Thursday Aug 02, 2007

They're Head Over Heels: Comms Suite 5 Deployment Example for Linux

Yes, Comms Suite runs on more than Solaris, remember that other OS--Linux? Thanks to Shane H., we now have an 'offical' quick start guide for installing the Comms Suite 5 stack on Linux.

Get the doc here:

Wednesday Aug 01, 2007

Comms Suite 5 Q&A: Setting up Single Sign-On

Q. I need to set up SSO for Communications Express. What has changed between Messaging Server 6 2005Q4 (Java ES 4) and Messaging Server/Communications Express 6.3 (Comms Suite 5)?

A. Jhawk writes:

In the prior releases, we needed SSO to maintain authenticated sessions
between two of our HTTP servers. The two HTTP servers are the web
container (web server/app server) for the UWC servlets and the WebMail
server (mshttpd). Going into our Comms Suite 5 (UWC 6.3), we moved the
WebMail server behind the web container.

prior to 6.3
|------- web container(uwc)
web browser ----| (sso between)
|-------webmail server (mshttpd)

in 6.3
web browser----web container(uwc) --- webmail server(mshttpd)

Now in 6.3, we do not require SSO to maintain authenticated sessions
between our internal services. However, we do still support SSO to
co-exist authentication with 3rd Party web applications such as Portal

Tuesday Jul 31, 2007

Welcome Guillaume!

New to me: Sun GDD blogger. Give him a visit.

Friday Jul 27, 2007

Communications Suite: A Tale of Many Technical Articles

If you've been trying to keep track of all the Communications Suite (including Messaging Server, Calendar Server, Instant Messaging, Communications Express, and Connector for Outlook) technical notes, articles, white papers, deployment examples, and the like, look no more. I think that I've finally collected everything CommSuite-ish on the Comms Hub Technical Articles tab, so that you have a one-stop shopping index for this flavor of documentation:

At issue is that we in Tech Pubs haven't always carried forward tech notes on from release to release, so it would appear that a tech note or two has gotten lost along the way, even though the information might still be applicable. If you use the Comms Hub Technical Articles tab from now on, you should be able to get to all these kinds of docs that we have published, even some 'gems' from the iPlanet Messaging Server days.

Friday Jul 20, 2007

Comms Suite 5 Docs: Mea Culpa

An astute reader has pointed out the following:
I was reading Comms 5 (March 2007) Deployment planning guide and came across a section that talks about deploying Comms Express, chapter 24 page 291. I believe the deployment scenario described is not accurate and does not represent the architectural change that took place between versions 6.2 and 6.3. There is no longer a requirement for Access Manager SDK and also Messaging Express Multiplexor is no longer used.
Link in question is here: Communications Express on Remote Host Architecture

Sure enough, the doc is wrong on both counts. I will correct these errors, and update Figure 24-2, as soon as I can. In the meantime, what should have appeared was something along these lines:

Figure 24-2 shows a Communications Express architecture where both intranet and Internet users log on to Communications Express on the front-end host, which accesses the back-end host on their behalf. You can enable SSO on the front-end host such that Communications Express validates the session in Access Manager.

You install the front-end host with the following components:

  • Messaging Server (Webmail Server)
  • Calendar Server
  • Web container
  • (Optional) Access Manager SDK
  • Communications Express

You install the back-end with the following components:

  • Directory Server
  • Messaging Server (Mail Store)
  • Calendar Server
  • (Optional) Web Container and Access Manager

The new figure should look something like this (prettied up, 'natch, thanks to our illustrator):

Thanks again to that careful reader.

Wednesday Jul 18, 2007

Comms Suite 5 Single Host Deployment: Not Just for Solaris Anymore

A while back, one of the Messaging Server gurus allowed me to post his doc on deploying all of Communications Suite 5 on a single host running Linux. We were hoping to get some feedback on this doc before making it into an official member of the Comms product doc set. Well, now it looks like we at least got one confirmation that it all works. See for details.

So, I guess this means I have to find time to make good on my promise to produce another Sun approved manual. I just live for these moments.

Tuesday Jul 17, 2007

Communications Suite 5 & Browser Requirements

Homer Simpson Using a Tabbed Browser

The question about Comms Suite and which browsers are supported comes up quite regularly. Recently, we updated the Communications Suite 5 Release Notes to indicate the current status of browser support. Here's the relevant table you'll want to refer to:

Table 6–2 Supported Browser Versions for Communications Express 6.3


Windows XP

Windows 2000




NetscapeTM Communicator






Microsoft Internet Explorer


6.0 SP1 or later






















Tuesday Jul 03, 2007

Sun Java Communications Suite 5: New Doc to Help You Take a Closer Look

Thanks to one of our excellent Comms experts, we've just published the Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Evaluation Guide, to help you to use, learn about, and evaluate the latest version of Sun Java Communications Suite software. To get the most out of this guide, you should use it in conjunction with the Deployment Example: Communications Suite on a Single Host manual, to create a full-fledged evaluation system.

The Evalution Guide provides a tutorial-type walk through of the key features of the Sun Java Communications Suite. You experience working with the messaging, calendaring, and address book components of the Communications Express UI, as well as use Connector for Microsoft Outlook and Instant Messaging. In addition, the Evaluation Guide describes some of the advanced features of Communications Suite.

Get the guide here:

Connector for Outlook: Still Searching for the Download?

This question comes up quite frequently: "Where do I download the Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook bits?" (Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook enables the use of Outlook as a desktop client on Windows with Sun Java System Messaging and Calendar Servers. The Connector includes a Desktop Deployment and Configuration program and an Outlook plug-in. The Desktop Deployment and Configuration program enables a site administrator to automatically deploy the Outlook Connector. The Outlook plug-in provides real-time access to mail, calendar and directory services via Microsoft Outlook.)

For the current release, Communications Suite 5 (aka Connector for Outlook 7.2), the Communications Suite 5 download site provides the capability of also downloading Connector for Outlook (and Communications Sync) from the same site. That download site is located here:

For the previous release, Jave ES 2005Q4 (aka Connector for Outlook 7.1), the software for Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.1 is available on the Java ES 2005Q4 Accessory CD #3. Use the URL below to get this CD. Once you access the URL, select the link that provides Multiple platform support. Log in and choose the Accessory CD #3 for download. That download site is located here:

Monday Jun 18, 2007

Connector for Outlook: Revisiting the Location of the PST Cache

The Personal Folder file (.pst / PST) is the place where Outlook stores its data, including folders, calendar, and contact information. The Sun Java System Connector for Outlook uses this file (and there might be several) as its cache. The location of this cache varies depending on your version of Windows. Win2k stores it in a different location than WinXP. To locate your .pst file, use the "Advanced" tab of the Connector for Microsoft Outlook properties dialog.

The default location for this cache on WinXP is:

C:\\Documents and Settings\\USERNAME\\Local Settings\\Application Data\\Sun\\Outlook Connector

In some deployments, for example, where roaming users are not attached to a particular machine, this default location is not particularly convenient.

To change the location of the PST cache, you can use the /ALTPSTDIR parameter when creating a new profile. The /ALTPSTDIR parameter can take system variables, for example, /ALTPSTDIR="%APPDATA%\\OC". Note the use of doubles quotes.

But what about those situations where you've already created the profile? Turns out there is a workaround.

To change the PST cache location for an existing profile, use one of the following methods:

  1. Delete the existing profile and recreate the profile package with command-line parameter /ALTPSTDIR="dir".
  2. Rename the profile name by using the Connector for Outlook Administration GUI, then recreate the package and run this with the command-line parameter.
Hat tip to Arnaud Q. and Amit S.

Friday Jun 15, 2007

Comms Suite 5: New Zipped Docs File

Heads up: Both the Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide and Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Release Notes were recently updated. Accordingly, I've updated the zip file that contains all the Comms 5 docs (PDF format), located here.

Monday Jun 11, 2007

Communications Suite: Just the FAQ's, Ma'am

I'm currently participating in a pilot project that I think will be a very cool addition to the Communications Suite knowledge base: a Sun-sponsored wiki that I'm using to create a Communications Suite FAQ, which will be able to be edited by you, the Comms Community.

Plan of record is to use the wiki internally for a few weeks then turn it loose for viewing externally. After a while at the view-only stage, we'll open it up for community participation. Looks like you'll need an SDN login/pwd to participate.

Right now, I'm organizing the FAQ by product (Messaging Server, Calendar Server, Instant Messaging, and so forth). Each product link takes you to the FAQ for that product, which is then organized by technology life-cycle, along the same lines as the Tasks tab on the Communications Suite BigAdmin Hub, for example:

  • Evaluating Messaging Server
  • Planning Your Messaging Server Deployment
  • Installing Messaging Server
  • Customizing Messaging Server
  • Managing Messaging Server
  • Upgrading Messaging Server
  • Troubleshooting Messaging Server
If you have ideas on how you'd like to see this FAQ organized, feel free to drop a line or add a comment. I'm open to suggestions.

Additionally, I'm adding a section called "Customer Supplied Solutions" for that type of Q/A where someone asks of the community, how have you implemented X, or what type of server have you used for Y.

Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday Jun 06, 2007

Communications Suite: Confirming That Upgrade Procedure from 5.2

re: upgrading directly from iPlanet Messaging Server 5.2 to Communications Suite 5 (that is, Messaging Server 6.3), the Sun Java Communications Suite Upgrade Guide is clear on the upgrade path:

To quote:

While it is possible to upgrade all previous releases of Communications Suite software to Communications Suite 5, the only certified upgrades are from Java Enterprise System 2005Q4, Java Enterprise System 2005Q1, and Java Enterprise System 2004Q2. Upgrades from earlier releases are not documented in this Upgrade Guide.

Thus, upgrading directly from iPlanet Messaging Server 5.2 is not a certified way to go. From 5.2, you're supposed to go to 2005Q1 and then from 2005Q1 you can upgrade to 6.3. It's a two-step process. Headache, yes. But that's the certified route to take.

Wednesday May 30, 2007

Messaging Server 6.3 Upgrade Patch on SunSolve

Just wanted to alert the patient among you: the Messaging Server 6.3 upgrade patch is now available on SunSolve. By platform, the patch numbers are:

120228-20 (SPARC: Solaris OS 9 and 10)
120229-20 (x86: Solaris OS 9 and 10)
120230-20 (Linux)

Consult the Comms Hub Upgrades tab for all the latest patch information, including component product patches. And while I'm on that topic, there's bound to be some confusion over localization patches for Instant Messaging 7.2. Here's what I've included on the Upgrades tab:

For Instant Messaging 7.2, there are two sets of localization patches released: patch set 120841-03(SPARC,x86)/120842-03(Linux),and patch set 126231-01(SPARC,x86)/126232-01(Linux). You must use patch set 120841-03(SPARC,x86)/120842-03(Linux) where Instant Messaging was upgraded to 7.2 from a previous release (7.0 or 7.1). You must use patch set 126231-01(SPARC,x86)/126232-01(Linux) where Instant Messaging 7.2 was freshly installed from Sun Java Communication Suite Release 5.

Note that the same kind of confusion 'might' exist for the Communications Express 6.3 patches, once they are released to SunSolve.

Wednesday May 23, 2007

Connector for Outlook Patch to Support Outlook 2007 Available

Not sure if everyone saw this, but the Sun Java System Connector for Outlook patch to support Outlook 2007 is now available on sunsolve. The patch id is 125361-03.

Download patch
Download signed patch

Update: See jhawk's recent blog entry for more information on how Connector for Outlooks works with Microsoft Outlook and the Sun Java Communications Suite servers.


Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.


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