imported outlook contacts with german umlauts get messed up

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Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:13 pm

imported outlook contacts with german umlauts get messed up

Post by METom » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:07 pm

am currently on ME Premium Enterprise (eval mode) and found the following misbehavior (bug?) while importing contacts from PST through Outlook MAPI-Connector (v1.51)

Server Side:
ME Permium Enterpris 6.74 on Win2008 SP2 32bit (all sec pacches available until 22.12.2012 applied)
Client Side:
Outlook 2010 32 bit on Win7 Ultimate, with MAPI-Connector 32 bit 1.51

In my contacts folder of my backup pst there are a lot of contacts which have german umlauts and/or a '&' in their 'company-name'-field (as e.b. 'SomeCorp GmbH & Co. KG').
Please be aware that 'GmbH & Co. KG' is very common over here in Germany, so lots of contacts have this in their name.
this 'GmbH & Co. KG' will be broken down int TWO entries in contacts display in ME-WebMail:
a) the string '...GmbH &amb' in field 'Company' on tab 'Company'
b) the string 'Co. KG' in field 'Department' on tab 'Company'.

a contact in backup pst with company name 'Heinz Kühne GmbH & Co.KG' ended up with
a) the string '=?UTF-8?Q?Heinz_K=C3=BChne_GmbH_&amp' in field 'Company' on tab 'Company'
b) the string '_Co.KG?=' in field 'Department' on tab 'Company'.

When opening those contacts in Outlook from Mail-Enable Account, they show up OK !!
When getting synced over EAS to a mobile device it will hold the same corrupted data than as with ME-WebMail

In Addition, contacts which do have 'private', 'work' and 'other' street/city addresses in Outlook, will have the WORK/COMPANY address in the 'Personal' TAB in ME-Web-Mail.

When getting synced this over EAS to mobile device it will now hold THE SAME address for all types (work, private, other).

Seems to me, that the whole Sync of contacts is a total MESS and I have to step through my 800 contacts one by one and try to correct them and then have to check in outlook/ME-WebAccess AND on mobile devices.
Not really a comfortable situation :-(((
I don't want to have to do this with the data of all of my users.
So please advice on how to mitigate.

I am willing/will be able to provide a sample pst with 'misbehaving' contacts for ME-Support staff to test on request.

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Re: imported outlook contacts with german umlauts get messed

Post by MailEnable » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:00 am


thanks for reporting these issues. I have raised an internal entry in the produce issue register so that the issue can be investigated.
We should be able to emulate without the PST, but if we should need it, it would be great if you could provide (if its needed).

Whilst it is not released, it may be better to update the client to this release:

Also, server versions of the 6.75 kits are available, but the client update is probably more centric to your umlauts and encoding issue.

I will post again once we have more insight as to the problem.

Thanks again.
Regards, Andrew

Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: imported outlook contacts with german umlauts get messed

Post by METom » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:20 pm

Hi Andrew,
thank you for your assistance.
I updated to server 6.75 and had the same issues.
Currently contacts really get messed up (with DATA LOSS!! in contacts) when going the route OL -> ME-Web -> EAS-Device(Android) and then back again EAS-Device(Android) -> ME-Web -> OL.
Jut try to edit a (the same) contact (add/change data) in every location (step by step _with syncing taking place between edits, I am no talking about simultaneously edits in every store at the same time!) OL, ME-Web, EAS-Device and watch out, what happens when it gets synced back to the other two remaining store locations (e.g.: OL, and ME-Web if edit was made in EAS-Device).
Data will be mismatched (seems that there are different field mappings for OL->ME and ME->OL maybe the same wiredness between ME->AES-Device), deleted or not updated at all...
It's really frustrating. I got 650 contacts messed up now (will have to reimport a backup, after this gets solved).

I opened up a support ticket (#24837) which is somewhat related to this forum post.
They replied that they filed an internal ticket as well.
So you may check with the internal tickets to have them joined if there are now two different ones for this.

I am now going to test with the offered OL-AddIn v.1.52...
Will post my findings then

Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:13 pm

Re: imported outlook contacts with german umlauts get messed

Post by METom » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:51 pm

OK - did a new try with Outlook-AddIn v1.52

It's still a total mess :-(((((

you may proof by yourslef.

step 1.) create a new contact in Outlook (with ME-Connector).
populate every field with a string with the name of the field and a postfix of '-OL' (to indicate its created/edited in OL, e.g. Salutation: Salutation-OL, Name: Name-OL GmbH & Co. KG, BusinessPhone: 1234-bus-OL, etc.)
Don't forget the fields you can edit in outlook when switching to 'Details' view.
Be sure to have a string of 'GmbH & Co. KG' in fields 'name', 'surname' and 'company name' !

Then switch to ME-Web and see what you get synced -> Aaargh&&%$$§ :-((
- some fields dosn't get synced from OL to ME-Web at all, (namely: personal-pager, personal-email, company-email)
- some gets mispopulated by String 'Co. KG'. (namely: general-title, general-first_name, company-department)

step 3)
edit the ME-Web contact by adding a postfix of '-ME' to every string in every field , then look what gets updated/synced back to OL
Really NOTHING is synced back to OL !!! What a shame...

Step 4) see what happened in EAS-Device (Android) in the meanwhile.
The contact initially created in OL was synced to the device (no judgement about the data mapping at the moment, but see by yourself...).
To make it worse, the edits from step 2 were synced as a SECOND contact to the EAS-Device (perhaps because of editing the 'gerneral-title'-field in ME-Web?! (-> this shows that the sync seems to match by this field and NOT by an internal/hidden ID?!! Really? Oh my...)

step 5)
open the contact in EAS-Device to make edits (you may now discover, that many of the data fields like eMail, phone numbers, .... are doubled/trippled available (only one of data of the same type is shown when in 'non edit mode', therefore this may not be obvious before going to edit mode of contact. -> Oh my...)

step 6)
now edit the contact fields in EAS-Device and ad a postfix of '-EAS' to the strings.
Then wait for the sync and see what's happening in Web-EAS and in OL.....
To be more specific:
a) ALL Edits that have a corresponding field in ME-Web, gets (correctly mapped) updated/synced in ME-Web, that's fine, BUT..
b) NOTHING gets updated at all in Outlook!!! (but the contact gets flagged as new/unread/updated)

And now to the worst...
step 7)
Just change ONE Field in the Outlook contact and BOOOOOOOMMMM!!
All the old data still sitting in the OL-contact now gets synced to ME-Web and down the road to EAS-Device.
Thereby you are loosing all your former (synced) edits in ME-Web and EAS-Device!!! :-((((
So OL seems to always sync all of its data to ME not only the changed field!
Aaarg#&%$§..... :-((

At the moment (v6.75 with OL v1.51/v1.52), this contact sync stuff is totally unusable and will lead to data loss.
The only way around I can see for the moment is to make ALL needed edits solely in Outlook and let it propagate down to ME and EAS-Devices.
DON'T Edit your contact data in ME and/or EAS-Devices, as this will result in upredictable Data.
But if you tell this to your users, they will just forget about it, refuse to obey and then me and you have to cope with merging backup data with the messed up data.
What a waste of time.....

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