Outlook Tips and Techniques - 14 Nov 2000

How can I make Outlook 2000's direct resource booking feature work without granting Author permission on the resource's Calendar folder?

Outlook 2000 lets users book a conference room or other resource simply by including the room or other resource as a resource attendee on a meeting request. Earlier Outlook versions required that you either set up a delegate for the resource mailbox and have the delegate run Outlook at all times or use a script on the resource mailbox's Calendar folder to automatically accept meeting requests.

One key factor in making Outlook 2000 direct-booking work is granting the Author role on the resource mailbox's Calendar folder to those users (or a distribution list—DL) you let book the resource. This technique makes sense because authorized users can create appointments directly on the resource's calendar.

Some administrators, though, think that the Author role gives users too much power. These administrators fear that users will open the resource's Calendar folder directly and make appointments that bypass the usual process of booking through the meeting request form. However, Outlook 2000 provides no alternative. If users don't have the Author role on the resource's Calendar folder, they can't book the resource directly. If you don't want to grant the Author role, you must fall back to the delegate or script method. The script method is usually the best method because it's completely server based and doesn't require a delegate to be logged on at all times. You can find the script at http://www.exchangecode.com.

In a grouped view, can I change the Unread group headers formatting rule to make those group headers appear in red?

Outlook 2000 and Outlook 98 let you color-code items listed in a table or card view by choosing View, Current View, Customize Current View and clicking the Automatic Formatting button on the View Summary dialog box. In a table view, which Figure 1 shows, Outlook includes five built-in formatting rules:

  • Unread messages
  • Unread group headers
  • Submitted but not sent
  • Expired e-mail
  • Overdue e-mail

You can change the font characteristics for any of these rules by clicking the Font button. However, for Unread group headers, you can change the color, but Outlook ignores your choice. Unread group headers appears in only one color— basic black—regardless of what color you specify.

We store Microsoft Word documents in an Exchange Server public folder. How can we keep them grouped by company?

The first step is to create a table view grouped by the Company field. As Figure 2 shows, you can select the Company field in the Field Chooser under All Document fields.

To set the value for the Company field on the document in Word, choose File, Properties and type the company name in the Company box on the Summary tab. After you set the Company property, you can use the File, Send To, Exchange Folder command to file the document in a public folder.

How can I use Outlook to organize messages related to particular people and companies?

If you want a solution that works with all versions of Outlook, you have two choices: You can either create a separate folder for each person or company or use one folder but organize the information in the folder with categories. I use both techniques. For the handful of people with whom I communicate daily on important projects, I keep a separate subfolder under my Inbox. I use the Outlook Rules Wizard to move new messages from each person into the appropriate folder. A separate rule puts a copy of each item that I send to that person into the folder.

You can also use the Rules Wizard to apply categories to incoming and outgoing messages, while retaining them in the Inbox and Sent Items folders. Alternatively, you can assign a category manually to either an item or a group of items selected in a folder. Try right-clicking the item or items, then choosing Categories. After you've assigned categories to messages in a folder, you can use the By Category view to see items by category or create filtered views to show you information related to just one category at a time.

In Outlook 2000, you have a third option: the built-in Activities page on each contact item. The Activities page lists items related to the current contact. The page can search multiple folders, as long as the folders are all in your mailbox. To designate which folders the Activities page will search, bring up the Contacts folder's Properties, then switch to the Activities tab, which Figure 3 shows, and either modify an existing folder group or create a new one.

If I create a contact in Outlook Web Access (OWA), why can't I see it when I use Outlook 2000?

The Exchange 2000 Server version of OWA fixes this longstanding problem. Using the version of OWA that comes with Exchange Server 5.5, you can create a contact, but OWA provides no way to resolve the email address. Because Outlook 2000's address book shows you only the contacts with resolved email addresses (or with fax numbers), the contact you created in OWA is visible only in the Outlook Contacts folder. You need to open the contact in Outlook and resolve the address before the address will appear in the Outlook Address Book in Outlook 2000. Exchange 2000 automatically resolves the email addresses on a contact you create with OWA, so these addresses become available to the address book in Outlook 2000.

Our company is changing its name. How can I update all the mailboxes on the server to use the company's new domain name for the mailboxes' Internet addresses but preserve the old addresses so that we have a smooth transition?

This task is relatively simple in Exchange Server 5.5, which uses the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program's built-in import and export functions. The first step is to create a header file that includes the necessary fields—both the fields that the import/ export process requires and the fields you want to modify. You then export the mailbox data, clean up the exported data in Microsoft Excel, and import the data back into Exchange.

One easy way to create a header file that lists the fields you want to export is to use the header.exe tool, which you can find on the Microsoft BackOffice Resource Kit (BORK) CD-ROM. Run the program, and make sure you've selected Mailbox under Object Class. Click Add Required to add required fields to the list. Then, select the E-mail Addresses and Secondary Proxy Addresses fields under Available Attributes, and click Add to add these two fields.

The Selected Attributes list now has five fields in it, as Figure 4 shows. If you need to update other mailbox properties at this time, select those fields, too, and add them to the list. Click File, and specify a path and filename (using the .csv extension) for the header file. Finally, click Generate to create a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file with the headers you selected.

If you don't have header.exe, you can just run notepad .exe. Type in this text all on one line, with no spaces after the commas:

Directory Name,
E-mail Addresses,

Save the file with the .csv extension.

In Exchange Administrator, choose Tools, Directory Export. Click Export File, and specify the path and filename for the header file you just created. Make sure the container points to the Recipients container whose mailboxes you want to update and that Mailbox is selected under Export objects. Click Export to update the .csv file with the data for the fields you specified.

Now, start Excel, and open the .csv file. For each mailbox, the main Internet address—the address that Internet recipients see as the From address—appears under the E-mail Addresses column, along with the X.400 and other addresses in use in your organization. Any additional SMTP addresses that a mailbox is already using appear under the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses column.

Next, you want to add the old address to any existing values in the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses field. To deal with the easiest case, let's assume that the old address uses the default format of the Directory Name (one of the required export columns), plus your domain name. Here's one way to add addresses:

  1. Select all the entries in the Directory Name column, including both the Directory Name column heading and the entries for all the mailboxes.
  2. Choose Insert, Name, Define, and give that selected range the name that Excel suggests—Directory_Name.
  3. Select all the entries in the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses column, including both the Secondary-Proxy- Addresses column heading and the entries for all the mailboxes.
  4. Choose Insert, Name, Define, and give that selected range the name that Excel suggests—Secondary_Proxy_ Addresses.
  5. Click in the first blank cell in the row containing the first mailbox's data (the F2 cell if you used the header file), and type in this Excel formula:
  6. =IF(Secondary_Proxy_Addresses="","SMTP:",Secondary_Proxy_
    Addresses & "%SMTP:" ) & Directory_Name & "@domain.dom"

    substituting your old domain name for domain.dom. Press Enter to save the formula.

  7. Copy the formula to the other cells in that column (again, the F column if you're using the same header that I did), covering all the rows that contain mailbox data. In that column, you now see the new additional SMTP address, along with any other secondary SMTP addresses that were in use for each mailbox.
  8. Select all the cells filled with the formula created in Steps 5 and 6, and then choose Edit, Copy.
  9. Click in the first mailbox data cell in the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses column, then choose Edit, Paste Special. On the Paste Special dialog box, select Values under Paste. Click OK to paste the updated addresses into the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses column.
  10. Select the column of formulas created in Steps 5 and 6, and click Delete to clear those cells.

You've now updated all the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses with the mailboxes' original addresses so that mail sent to these addresses will continue to reach the right users. Note that if your original SMTP addresses didn't correspond to the pattern Directory [email protected], you need to write a more complicated formula or even an Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro to copy the original addresses from the E-mail Addresses column to the Secondary-Proxy-Addresses column.

You're nearly finished! At this point, you can select the E-mail Addresses column and use the Edit, Replace command to substitute your new domain name for the old domain name listed for each default SMTP address. That action generates the new address for Internet messages.

Finally, use File, Save As to save the updated addresses to a new CSV file (just in case you made a mistake and want to start over again with the original export file), and close the file. Go back to Exchange Administrator, and choose Tools, Directory Import. Click Import File to specify the CSV file you just saved. Under Multivalued Properties, choose Overwrite because you've already done the work to append the old SMTP address to any previously existing secondary SMTP addresses.

After the import has completed, double-check a few mailboxes to make sure that the addresses were imported correctly. If the results aren't what you intended, you can import your original export file to return the mailbox addresses to their original settings.

If you want to use this technique for other Exchange Server 5.5 directory-updating chores, take a look at the Microsoft article "XADM: Bulk Import/Export FAQ" (http://support .microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/ q155/4/14.asp).

Do I have to use the same export/ import procedure to do a mass update of email addresses in Exchange 2000?

Performing the same task in Exchange 2000 is much easier because you can use the Exchange System Manager (ESM) snap-in. You should have already modified the Default Recipient Policy to make any new recipients use the new domain name. Next, you can follow these steps to change the addresses on existing recipients:

  1. Under Recipients, select the Recipient Policies container.
  2. Choose Action, New, Recipient Policy. Give it the name Update SMTP address.
  3. Click Modify. In the Find Exchange Recipients dialog box that Figure 5 shows, clear all the check boxes except the Users with Exchange mailbox check box. You can further restrict the update with the options on the Storage and Advanced tabs.
  4. Click OK twice to return to the Properties for the new policy.
  5. Switch to the E-Mail Addresses tab, which Figure 6 shows. If you've modified the Default Recipient Policy, the new domain name will be the default.
  6. Click New, and create a new SMTP address. For the address, enter an at sign (@) plus the old domain name. Select the This Exchange Organization is responsible for all mail delivery to this address check box.
  7. Back on the E-Mail Addresses tab, check the box next to the newly created address.
  8. Click OK, and answer Yes when Exchange asks whether you want to update all corresponding recipient email addresses.

You'll definitely want to plan carefully before undertaking this operation, especially in a large company. Replication must occur throughout the organization before Exchange 2000 can use the new addresses to route incoming mail properly to all mailboxes. For more information about Exchange 2000's integration with Active Directory (AD), see Tony Redmond's Windows NT Magazine article "Exchange 2000 Server and Active Directory" (December 1999) and Paul Bowden, "MS Exchange 2000 Server Directory Access and Integration with MS Windows 2000" (http://www.microsoft .com/technet/exchange/technote/ wininteg.asp).

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