TMS - Problem with recurrence scheduling page

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Oct 1st, 2013
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Hi folks,


One of our customers is facing a problem with their TMS. They have a new TMS server version 14.3 installed on a standard Windows Server 2008. When any user tries to schedule conference using the recurrence options, when they click in the calendar to go to the next month, TMS shows a error message. See:


TMS recurrence problem.png


TMS recurrence problem 2.png


The recurrence scheduling works even with this error message, but the users are unable to check the calendar for the next months to confirm if they have selected to correct dates.


Has anybody seen this issue before? I didn't try another version of TMS yet, so I am not sure if this issue occurs in previous versions.


Thanks in advance.


Paulo Souza


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Endorsed by Magnus Ohm
Paulo Souza about 3 years 10 months ago

Hi Dale,

After many attempts, I guess I have figured out the issue and found a workaround for the problem. And I guess I have discovered a new bug. =)

All the users in TMS are using timezone GMT -3 Brasilia (which is the main timezone in Brazil). If i change the GMT to any another time set, including others with the same time set -3, as GMT -3 Salvador (Brazil as well), so the recurrence options work just fine, I dont have any issue. If I return to GMT -3 Brasilia, then the problem occurs again.

Really strange... But at least I have a workaround. Can you try replicate my issue in your lab just to see what you get?

Thanks for your assistance, I really appreciate it.

I have opened TAC case 627604513, but there is no engineer working on it for now.

Paulo Souza
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daleritc Tue, 10/01/2013 - 07:26
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Hi Paulo,


Working for me and even changed my user language to Portuguese and Portuguese (Brazil) and used the same exact pattern. Tested in both IE9 and latest FF.


Assume your doing this from a PC or laptop? Latest Java installed to the PC and laptop? What browser are you using? Same behaviour on another PC or laptop? Same behaviour when doing directly on the TMS server?


Do the TMS logs provide any clues, in particular the log web?

Paulo Souza Tue, 10/01/2013 - 08:07
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Hi Dale, thanks for assistance!  =)


I tested from my laptop and from another PCs of the customer, also tried another browser. All they having the same issue.


My laptop:


Windows 7 Professional 7 SP1

IE 9.0.8112.16421

Crhome Versão 29.0.1547.76

Java 7.0.4000 (jus downloaded the latest version)


PCs of the customer:


Windows XP SP 3

IE 7.0.5730.13

java 6 update 22


I wasn't able to try from the TMS Server, because I don't RDP permission on this server, because the customer has many security policies. Therefore I wasn't able to get any log as well. Now I am trying to get access to the Windows Server, I will try your suggestin as soon as I get access. I am very busy this week, it will be hard to spend time troubleshooting the issue, I will probably have to open a TAC case. Are you member of TAC team?


Any other suggestion?


Paulo Souza

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Paulo Souza Tue, 10/01/2013 - 08:12
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Update:


The most strange behavior is, yesterday I was facing the issue exactly like I descirbed above. But today, testing from my laptop again, the error message appears right before I choose the recurrence interval. For example, when popup windows comes up, I select Monthly for recurrence interval parameter and then I receive the same error message. So I am not even able to schedule recurrence at all for now.


Really strange...


Paulo Souza

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Paulo Souza Tue, 10/01/2013 - 12:51
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Hi Dale,

After many attempts, I guess I have figured out the issue and found a workaround for the problem. And I guess I have discovered a new bug. =)

All the users in TMS are using timezone GMT -3 Brasilia (which is the main timezone in Brazil). If i change the GMT to any another time set, including others with the same time set -3, as GMT -3 Salvador (Brazil as well), so the recurrence options work just fine, I dont have any issue. If I return to GMT -3 Brasilia, then the problem occurs again.

Really strange... But at least I have a workaround. Can you try replicate my issue in your lab just to see what you get?

Thanks for your assistance, I really appreciate it.

I have opened TAC case 627604513, but there is no engineer working on it for now.

Paulo Souza
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daleritc Wed, 10/02/2013 - 01:45
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Hi Paulo,


I can reproduce it


I'll open a bug on it and get the reference back to you so that you can tell the TAC to reference this bug in the SR.


rgds,

Dale

Paulo Souza Wed, 10/02/2013 - 08:21
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Hi Dale,


Thank you very much for you assistance, I really appreciate it.


Awaiting for the bug ID. Thanks.


Paulo Souza

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Paulo Souza Wed, 10/02/2013 - 08:38
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Hi Dale,


I need further assistance from you regarding the workaround I am using. Can you inform what is the summer time difference on TMS for these two timezones:


GMT -3 Brasilia

GMT -3 Salvador


I am sure they are different, but I need to know whether TMS considers that difference or not. Also, if TMS will change the timeset (-3) during the summer time, what will the impact for my scheduled conferences? Will the already scheduled conferences be changed or will only the new scheduled conferences have a wrong time?


Can you give me further tips regarding the impact of the workaround?


Thanks in advance.


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:02
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It's DST (Daylight Saving Time) your thinking about and yes, that's going to be a problem with this work around...meaning UTC -3 (Brasilia) recognizes DST while UTC -3 (Salvador) does not. And I've checked the other UTC -3 Time Zones in TMS and some do recognize DST but on different dates than Brazil, so that doesn't help you.


However, let me talk this out internally tomorrow with a few folks...meaning what I'm thinking about is that you can/could still utilize the UTC -3 (Salvador) TZ but not book anything past the Brazil DST change date...which is 20 Oct (forward one hour). So for example, you shouldn't book any reoccurrences past the 20 Oct date. If you need to, then you create two seperate bookings, i.e. one before and one after the DST change date. Once the DST shifts...which will include the TMS server itself...then you should be okay. However, let me clarify my theories tomorrow with a few other folks and I'll come back to you and confirm if this work around is sound. As you may or may not know, TMS as had some major changes beginning  in 14.2 when it comes to DST, so I just need to clarify my ideas here.


The only other alternative is to provide a fix before 20 Oct but that's going to be tight and depends on the nature of the fix. I can't imagine its difficult but you never know. However, let me talk that out tomorrow as well.


Dale

Paulo Souza Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:13
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Hi Dale,


Thanks for your assistance. I will be awaiting for your comments.


From what you have described, can I conclude that TMS 14.2 and above may hit this bug? What about old versions?


I am thinking about another of our customers that are planing to upgrade to 14 version, most of them are still using version 13, fortunatelly. As those customers have not reported this issue to our telepresence team, I guess this bug does not affect version 13, at least.


Thanks


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:27
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No, not in 13 and I didn't test on 14.2 but I can do that tomorrow as well...just to see if this was a regression in 14.3. However, and even if this wasn't in 14.2 and as your at 14.3, you can't unfortunately back up to 14.2 (e.g. if you had a back up from 14.2) since you'd lose all the data in between.


Stay tuned...


Dale

Paulo Souza Wed, 10/02/2013 - 11:43
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Yeah! I wouldn't be able to roll back to 14.2 anyway, because I have Conductor XC2.2 + TP Server 3.1.


In addition, I just tested using a TMS version 14.2.2 and I got exactly the same error message.


As our company supports most of the Cisco telepresence customers in Brazil, I have visibility of most environments with TMS. Actually, we have projetcts going on related to upgrade some TMS servers, then we will need to put this activities on hold until we get a solution from Cisco, mainly because DST changing is near.


Thanks


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Thu, 10/03/2013 - 05:08
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Hi Paulo,


The bug number is CSCuj60215 and there is probably no chance that we can provide a fix before the Brazil DST shift, i.e. 20 Oct. The crux of the problem is that Brazil is one of the few time zones where the DST rules kick in at midnight exactly.


The first work around is how I explained earlier. Your users can remain using UTC -3 (Salvador) but not book any reoccurrence meetings beyond the DST shift on 20 Oct.


However, if you already have existing bookings that past the DST shift, then you could use the ConferenceTimeZoneMigration tool to identify bookings beyond the DST shift and then move the bookings in Brasilia TZ within the tool. However, this will only display the conf correctly but not actually shift it by one hour..in this case forward. Therefore, you'd manually have to do that on those future conferences...and keep in mind this is for future conferences so there would time to do this before the conference actually starts. Alternatively, you can alway delete the conferences and re-book after the DST shift but if MCUs are involved, that would or could mean new numbers, etc.


We're looking at some other work around ideas but these may be too risky. I'll keep you abreast.


rgds,

Dale

Paulo Souza Thu, 10/03/2013 - 10:16
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Hi Dale,


Thank you very much for your efforts on this issue. I really appreciate it.


We already have scheduled conferences that past DST shift. And this is bringing many issues for us, because when the users search the conferences using the "List Conference" page, the conference whose date is after DST shift, the start time is shown with one hour of difference. That causes much confusion for the users.


Therefore, in this moment we are discussing the possibility of bring all the users back to the GMT -3 Brasilia and then give instructions to the users to manually create recurrence scheduling. We are probably going to use this option as workaround.


I have only one doubt. As we already have scheduled conferences that past DST shift, you are saying that I can use the ConferenceTimeZoneMigration tool to change the time from Salvador to Brasilia, but this is only for display purposes, so I will have to manually change the time for the conferences. Is that right? If yes, as you are saying, I guess I have a misunderstanding on how TMS stores time information on the database. I really thought that TMS stored the time using UTC format, then each user can show the conference and view the time according to their time format.


Is my understanding really incorrect? Will I really have to manually change the time for the scheduled conferences (those scheduled using GMT -3 Salvador) that past DST shift?


Thanks in advance.


Regards


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Thu, 10/03/2013 - 11:22
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We already have scheduled conferences that past DST shift. And this is  bringing many issues for us, because when the users search the  conferences using the "List Conference" page, the conference whose date  is after DST shift, the start time is shown with one hour of difference.  That causes much confusion for the users.


Yes, and to be expected since your users are using a different time zone than what they should.


Therefore, in this moment we are discussing the possibility of bring all  the users back to the GMT -3 Brasilia and then give instructions to the  users to manually create recurrence scheduling. We are probably going  to use this option as workaround.


To be honest, I think this would be the best work around since if your users continue to book using the wrong time zone now and past the DST shift (and then possibly past the next DST shift), your just exasperating the issue.


rgds,

Dale

Paulo Souza Thu, 10/03/2013 - 12:50
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Dale,

Where can I get that ConferenceTimeZoneMigration tool?

Thanks

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Paulo Souza Fri, 10/04/2013 - 11:13
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Hi Dale,


Just to keep you posted, As this tool is available only with TMS 14.3.1, I wasn't able to use it, since we have TMS 14.3.0 and we cannot upgrade the product without scheduling a maintenance window.


We have manually recreate almost 200 scheduled conferences that where scheduled in the last two days, because those conferences have a start time that past DST changing, so the start time stored in TMS was wrong, once the users were configured to use GMT -3 Salvador. Now we have all the conferences fixed and all the users using GMT -3 Brasilia, and the recurrence page remains unavailable.


I would like to inform you that our customer, which is one of the greatest Cisco customers in Brazil, is very very insatisfied with that situation. They have totally discontinued an old scheduling tool and replaced it by TMS, just because TMS provides more features, including the recurrence scheduling, which is widely used by the customer's Service Desk team. They have a dedicated team with 10 scheduler users and they schedule about 100 conferences everyday, with many recurrence meetings, involving almost 120 meeting rooms around the country. That is why they really need recurrence feature working.


In addition, we have another customers plainning to upgrade their enviroment to TMS 14.3, because of many bug fixes and new features, such as Conductor and Webex integration, for example. We have to put on hold these upgrades activities because of this new bug as well. We had a similar issue some months ago when Cisco removed the "Free Busy Overview Page" from TMS, some upgrade activities was put on hold.


I understand that this issue may look simple when comparing to the great number of features that TMS provides, but Cisco needs to realize that simple features maybe really important to the customers, that is our case in Brazil. Therefore, we need a solution from Cisco very soon. This is causing a great impact to our customers.


Please, I kindly ask you to provide that feedback to your team. We also have our Cisco representative in Brazil involved on this case. We really need to have this problem resolved.


I appreciate your efforts on this case. Thank you very much.


Regards


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Sat, 10/05/2013 - 01:29
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Thanks for the follow up and completely understand the customer's sentiment,  I'll see/ensure we get this fix in the next TMS maintenance release. Is the other customer also in Brazil...meaning using Brazil TZ as well?


And yes, your Cisco rep has been in touch with me and I've conveyed a similar message


BTW, we're still looking into a work around so has to get the reoccurrence window to open properly but it's a bit risky, i.e. still testing. I let you know.


Dale

thobonho Sat, 10/05/2013 - 14:21
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Hi Paulo,


Here's a workaround for you and your customers in Brazil: while waiting for a fix which will come in a future version of TMS, the idea is to move the DST start 1 hour later, at 1AM instead of 12AM. By doing that, the calendar won't generate an exception anymore because the 20th of October, 12AM will exist in TMS server own time, which won't be the case in reality because of the DST.


You'll find in attachment a registry file that contains new DST rule definition for Brasilia time zone. I only did the changes for 2013 and 2014 which should be enough. Before applying changes in Windows registry, make sure to export the original TZ configuration for safety. It's located at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Time Zones\E. South America Standard Time.


Then, execute the reg file as administrator. Reboot the server and voilà! I can't think of any consequences by doing that. The only difference it's that TMS server will adjust its clock 1 hour later than it should.


@Dale, I have figured out my problem and don't want to wait Monday to tell Paulo what to do. Since the server has to be rebooted, it's probably better to apply this workaround tomorrow Sunday.

Paulo Souza Sat, 10/05/2013 - 22:09
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Hi Thomas,


Thank you very much for your assistance. I will try to apply this workaround. However, not this Sunday, I will need to schedule a maintenance window to apply this kind of changing, because this customer has strong security policies. To run anything as administrator on the Windows Server (which is a custom server provided by the customer), I have to involve another team from the customer and I have to get approval from many people. It is too much bureaucratic. Therefore, I will have to schedule this activity with the customer, maybe to the next weekend, not sure.


We are going to have a meeting this monday, I will take this oportunity to place this suggestion and check when we can apply this workaround.


I really appreciate all the efforts on this issue. Thanks.


Paulo Souza

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daleritc Sun, 10/06/2013 - 09:24
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@Thomas: No problem and I'm fairly swamped all next week anyway. And as discussed, and this is more on Paulo, not sure how the customer (bank) is going to take making a registry change on their server, albeit we don't believe there will be any consequence in doing this registry tweak. The only thing to keep in mind though is if they update their servers and those updates contain TZ updates from MS...meaning your change my get overwritten.

Paulo Souza Thu, 10/10/2013 - 17:55
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Hi Thomas / Dale,


I am trying to schedule a maintenance window to apply this workaround that you have suggested. But to be honest, the customer is very unsure about that changing. They have placed the following question:


If we don't apply this workaround that you have suugested, and if we wait until DST changing, will the scheduling recurrence page work after DST changing even without applying that workaround? If yes, what about the next DST changing?


Can you help me to clarify this question?


Thanks in advance.


Regards


Paulo Souza

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thobonho Fri, 10/11/2013 - 01:08
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Hi Paulo,


Without the registry tweak, the calendar control will continue to fail even after the 20th of October and customer will hit this issue again in February, when next DST change is scheduled. But to be clear, this is not an intermittent issue. Code will generate an exception each time October or February is selected; it's just that it's more obvious during these two months as the error message is thrown as soon as popup opens, but even outside of these periods, it will crash when users move in time and set the calendar on October or February.


Hope this clarifies!

Paulo Souza Tue, 10/22/2013 - 10:06
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Hi Thomas / Dale,



Just to keep you informed, as you are being very useful on this case, I would like to say that the customer did not allow us to apply that workaround suggested by Thomas.



The customer have a Microsoft administrators team that manages and operates all the windows servers on the network, including the server where TMS is installed. According to Microsoft team, the changing may cause a impact in the enviroment and may possibly bring problems to the AD integration, accorting to them. They even said that the server may stop to work.



Well, I imagine that this is the only workaround you have. Now I am involving our Cisco AM in Brazil to get further assistance. But I am sure that we will probably have to await for the the next release of TMS. The question is, when are we going to have this version.  =/



Thanks again.



Paulo Souza



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daleritc Tue, 10/22/2013 - 11:07
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Hi Paulo,

This doesn't surprise me but not sure about their fears. However, it is their environment and I respect that.

As far as the bug fix itself, I know the engineering has been looking into it and it actually wasn't trivial. As far as when it could be available in either a maintenance or feature release, I'll need to get back with you.

Dale



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