I found a bug

I have shared my Exchange calendar with the other people in my group here at Høgskolen i Gjøvik (level free/busy time+subject+location). In addition, we have an intranet web interface to all calendars. That application retrieves all calendar information, parses it and presents it similar to the free/busy time+subject+location. The web interface was created some time ago as a custom solution to supersede an older custom solution that was a standalone Java client stored on a network share and that did not use Exchange for administration of calendars.

I had noticed that I was not able to show my own calendar in the web interface for some weeks. Since I use Outlook to manage my calendar, that was no big deal for me; other calendars were visible, and I blamed my not being able to view my own calendar on problems with HTTPS or with having two sessions with the same calendar at the same time. It became a problem when I advised others to find time slots for a meeting. They complained that they could not see my calendar information either. Well, they could have, had they used Outlook, but most people here rely on the web interface.

Opening a support incident with IT revealed that I had found a bug with the web interface application. Here is what they determined to be the root cause of the problem:

There are not many others that have created appointments without a subject and that are marked as „private“. This triggered a failure mode that lead the XML parser to give up. We have implemented a fix, verified that it works, and checked it in. It will be active in the next version of the web interface that will be rolled out in two weeks.

As a workaround, I changed all future instances of private appointments so that they contain a non-empty subject.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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