Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition, October 8, 2002

Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.


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October 8, 2002—In this issue:


  • Collaboration 101


  • Announcing the New Windows & .NET Magazine VIP Site!
  • New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming


  • Tip: Emailing Links to Web Pages


  • Organize and Annotate Your Email


  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

(contributed by Sue Mosher, News Editor, [email protected])


  • Those of us who've been using Outlook for nearly 6 years easily forget that to someone who's just installing his or her first Exchange Server, all the collaboration features we take for granted are new, unfamiliar, and sometimes even difficult to find. Therefore, I thought an occasional Commentary on the features built into Outlook to facilitate collaboration, specifically in an Exchange environment, might be useful. I hope that even "old-timers" will benefit from having their memories refreshed.

    Perhaps the first collaboration feature that most people notice is that they have access to a Global Address List (GAL). The average user probably doesn't know anything about how data in Active Directory (AD) or the Exchange Server 5.5 GAL becomes visible in Outlook but appreciates the convenience of being able to look up the names and addresses of other people in the organization.

    In addition to providing a GAL, Outlook lets users share contacts through public folders. When you create a public folder to hold contact items, users can select the appropriate option on the folder's Properties dialog box to add the folder to their Outlook Address Book. (Outlook 2002 lets you write a script to set the option programmatically.)

    Many users discover public folders through the Outlook Folder List, which displays a Public Folders hierarchy separate from the Mailbox tree. You can create a public folder to hold any type of Outlook item and use the Permissions tab on the folder's Properties dialog box to grant varying levels of access to the folder. What might not be obvious is that an Exchange administrator can give a public folder an email address and even display it in the GAL. Users can add a public folder's email address as a message's Bcc recipient to file a copy that everyone with access to the folder can see.

    Other built-in collaboration features include voting-button messages, meeting requests, and task requests. By using the Options dialog box to add voting buttons to a message, a user can ask other users a question and Outlook will automatically tabulate the results. Meeting requests let you invite other users to a meeting. Exchange provides a free/busy mechanism to show you when other people are available, so you can select the best meeting time. Many organizations create mailboxes for resources such as conference rooms and audiovisual equipment, so users can book those as part of the meeting request process.

    Task requests work quite differently from meeting requests. When you send a task request to another person, you delegate responsibility for that task. If the recipient accepts the task request, you won't be able to directly change the original task stored in your Tasks folder. You must rely on the recipient to send you updates on the progress he or she makes on the task.

    You can also delegate authority over your Inbox, Calendar, or other default folders, letting someone else answer your email, watch over your appointments, and otherwise act as you. When you designate someone as a delegate through the Tools, Options, Delegates dialog box, you set permissions on one or more folders and let the delegate send messages on your behalf. Your delegate can open the folders using the File, Open, Personal Folders File command in Outlook 2000 (the Outlook Data File command in Outlook 2002). The Exchange administrator can grant Send As permission to your delegate to let that person use your account to send messages without anyone knowing that a delegate was involved.

    This summary of collaboration features just skims the surface. In future installments, I'll explore the detailed settings, common techniques, and likely pitfalls of these features.


    Guidelines for Microsoft Exchange maintenance strongly recommend complete offline defragmentation/compaction of the data stores every three months. The routine daily maintenance of the Exchange database helps to some degree; however, valuable disk space remains held by Exchange.
    New Release! PerfectDisk(R) 2000 for Exchange automates the offline defragmentation of Exchange 5.5/2000 data stores to recapture Exchange disk space and improve Exchange performance. PerfectDisk 2000 is the most advanced defragmentation utility available. Windows certified. Optimized for XP.
    Demos, Eval Guide, Web tools - ALL free at

    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)


  • The Windows & .NET Magazine VIP Site is a new subscription-based online technical resource. For a limited time, you can access this banner-free site where you'll find exclusive content normally reserved for VIP Site members only. Only subscribers will be able to enjoy this new site after October 14, so check it out today!


  • Networking UPDATE brings you the how-to tips and news you need to implement and maintain a rock-solid networking infrastructure. We'll explore interoperability solutions, hardware (including servers, routers, and switches), network architecture, network management, network security, installation technology, network training, and WAN disaster recovery. Subscribe (at no cost!) at

    (contributed by Sue Mosher, [email protected])


  • Q: When I use Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.5's File, Send, Link by E-mail command to send a link to a Web page, it adds both a text link and a .url file to the mail message. I used to be able to delete the .url file and send just the text link. But the Outlook 2000 Email Security Update won't let me delete the .url file. How can I avoid sending these unnecessary files when I send Web-page links?

    A: The annoying message that results when you use the Link by E-mail command makes me think that the people in different Microsoft product areas don't talk to one another. If .url files are on the list of dangerous file types, why does IE use .url files to send links instead of just using text links?

    The Email Security Update won't let you delete the .url file directly, but it has another feature that lets you avoid sending the file. When you forward a message containing a blocked attachment, the Email Security Update strips the file from the forwarded message. Therefore, to send just a text link, you can use this procedure:

    1. In IE 5.5, choose File, Send, Link by E-mail.
    2. Save the message, then close it.
    3. In the Outlook Inbox folder, right-click the message, then choose Forward.
    4. Send the forwarded message.
    5. Delete the draft of the original message from the Inbox.

    This technique works only if you use Windows 2000 or earlier. Windows XP's IE 6.0 sends only the .url file, not a text link.

    Another simple option for sending a text link is to copy the Web page address from the Address box in IE into a new mail message instead of using the IE Link by E-mail command. Still another is to use the MailTo_URL add-in from to add an Email Page command to IE's right-click menu.

    See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.

    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])


  • Caelo Software released Nelson Email Organizer (NEO) 2.5.1, which has a more flexible preview-pane viewer and is compatible with Emeris Technologies' Annotis Mail email-annotation software. (Caelo Software and Emeris Technologies have entered an agreement to comarket their products.) NEO can organize your email in a variety of ways including by date, correspondent, and attachment. The new release supports spam-filtering engines such as Outlook's Junk Email filter and third-party plugins. Annotis lets you add highlighting, sticky notes, and stamps to email messages. NEO works as a standalone client with Exchange Server or alongside Outlook; Annotis works with Outlook and Outlook Express. For pricing, contact Caelo Software at 250-354-5580 or Emeris Technolgies at [email protected].

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