Office 365 (Thunderbird) - Exchange Calendar and Tasks Add-On for Lightning

This document provides an overview of a range of functions and behavior when interacting with Office 365 using the Lightning add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird, with Exchange Calendar and Tasks Add-On as the Exchange Provider. The functionality examined below pertains only to Calendar, Tasks, and Contacts. This add-on provides no Exchange email capability.


Testing Configuration and Versions:

The version of Exchange Calendar and Tasks Add-on for Lightning tested is 3.3.0. It was tested on Windows 7 SP1 running Mozilla Thunderbird 31.3.0 and Lightning 3.3.1. Mileage may vary with disparate releases or systems.


Important:

This extension is not maintained by Mozilla. It is a third-party extension that provides Calendar, Tasks, and Contacts for the Lightning calendar add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird using EWS (Exchange Web Services) as the provider. Updates to the add-on are likely to add, remove, change, or break functionality. The information given below is for reference; it is not intended to provide any guarantee of functional level.


Installing the Add-on:

  1. Install the latest version of Mozilla Thunderbird.
  2. Install the latest version of the Lightning add-on.
  3. Download the latest version of the Exchange Calendar and Tasks Add-on.
  4. In Thunderbird, click on Tools | Add-ons
  5. Click on the Gear icon (next to "Search all add-ons") and select Install Add-on From File...
  6. Browse to the downloaded add-on in the previous step
  7. Click Install to verify that you understand that you are trusting the add-on from a non-verified author
  8. Click Restart now to restart Thunderbird and finish installation of the add-on

Configuring to Access O365:

  1. Launch Thunderbird
  2. Click on File | New | Calendar
  3. Select On the Network and click Continue
  4. Select Microsoft Exchange 2007/2010 and click Continue
  5. Choose any name and color for the calendar. Remove the check mar from Show Reminders check box if you do not wish to receive pop-up reminders to meetings
  6. Select the email address that is associated with your calendar, then click Continue
  7. Enter the following information for settings:
    • Server URL: https://pod51011.outlook.com/ews/exchange.asmx
    • Primary email address: netid@wisc.edu or first.lastname@wisc.edu or name@domain.wisc.edu
    • Username: netid@wisc.edu
    • Domain name: [Leave this blank]
    • Share Folder Id: [Leave this blank]
  8. Click on Check server and mailbox.
  9. You will be prompted for your password. Enter the password for the account you are configuring and click OK.
  10. Make sure Calendar folder is selected for Folder base
  11. Click Continue.
  12. Click Done.

Client Capabilities:

Key
This client is able to perform these functions very well, with few or no issues. This client is able to perform these functions very well, with few or no issues.
This client has some issues performing these functions.  Certain tasks may require a different client or additional steps. This client has some issues performing these functions. Certain tasks may require a different client or additional steps.
This client is not able to perform these functions; a different client is needed to complete these functions. This client is not able to perform these functions; a different client is needed to complete these functions.
These functions have not yet been tested using this client. These functions have not yet been tested using this client.

Calendar Functions Yes/No Notes
Configure for access These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. This add-on is an Exchange Provider for the Lightning calendaring add-on for Thunderbird. Configuration is fairly straight forward, but it does first require installing Lightning. It's also highly advisable to configure the Office 365 account for IMAP email access.
Create a meeting/appointment/event These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Modify or delete an event that you created These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Modify or delete an event that another person created It is not possible to perform these functions. There is an option to "Forward invite" to another user.
Modifications to event by organizer overwrite modifications by attendee(s) It is not possible to perform these functions. N/A
Delete a meeting/appointment/event These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. During testing, ran into a bug with a recurring event that prevented me from deleting it from the TB calendar. Attempting to delete it would not do anything, though the event did not show up in any other client (Outlook, OWA, etc). The meeting was created by another organizer, where I first accepted once instance, then accepted all instances.
Set recurrence on events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Create a task These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. When configuring your account, select 'tasks' object instead of 'calendar'.
Modify a task (update status, change details) These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. Must first subscribe to "Tasks" folder. See "Create a task" above.
Delete a task These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. Must first subscribe to "Tasks" folder. See "Create a task" above.
Invite attendee(s) to events (within the system) These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Invite external attendee(s) to events (other systems, e.g. Gmail) These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Provide attendance response to non-recurring events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. Like Outlook and OWA, you are given an option to "Edit the response before sending", "Send the response now", or "Don't send a response". All of these appear to functional optimally.
Provide attendance response to single instances of recurring events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. You can either right-click on the event and choose from the "Attendance" menu under "This Occurrence" or double-click/edit the event and choose "Edit just this occurrence". Both work as expected.
Provide attendance responses to all instances of recurring events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. You can either right-click on the event and choose from the "Attendance" menu under "All Occurrences" or double-click/edit the event and choose "Edit all occurrences". Both work as expected.
Check schedule availability of another user These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Create a new calendar It is not possible to perform these functions.
Delete an existing calendar It is not possible to perform these functions. Deleting a calendar in TB doesn't actually delete it from the server--just unsubscribes.
Display multiple calendars in one view These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Change calendar views (e.g. daily, weekly) These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Change calendar colors These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. Not synced with server. Color settings are local to TB on machine.
Set default calendar view These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Show or hide declined events It is not possible to perform these functions. Declined events are sent to your trash, and are no longer visible to any degree on your calendar.
Set popup notifications for events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Set email notifications for events It is not possible to perform these functions.
Set other calendar options or preferences These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. Various other options exist that are specific to Exchange calendars. This includes things like Out of Office messages, setting automatic responses, automatically removing cancelled meetings that you haven't responded to, removing confirmed invitations when they're cancelled, etc.
Set sharing permissions for calendars It is not possible to perform these functions. You can view the sharing permissions for your calendars, but they cannot be set. The view given lists all the possible actions and whether they're "true" or "false" for the given user or group.
Set privacy settings for calendars It is not possible to perform these functions. You can view the privacy permissions for your calendars, but they cannot be set. The view given lists all the possible actions and whether they're "true" or "false" for the given user or group.
Create events with limited visibility (e.g. show date and time only) These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. The three options provided by Lightning are "Public", "Show Date and Time Only", and "Private". Public is default which works, and Private will correctly set the "Private" event flag. In TB, "Show Date and Time Only" adds a unique icon, but I'm uncertain what effect it has, since there is no analogous option in Outlook/OWA. The event appears to be public in those clients.
Subscribe to shared Office 365 calendars It is not possible to perform these functions. This appears to be possible, since you are prompted for the "Share Folder Id", but I cannot determine a way tof subscribing to succeed.
Subscribe to external .ics calendars These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Remove a subscribed calendar These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Invite/schedule a resource (conference room, projector, equipment, etc) These functions are untested.
Create an event on behalf of a resource These functions are untested.
Set sharing permissions for a resource These functions are untested.
Set privacy permissions for a resource These functions are untested.
Print calendars or events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Manage attachments on events These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Auto-complete email addresses from server Global Address List It is not possible to perform these functions. Unlike personal address book below, I could not find a way to subscribe to the GAL.
Auto-complete email addresses from server Personal Address Book These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues. You must first subscribe to your personal contacts list! This is done by going to "Address Book" in TB and selecting "Add Exchange contact folder". You can name it however you'd like, but the server URL will need to match the server URL for when you configured calendar (https://pod51010.outlook.com/ews/exchange.asmx). Primary email address and username will also match the calendar configuration settings. Subscribed folder base should be "Contacts folder".
Auto-complete email addresses from local Personal Address Book These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.

Contacts Functions Yes/No Notes
Configure for access There are some issues with these features.  Certain tasks may be impossible or problematic. There are additional configuration steps needed to subscribe to Office 365 address books. They are described above in "Auto-complete email addresses from server Personal Address Book". This subscription does NOT give you access to the GAL.
View and use the Global Address List (GAL) It is not possible to perform these functions.
Create a personal contact stored on the server It is not possible to perform these functions. Though you can see the address book, there is no option to create a new contact within it.
Modify a contact stored on the server It is not possible to perform these functions. Attempting to edit a contact yields a read-only contact that cannot be modified.
Delete a contact stored on the server It is not possible to perform these functions. Delete is greyed out.
Create and modify local contacts These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Auto-complete addresses from contacts These functions are performed very well, with few or no issues.
Create server-side distribution list It is not possible to perform these functions.
Modify server-side distribution list It is not possible to perform these functions.

See Also: