Extending Outlook in Exchange in SBS 2003

Good Sunday to you! Today we continue the posting up of pages from Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices (book excerpt). The topic herein is extending Outlook in the Exchange application in SBS 2003. You will ready about PDA synchronization, IMAP and other nonsense 🙂

cheers…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford – ceo of smb nation – www.smbnation.com and your fellow Microsoft Small Business Specialists (SBSC).

PS – smb nation fall confernce is merely 75+ days away and we are holding a gnarly SBS 2008\EBS 2008 LAUNCH PARTY!

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Extending Outlook

In this section, you will learn a few ways to further extend your use of Outlook 2003 in an SBS 2003 environment. These approaches are taken directly from the real world and reflect the reality you’re likely to confront and embrace! Let’s start with Outlook PDA synchronization, followed by using Outlook Express with IMAP and ending with a totally cool add-on called Outlook Business Contact Manager.

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Outlook PDA Synchronization

You might recall the Mobile Client and Offline Use page when you ran the Add User Wizard/Set Up Computer Wizard late in Chapter 4 (this page is shown below in Figure 6-27). It was here you elected to install ActiveSync 3.7 on the client computer. This is a required application to synchronize Outlook 2003 between a personal digital assistant (PDA) and the client computer machine.

Figure 6-27

This is the critical path step to install ActiveSync 3.7 on the client computer.

This is a VERY POPULAR SOLUTION with business people who want to carry Outlook information with them such as e-mail, contacts, and appointments on their PDA. This is how people work in the real world and they demand that this type of information be at their finger tips at any time. The way in which Outlook 2003 on the client computer will synchronize with the PDA using ActiveSync 3.7 is as follows.

ActiveSync 3.7 is installed on the client computer and ready for use. Assuming you use the Compaq/HP iPAQ PDA, you attach the cradle to the USB port on

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the client computer. You place the iPAQ in the cradle and launch ActiveSync

3.7 from Start, All Programs, Microsoft ActiveSync on the client computer. You complete the wizard to create a partnership and elect what Outlook 2003 objects/data you want to synchronize. You then proceed to actually synchronize the data and resolve any conflicts (e.g., double bookings on your calendar with the exact same appointment). The process is shown in Figure 6-28.

Figure 6-28

An early and assured win with business customers and SBS users is to deploy ActiveSync 3.7 to synchronize Outlook 2003 data with a PDA, such as the IPAQ shown here.

BEST PRACTICE: The whole Outlook 2003/PDA synchronization matter exposes a weakness in SBS 2003 that you’ll need to utilize a third-party tool to correct: public folder synchronization. The problem is this. The SBS 2003 team is rightfully proud about creating the company-related public folder object discussed earlier in this chapter. For example, the contact list can be used as a company-wide contact list that eliminates duplicate lists of customers circulating

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about the firm. But how would you get this great contact list to your IPAQ PDA? Not natively, but with some of the third-party synchronization tools reviewed at SlipStick: http://www.slipstick.com/ addins/olpda.htm#wince. You’ll learn about products such as Pocket Lookout that performs this important function.

You can also use a Microsoft tool, the Outlook 2002 Add-in: Pocket Contact Synchronizer 1.2, which will take the contact information in the company contact folder and synchronize it to your mailbox-based Contacts, which would then synchronize to your PDA via ActiveSync 3.7. Granted – it’s an additional step, but this shoe may well fit.

BEST PRACTICE: I just love late breaking news. The wonderful Susan Bradley, an MVP in the SBS and security areas, recently shared that Infoware – Team Contacts for Outlook at http://www.infoware.ca/ content/tcon.asp and http://www.infoware.ca/content/ infoframe.htm?tcon.asp synchronizes user contact lists with a central contact list in an Exchange public folder. This automatically merges changes when two users update the same contact in their personal Contacts folder.

Ride the Outlook Express With IMAP

I have a client who travels extensively for business and pleasure. Back in the SBS 2000 era, she complained that using Outlook Web Access (OWA, which I discuss in Chapter 8) was too bulky, slow, and awkward. Now granted, in just a few chapters I’ll show you why OWA has improved and should be the remote e-mail access mechanism of choice. But for some, there will still be a chance to use Outlook Express with the IMAP protocol to access e-mail. As you know, Outlook Express is typically installed when Internet Explorer is installed, making it a near universally available e-mail client (in Internet cafés in Spain and so on).

When you launch Outlook Express, you’ll need to configure the client machine to connect back to the SBS 2003 server, be authenticated, and use the IMAP protocol. This is accomplished by running the Outlook Express Internet

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Connection wizard. This third page (E-mail Server Names) is the tricky one. You need to drop down the protocol list and select IMAP and then complete the server connection information (Incoming, Outgoing) with either an IP address or a fully qualified domain name. You provide logon authentication information on the Internet Mail Logon page (this would be your user account and password on the SBS 2003 network). And then all that is left would be to click Finish.

So why IMAP? Haven’t we been throwing around the word POP3 in this chapter? SBS 2003 configures Exchange Server 2003 to support the SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and HTTP mail protocols. But IMAP offers the opportunity to efficiently download just the e-mail headers (but not the full e-mail). That would allow my client to scan the e-mails she wants to read and delete less worthy e-mails. The point is that the full e-mail isn’t downloaded until the e-mail is opened. This is a nice touch when working from an Internet café! Note that POP3 is going to download the entire e-mail to the client.

BEST PRACTICE: While Exchange Server 2003 installs and supports IMAP and POP3 natively, you’ll need to start these protocols in Exchange. For example, to turn on the IMAP protocol, you would drill down into the Exchange System Manager under Advanced Management in the Server Management console. Expand Servers, Protocols and open the IMAP4 protocol folder. On the right pane, right click Default IMAP4 Virtual Server and select Start. You’re now ready to use the IMAP-based e-mail in Exchange Server 2003 (and ergo, SBS 2003).

Notes:

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This is an IMAP security setting that you need to make. If the RRAS NAT/ Basic Firewall method is your Internet security method (as per SBS 2003 standard edition), you would select the Internet Mail Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4) as seen in Figure 6-29 on the Services and Ports tab in the Network Connection Properties dailog box. This will allow IMAP-related traffic to flow baby!

Figure 6-29

Selecting the IMAP4 port opening on your SBS 2003 server. When asked which private IP address to map to, enter 127.0.0.1 (a dialog box will ask this when you select this service).

If ISA Server is your Internet security method (as per SBS 2003 premium edition), you would create a packet filter. You will do exactly that in Chapter 13, so hang on to your hat!

Outlook Business Contact Manager

This is known in some circles as customer relationship management (CRM) for da’ little guy, whereas Microsoft’s full CRM product is positioned for the firms between 25 and 500 employees with at least of $5 million in sales. Outlook Business Contact Manager is an Outlook 2003 add-on to help small business

people improve sales management. A comparison between Business Contact Manager and CRM is shown in Figure 6-30.

BEST PRACTICE: Be well aware that Business Contact Manager is SINGLE USER ONLY. That’s some good old expectation management up front and in your face because you might conclude that restriction will limit the functionality of this cool tool. Whereas the business public folders created by SBS 2003 would seem to promote hugging and sharing, Business Contact Manager would tend to do just the opposite and create an island of information in the small business. These two strategies are at odds.

Figure 6-30

Comparing Business Contact Manager and Microsoft CRM at a glance.

BEST PRACTICE: As of this writing, Microsoft is launching a promotion that bundles SBS 2003 and CRM 1.2. The details are found in a CRN article at: http://crn.channelsupersearch.com/news/

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crn/45066.asp. The good news is that Microsoft is looking for ways to extend SBS with tools such as CRM 1.2 (and I’ll cover this pairing in my future advanced SBS 2003 book).

You acquire Business Contact Manager from Office 2003 (enterprise, professional, and small business editions). I’m not going to delve much deeper into the definition of Business Contract Manager but rather encourage you to take a short pause here and read more at http://www.microsoft.com/outlook. When you return, we’ll start the step by step to install Business Contact Manager and make a couple of entries as part of the SPRINGERS methodology.

Note that I assume you’ve already installed Office 2003 on the PRESIDENT workstation. If not, do so now with the normal or most common components installed.

BEST PRACTICE: Late breaking news again! Please run an update that allows BCM to function properly with Exchange e-mail profiles on SBS 2003 by visiting the Microsoft download center at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads and searching under Office Outlook and the keyword Business. There is a quick fix you’ll run prior to performing the procedure below.

1                    Log on as NormH with the password Purple3300 on PRESIDENT.

2                    Put the Outlook Business Contact Manager Disc in the CD drive of the PRESIDENT and launch Setup.exe.

3                    Click OK when the Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2003 Setup dialog box asks for permission to detect and install the .Net framework 1.1.

4                    Agree to the Microsoft .Net license by selecting I agree on the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Setup screen and click Install. This setup can take several minutes. Click OK when the .NET Frame­work 1.1 is complete.

5                    Click Next on the welcome page for Business Contact Manager.

6                    On the End-User License Agreement page, select I accept the terms in the licenses agreement and click Next.

7                    Accept the default destination on C: drive on the Destination Folder page and click Next.

 

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1                    On the Ready to Install the Program page, click Install. You will be advised of the installation progress on the status bar.

2                    Click Finish on the Wizard Completed page. You’ve now com­

 

pleted the installation of Business Contact Manager. In the following procedure, you’ll launch Outlook and use Business Contract Manager.

1                    Launch Outlook from Start, E-mail.

2                    Observe and read the Welcome to Microsoft Outlook with Busi­ness Contact Manager e-mail. I’m counting on you to read this to learn more about the product as I won’t repeat it here.

3                    Select Business Contacts from the Business Tools menu. Complete the screen, similar to Figure 6-31, for a fictional customer (e.g., Mrs. Jones). Click Save and Close to close the record.

 

Figure 6-31

Adding a business contact.

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4.         Select Accounts from Business Tools and complete the screen simi­lar to Figure 6-32 with fictitious information. Be sure to add a busi­ness note and link Sally Jones. Click Save and Close.

Figure 6-32

Creating an account in BCM. You’re putting the pieces in place for a CRM system.

5.         Next up, explore the other Business Tools menu options and create an Opportunity, Product List and, if connected to the Internet to launch a Web browser, select the Business Tools link that will take you to the BCM page at Microsoft for the latest updates.

Notes:

6.         Finally, play around with the Reports option under the Business Tools menu. One such report is shown in Figure 6-33.

Figure 6-33

The fictitious information is shown in the Account List with Business Contact report.

Note that my intent isn’t to teach mastery of BCM but rather turn you on to this cool tool. Perhaps a full chapter in a future book will be dedicated to this tool for your reading pleasure.

BEST PRACTICE: BCM is a great start at delivering CRM to the “rest of us.” I encourage you to learn it, use it and provide feedback on it to Microsoft (the Outlook newsgroups are sufficient to do this). However, it’s necessary to understand that there are a couple of limitations for this, including that the BCM data doesn’t really play well with native Exchange mailbox data. That is, a contact record format in BCM is different than the traditional Exchange contact record format. Also, BCM kinda has this “island of information” mentality and this isn’t shared information. Rather, you should picture it as each salesperson in a company keeping their own CRM system

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that is separate from everyone else’s. That is bothersome to me and at odds with attempts to centralize business information for the benefit (and profitability) of all.

I personally look for this limitation to be satisfied in a future BCM release, which is why I highly recommend you play with it today in anticipation of a better tomorrow.

Next Steps!

There are some next steps you can take that go above and beyond this chapter on Exchange and Outlook.

 

          Visit Microsoft Web Sites: Exchange and Outlook. Your very next step is to visit the sites at Microsoft for Exchange (www.microsoft.com/ exchange) and Outlook (www.microsoft.com/office and select the Out­look link). Microsoft posts much of its technical resources to its sites

 

and has created this treasure chest of current information on their prod­ucts that this book can’t hope to keep up with!

                      Read Exchange and Outlook Books. While this book covers the full suite of products in SBS 2003, there are many excellent (and thick) books dedicated to Outlook and Exchange. I can recommend the Out­look and Exchange Administrator’s Smart Pak (TechRepublic) with more information at https://techrepublic-secure.com.com/5106-6242­26-12333.html?part=tr&subj=12333.

                      Use Microsoft TechNet to learn Exchange command line utilities. The second disc of the SBS 2003 media contains Exchange command-line utilities that help manage and recover the database. You should visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet and search on “Exchange” to learn more about these.

                      Sign up for Sue Mosher’s RSS feed for Exchange and Outlook issues: http://www.slipstick.com/rssnews/rssnews.aspx.

 

 

                      Read current articles on Exchange and Outlook. There is an interesting InfoWorld article on the role of Outlook 2003 and SBS 2003 (Enter­prise Windows: Oliver Rist, November 7, 2003, http://www.infoworld.com).

                      Learn more cool Outlook features. This chapter is only the start, not the end of your time with Outlook. Please go forward and educate yourself on the vCard capability to mail your contact record to others, the mail merge capability, and the automatic meeting planning tool.

                      Read Chapter 8 of this book. I’ve not forgotten OWA and other remote Outlook connectivity approaches (such as Outlook Mobile Access, Outlook over RDP, etc.). These are covered in the remote connectivity chapter.

 

Late Breaking News!EICW Support Matter

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the neighborhood again, Karen Christian of the North County Technology Group (www.nctg.com) sent in this nugget for your consumption. This involves both the EICW (which Karen calls the CEICW below) and remote access. As such, it serves as a great transition to the remote connectivity chapter you’ll read soon (Chapter 8).

11/11/2003

Here are the results of a couple calls to MS support and a couple TS sessions to my server in the last 24 hours. We could not connect via HTTPS from the Internet for OWA or Remote Web

Workplace and wanted to get this resolved. This server was SBS2000 w/ISA upgraded to SBS 2003 Basic/Premium.  (Still have to install SQL via the Premium CD……think I’ll take a breather first.)

MS tried rerunning CEICW and did not get the desired results. They manually configured DNS, ISA and IIS and got it working late last night. Today they wanted to get the wizard to do its job the way it was intended. It required some

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manual cleanup first which was not expected on their part. Guess this is another ’feature’ we have to keep in the back of our minds. Steps Performed:

1                    Removed the Web Server Cert.

2                    Removed the ISA Incoming Web Listener Cert

3                    Removed the Web Publishing Rules

4                    Removed the Destination Sets

5                    Reran CEICW, and waited for services to restart. Services take a few minutes to restart, so ISA does not immediately show the changes. We are now able to connect as expected.

 

The expectation is that CEICW would have done all the updates and repair work needed but it didn’t work as anticipated.

BEST PRACTICE: When you run the CEICW that comes with SBS2003 Standard edition (Premium edition is just another CD and we didn’t have to install ISA as it was there from SBS2K already), you are given an opportunity to create a certificate if desired.  You enter the Internet name (ie: servername.domainname.com). I found out today that the wizard process creates two certificates in the process.  On my server it created one for nctgdc1.nctg.com and one for publishing.nctg.local. One is for the SSL session to ISA from the Internet and the other is for the SSL session from ISA to IIS. This problem originated when I created a certificate called nctgdc1.nctg.local which is incorrect. Still one would expect that rerunning CEICW would take care of this when you enter the correct certificate name.

Karen Christian

Thanks Karen!

Notes:

Summary

I end how I started. You know more about Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 2003 than you’ve likely given yourself credit for in the past. You probably know about 80 percent of the functionality of the programs and it’s the remaining 20 percent that’ll take much longer to master. And, hopefully, after reading this chapter that dug deep in Exchange and Outlook, you feel you know much more than prior to reading all this stuff (of course I’ve left out some other advanced Exchange and Outlook topics that I’ll address in a future book down the road – keep reading!).

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