Archive for Microsoft

Part II: Query Exchange availability with Java

Although very verbose, I’m just listing the minimum you need to run the query. If you use it you will likely need to use utility methods to modularize the code and alter the input.

ExchangeServices factory = new ExchangeServices();
ExchangeServicePortType service = factory.getExchangeServicePort();

// create request
GetUserAvailabilityRequestType request = 
    new GetUserAvailabilityRequestType();

// set timezone
SerializableTimeZoneTime standardTime = new SerializableTimeZoneTime();

SerializableTimeZone timezone = new SerializableTimeZone();
timezone.setBias(-8 * 60);	// CHANGE THIS TO YOUR TIMEZONE

// set time window of meeting
try {
  DatatypeFactory datatypeFactory = DatatypeFactory.newInstance();
  Duration duration = new Duration();
    new GregorianCalendar(2009, Month.DECEMBER, 8, 7, 00)));
    new GregorianCalendar(2009, Month.DECEMBER, 8, 18, 00)));

  FreeBusyViewOptionsType options = new FreeBusyViewOptionsType();
  options.getRequestedView().add("Detailed"); // retrieve subject info

} catch (DatatypeConfigurationException e) {

// set meeting rooms to check
EmailAddress emailAddress = new EmailAddress();

MailboxData mailbox = new MailboxData();
ArrayOfMailboxData mailboxes = new ArrayOfMailboxData();

// create response
Holder<GetUserAvailabilityResponseType> responseHolder = 
    new Holder<GetUserAvailabilityResponseType>();

service.getUserAvailability(request, responseHolder);

List<FreeBusyResponseType> responses = 

for (FreeBusyResponseType response: responses) {
  ArrayOfCalendarEvent events = 
  if (events == null) continue;
  for (CalendarEvent event: events.getCalendarEvent()) {
    System.out.printf("%s - %s : %s\n", event.getStartTime(), 
      event.getEndTime(), event.getCalendarEventDetails().getSubject());

This code will simply print out if there are conflicting events in the “time window” you specified for the given “rooms”. If you use people as the addresses you will be checking the availability of the people. If you don’t use “Detailed” you will just get the conflicting times. There will be one FreeBusyResponseType for each address you gave as input, in the same order. If there are no conflicts, events will be null.

See Part I for how to create the stubs, and Part III for the JFreeChart GUI.


Part I: Java -> MS Exchange Server

To assist my laziness I tried to write a utility that helps me check the available meeting rooms for booking faster than having to go to Outlook’s Calendar’s Scheduling Assistant.

Luckily, I found that my mail server has enabled Web Services, which should make my job much easier. The WSDL can be found at “”. I tried to use Axis to generate the stubs, but hit an error.

ReminderMinutesBeforeStartType>null already exists

I searched and couldn’t find anything. Not wanting to dig into the implementation, I tried to switched to JAXWS. Not going well either.

At least one WSDL with at least one service definition needs to 
be provided.

This time I found the answer here. In fact I hit all the same problems as described even after solving this. I’ll repeat the solution here because I realize linking is good, but the sites might get torn down after some time.

Download the Services.wsdl, messages.xsd and types.xsd to your local disk. Edit Services.wsdl to add the service definition manually.

   <wsdl:service name="ExchangeServices">
     <wsdl:port name="ExchangeServicePort" binding="tns:ExchangeServiceBinding">
       <soap:address location=""/>

With this added I generated the stubs. I used the “-Xnocompile” option to keep the .java files, so I copied them into Eclipse directly. This will be needed as we need to hack the source later.

I tried to call a simple API first – to resolve a name, or “Check Names”. How do I know what to call? Read the documentation.

ExchangeServices factory = new ExchangeServices();
ExchangeServicePortType service = factory.getExchangeServicePort();

// prepare request		
ResolveNamesType request = new ResolveNamesType();

// prepare response
Holder<ResolveNamesResponseType> responseHolder = 
    new Holder<ResolveNamesResponseType>();

service.resolveNames(request, responseHolder);

ResolveNamesResponseMessageType response = 
    (ResolveNamesResponseMessageType) responseHolder.value.getResponseMessages()
for (ResolutionType resolution: response.getResolutionSet().getResolution()) {
  System.out.printf("%s: %s", resolution.getMailbox().getName(), 

I hit the isNil problem also as described in the guide, so just comment out the fields that you are not using in ExchangeServicePortType such that you are left with the request and response.

This example is meant to demonstrate how to access Exchange with Java Web Services. If you use it you will likely need to handle errors, exceptions, nulls and the like.

Part II will show how to query the resource availability, and Part III shows how to display this results graphically using JFreeChart.

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.Net3 on .Net2 CLR

As shown in the picture [1], .NET Framework 3.0 is essentially a set of new libraries for the Vista platform. It is running on underlying 2.0 technologies, including the CLR and base classes.

The CardSpace component proposes to provide secure digital Identity Management, and is said to be complementary with other identity technologies such as OpenID.



Vista Incompatibility

As the new Microsoft OS comes to market, there have been various reports regarding incompatibilities of the OS with existing hardware and software.

Even the compatibility tool provided by Microsoft cannot assure users that their hardware is capable of running all the features provided by the new OS [1]. Users may end up with a Vista that’s not running the features they wanted. Should there be yet another Vista-compatible logo, something like FULLY Vista-compatible, to mean being able to run all known Vista features?

On the software side there are also many anticipated problems, such as in South Korea [2]. Governments and organisations have warned that Vista may be incompatible with their existing ActiveX programs, which would result in inability to consume their daily services like banking, trading and shopping. Games and software that work with the existing XP have also stated warnings against Vista compatibility.

Adding to the issues are advisories on possible security problems with Vista despite claims it is the most secure Windows OS so far (probably just relatively more secure than their first XP?).

With nothing to work with Vista, who’s going to use it?

[1] Buying Vista? Get a guarantee
[2] Microsoft Vista to Cause Confusion for Korean Net Users


Excel VLookup

VLookups in Excel can help to change values in Excel tables based on a combo box value.

Question: Can I select a combo box value and have the data copied to a new table?

AFAIK the “new table” will need to contain formula that references the combo box, e.g. =vlookup(comboBox, Sheet1!Data, 3). If you want the new table to be empty and the contain pure values, it can only be achieved through macro programming using VBA.

Excel cells cannot be affected without a formula in it. It will stay an empty cell (without VBA).