Client-side Fax configuration in SBS 2003 [book excerpt]

Hello everyone! Labor Day has passed in the US and Canada and it is time to get back to work!!!!

I am the author of the purple book: Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices and I am posting up a few pages per day for your pleasure and knowledge. I will do this unitl SBS 2008 ships in mid-November on a worldwide basis.

 

enjoy…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!

###

The Client Side: SBS Faxing

On the client side, you handle the main configuration and observation activity via the Fax Console (the same one as discussed above and displayed in Figure 9-4). This tool is installed when Microsoft Shared Fax is installed.

With the Fax Console, you can send a fax (File, Send a New Fax), complete a User Information page, select a personal cover page (if you’re allowed to), and

view the server status of the computer running the Microsoft Shared Fax server-side service.

User Information

Selecting Sender Information from the Tools menu in Fax Console (which is launched from Start, All Programs,Accessories, Communications, Fax in Windows XP Pro; and Start, Programs, Microsoft Shared Fax Client in Windows 2000 Pro) allows you to complete the screen shown in Figure 9-8 so that basic user information is entered onto the fax cover pages. This, of course, would save the user time by not having to type basic identity information each time. Unfortunately, this information is not carried over from the same type of information you entered in Chapter 4 when you set up the user. Bummer.

Figure 9-8

Completing a meta-data user information screen that is used as part of the faxing process.

Cover Page

Select Personal Cover Pages from the Tools menu if you want to (and are allowed to) utilize personal cover pages. And just how do you create said personal cover pages at the workstation? On the Personal Cover Pages dialog box, click New, and the Fax Cover Page Editor will launch. You can create the fax cover pages you so desire, even adding TIF photos such as the one of Brisker and Jaeger, the two patriarchs of SPRINGERS (see Figure 9-9).

Figure 9-9

Creating a personal cover page on a less-than-serious note for SPRINGERS.

After the personal fax cover page is saved, it is listed in the Personal Cover Pages dialog box.

Receiving a Fax

A fax can be received any and all of four ways when the fax modem on your SBS server commences its reception: print the fax, store the fax in an NTFS folder, store the fax in Windows SharePoint Services, or e-mail the fax to an

SBS user or distribution group object (who typically redistributes or forwards the fax to the receiving party). This was discussed earlier based on the data in Table 9-1.

Viewing a Fax

Viewing a fax is truly a point-and-double-click exercise, assuming you don’t want to print it out to hard copy but rather keep it in digital form. Whether you receive the fax as an attachment over e-mail or use the Fax Console at the workstation (or heck, you can even view a fax this way from the SBS server machine, but I wouldn’t let your users work at the server machine), you simply double-click the *.tif file that represents the fax. And like magic, the application designated to view tagged information files (TIF) will display the fax. Previously, the application in a prior generation of SBS was the Kodak Viewer. In modern times, it’s more likely to be the Microsoft Document Imaging Tool.

Typically a fax is viewed as an e-mail attachment (a TIF file) and I’ve encouraged you via the SPRINGERS methodology to send your faxes to a public folder called FAX.

Back at the SBS server machine, the SPRINGERS administrator must perform the following steps.

1                    Click Start, Server Management console.

2                    Right-click on Fax (Local).

3                    Select Properties.

4                    Click the Security tab.

5                    Highlight Everyone in the Name field. Observe the default settings. It might be hard to believe in the SBS 2003 time frame, but fact of the matter is that the Everyone security group have limited permis­sions related to faxing. Therefore, we’re going to grant additional fax-related permissions to Everyone to improve the functionality of the SBS faxing capability.

6                    Click the Advanced button.

7                    Select Everyone on the Advanced Security Settings for Fax dialog box and click Edit.

8                    Select View incoming messages archive under Permissions for the purposes of viewing a fax from a workstation as part of the SPRING-

 

Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

ERS methodology using the Fax Console. The correct permission setting is shown in Figure 9-10.

Figure 9-10

Setting the correct permission to allow a low-level user (member of the Everyone security group) to view a fax at the workstation-level.

9. Click OK.

Notes:

Now, the Fax Console, when launched at SPRINGERS users’ workstations, will properly display faxes in the Inbox and the Outbox. This is a critical set of steps to perform for viewing received faxes. That’s a good thing and such a fax viewed from the Inbox might appear as Figure 9-11.

Figure 9-11

Viewing an important received fax with the Fax Console. This is a tax form that was faxed to NormH and is being viewed at NormH’s workstation.

BEST PRACTICE: You can’t navigate to a shared fax folder on the SBS server machine in SBS 2003 like you could in SBS 4.5. You might recall that, in SBS 4.5, you could navigate from a workstation via Network Neighborhood (or My Network Places in Windows ME or Windows 2000) to the FaxStore shared on the SBS server machine and simply double-click the *tif file (representing the fax). There is no FaxStore share folder on an SBS 2003 server by default.  Rather, faxes are stored in the unshared folder fax\archive that you designated when you set up SBS 2003 in Chapter 3. You’ll recall we redirected the fax-related data to D: drive during setup.

If for some reason you’ve got fax-sharing envy, you can easily share the fax folder on Drive D: by using Windows Explorer to navigate to the fax folder (D:\Fax), right-click, and select Sharing and Security. Select Share this folder on the Sharing tab and click OK. Now everyone could browse to this shared folder via My Network Places and read faxes (note that shares in SBS 2003 grant Everyone the Read permission by default).

When the fax is opened, you can rotate, shrink, resave, and otherwise manipulate the fax. You can even print faxes on different paper sizes.

BEST PRACTICE: I mentioned this once early on, but I’ll do so again. Odd-sized faxes are modified to fit the default paper in the printer that prints received faxes. For example, a legal document on legal-sized paper would be printed as a letter-sized document if the designated laser printer used letter-sized paper (8.5 by 11 inches) by default.

Notes:

Unusual Receive Uses

I’ve used the received faxes (as .TIF files) in two unusual ways. First, by having each SBS user proffer his or her signature on a piece of paper, which I fax to the SBS server machine, I effectively scan each SBS user’s signature. These signature image files, which look similar to Norm Hasborn’s signature in Figure 9-12, are then stored in a central location on the SBS server. In the future, when composing and faxing a letter from the desktop, all you do to add your signature to your letter is insert the signature image file. I discuss this approach in a moment under “Sending a Fax.”

Figure 9-12

Scanned signature via SBS faxing.

The second unusual use of fax reception is scanning artwork. Similar to scanning a signature into a .TIF file as described earlier, this function lets you also fax yourself maps, drawings, and photos. When received by the SBS fax server, the image is a .TIF image. The person receiving the fax can not only easily insert

the image into word processing documents and Web pages, but can also modify and manipulate it with popular drawing applications.

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