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Old 03-01-2007, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tasks Bug on 8800 - Dates Are Transposed One Day Into The Past

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This is my first "real" post in these forums. I did a search and I did not see anyone else encountering the issue I am about to describe.

My 8800 syncs with my hosted MS Exchange server at a company called MailStreet. If you aren't familiar with hosted exchange, it is basically the same thing as having a regular exchange server in your office, but alot cheaper. MailStreet also provides me with fuull enterprise level BlackBerry support using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

I am on my second 8800 Handset. The first handset, and my current handset, are having a problem correctly syncing the date set on Tasks in Outlook to the handset. All other items, such as contacts and calendar appointments, are syncing correctly.

This is the specific problem:

The BlackBerry is showing tasks that have a start/due date of today (03/01) in Outlook, as having a start/due date of yesterday (02/28). For example, today I have a task called "Confirm the Old B of A Account is Closed" in Outlook. On the Exchange server (and in my Outlook 2003 client), this task has a start date and due date of Thursday March 1, 2007. On the BlackBerry, this task is present, but it says that it has a due date of Wednesday February 28, 2007 9:00 PM. The same thing is happening for all of my tasks.

If I generate a task on the BlackBerry, and set a due date of March 1, 2007, this task will show up on the Exchange server with a due date of March 2, 2007.

In other words, there is something that is causing all of the dates on Tasks on the Exchange server to be transposed 1 day into the past when they sync to the BlackBerry.

I spent nearly 4 hours trying to troubleshoot this issue with MailStreet, Cingular, and RIM technical support. Here is a summary of what we tried, and what the result was:
  • MailStreet (hosted MS Exchange provider) technical support was not able to replicate the problem on any of the BlackBerry devices they had available. they did not have an 8800 available to try. On the other BlackBerry devices, the task dates synchronized correctly.
  • Cingular could not identify any issues, and patched us through to RIM technical support.
  • RIM tech support had a BlackBerry 8800 using Rogers Wireless available to try. They were not able to replicate the problem on that device. The tasks synchronized correctly to their 8800 handset.
  • RIM technical support requested I attempt to completely wipe the data off my 8800 handset, and re-install a fresh load of the OS downloaded via the Cingular website link to RIM. We downloaded the software, used Desktop Manager to completely wipe my 8800 handset, and attempted to install the fresh load of the BlackBerry software. The installation failed about 65% of the way through. I got a dialouge box stating that the software could not be installed, and that ther was a "fatal error".
  • RIM technical support suggested we attempt to wipe the handset using RIM's Javaloader application. RIM tech support sent me the EXE file via E-mail, and following their instructions, I loaded Javaloader on my PC and then used it to wipe my 8800 handset. The handset wiped clean w/ Javaloader.
  • Following the Javaloader wipe of the handset, RIM tech support instructed me to install the operating software from the file downloaded via the Cingular/RIM website. I initiated the installation, and it began to proceed. Then, about 90% of the way through the installation, it failed, and I got the same "fatal error" dialogue box.
  • RIM tech support at this time suggested we attempt one more wipe of the 8800 handset using the Javaloader application. We attempted the wipe, but received repeated "unable to open port" messages. Javaloader was unable to connect to the handset and complete the wipe. We attempted this through three (3) different USB ports with no success on any of the ports.
  • Following the failed wipes, the handset was no longer able to power up. Upon insertion of the battery, I would simply get a white screen on the 8800 with a spining hourglass for 10 minutes until the device shut itself down.
  • RIM Technical support advised that they beleived perhaps there was a hardware problem, and to exchange the handset. I was able to exchange the handset locally at a Cingular retail store yesterday evening.

New handset has same problem as previous handset:

After ensuring that the time/date settings on the new handset were correct, and also, using a brand new SIM card (most current version) provided by the local Cingular rep, I completed a successful Enterprise Activation of my replacement 8800 handset. Following completion of the Enterprise Activiation, I checked to make sure that all items had synchronized correctly. Upon checking the Task dates, the same problem I described initially is present on the new handset.

My theory:

Based on the troubleshooting history so far, it seems that there is either: a) a bug in the firmware/operating software on Cingular versions of the BlackBerry 8800, or b) a problem with the way in which Cingular's over-the-air transmission of sync data is functioning with the 8800 handset.

RIM tech support's 8800 handset operating on Rogers Wireless did not have the task date problem that my Cingular 8800 handset has. MailStreet's test samples of other BlackBerry units operating on Cingular Wireless do not have the task date problem. So it really seems that this is related to BlackBerry 8800's served by Cingular.

Has anyone else experienced, and hopefully, found a solution for this issue. If you are using an 8800 from Cingular, please check it out and see if you have the same problem as I do. And if you are on Rogers Wireless, check it out, and if you don;t have this issue, please report it here.

Also, if anyone has a suggestion about how I can fix this, or what the likely cause might be, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading through my marathon-length post. I look forward to your responses.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG in SB
Thanks for reading through my marathon-length post. I look forward to your responses.
Greetings and Welcome to the Forum!

Just checking in to let you know that I have read your post carefully. Here is my experience:

Personally I'm using BIS and an 8800 on Cingular, which I sync with Outlook 2003 daily. I bought my 8800 the very day they were released so I'm approaching two weeks of usage. So far everything has been excellent. Based on this experience , I have began rolling them out in my company with BES. Again, so far, no problems at all.

That said, I'm going to give this a lot more thought after work tonight. It sounds like a challenging issue, and I love problem solving.....

I'm sure with all the experienced people here on this forum someone will have the solution.

Cheers
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I wasn't able to duplicate this. Have you loaded the DST patch that is on the BB site (I did this over the air). Wonder if this could be the issue.

I'm also using exchangemymail.com instead of mailstreet. I don't know if ms has some issue with the BES?
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi mas90guru,

Yes, I installed the DST 2007 patch sucessfully today. That had no effect on this issue.

I suspect this is with a server somewhere, either at MailStreet, or with Cingular, that just has a date set incorrectly on it. But figuring out where, and why this is only affecting tasks, and not EVERYTHING date related is what is giving me a headache.

Thanks for helping out anyway. Also, you can be sure that if we find a solution here, or the other channels I am working this through, I will post it in detail ;)
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archer6
Greetings and Welcome to the Forum!

Just checking in to let you know that I have read your post carefully. Here is my experience:

Personally I'm using BIS and an 8800 on Cingular, which I sync with Outlook 2003 daily. I bought my 8800 the very day they were released so I'm approaching two weeks of usage. So far everything has been excellent. Based on this experience , I have began rolling them out in my company with BES. Again, so far, no problems at all.

That said, I'm going to give this a lot more thought after work tonight. It sounds like a challenging issue, and I love problem solving.....

I'm sure with all the experienced people here on this forum someone will have the solution.

Cheers
Thanks Archer 6,

Also, you may want to specifically check one of the ones that you roll out on BES. Alot of people may never actually open up one of their tasks and look at the date. It is possible the problem is present, but just not encountered/reported yet.

Thanks for helping me try to solve this.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default This could be a answer.

I'm in Vancouver,Canada (8700r -Rogers) and my company's BES is in NYC.
I have the same issue. I think this is a BES server bug with timezone..
Check where your BES server is located..

This is what I found.. ( I can't post URL yet..)


Quote:
Originally Posted by tirsch
cmeyer,

Mark (from PocketDay) here. Tasks created on Outlook have a 12 midnight time that you can't see. My experience is that when they get transferred to the BB, the timezone suddenly kicks in and if you had a task on Tues. and had a timezone of EST (GMT-5), then on the BB it would internally be Mon at 7pm. PocketDay attempts to compensate for this, but RIM knows about the issue.

I don't know if this helps, just my 2 cents...

Mark

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Has anyone found a solution to this? We are running BES 4.0 and both BES and Exchange is set to EST. We have a customer who has issues with Tasks (he is in PST and as you can guess the items are 3 hrs. off in tasks). Funnily, the Calendar is all fine. Is there any known solutions? I checked here, plus BB Support, I haven't seen anything yet.
Quote:
Makr is correct there is an SDR on this issue.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbak
I'm in Vancouver,Canada (8700r -Rogers) and my company's BES is in NYC.
I have the same issue. I think this is a BES server bug with timezone..
Check where your BES server is located..

This is what I found.. ( I can't post URL yet..)
bbak,

You are onto something here. Or maybe mark (the guy you are quoting) is ;)

My Exchange provider is in Florida = Eastern Time Zone. That is 3 Hours ahead of me. I am in Pacific Time zone. I observe that the tasks on my Blackberry are always one day in the past, and they are always set to be due at 9:00 pm. That is exactly 3 hours before the 12:00 am default time for tasks that are being set in my Outlook program.

I am going to experiment with this tomorrow, and also talk to my tech support contact at MailStreet, my provider. This would also explain why they were not able to duplicate the issue on any of THEIR Blackberry units.....because THEY are in Eastern time zone, and so is their BES.

And this Also explains why the RIM guy couldn't replicate the issue. He was in whatever time zone Nova Scotia is in, and so was his BES.

But I am in Pacific, and my BES is in Eastern. And my times are off by EXACTLY three hours!

I don't know what the fix will be, but this sure looks like a probable cause.

The reason Calendar events are syncing correctly, is because they don't set that default time of 12:00 am. They set the time that you have designated for the event. But very few people, including me, set the time due for tasks.

I will let you know what I come up with with Tech support. In the meantime, let's hear if anyone else has any ideas.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Confirmed - This "Bug" Is Related To The Timezone Of BES vs. Timezone of BB Handset

I E-mailed my tech support contact at MailStreet about this last night. He called me this morning, and was able to replicate my problem on his BlackBerry by setting his device timezone to Pacific time (GMT -8).

Also, I did a confirmation analysis. I created a task called "Testing Timezone Theory" in Outlook. I set the start and due dates for Friday March 2, 2007. This task synced incorrectly to the BlackBerry, showing up as due Thursday March 1 at 9:00 PM. Then, on the BlackBerry, I opened up the details for this task, manually changed the date to Friday March 2, and changed the due time to 8:00 PM. I let the task synch back to Exchange. Once the time is set to a time that is later than 12:00 AM on the BES the task will show up on the correct due date in both Excahnge and on the BlackBerry. Of course, with my new 8:00 PM due time, this task will now show as "overdue" on my BlackBerry at 5:00 PM today in my timezone.

It appears certain that this issue is related to the way the BES syncs Exchange tasks to the BB, and the default due time of 12:00 AM that Outlook sets for tasks when you create them.

So the good news is, it looks like this is definitely the problem, and of course figuring out the problem is 85% of figuring out the solution.

The bad news is that there is no way for my Exchange provider to reset the time on their BES without screwing things up for alot of their other customers. This solution is going to have to come from RIM, either in the form of an update to the BES software to correctly handle (or perhaps ignore) the 12:00 AM default due date from Outlook. Or, in an update to the software for the BB handset, to tweak the due time on tasks by a set number of hours based upon the timezone settings of the device. The latter is probably a better solution, because, when a user travels from one timezone to another and resets their device to the timezone they are in, this will automatically correct the time on the tasks based on their settings. I am a real estate developer, not a software engineer, so I don't know what the best solution is.

Anyway, we are on hold with RIM advanced tech support right now. I'll post anything we come up with, or any updates on whether a fix is being released anytime soon.

Thanks to everyone that helped to figure out the cause of this problem!
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a question about task bugs in 8800. Maybe in your experimentation with this other problem, you can answer to my problem. I have the 8100, and have been going crazy with the fact the recurring tasks do not work. Reminder pops only for the first occurrence and never for any subsequent occurrences.

I talked directly with RIM Tech Support, and they confirmed for me that the functionality simply does not work, but were not able to tell me if the phone's software is planned to be updated to fix the problem.

Do recurring tasks work on the 8800?
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Update On Progress With RIM Technical Support

Well folks......

My exchange hosting company tech support specialist and I were able to reach RIM's advanced technical support on Friday morning.

After we explained out theory to them, they were able to replicate our problem.

RIM Technical Support confirms the following:
  • Tasks syncing incorrectly is due to the default time of 12:00 AM that Outlook sets for tasks (and which cannot be altered by Outlook users), and the way this information is transferred to the BlackBerry device by the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES)
  • If your BES is located in the Eastern time zone, and you are in the Pacific time zone, a task that you create in Outlook and set to be due on March 4th, will appear on your BlackBerry to be due on March 3rd at 9:00 pm (i.e. 3 hours behind when your BES hit 12:00 am). If your BES is in the Atlantic time zone, a task that you set to be due on March 4th, will appear on your BlackBerry to be due on March 3rd at 8:00 pm (i.e. 4 hours behind your BES). And so on...
  • According to them, in seven-plus years of providing BlackBerry service to millions of users, this is the first time anyone has brought up this issue (yes, folks, that is what they tell me)
  • There is no way for them to tell us if and/or when a fix for this critical shortcoming is going to be released, or if they are even working on one

Based on what we have learned identifying the cause of this issue, it seems that even if you are in the same time zone as your BES, your tasks will still incorrectly appear to be overdue on your BlackBerry device, since any time on the date that you have schedulked as the due date will fall after 12:00 AM. This is just unacceptable IMHO.

I have been a BlackBerry user for about two weeks now, and in general, I have to say that I am in love with the device. I can truly understand why it is referred to by many as the "CrackBerry". It does so many things, so well, and so much better than any competitive products, that I still think it is the best choice for mobile professionals that need access to their office information.

However, I am frankly stunned that such a well thought out, and generally well implemented device, has such a major shortcoming as not being able to accurately synchronize task items with Microsoft Outlook, probably the most widely used personal information management software in the world. How could they miss this? And how is it possible, that in all of these years, nobody has brought this to RIM's attention? That is even more flabbergasting to me.

I am going to embark on a campaign of regularly sending E-mail requests for a fix for this issue to [email address] to hopefully capture their attention. I suggest others who want to sync their tasks correctly do the same thing.

If they hear from enough of their users, perhaps they will get around to making task synchronization work the way that it should have worked in the first place. Let's hope so.....
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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JG in SB,

Thanks for your thorough explanation, AND for digging up this email address for BB suggestions. I think we are in the same boat in that in general I really like the device. But I would like to ask that in your emails to RIM requesting a fix for your issue, please also request a fix for mine. I will definitely be bringing up your issue in my emails because I agree, this is unacceptable. The BB is frequently written up as the "darling" of corporate America, but simple productivity tools like a Tasks list that just works goes ignored. Let me recap my issue:

Recurring tasks reminders work only for the first occurrence. This is a confirmed known issue with RIM, for which I have found complaints about, online, dating back to 2005. This can be confirmed on your device by setting up a daily recurring task for a few minutes from now. When the reminder pops up, click to mark the task complete. You can then verify in the task list that the application created a subsequent reminder for the following day. Now, change the actual date and time on the BB to be a few minutes before this next task occurrence. The device will not pop a reminder when the time hits. This is the method RIM suggests for checking this.

I just ran out to a Cingular store and ran this experiment on the new 8800, in hopes that I could just trade-in the 8100 for it. But, it has the same issue in that the recurring task reminder only works on the first occurrence.

Please help me to escalate this issue so that it becomes a priority for RIM to fix.

Thanks!!
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Happy To Help, But I Would Suggest Not Combining Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgab
JG in SB,

The BB is frequently written up as the "darling" of corporate America, but simple productivity tools like a Tasks list that just works goes ignored.

Thanks!!
Hi Pgab,

Your statement about the tasks list sums up my thoughts exactly, and way more concisely ;)

I would be happy to E-mail RIM about the issue you brought up as well. My experience with this sort of thing though, is that it would be better to keep the issues separate from each other. In other words, when you send E-mails into a company like this, you have more chances of success if one E-mail covers one issue.

The advanced tech support guy says they get like 1000 suggestions a day, but some of them are given priority status and that those are dealt with quickly. It is easier for something to get picked up, forwarded around, and assigned, if it is a single concept, rather than one of several presented in an E-mail to a staff that is going through 1000's of suggestions.

For example, if you are a technical staff member reviewing hundreds of E-mail of message headers/titles, which one are you going to check out first:

Title #1: BlackBerry Tasks Will Not Sync Correctly With Outlook on Exchange Server w/ BES

Or

Title #2: Some problems with BlackBerry 8800 That Need To be Looked At

The more specific you can get with a title, I think the more likely your message is to get picked up and dealt with.

So, I will be happy to send them an additional E-mail about your issue too. Of course I will first need to reproduce it on my device so I know exectly what I am talking about ;) I haven't noticed that problem yet that you brought up, but I bet if you are seeing it, then I will probably also encounter it.

I also have several other siggestions, but I will be submitting all of them individually on separate E-mails.

Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ahhh... Excellent advise. I will take that to heart. Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2007, 06:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JG in SB
I am going to embark on a campaign of regularly sending E-mail requests for a fix for this issue to [email address] to hopefully capture their attention. I suggest others who want to sync their tasks correctly do the same thing.

If they hear from enough of their users, perhaps they will get around to making task synchronization work the way that it should have worked in the first place. Let's hope so.....
Thanks for the information and the email address. I too will participate and hopefully some progress with be made towards a resolution.

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Old 03-10-2007, 01:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have been dealing with this issue with RIM since last summer on my 8700c. They also told me then that this was a newly discovered issue. they had an SDR number and told me it would be corrected in the next service release. Nope. I was hoping that my Pearl would be better. Nope. 8800? Nope! I was on with RIM support tech yesterday and he told me that Blackberry users just don't use Tasks and it is not a high priority for them.

They are gaining a lot of of folks like myself who are switching over from WM but for us true PDA users, we need all the PDA functionality. I can live with limited 3rd party development but the core apps have to work.

I will be writing in s well! 30x a day if I have to!
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gberneck
I have been dealing with this issue with RIM since last summer on my 8700c. They also told me then that this was a newly discovered issue. they had an SDR number and told me it would be corrected in the next service release. Nope. I was hoping that my Pearl would be better. Nope. 8800? Nope! I was on with RIM support tech yesterday and he told me that Blackberry users just don't use Tasks and it is not a high priority for them.
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You have not told us what the issue is?

We cannot help if we do not know what the problem is.
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Old 03-10-2007, 06:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gberneck
They are gaining a lot of of folks like myself who are switching over from WM but for us true PDA users, we need all the PDA functionality. I can live with limited 3rd party development but the core apps have to work.
Just as there is no database correlation between Contacts and Calendar within the OS, RIM is leaving it to 3rd-party developers to bring solutions. For Tasks, it's ToDoMatrix, et al. If RIM hasn't produced it at this point in the game, it's unlikely to happen now that they have the 'itch' for the consumer dollar.
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Old 03-10-2007, 08:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backbeat
Just as there is no database correlation between Contacts and Calendar within the OS, RIM is leaving it to 3rd-party developers to bring solutions. For Tasks, it's ToDoMatrix, et al. If RIM hasn't produced it at this point in the game, it's unlikely to happen now that they have the 'itch' for the consumer dollar.
Can you tell me if task recurrence works on ToDoMatrix?
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Default time in tasks

I have a related problem with my BB 8700c. I also have the timezone issue (I'm in CST while my BES is EST), but it isn't an anoyance for me.

What really makes me mad is that whenever a create a new task in the BB with a due date, the due time defaults to 5PM, too late to act. So I have always to change at least the PM for AM. Generally if I set a task for an specific date, I want that task to appear as due first thing in the morning.

Does anybody knows how to change that default time? I think it has nothing to do with the timezone issue mentioned because I'm just 1 hour away from my BES but the default is 17 or 7 hours away from midnight.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-29-2007, 12:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nospamprl
I have a related problem with my BB 8700c. I also have the timezone issue (I'm in CST while my BES is EST), but it isn't an anoyance for me.

What really makes me mad is that whenever a create a new task in the BB with a due date, the due time defaults to 5PM, too late to act. So I have always to change at least the PM for AM. Generally if I set a task for an specific date, I want that task to appear as due first thing in the morning.

Does anybody knows how to change that default time? I think it has nothing to do with the timezone issue mentioned because I'm just 1 hour away from my BES but the default is 17 or 7 hours away from midnight.

Thanks for your help.
I know what you are saying. I don't know of a way to change the default. But, I believe that one way around this is to not set a due date. Just use the reminder date and leave the due date empty. The default when you do this is 8:00 am. This may or may not work for you depending on whether you need the due date field populated.
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