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Many Small Business Server 2003 sites use hosted POP3 mailboxes
instead of configuring the Exchange server for incoming SMTP. They
either use the POP3 connector included with the SBS server to
download their email and deliver it to the Exchange mailboxes or
configure Outlook to collect the POP3 mail directly and often set
the POP3 to be the default e-mail account. This setup works quite
well in the SBS environment, especially with Outlook 2002/2003.
When Outlook is configured to use the POP3 account as default some
users discover the SBS Exchange account is reset as the default
account every time they reboot. This is caused by a logon script
included with SBS2003 that configures the client computers when the
user logs on. The logon script includes a reference to
sbsdefault.prf, an Outlook profile file which configures the user's
Outlook profile automatically and sets the SBS Exchange account to
be the default email account.
The logon script points to \\servername\Clients\Setup folder, which
contains the PRF and other configuration files, including the
configuration files needed to set Internet Explorer's home page to
the SBS Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) site. Any of these
configuration files can be edited using Notepad.
Because you can run the Outlook profile file by double clicking or
using a command line, the prf can be removed from the Setup folder
and distributed to users the first time they use Outlook. When you
use hosted POP3 or IMAP accounts, open the PRF in Notepad and edit
the PRF, adding your POP3 or IMAP accounts to the profile to
eliminate the need to configure accounts in Outlook later.
The PRF is not just for Exchange server or corporate users, anyone
can use a PRF to configure their profile. If you have many email
accounts, a PRF can save time and aggravation if you need to
recreate your profile or when you get a new computer. You can even
use the Custom Installation Wizard (included in the Office Resource
Kit) to create a PRF for you.
- Step through the CIW dialogs until you reach step 17, the
Outlook: Customize Default Profile screen. (After step 4, can skip
to step 17 using the button at the top of the CIW window.)
- Choose New Profile and enter a name for your profile.
- Add an Exchange account if you have one, otherwise go to the Add
Accounts screen and add your POP3, IMAP, and HTTP accounts.
- Export the Profile settings on the next screen and exit.
Using it is easy: just double click on the PRF to open Outlook and
your profile is created.
Once the PRF is created, use Notepad to edit existing accounts or
add additional accounts, remembering to add the account number to
Section 3 and the account values in Section 5.
Look for more information about the CIW, as well as links to
download the Office Resource toolkit, in the Office Resource Kit at
http://www.microsoft.com/office/ork/2003/default.htm. Links to
previous versions of the resource kit on the Office 2003 ORK home
To learn more about PRF files, see
Customizing Outlook Profiles by Using PRF Files
Whitepaper: Configuring Outlook Profiles by Using a PRF File
Outlook Profiler is a useful tool for small sites to
use to create Outlook profiles
automatically, including configuring many of Outlook's options.
Larger sites may be interested in
AutoProf's Outlook ProfileMaker
or Imanami's OProfile
One of Outlook's little known gems is the SQL filter in the Views
Filter dialog. Although it looks confusing and technical, it's
surprisingly easy to use. In many cases, you can let Outlook create
a query for you by creating your criteria on the other tabs then
enable SQL filtering and edit the query as needed. While you can
create power filters if you know some SQL syntax, you don't need to
know a lot about SQL to create filters not possible using the other
If you use the filter dialog often, you've already discovered the
filters use the AND operator to string different criteria together.
For example, you can create filters to view messages "From Amy AND
Received in the last 7 days ", but not filters for messages "From
Amy OR Received in the last 7 days". The filter dialog doesn't
support the NOT operator directly, although you can use the Advanced
filter to create some NOT filters indirectly. Using the SQL filter,
you can easily create OR and NOT filters.
When you create the filter "From Amy AND Received in the last 7
days", the SQL looks like this:
("urn:schemas:httpmail:fromname" LIKE '%Amy%' AND %last7days("urn:schemas:httpmail:datereceived")%)
Switch to the SQL tab and change the AND to OR, so the rule shows
all e-mail from Amy OR all e-mail that was received in the last 7
("urn:schemas:httpmail:fromname" LIKE '%Amy%' OR
You can also use the NOT operator to restrict views. This filter
shows all messages not from Amy that were received before yesterday.
NOT ("urn:schemas:httpmail:fromname" LIKE '%Amy%' OR NOT
"urn:schemas:httpmail:datereceived" <= 'yesterday')
Imagine this scenario: you've been using the new Business Contact
Manager with Outlook 2003 for several months and have a huge
database built up. You know you need to back it up and BCM includes
a simple to use backup (and restore) routine on the File, Business
Database menu that you use regularly, but your computer crashed
after you added new data to the BCM database but before you created
a backup. While it's not a supported method, if you can access the
database files, you may be able to swap database files, but keep in
mind this method is for emergency use only and should not be relied
on in place of a regular backup routine.
As you may know, BCM uses MSDE as the database engine. BCM stores
the BCM database in two files with the extensions LDF and MDF, by
default, the files are named MSBusinessContactManager.* and are
located in the hidden C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local
Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Business Contact Manager
directory. If you can get those two files from the hard drive, you
may be able to recover your BCM database.
Unfortunately, it's not as easy as dropping the two database files
into the Business Contact Manager directory and telling BCM to use
You'll need to create a new database using the File, Data File
Management menu and choose Add, then choose Business Contact Manager
Database. Once the database is created, close Outlook and go to
Administrator Tools, Services and stop the MSSQL$MICROSOFTBCM
After stopping the service, replace the newly created database files
with the old database files (changing the file names if necessary)
and restart the BCM service, then restart Outlook. You should now
have your old BCM database back.
Using BCM's Backup and Restore is the only supported method of
recovering your databases, so before you do anything else, make a
backup of the database using File, Business Database, Backup.
Remember to do it on a regular basis. Because swapping database
files isn't supported, if this method doesn't work or causes
database corruption, you'll need to recreate the database from your