Time to Check Your Calendars Again

Well, it's that time again.  Time for the clocks to change, as a result of Daylight Savings Time (DST).  If you are an Exchange administrator, and haven't heard how the time changes impact your messaging environment, then you have probably been shipwrecked on a deserted island with no communication to the outside world.

On Aug. 8, 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which among other things extended the period of Daylight Saving Time by four weeks.  Starting this year, Daylight Saving Time began in March, three weeks earlier in much of the United States and Canada, and will end one week later – the first Sunday in November.  While the Act was designed as an energy conservation measure, it has had less than desirable effects on IT organizations. 

In addition to DST changes in North America, there are going to be time changes in Jordan, Egypt, New Zealand and Western Australia that weren't accounted for in the spring updates.  The global impact to Outlook calendars and Exchange calendaring using CDO, are among the most visible issues end users and Exchange administrators will experience.

As an Exchange administrator, what do I need to do to prepare for DST time change this fall?

For companies that have not updated their messaging environment to adapt to DST changes, they should act now.  The best resource is the Daylight Savings Time 2007 Help and Support Center, which is a very comprehensive resource addressing all the interoperating software updates required.  Updates and tools for Exchange Server consist of the following:

  • Windows Operating Systems Updates (NT, 2000, XP, Windows 2003 Server, Vista)
  • Exchange Server Updates (5.5, 2000, 2003 and 2007)
  • Office Outlook Updates (2000, XP, 2003 and 2007)
  • The Exchange / Outlook Time Zone Data Update Tool
  • Third party applications running on the Windows platform

If you have already applied the updates in the spring for Windows, Exchange and Outlook, and you have automatic updates turned on, and you have no users in the newly affected time zones, there is very good chance you have nothing to do in anticipation for changes this fall.  The majority of US customers have already run the Outlook Timezone Update Tool, to update people's calendars, and won't have to do that a second time.  If you're not concerned about the countries affected by Daylight Savings Time, and you already took the updates in the spring, then you're in good shape.

What is the cost for the updates?

There may or may not be a cost for the hotfixes depending on the versions of Windows, Exchange and/or Outlook, used in your organization, based upon the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.  While the Support Lifecycle policy page has all the information to answer your questions, the impact generally follows:

  • Products in mainstream support are provided at no charge.
  • Products in extended support require an Extended Hotfix Support Agreement ($4000 charge for all DST updates).
  • Products out of support  are not available without a Customer Support Agreement.

Important:  If you are concerned about the cost of these updates, as many of you were earlier in the year, the fee you paid then covers these new DST updates.

What resources are available on the Daylight Savings Time issue?

The following resources are valuable in making sure your organization is prepared to adapt to the fall daylight savings time changes:

If you have any questions, please let me know

- Elizabeth Scott

Product Unit Manager – Exchange Customer Experience

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Comments (9)
  1. ElizabethScott says:

    Upcoming web cast on 9/24

    In observance of the various Daylight Saving Time (DST) changes Microsoft has been working closely with customers, partners and others in the industry to help ensure a smooth and seamless transition.  Earlier in the year, many customers across the world were able to transition smoothly by applying the right updates prior to the DST changes taking place.  Microsoft has released updates for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft software affected by these changes.  More details on the changes for DST start and end times around the world can be found on the Microsoft website at http://www.microsoft.com/dst2007.

    In addition to the information on the website, Microsoft is hosting a customer webcast.  This Webcast will provide a technical overview of resources on Microsoft products available to help prepare for change to Daylight Saving Time.  Live Meeting URL for webcast on Monday, Sept 24th, 2007 @ 2pm PDT: s://www.livemeeting.com/cc/lmevents/join?id=msft092407sa&role=attend&pw=ATN783

  2. ElizabethScott says:

    Venezuela 2007 Daylight Saving changes: The government of Venezuela has announced a change in the observance of daylight saving time in the country stating that the time change will take place on Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 11:31:00 PM  local time. Officially on Monday, September 24, 2007 at 12:01:00 AM clocks should be turned backward 0:30 hours to Sunday, September 23, 2007 at 11:31:00 PM local standard time instead. Due to the timing of the change Microsoft did not have ample notice to update the Exchange Calendar Update Configuration Tool to cater to the Venezuela daylight saving change. Future versions of the Exchange Calendar Update Configuration Tool and other tools will include the Venezuela daylight saving change where possible.

    There was some news this morning that this change may be delayed for 2 or 3 weeks – i haven’t gotten good confirmation of that.  All the news that i have seen is in Spanish and my Spanish is pretty poor :-)

  3. Nick Scott says:

    Thanks for this info.  It’s helping alleviate some of the bad memories from this past Spring but I’m still a little unclear as to what needs to be done.

    Our organization is still running Exchange 2000 and in the Spring we applied the $4000 patch to the Exchange servers and installed the OS patches.  Is there an updated patch for Exchange 2000 that we need to acquire?  Does Exchange 2000 need to patched at all since we applied the patch in the Spring?

  4. Jeff25 says:

    We also purchased the support for Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000.  There is an updated package.  However, once again there is no documentation.  I extracted the files and unfortunately there is another updated version of STORE.EXE.  I’m assuming that this version simply has the additional DST zones and does not affect anything with the US DST settings.  Ideally, if the OS and Exchange 200 were patched, in addition to running the Exchange Update Tool back in March, there is nothing to worry about.  It would be nice to hear that for certain from someone.

  5. Elizabeth Scott says:

    The new packages contain updates for New Zealand DST transition and do not affect the Time Zones for the US – for Exchange 2000.  The updates for Windows 2000 containe several more time zone updates in addition to New Zealand

  6. Ken says:

    I’m running the tool and it ran fine on the users mailboxes but whenever I try to add a Public Folder Calendar I get "Unable to Resolve # Aliases"  I’ve checked and double checked and they are the right aliases and I’ve got Full Control rights on the folders with Send As and Administer Information Store.  Any help would be appreciated. I’ve ran the software from a vista machine with Outlook 2007 and  from XP with outlook 2003 no luck on either machine.

  7. Ken says:

    As a note while I’d love to hear what could have been wrong I discovered that by just using TZMove i can double fix the Public Folder Calendars. So if anyone else has this issue that should work, just have to go public folder by public folder.  If someone at the Ex Team would like to correct the record though would love to hear the answer. Thanks guys, and great site.

  8. charles says:

    I too have the "Aliases" problem. Does anyone have any ideas. I searched MS and Google, but to no avail.

    Thanks, any help would be appreciated.

  9. choots says:

    I found the issue with the "Aliases" issue. The cn’s for the resources were not listed in the Output.txt file, so they couldn’t be resolved. After adding the resources to the Output.txt file, they were resolved.

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