recurring or non-recurring) appears in Communications Express as single tasks. A task that is created in Communications Express only uses the recurring information from the Calendar Server when that task is written for the first time in the Outlook client and not during any modification of any existing task on Outlook.

    For these reasons, recurring tasks viewed in Outlook and tasks viewed in Communications Express appear different in many cases. We recommend that users who work with recurring tasks choose either Outlook or Communications Express and not attempt to work with recurring tasks in both clients interchangeably.

  • If a message is sent from Outlook in Rich Text format, the message contains a plain text body with no formatting and a WINMAIL.DAT attachment.

    The WINMAIL.DAT attachment contains the Rich Text message along with any other attachments that may have been added. Because the format is Microsoft proprietary, only Outlook can read the WINMAIL.DAT attachment. Communications Express (and any other client) sees only the unformatted text message and a WINMAIL.DAT attachment. It is recommended that HTML format be used instead of Rich Text format to send messages.

  • If contacts groups in Outlook contain external SMTP mail recipients or other contacts groups, they are not seen by Communications Express.

    Communications Express cannot send mail to these recipients.

  • Communications Express cannot decode and display Microsoft TNEF format.

    Outlook saves calendar events and tasks (any calendar folder not under the Calendar folder tree), contacts (any contacts folder not under the Contacts folder tree), notes, and journals in the Messaging Server. Because the data is saved as Microsoft TNEF format, Communications Express cannot decode and correctly display them.