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Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, June 2, 2005

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Avoiding Availability Pitfalls in Microsoft Exchange Environments

Anti-Spam product not working? What more companies are switching to ... and why.


1. Commentary

- What to Do If You Don't Go to TechEd

2. Peer to Peer

- Featured Thread: Defragging the OS
- Outlook Tip: Resolving Forms Cache Corruption Problems in Outlook 2003

3. New and Improved

- Easily Update Your Address Book


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Editor's note: Share Your Exchange Discoveries and Get $100

Share your Exchange Server and Outlook discoveries, comments, or problems and solutions for use in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to [email protected]. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your submission, you'll get $100.


==== 1. Commentary: What to Do If You Don't Go to TechEd ====

by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, [email protected]

The US version of Microsoft TechEd starts on June 5. In past years, my pre-TechEd columns have concentrated on things you should plan to see or do at the show. This year, however, I'm taking a different approach and suggesting some things to do if you aren't going to TechEd.

Make plans for future conferences. Microsoft has already announced the dates and location for TechEd 2006 (June 11-16 in Boston), and Windows IT Pro will present the Microsoft Exchange Connections show later this year (October 31-November 5 in San Diego, California--see the first URL below). Both events are likely to sell out, so you might as well spend a few minutes during the week sketching out your travel plans. Microsoft is offering several other iterations of TechEd this year in various regions (see the second URL below)--just in case you can't wait until next year.

Watch some Webcasts. Some interesting Webcasts are scheduled during TechEd. For example, on June 9 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time, Scott Schnoll will present a live Webcast titled "Exchange 2003: Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts." Also available are on-demand Webcasts, such as "Understanding the Exchange Store." You can view the list of Webcasts on the TechEd Web site.

Watch some more Webcasts. The Microsoft TechNet site also contains a ton of archived Exchange-related Webcasts. The fastest way to find them is to visit the Exchange team blog (see the URL below) and search for Webcast. If you want to simulate the TechEd experience, turn off your office lights and set the font size on your monitor to a much smaller size than usual. Oh, and wear shorts.

Get better junk mail filtering. Microsoft released an update to the Outlook 2003 Junk Mail Filter on May 11, and WinDeveloper has a new tool called IMF Tune (see the URL below) that improves the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter's logging and lets you tweak its filtering options. I'll discuss IMF Tune in a future column.

Test your security knowledge. Microsoft is running an online security competition called the Gatekeeper Test for residents of 20 countries (excluding the United States). Two questions will be posted every weekday beginning June 6; the winners get bragging rights and some cool swag.

Stay home and play your Xbox. Paul Thurrott posted his Xbox Live gamertag (see the URL below), so I can do no less. If you get the urge to play a few rounds of Halo2 against a grownup who isn't particularly skilled, my gamertag is digitalCajun. But you'll have to wait until after TechEd to do so.

As for me, I'm not doing most of these things. Instead, I'll be hanging out in the pressroom at TechEd, then taking my wife and kids on a surprise trip to Walt Disney World. Maybe I'll see you there!


~~~~ Sponsor: MessageOne ~~~~

Avoiding Availability Pitfalls in Microsoft Exchange Environments

When Microsoft Exchange is down, many businesses are down. Although many solutions are targeted at making Exchange email environments more reliable, a wide range of potential difficulties still lurk, waiting to interrupt service and, ultimately, your business. In this free white paper, discover the more common pitfalls that can lessen Exchange availability and the recommendations for what you can do to avoid the problem and better plan your Microsoft Exchange messaging environment.


==== Events and Resources ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

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True High Availability--Going Beyond Backup and Data Replication

In this free Web seminar discover the various categories of high availability and disaster recovery solutions available and the pros and cons of each. You'll learn what solutions help you take preemptive, corrective action without resorting to a full system failover, or in extreme cases, that perform a non-disruptive, automatic switchover to a secondary server. Register now!

Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in Europe

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==== Featured White Paper ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

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==== 2. Peer to Peer ====

Featured Thread: Defragging the OS

A forum reader wants to know how to defrag the OS without affecting the Exchange data. Join the discussion at

Outlook Tip: Resolving Forms Cache Corruption Problems in Outlook 2003

by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: When my Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 users open an item in a public folder that uses a custom form, they see a message flash quickly on screen. Some also experience hangs, while others receive messages stating that the form isn't available and see the standard form, not the desired custom form. Do these problems have a solution?

Find the answer (and links to more great tips) at

==== Hot Release ====

Anti-Spam product not working? What more companies are switching to…and why.

Many email administrators are experiencing increased frustration with their legacy anti-spam products as they battle new and more dangerous email threats. In-house software, appliances and even some services may no longer work effectively, require too much IT staff time to update and maintain, or satisfy the email security needs of different users. In this free white paper learn why many companies are switching to a managed service solution. Download your free copy now!

==== Announcements ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Why Do You Need the Windows IT Pro Master CD?

There are three good reasons to order our latest Windows IT Pro Master CD. One, because it's a lightning-fast, portable tool that lets you search for solutions by topic, author, or issue. Two, because it includes our Top 100 Windows IT Pro Tips. Three, because you'll also receive exclusive, subscriber-only access to our entire online article database. Click here to discover even more reasons:

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==== 3. New and Improved ====

by Angie Brew, [email protected]

Easily Update Your Address Book

MAPILab released Actual Contacts for Outlook, an add-in for updating your address book. To update a contact, Actual Contacts sends an HTML message to the contact's email address with a form containing data from the contact's fields. The recipient can then either enter his or her new contact information or edit the data that's already in the form. After Actual Contacts receives the form with the updated information, it will automatically update your address book. You can customize the set of fields that appear in the form and the message template. Actual Contacts for Outlook costs $24 for a one-user license. Contact MAPILab at 877-627-4522.

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