Configuring the Quest Free/Busy Connector for Lotus Notes and Exchange – Part 1

The goal of this post is to introduce the Quest Free/Busy (F/B) connector that comes with Coexistence Manager for Notes (CMN), discuss how it works, and discuss the interface with Exchange. In this post we’ll also configure the Quest Web Services and Domino Free Busy Connector Service. Future posts in this series will discuss configuring the remaining components of the CMN F/B Connector. First, let’s take a look at the sample environment we’ll be using for this discussion:

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There are three components of the F/B Connector which you’ll need to deploy:

  • Domino Free/Busy Service – This component is responsible for accepting F/B requests from Exchange users, retrieving, and processing the data from Domino, and returning it to Exchange. This component also includes two web services which run inside IIS:
    • Autodiscover implementation
    • Exchange Web Services (EWS) implementation
  • Exchange Free/Busy Service – This component is responsible for accepting F/B requests from Lotus Notes (via QCALCON) for Exchange users, retrieving and processing the data, and returning it to QCALCON.
  • QCALCON Task – This is a Domino server tasks from Quest which handles requests for Exchange user F/B information. These requests are sent to the Quest Exchange Free/Busy Service.

Quest recommends that you separate the first two components on to two separate servers for performance reasons. They don’t make any data readily available as to when this is necessary, so you’ll need to make a judgment call and do some testing in the lab as to whether or not this is necessary. In a large environment, it’s possible to scale some of the components out behind a load balancer as well. In addition, Quest also recommends physical hardware in lieu of Virtual Machines, although my personal opinion is that given proper resource allocation, this guidance is stuck somewhere in the era of the Notes UI design.

The way Quest integrates Notes F/B data with Exchange is clever, and to understand it, you’ll need to have a bit of background on how Outlook clients (and others) get F/B info. Prior to Exchange 2007, Exchange stored F/B information in Public Folders, and Outlook clients knew where to go in the Public Folder store to find the data. With the desire to move away from Public Folders, this information became available via Exchange Web Services (EWS), also sometimes called the Availability Service (AS). This is a SOAP based web service hosted on the CAS server and accessible via HTTPS. Outlook 2007 and newer knows how to access this endpoint as does Outlook for Mac and various other EWS clients. Exchange 2007 also introduced the ability to provide a means for cross-organization F/B info without any complex public folder replication. The way this works is you define an “availability address space” in Exchange which tells Exchange for a given subdomain, send those F/B requests over to a different AS endpoint. If you’re not familiar, take a look at this post before reading further. This functionality is what Quest leverages.

What Quest has done is re-implement the Autodiscover service as well as the Availability Service such that Exchange thinks it’s talking to another Exchange organization, when in fact it’s actually talking to the Quest Domino F/B server. In Exchange, we define an availability address space for lotus.contoso.com which will resolve (via Autodiscover) to Q-LNFBC01.

Implementation

With the background information out of the way, let’s go ahead and start setting this up. You’re going to need a number of resources:

  • One to two servers to install the Quest components. For this example, I’ll use the two pictured above.
  • A Lotus Notes server to install the QCALCON task.
  • Administrative access to Lotus Notes
  • Exchange Organization Management level access to Exchange
  • A standard Domino user ID file and password with mail file.
  • A standard Exchange mailbox enabled user and password

Install PowerGUI on Q-EXFBC01 and Q-LNFBC01, and then Free/Busy coexistence components. The installers are quite self explanatory, so I won’t walk through those. Be sure to only install “Web Server Components” and “Lotus Notes Components” on the Domino F/B server and the “Exchange Components” on the Exchange F/B server.

Note:  It’s possible to separate the Web Server components on to a separate server or set of load balanced servers if you have sufficient demand. For this walk through, I will assume they’re installed on Q-LNFBC01, though.

Configuring the Web Services and Domino Free Busy Connector Service

Once the installations are complete, we’ll use PowerGUI to configure the web services and Domino Free/Busy service.

  1. Launch PowerGUI on Q-LNFBC01.
  2. Browse to PowerGUI\CMN Free/Busy Connector Management\Configure Web Services and Lotus Notes Components in the Navigation Tree.
  3. Select Configuration Wizard from the task pane on the right.
  4. Configure an SMTP domain of lotus.contoso.com. Select autodiscover.lotus.contoso.com.

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  1. Configure the following values for Domino:
    • Domino Server Name: LN-ADM01/CONTOSO.
    • Domino ID File Path: (browse to the ID file)
    • Domino Password: (password to the ID file)

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  1. Complete the wizard.
  2. Start the “Quest CMN Domino Free/Busy Connector Service” service.
Note: The domain specified in Step 4 needs to match the Internet address field in your Notes person documents. Chances are your Notes environment is configured to accept mail for *@lotus.contoso.com for mail routing coexistence, but your users have Internet addresses in the form of *@contoso.com. To work around this in CMN, you need to add an SMTP Domain Mapping. To do this, you’ll need to work in PowerShell directly:
  1. Launch the Free Busy Connector Management Shell (Start>All Programs>Quest Software>Quest Coexistence Manager for Notes>Free Busy Connector).
  2. Run this command:
Set-CmnDominoFreeBusyConfig -SmtpDomainMappings "lotus.contoso.com=contoso.com"
  1. Restart the Quest CMN Domino Free/Busy Connector Service


Next, you’ll need to obtain an SSL certificate for the web services. While it’s possible to use a self signed certificate, your troubleshooting overhead will be substantially minimized if you obtain a proper trusted certificate. To obtain a certificate, you’ll need to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR).



  1. Launch Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager (start>run>inetmgr).
  2. Select Q-LNFBC01 in the COnnections tree.
  3. Double click Server Certificates in the center pane.
  4. Select Create Certificate Request in the task pane on the right.
  5. Enter a Common name of autodiscover.lotus.contoso.com and populate the request of the screen as appropriate.
  6. Upload the resultant CSR to your Certificate Authority (I recommend DigiCert if you don’t have a preference).


Once you receive the certificate back from your CA, return to the Server Certificates view in IIS Manager.



  1. Select Complete Certificate Request in the task pane on the right.
  2. Browse to the file you received from your CA and complete the wizard.
  3. Browse to Q-LNFBC01\Sites\Default Web Site in the Connections pane.
  4. Select Bindings in the task pane at right.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Select type https.
  7. Find your SSL certificate in the SSL certificate drop-down.


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