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Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, Release 6.x -- Outlook Integration Changes for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0, Maintenance Release 5
This page describes changes to the Microsoft Outlook integration for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 Maintenance Release 5 (MR5).
For a list of the system requirements for the Microsoft Outlook integration for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 Maintenance Release 5 (MR5), see Requirements for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace for Microsoft Outlook 6.0.
Note the following:
- For Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 Maintenance Release 5: Exchange 2000 Server (Service Pack 2), Exchange Server 2003, or Exchange 2007 Server (Service Pack 1 Rollup 7), installed and running. Also, the Exchange server must be configured to use SMTP relay for the Cisco Unified MeetingPlace account.
- Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 Maintenance Release 5 now supports Microsoft Outlook 2007 Service Pack 2.
About Microsoft Outlook and SMTP/MAPI
- MAPI uses Microsoft Exchange proprietary protocols to communicate between the Microsoft Outlook gateway and the Microsoft Exchange server.
- SMTP is a standard, widely used, plain text-based, mailing protocol. It typically runs on TCP port 25.
TLS, which is a newer version of SSL, is a secure tunneling protocol that can be used on top of SMTP. When used, the SMTP connection is initiated normally and then TLS handshaking takes place, a process during which the client and the server exchange their digital certificates and after both confirm that other party’s certificate can be trusted. After the handshaking process succeeds, the encrypted communication channel is initiated and any further communication, including user credentials and email transmission, can not be intercepted or modified.
There are two authentication options in Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5: none and plain text. If no authentication is selected, then the Microsoft Exchange server SMTP connector must support anonymous senders. If it does not, then plain text authentication must be performed before any emails can be transmitted. Plain text authentication means that the username and password are sent to the Microsoft Exchange server in a format that can easily be sniffed out (unless a TLS tunnel is used).
Depending on the physical network configuration, you need to decide if you will require authentication on SMTP at all, and if you do, whether you need to secure communication between the Microsoft Outlook integration and the Microsoft Exchange server.
Connecting to the MPWeb Database
Prior to Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5, Microsoft Outlook integrations used a Microsoft Exchange calendar to keep track of previously delivered emails, which are needed to send proper update notifications. Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5 stores this information in the MPWeb database. Because of this, you must supply SQL Server credentials during the setup process.
- If you install the Microsoft Outlook integration on a server that already has MPWeb installed, it will automatically detect the MPWeb parameters. You can let the Microsoft Outlook integration use the MPWeb parameters by selecting “Use local MPWeb database configuration” in the “MeetingPlace Web Conferencing SQL Server Database” group on the MP Control Panel.
- If you install the Microsoft Outlook integration on a server that does not have MPWeb installed, you must manually enter a username, password, and SQL Server name for the MPWeb database.
This is a one-way process of getting meeting notifications from the Audio Server to the Microsoft Outlook integration, through several Cisco Unified MeetingPlace components. The MPWeb database is the only one used to both store and retrieve data; this is required to support update notifications with iCalendar. When sending an updated meeting notification, you need to have information about the previous notifications sent for the same meeting.
Both the front-end and the back-end notification mechanisms for the Microsoft Outlook gateway depend on the MPWeb, but in different ways. The front-end notification mechanism requires MPWeb to be present on the machine that runs the gateway. This is because ASP logic in the front end relies on MPAgent / MPX (which are part of the MPWeb) to do template processing.
The new iCalendar back-end notification mechanism requires a connection to the MPWeb SQL database to keep information about delivered notifications. Since ODBC is used to connect to the MPWeb database, the back-end does not require that the MPWeb is on the same machine, just that it is accessible via TCP/IP.
Front-End and Back-End, Connecting to Local MPWeb Database
You can install both the front-end and back-end notification mechanisms on a machine, and configure the back-end to connect to the local MPWeb SQL Database. By default, the installation program will attempt to use this configuration by examining the Windows registry. This is a common configuration suitable for most users.
Back-End Only, Connecting to Remote MPWeb Database
During the installation, you can select to install the back-end notification mechanism only. You will be prompted to enter the name of the MPWeb machine which runs the SQL database that you want to use. Once installed, you can change the MPWeb machine you connect to by using the MP Control Panel. This configuration is useful if you want to support only back-end notifications, and keep the MPWeb server load low.
Front-End and Back-End, Connecting to Remote MPWeb Database
You can install both the front-end and back-end notification mechanisms on a machine, and configure the back-end to connect to the database on a different MPWeb server. You can configure this during installation, or by using the MP Control Panel after the installation has finished. This configuration might be suitable for clustered environments.
You can install only the front-end notification mechanism on a machine. You can configure this during the installation. This configuration is suitable for users that only use Outlook to schedule their Cisco Unified MeetingPlace meetings. Invitations for meetings scheduled through MPWeb will not be delivered to Microsoft Outlook users.
Migrating to Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5 and the iCalendar-Based Back-End
When installing Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5 on a machine that previously did not have an older version of the Microsoft Outlook integration, no special steps are required. Just run setup.exe and follow the instructions on the screen.
If you have an older version of the Microsoft Outlook integration installed on the machine, you must run the migration tool, to migrate information about delivered notifications from dedicated calendar in Exchange to a table in MPWeb database.
Upgrading to Microsoft Outlook for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5
- Upgrade Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Web Conferencing and Gateway SIM to MR5. See Upgrading to Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0.
- Run the migration tool, called MPOLMig.exe, (see below). This may take a while if there are a lot of meetings in the calendar.
- This migration tool does the following:
- Moves all the scheduled meetings to the MPWeb database.
- Uninstalls the old version of the Microsoft Outlook integration.
- Automatically installs Microsoft Outlook for Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Release 6.0 MR5.
- This migration tool does the following:
- Reboot the machine.
- Customize your notification templates. (Because this is a new version of the Microsoft Outlook integration, the customized templates use a new format. If you customized any templates in your previous release, you will have to customize them again. Templates from previous releases will not work and will result in corrupted notifications.) See Customizing the Microsoft Outlook Templates.
- Check your anti-virus rules, as they may need to be adjusted. (McAfee will give you more protection than you need here.)
Running the Migration Tool
The migration tool is a file called MPOLMig.exe, which is shipped with each version of the Microsoft Outlook integration installation program for MR5.
Migration Tool Syntax
MPOLMig.exe [-e <eprofile> [<epwd>]] [-s <shost> [<suser> [<spwd>]]] [-i <ipath>] [-g <sysid>] [-?]
Migration Tool Arguments
- -s: Use to supply the name of the remote MPWeb database and the log on credentials (if you are not using the local MPWeb database).
- -i: Use to specify the path of the migration tool if you are running the migration tool from a directory other than the one containing the setup.exe file.
- -e: Use to skip the prompt for choosing the mail profile to use to connect to the Exchange server.
- -g: Use to supply the name of the GUIDS system ID.
Migration Tool Inputs
- eprofile: The name of the mail profile to use to connect to the Exchange server.
- epwd: The password for the eprofile.
- NOTE: If you do not enter the Exchange profile information, the system prompts you to log in.
- shost: The SQL Server which stores the notification information.
- suser: The account name to use to connect to the SQL Server.
- spwd: The password for the suser.
- NOTE: If you do not enter the SQL Server information, the tool tries to guess it.
- ipath: The path to the new installation executable file.
- sysid: The GUIDS system ID.
- NOTE: If you do not enter a sysid, the system will detect it, unless WebConnect is used and the tool is run on a server that does not have MPWeb installed.
Customizing the Microsoft Outlook Templates
Follow these steps to customize the templates.
- Open Microsoft Word.
- Open an RTF-formatted .tpl file.
- Choose File > Save As.
- Choose Web Page, Filtered in the "Save as type" box.
- Select Save.
- Close the file.
- Using Microsoft Explorer, change the extension of this new .htm file to a .txt extension.
- Open the .txt file in Microsoft Word.
- Select Edit > Replace.
- Make the following replacements, in this order. (Do not enter the quotes or spaces between characters):
- Replace "& l t ; ! - - " with "< ! - - " NOTE: There are no spaces between the characters, but that is the only way to format it in the DocWiki.
- Replace " - - & g t ; " with " - - >" NOTE: There are no spaces between the characters, but that is the only way to format it in the DocWiki.
- Replace "^p" with " "(a space)
- Save the file as plain text by choosing Plain Text in the "Save as type" box and change the extension of the file to .tpl.
- Select Save.