Exchange Messaging Outlook Volume 12, Number 22

Issue Date February 14 2008 «  Previous Issue | Next Issue  »

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This issue sponsored by: Sherpa Software ♦ C2C ♦ Messageware

Today's highlights:

Regular features:


Contacts and Instant Search

Complaints about Instant Search and Contacts keep surfacing:

"How do you search Contacts on fields other than the ones that are supported by default? If I expand the Instant Search box, it gives me a handful of common Contact fields, but there doesn't seem to be a way to add/get at a lot of the other Contact fields to search on, and apparently the indexer doesn't index the fields I'm interested in, like notes."

Find in older versions of Outlook had an option to include frequently used fields and the notes field was one of those fields. The basic Instant Search doesn't appear to search in the notes field at all. However, the problem isn't that Instant Search doesn't search those fields (it does), only that there is something wrong with the search index and the fields aren't indexed or not returned in search. In some cases, the only results that are returned belong to newly saved contacts. In other cases, you need to search All Contacts to get any results.

When problems with Instant Search surface you should rebuild the search index. This usually corrects the problem. To do this, go to the Control Panel, System and Maintenance category, Indexing Options. From the Indexing options dialog, choose Advanced, and then Rebuild. This will rebuild the instant search index and fix most problems.

Since indexing tends to take a long time and slow the system down, you might want to wait to start it when you can walk away for a couple of hours (or overnight). You can use Advanced Find (Shift+Ctrl+F) in the interim.

Pick-a-Meeting Request

" I am wondering if anybody can tell me whether or not this is possible, and if it is, how would I do so? We are going to have about six different meetings scheduled soon. We therefore need to send an invitation out to a group of people for those meetings. However, each of them only needs to select one of the six meetings. Is there any way to send a calendar invite that will allow them to choose one of the six meetings and thereby automatically update the sender's calendar AND the responders calendar?"

This frequent request often comes from users looking for a way to send out meeting requests for training sessions or benefits meetings with HR, where each employee can pick the session that fits their schedule. The selected meeting date needs to be added to the recipient's calendar and the sender needs to have a list of the attendees for each scheduled session, so you can't just send appointments for the recipient to save to their calendar.

Unfortunately Outlook doesn't have the capability for creating this type of meeting request, but you can do nearly the same thing by creating the meetings in the calendar, then save each meeting as an ICS file on the hard drive. Send the invitees a message with each of the ICS files attached and instructions to choose the meeting they want to attend.

  1. Create the meeting invitations and invite required attendees or resources. If you don't have required attendees or resources rooms to invite, enter your own address in the To line.
  2. Click Send.
  3. Go to your calendar and open each item.
  4. Select File, Save as.
  5. Save each item as an ICs on the hard drive.
  6. Create the email message and attach the ICS files.
  7. When the recipients accept the meeting request, they'll send a response and the meeting is added to their calendar. The sender's copy will update with the recipient's name as an optional attendee.

Problem solved.


What's Old Is New Again:

by Michael B. Smith MCSE/Exchange MVP

In the early days of Microsoft Exchange (Exchange 5.5 and earlier), Exchange Server maintained its own directory database, separate from Active Directory - because there was no Active Directory. In the Exchange directory, you found mailboxes, contacts, and distribution lists. And that was pretty much it. In the 'Windows NT directory', you found user accounts and names. And that was pretty much it.

The separation of the directories necessitated that the Exchange directory (dir.edb) be maintained and managed separately from the Windows NT directory (SAM - the Security Accounts Manager). For Exchange Server, we had EXADMIN - the Exchange Administrator program. For the Windows NT directory, we had USRMGR - the User Manager. (Note that there was also a Server Manager tool - SRVMGR for administering servers, domain controllers, and member computers.)

Beginning with Windows Server 2000, Active Directory was introduced. Beginning with Exchange 2000 Server, Exchange Server was fully integrated with Active Directory and Exchange did not require (and would not use) a separate directory database. All Exchange objects (mailboxes, contacts, and distribution lists) mapped directly to an Active Directory object.

This caused some interesting changes. One of the changes that affected many companies was that, suddenly, a user account could only own a single mailbox. In earlier versions of Exchange, a user account could own many mailboxes. It was common to see the Administrator user owning dozens of service account mailboxes. With Exchange 2000 Server, all of those mailboxes required a new, separate user account.

In Exchange 2000 Server, the Exchange Administrator program was renamed Exchange System Manager (ESM).

Perhaps the most noticeable change for Exchange administrators was that per-user mailbox administration was no longer done in ESM, it was now done in the Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC) console. Only 'infrastructure' (virtual servers, administrative groups, mailbox databases, etc.) was maintained in the ESM.

Small companies complained about this change -it was going to complicate their lives to have to manage their users in two programs. Big companies complained about this change - they didn't want their Exchange administrators messing around in Active Directory. But it stayed that way in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003. It seemed that Microsoft wanted it this way and it was going to stay this way.

But now, in Exchange Server 2007 - what was old is new again!

Per-user mailbox management has been removed from ADUC and been moved back into EMC (Exchange Management Console is the new name of the administration console for Exchange Server 2007) as has distribution list management and contact management.

Microsoft is telling us that this improves security. Again. J

This change, however, isn't as disruptive a change as the 5.5 -> 2000 move. In the EMC for Exchange Server 2007, you can (given the proper permissions) create users, create distribution lists (distribution and security groups), mail-enable a security group, and other things that you did in ADUC. So, while the mailbox management capabilities are definitely gone from ADUC - a typical administrator will often be able to do most of what she needs to do within the EMC.

Give it a try - you mind find that you like it.

To-do Bar Views

An Outlook 2007 user asked the following question in the Microsoft newsgroups: "I have my outlook to-do bar customized only to list only one category. I would like to be able to enter in tasks I need to make and have them show up. The problem is, when entering the task there's no way (that I can see) to specify a category. So I have to turn off my filter, find the new task I entered in my list of a million tasks and change the category. How can I specify the category initially when I enter my task into the to-do bar?"

The 'Click here to add' field is limited to the fields showing in the view, in the compact view this is just the subject field. If you drag the edge of the to-do bar inward and make it wider, more fields will display, including the categories field. You can change the order of the fields so categories is after the subject and/or remove any fields you don't need from the view, so the fields are larger. When you have fewer fields to display, you can reduce the size setting for the compact view and still have decent sized fields for typing. To change the compact view setting, look in the Other settings.

As with any view, the view used for the task list is fully customizable but you are limited to just one view for the To-do bar. To access the view options, right click on the field header, such as "Arrange By: field_name" and choose Custom... Click Fields button to remove or rearrange the fields and Other settings to change the maximum width of the compact view.

Now, if for some reason you need to see another field or edit the tasks, don't turn off the filter; go to the Tasks module and select the Tasks folder (not To-do list) to look for the task or use Instant Search. Unlike the task list in the To-do bar, the folder supports multiple views.

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New Utilities

iCal Add-in for Outlook 
The iCal add-in gives Outlook users the ability to subscribe to iCal calendar feeds. It supports the iCalendar open standard when receiving appointment and to-do information. Loaded with features including user-selectable update frequency on individual calendars, user-selectable Outlook folder location on a per calendar basis, and optional removal of Alarms and to-do items. Version 2.2.1. iCal for MS Outlook 2 runs on Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, or 2003 and requires Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP (2002), 2003 or 2007.

Public Reminder Add-In 
Public Reminder Add-In provides reminders from any email, calendar, tasks or contacts folder in Microsoft Outlook, Public ShareFolder or Microsoft Exchange Server. This allows you to set reminders on items in any folder in your profile, including mailbox, PST file, or Public Folders. Reminders can be emailed to any pager or email enabled communications device or can send SMS messages to any mobile device, PDA, Blackberry or cell phone which can receive emails.

Updated Utilities

Archive One Access Security Manager 
Archive One Access Security Manager can monitor and report on all the access rights and permission settings within an Exchange system. Archive One Access Security Manager provides administrators with control and verification of Exchange Mailbox and public folder access rights and permissions. Allows you to manage security for mailboxes folders and public folders in Exchange: providing integrity for your mail systems before compromised data is committed to archive. It allows you to detect 'shadow users'; those users who might gain access (accidentally or otherwise) to the mailboxes of others.

Archive One Policy Manager 
Archive One Policy Manager provides control over both live data and archived email data. It enforces corporate e-policies, removes unwanted email and other data items from live Exchange Servers, reducing Exchange store size and improving backup/restore times. Also discovers all PSTs and associated information and allows you to manage them the way you want. Without any archiving and indexing, all key email properties can be analyzed and with corresponding actions, can be executed to suit the discovery need.

Lookeen offers lightning fast search for email in all Stores. Reduce time for organizing and filing Outlook items. Supports Outlook 2003 and 2007. Version 1.

New Exchange Knowledge Base Articles

Error message when you try to install Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1: "The E-mail Address Policy object must have exactly one primary e-mail address with the prefix 'FAXMAKER'"

Event 104 is logged after you create a new database in Exchange Server 2007

You cannot start the Microsoft Exchange Transport service on an Exchange Server 2007 Hub server

You may receive an "error code 8202" error message when you try to install Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1

You may receive duplicate Out of Office messages in Outlook 2003 after your mailbox is migrated to Exchange Server 2007

New Outlook Knowledge Base Articles

Error message when you try to add a contact in Outlook 2003: "There is not enough memory to perform the operation"

Description of the Outlook 2003 post-Service Pack 3 hotfix package: January 23, 2008

Description of the Outlook 2000 post-Service Pack 3 hotfix package for the daylight saving time changes in 2008 for the Australian time zones 

More Information

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