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Exchange Messaging Outlook Volume 9, Number 2

Greetings! Welcome to Vol. 9, No. 2, 30 April 2004, of Exchange Messaging Outlook, a biweekly newsletter about Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook.

Today's highlights:

Regular features:

  • New utilities
  • Updated utilities
  • Other resources

 

NEW EXCHANGE SERVER PATCHES

     Microsoft Exchange 2000 post-SP3 Updates

Exchange 2000 post-SP3 rollup patch was released last week. This rollup contains a long of patches and includes all hotfixes released since Exchange 2000 SP3, including the fixes for the following problems:

  • Attachments that are contained in embedded e-mail messages may be unavailable to OWA users.
  • If you use OWA to access a public folder, you cannot open a posted item if the public folder name ends with a period.
  • The manager of a Universal Distribution Group with hidden membership cannot view the group members from Outlook.
  • A memory leak condition occurs in Inetinfo.exe in situations where delivery restrictions are set on the Delivery Restrictions tab of the SMTP connector.
  • The NDR that Exchange 2000 generates contains incorrect information if you use Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode and send a message when your mailbox has exceeded its storage limit.

For more information about all of the fixes contained in this rollup, see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/836488.  You can download this patch at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=43f5cdf6-d1e6-4476-b5f2-e17371236c3c.

Note that it does not contain the March 2003 Exchange 2000 Server post-Service Pack 3 rollup for ADC explained in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/815452.

     Microsoft Exchange 2003 post-RTM Store Update

Microsoft also released a patch for Exchange 2003. This patch resolves problems that were found in the Exchange 2003 since its release. Some of the many fixes included in the Exchange 2003 post-RTM Store Update are:

  • When an e-mail with an attachment is sent from a PC-Pine e-mail client to an Exchange Server 2003 mailbox and then opened and forwarded with a MAPI client to another Exchange 2003 mailbox, the attachment is not visible in OWA.
  • Access to PGP-encrypted messages is blocked for some mail clients after you upgrade from Exchange 2000 Server to Exchange Server 2003.
  • A corrupted Inbox rule may cause the Store.exe process to quit unexpectedly.
  •  Prompted three times for your user credentials if you try to access a public folder by using OWA.
  • The Always-up-to-date Notifications feature in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, the feature may not function with your mobile device.

Information about the patch can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/838236, or you can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8bdaf1df-fec1-447f-9677-2204599a71f8.

DOWNLOAD AOL E-MAIL WITH OUTLOOK

Since the release of Outlook 97, many AOL users wanted to know how to configure Outlook to read AOL e-mail. The answer was always "You can't, AOL uses a proprietary e-mail system". Now they can do it--using an IMAP account to access AOL's mail server. All versions of Outlook can be used, except Outlook 98 or 2000 in Corporate/workgroup mode, since they don't support IMAP accounts.

AOL requires SMTP authentication, using the same username and password used for collecting incoming e-mail, and uses port 587 for their SMTP server. While the immediate reaction from many people was "leave it to AOL to use non-standard ports", it's a smart move in my opinion and I hope other service providers start doing it. AOL users will be able to send e-mail using the AOL SMTP server regardless of how they connect to the SMTP server, as many ISPs now require anyone connected to their network to send email through the ISPs SMTP.

For more information, the server names to use when configuring an AOL account in Outlook, and a link to AOL's online Open Mail Access Help topic, see http://www.slipstick.com/addins/services/online.htm#aol

THE CASE OF THE MISSING E-MAIL

A common query often posed to Outlook and Exchange support groups is "My e-mail is disappearing." There are several causes for this phenomenon, from views or rules on the client, to an improperly configured Exchange account, or an anti-spam and content manager scanning and removing messages.

When the user complains the mail disappears as soon as they've read it, it's because they're using a read-only view. The default Outlook setting for the preview or reading pane is Mark as read after 5 seconds and when the view refreshes the message is hidden. It's less of a problem with Outlook 2003 because the view isn't refreshed until you leave a folder and return or press F5.

When an Exchange server user complains they see the message arrive in the Inbox and it immediately disappears, they have a *.pst configured as the default delivery location. With the *.pst set as the default delivery location, the messages are moved out of the mailbox and into the *.pst as they arrive in Outlook. Verify the profile is using the Exchange mailbox as the message store in Tools, E-mail accounts, View or change exist e-mail accounts, not a personal message store. (In Outlook 97/98/2000, look for account properties using the Tools, Services dialog.)

If the delivery location is correct and they don't have a profile set up on another computer getting their e-mail, or aren't using an Exchange mailbox, check the rules in Tools, Rules Wizard. Disable all of the rules and re-enable them one at a time, verifying they work as expected.

Both Exchange and POP3 accounts can have errant rules moving messages to another folder. While rules are less likely to cause a message to disappear right before your eyes, rules are responsible when a user sees or hears the new mail notification alert but discovers there isn't new mail in the Inbox.

If the email server uses a content control or anti-spam scanner and mail you're expecting doesn't arrive, check for quarantined messages. In most cases the messages are quarantined before they make it to Outlook, but some scanners can be run offline, i.e., after the mail is in your Inbox. While the junk e-mail feature in Outlook 2003 doesn't have a 'run offline' feature, the Junk e-mail filter scans all the e-mail in all Exchange mailbox folders when you create a new cached mode message store, moving suspected junk e-mail to the Junk E-mail folder.

AutoArchive can be the cause when older e-mail is missing. Verify your autoarchive settings in Tools, Options, Other, AutoArchive and search your hard drive for archive.pst. Open the archive.pst using File, Open, Outlook data store to browse your archived messages.

SEVEN MYTHS ABOUT OUTLOOK

  1. Outlook is the reason we have so many email viruses

At one time, a long, long time ago, this statement was somewhat true as Outlook was a favorite target of many virus writers. Can you blame the virus writers? Outlook is the most used email client and any exploit or virus that was targeted to the programmability of Outlook had millions of users to spread it. However, it's no longer true and hasn't been since the release of the E-mail security patch dated June 2000. In fact, updated versions of Outlook are as safe as or safer than any e-mail client available. Because the current crop of viruses are spread many different ways and don't need Outlook's (or Outlook Express's) address book, e-mail viruses would not disappear if everyone switched to other e-mail programs.

  1. Outlook is the "full version" of the free Outlook Express

Not in a million years. Outlook was developed by the Office program group as a Personal Information Manager (PIM) and e-mail program and positioned as the Exchange client to replace Schedule+ and the original Exchange client. Outlook Express was developed by the Internet Explorer group to provide simple mail and news handling for Windows users. The feature sets in each program are targeted to the expected the user base: Outlook is a business e-mail client while Outlook Express is for home users. As a result, Outlook does some things better than OE, like calendaring, contacts, mail merge, and tasks; while OE has inline image display and newsgroups and is less complicated to use. See http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/olexpr.htm and http://support.microsoft.com/kb/257824 for more information on the differences between Outlook and Outlook Express.

  1. Outlook's HTML is bloated, especially if you use Word as the editor

This is somewhat true, but with the right configurations you can remove much of the HTML used for round-tripping documents and send cleaner, smaller HTML messages. Open the Tools, Options dialog from either Word or an open message form if you are using Word as the editor. At the bottom of the General tab is an E-mail options button and its General tab lets you choose the HTML filtering level for your e-mail. The default is Medium, however, unless you send highly formatted HTML messages, the High setting is best. Using the Outlook editor doesn't add a lot of excess HTML tags, so it doesn't need a filter.

  1. Outlook has a newsreader

Outlook's Go, news menu loads Outlook Express in news-only mode, it is not an Outlook component. Exchange server accounts may have public newsgroups in Exchange public folders and there are currently three add-ins available to pull NNTP posts into Outlook, but Outlook does not offer native support for newsgroups. Don't believe the title bar when it says "Outlook Newsreader"; it's just OE in disguise. Look for links to the NNTP add-ins at http://www.slipstick.com/emo/2004/up040415.htm#NEWS 

  1. The preview pane is unsafe

Once again, five years ago this was true, especially with Outlook 98. The preview pane is safe to use in Outlook 2000/2002/2003. It's less safe in Outlook 98, but as long as you have all of the latest Windows and Internet Explorer patches, go ahead and use it. See http://www.slipstick.com/emo/2004/up040204.htm#preview for more details.

  1. Word is a slow, bloated e-mail editor

Like this other myths, this has a root in reality. Word 97 was a horrible e-mail editor, it was slow, buggy, and caused a lot of problems. This was in part because it used email.dot as the template for e-mail, not normal.dot. By Office XP, email.dot was gone and Word was more than just a usable e-mail editor, it was good and users could compose e-mail using the same word processing features they used when composing documents.
Using Word as your e-mail editor does require more resources, but in many cases, today's computers are overpowered and underused, so the extra resources word requires aren't missed. If you use Word all day long (as I do), using Word as the editor is a non-issue and I have all the conveniences of Word when I'm composing e-mail.

  1. Attachments run automatically

Not without a lot of help from the user. Attachments will not open (or run) automatically when you view a message in the preview or reading pane, or when you open a message. With Outlook's Attachment blocking, executables can't be opened or saved by default. Someone can write code or add-ins to open attachments, but that's something the user has to install, if a virus installs code to do this the computer was compromised long before Outlook downloaded the e-mail.

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New Utilities

CONTACTREE
http://www.contactree.com/
ContacTree is a contact organizer add-in for Microsoft Outlook. Available in versions for personal and enterprise use, ContacTree provides very simple new intuitive input forms with extensive auto-complete functions. By splitting contact data into linked levels of Contact, Contact's Manger, Organization and Location, it also becomes easy to develop and maintain records over time. ContacTree also automatically generates organization charts of a contact's company for easy searching and navigation.

CONTINUITY@WORK VERSION 4.0
http://www.mobiliti.com/index.html
Use Continuity@Work to synchronize and backup files from any source to any destination including external drives, FTP, or WebDAV locations. While not limited to backing up your Outlook data, you can use it for unattended and transparent backup and synchronization of large Outlook files in seconds, including at startup, shut down, when logged to the network, or any time, via any type of connection. The real time synchronization ensures that source and destination files are always in sync.

IHATESPAM FOR EXCHANGE
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=931
iHateSpam for Exchange was developed for the Exchange Admin. Control spam according to the needs of your company and your users iHateSpam for Exchange (V5.5, 2000 and 2003) is an easy install and up and running in minutes. Spam detection is in excess of 98%, with a low rate of false positives. Evaluation version available.

MESSAGESAVE
http://www.techhit.com/messagesave/
MessageSave from TechHit.com is a powerful yet easy-to-use add-in for Outlook that lets you save, back up, and archive e-mail messages as individual files in .msg and .txt format. MessageSave supports manual and rule-based modes and integrates with Outlook for one-click access right from the toolbar. Use it to save e-mail messages as files for easy access, sharing, data retention, and backup. MessageSave also supports custom script execution for automatic message processing.

POTOLOOK PLUGIN
http://www.positic.com/potolook/
Potolook Outlook Plugin is a template add-in for Outlook. Use the templates for new messages, hierarchical template settings allow configuring the plugin precisely to meet your needs. Additionally, the program extends capabilities for filtering mail, removing unsolicited commercial mail and performing miscellaneous conversions. The software contains an extendable core that allows developing additional features using scripting languages.

PSTCOMPACT
http://www.pstcompact.com/
PSTCompact uses a server based installation to probe the network for PST file discovery. It offers fully automated compacting to increase Outlook's performance and reduce local workstation resources significantly. It supports Microsoft Outlook 97,98,2000 and 2002 PST file format.

PSTCOMPACTOR
http://www.PSTCompactor.com/
PSTCompactor reduces PST file sizes across the Enterprise, allowing you to recover wasted space, compress (zip) attachments, automate compaction, etc. The rules-based engine enables selective message processing, simplifying management and implementation of corporate Email Policies. PSTCompactor automatically locates mailboxes on the network and does not require Exchange server changes or installation on client PC's. Single license fee allows installation thru entire company (within one country), works with Outlook 97 and up, Windows NT4 or later. Visit the website to download a trial.

SHIPRUSH
http://www.zfirm.com/shiprush/outlook/
ShipRush provides one click FedEx and UPS Shipping using Outlook's contacts. Select the contact the package is shipping, then choose the shipment options and a shipping label is created automatically, with all of the fields completed. Details, including the tracking number, are stored in Outlook and easily accessed from the Contact's Activities tab.

SYNCHRONICA SYNCML SYNCHRONIZATION SERVER
http://www.synchronica.com
The Synchronica SyncML Synchronization Server provides over-the-air synchronization of Email, calendar, and contacts between corporate Exchange servers and SyncML-enabled mobile phones from Nokia, SonyEricsson and Siemens.

Updated utilities

4TEAM ONLINE
http://online.4team.biz
Subscription-based web service for team collaboration. Can be used just on the Web or use the Outlook Import-Export feature to synch your personal Outlook data with your Online project 4Team for Outlook. Some of the new features include notification of new or updated appointments or tasks, the ability to review your free/busy time while working with the current project Calendar, monitor the current time line in Day view of Calendar just like in MS Outlook, adjust the Date and Time format in the Account Settings section and improvement in the upload of files as documents and attachments.

CONCEPT MANAGER FOR POWER TOOLS
http://www.nemx.com/products/powertools/index_conceptmanager.asp
Concept Manager for Power Tools detects and filters inappropriate email with greater reliability, fewer "false positives" or other errors, as well as greater confidence that messages may be deleted instead of being quarantined. It allows you to separate the junk mail from the real mail with much higher consistency and accuracy than Bayesian filters.

OUTLOOK CLEANER
http://www.personalcrm.com/Outlook_Cleaner.htm
Filters, moves, deletes, and performs other cleanup operations through one interface showing all your folders. Filters Outlook Items across multiple folders by aging, subject, email, domain name and attachment match i.e. you can now identify all emails with a particular type of attachment and then delete or move them all. In addition, multiple profiles can be setup to be run interactively or via batch mode. Outlook 2000 SR-1 or later.

SHAREOUTLOOK
http://shareoutlook.4team.biz/
Share data in a Personal Folders .pst file by means of special email messages (similar to Net Folders). Includes support for attachments and custom Outlook forms. Major enhancements include the ability to select a different folder when sharing request received and better duplicates management. When you start sharing a folder, a special form will help you manage possible duplicates that may occur.

TABTAG
http://www.sqlview.net/home/tabtag.aspx
TabTag turns Outlook into a flexible SQL database solution, adding a range of features to classify, link and edit data as required. Easy to install, use and manage, TabTag saves valuable resources and improves productivity. Free single user version now available.

Other resources

EXCHANGE 2000 POST-SERVICE PACK 3 (SP3) ROLLUP PATCH 6556.4
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=43f5cdf6-d1e6-4476-b5f2-e17371236c3c
Exchange 2000 Post-Service Pack 3 (SP3) Rollup Patch 6556.4. The rollup resolves problems that were found in Exchange 2000 since the release of Exchange 2000 SP3. Exchange 2000 hotfixes for a particular component are cumulative and contain all the earlier hotfixes for that component. Requires Exchange 2000 SP3.

EXCHANGE 2003 STORE PATCH 6980.72
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8bdaf1df-fec1-447f-9677-2204599a71f8
This patch resolves problems that were found in the Exchange 2003 Store since Exchange 2003 was released, including fixes for the information store issues that are described in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, listed in Microsoft Exchange 2003 post-RTM Store Update http://support.microsoft.com/common/canned.aspx?H=Microsoft  Exchange 2003 post-RTM Store Update&Query=kbExchange2003preSP1fix&CDID=EN-US-KB&LCID=1033&product=exch2003

EXCHANGE FAQ
http://www.exchangefaq.org/
The Exchange FAQ, hosted by Simpler-Webb, now has its own easy-to-remember address.

TROUBLESHOOTING EXCHANGE SERVER 2003 PERFORMANCE
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8679f6bd-7ff0-41f5-bdd0-c09019409fc0&displaylang=en
This technical article provides administrators of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 with information about how to isolate performance degradations and how to use existing tools and products, such as Performance, Load Simulator, Exchange Stress and Performance 2003, Network Monitor, and Filemon, for this purpose. The information in this article can also be used to ensure that a server is not degrading over time because of hardware issues or malfunctions.

More Information

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Updated Tuesday May 27 2014

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