Outlook 2003 free busy vfb file creation problem

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Outlook version
Email Account
I have spent hours trying to find a solution to this and it seems like it should be an easy thing to do.

I have a WHS 2011 server and created the directory freebusy on it. I have full permissions to the server and the directory. I have created a shortcut in the directiory so I know I can write to it.

I have entered information in Outlook to create the vfb file. I had it as a vbf file at first since the first page I read said that was the extension (I have been amazed at the swapping of these two extensions - even on the same page at a Microsoft support site!) and this is the format I'm using:


Where myname is the email account name before the @ symbol in my email account.

I have stopped Outlook and restarted it. I have gone to Send/Receive and forced the free busy information to be sent.

I do have multiple email accounts associated with this copy of Outlook but myname is the default account. Is this the problem? Do I need to drop the other two accounts from Outlook?

No .vfb file is being written.

Does anyone have suggestions for a fix? I'm not computer illiterate. I've been working with PC's since 1982 and spent the last ten years of my career as a self-employed computer consultant, yet I feel like an idiot because I cannot get this to work.
Did I miss something? Perhaps my explanation of the name I was using and where it came from was not clear because I don't see a difference between:

"Use your alias (part in front of the @ of your email address) as the file name."

and what I did. If my email address is jimmyjohn@gmail<dot>com (It's not)

isn't jimmyjohn what I use? If so, that's what I've done.
ok, if that is how you did it, its correct - i read it as profile name.
ok, try it using the name (alias) for your default account. I think that is your problem.
I went back and checked to be sure and I am using my default account.

I appreciate your help more than you can imagine. I f you have any more ideas I'm all ears!!
I'm trying ot think, but at this time (and late hour) the only thing I can remember is it took a bit for the first FB to be published. I forget how long - it was longer than a minute but was probably less than an hour.
Mine is set to 15 minutes and you can "force" it to send the information from the Send/Receive drop down menu, which I've done.

There was an activex add on that I needed to enable in order to remote to the server and I got it running, but no joy still.

This is the kind of weird problem I usually solve for other people and it is frustrating when I can't solve it for myself. Perhaps having my WHS running for less than a week has something to do with my lack of "expertise".

When I do finally get it running I'll post the solution so everyone else will know what I found.
First I want to ask if there are any programs designed to share a calendar (Outlook 2003) that don't cost an arm and a leg out there and work well? I've followed some links and looked over the information on some, but it seems to be pretty expensive for a non-business application. It can be tough to justify. I appreciate any help.

Oh, I did get an email from Mike Craven The Office Maven telling me that he's trying to get a release of his program ready for WHS 2011 by the end of March or early April. Perhaps patience is called for.


I spent some time in Event Viewer and forced a send/receive of the calendar information to the server. Here's what came up in the viewer:

An error occurred publishing your Internet free/busy data. Write operation failed at URL:

With the url location I have in Outlook displayed. Seems I don't have the required permissions like I thought I did. Or my url address is still incorrect...

I can add a file to the freebusy folder, but Outlook can't. In fact I created a shortcut to the calendar in the freebusy folder so I can access it directly, which is great, but only if the computer with Outlook is running and Outlook is also.

Time to dig into permissions again!!

Thanks for your help.
I'm back.

I have exhausted every possibility I can find.

Does everyone else just set this up between Outlook 2003 and WHS 2011 and have it work? This seems like it should be a simple thing to accomplish and here I am struggling with it.

I have (had) future plans to connect security cameras and remote lighting, etc to this server, but if it can't even be configured to allow Outlook to write a file to it I can't imagine it working with any of that.
Because Outlook can't pass credentials, the computer either needs to log into the network or you need to set permissions so Everyone or Anonymous can write to the folder.

Are you using IIS or a folder? If network folder, can you open it using \\server\folderpath\freebusy without entering a password?

Id using IIS, set the free/busy folder so it has anonymous write permissions - if its not exposed to the internet, its safe. If it is exposed, only that folder is less secure.
When I try to open the file using your example I get a 404 error.

I'm not using IIS.

I've gone through every single permission I can find, but I'll go over them again with anonymous in mind.

Thank you

Anonymous to the rescue. It's been too long since I did this type of work. Retirement places me in the "use it or lose it" category.

Thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
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