Maintaining and Repairing Free/Busy Data


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-06

Over time, the free/busy folders may accumulate duplicate free/busy messages. In addition, Outlook and the free/busy folders may become unsynchronized, especially for mailboxes that have multiple delegate users. This section provides information about how Exchange Server 2003 automatically maintains free/busy data according to a configurable schedule, and about how you can repair synchronization problems.

MadFB has two functions. It publishes free/busy messages for Outlook Web Access and Outlook Mobile Access, and it cleans up existing free/busy data.

By default, the cleanup process runs nightly at 02:00 (2:00 A.M.). On each Exchange server with a mailbox store, MadFB identifies the default public folder store associated with the local mailbox store, and then cleans that store (even if it resides on a different server). The cleanup process includes:

  • Deleting duplicate free/busy data messages.

    These are messages with an appended –x in the URL, where x is the number of the duplicate message. For each set of duplicates, MadFB keeps the oldest message and deletes the rest.

  • Repairing the URLs of free/busy messages.

    The URL of a free/busy message must be in canonical format, ending with subject(based on legacyExchangeDN).EML.

    Messages that are duplicates of existing free/busy messages have non-canonical URLs because of the appended -x. Messages that have been upgraded or replicated from Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5 have URLs that contain GUIDs. These messages are also considered non-canonical.

Running Outlook with the /cleanfreebusy switch solves problems that may occur when delegate mailbox users schedule meetings.

Outlook maintains a hidden message that is named LocalFreeBusy in the mailbox's Calendar folder. This message is only relevant to the owner and delegates of that mailbox and is distinct from the main free/busy message stored in the free/busy folders. Problems may occur when a delegate user re-creates the LocalFreeBusy message, which is then not synchronized with the rest of the calendar data. After this situation occurs, delegate users receive error messages such as "Unable to open the free/busy message" when they try to modify the mailbox owner's calendar.

For detailed steps about how to resolve problems for delegate mailbox users, see How to Resolve Problems in Outlook for Delegate Mailbox Users.