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Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition, March 18, 2003

Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Outlook Edition--brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.




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March 18, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Outlook 2003 Minimizes Intrusion of Security Prompts

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Windows & .NET Magazine Connections: Win a Florida Vacation - Get a Sample Issue of Exchange & Outlook Administrator

3. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT) - BlackBerry Enterprise Server v3.5 for Microsoft Exchange

4. RESOURCE - Tip: Hiding DL Members

5. NEW AND IMPROVED - Remove Duplicate Messages

6. CONTACT US See this section for a list of ways to contact us.




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


Microsoft has engineered a major change in Outlook 2003 that will minimize the intrusion of Outlook security prompts for many users. These prompts appear when programming code accesses certain features that could let a malicious program harvest email addresses or send messages. In earlier Outlook versions, a means to avoid those prompts was available only to Exchange administrators willing to maintain a special public folder and Outlook security settings form and to deploy a new security registry entry to Outlook clients. Standalone users and users in Exchange environments without the security settings form had to endure prompts affecting everything from mail merge to customized Outlook forms to some PDA synchronization programs.

In Outlook 2003, properly constructed Outlook COM add-ins, published Outlook forms, and Outlook Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code don't trigger security prompts when the code uses certain Outlook properties and methods. However, in Exchange environments in which the administrator has deployed the security settings form and registry entry, the security form settings still control the security prompt behavior. Users and administrators alike should be delighted with this "best of both worlds" approach, in which the administrator can still control the security behavior but standalone users regain control over their own VBA code and the many available Outlook COM add-ins.

Users, however, continue to get Outlook security prompts in VBA code in Microsoft Word, Excel, and other Office 2003 programs and in any programs external to Outlook that use Outlook programming objects. Why does Outlook VBA suppress prompts although other environments don't? In Outlook 2003, Microsoft implements Outlook VBA as a COM add-in. Therefore, like other Outlook COM add-ins, Outlook VBA doesn't generate security prompts. Note, though, that the security prompt suppression affects only Outlook objects. Developers who use Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) 1.21 in Outlook VBA or a COM add-in still see prompts when they use address-related or message-sending features in their code.

COM add-ins are a special type of application designed to integrate tightly with the hosting Office program. The key to developing an Outlook COM add-in that doesn't trigger security prompts is to construct it so that all the Outlook objects that the add-in uses are derived from the Application object passed in the OnConnection event that fires when the COM add-in is loaded. If the code creates Outlook objects in any other way, those objects' properties and methods will trigger security prompts. Outlook 2002 uses the same technique for "trusted" COM add-ins--that is, where the administrator uses the Exchange security settings form to specifically trust a COM add-in for all or a certain group of users. Consequently, a properly constructed Outlook COM add-in will work unhindered by security prompts when the Exchange administrator trusts it with a security form or when, in other environments, the user is running Outlook 2003.

In its article announcing the change, Microsoft notes that one of the reasons for suppressing the security prompts in Outlook COM add-ins is that Outlook 2003 blocks additional properties that earlier versions handled without security prompts. Specifically, any access to the body of a message or other Outlook item is subject to Outlook security in Outlook 2003. This blocking makes sense from a security standpoint because message bodies often contain email addresses. However, blocking the Body and HTMLBody properties without loosening restrictions on COM add-ins and custom forms probably would have broken the majority of Outlook COM add-ins and custom forms developed for internal corporate use. Developers of the many non-COM add-in programs that use Outlook objects definitely will need to take a look at how their applications behave under Outlook 2003.

"Important Security Notes for Microsoft Outlook COM Add-In Developers"


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(contributed by Sue Mosher, [email protected])


Q: How can I set up a distribution list (DL) in Exchange 2000 Server or Outlook so that recipients can see only the name of the list in the To box and not the names of the list members?

A: The DLs that Outlook creates in contacts folders don't hide their membership. The solution is to use the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in to create an Active Directory (AD) distribution group and set its properties. (You'll need appropriate permission to access the organizational unit--OU--in which you want to create the distribution group.) To set the group's properties, follow these steps: 1. In the selected OU, choose Action, New, Group. In the New Object - Group dialog box, give the group a name and set "Group type" to Distribution. Microsoft also recommends that you set "Group scope" to Universal to avoid replication problems between Exchange and Global Catalog (GC) servers. Making the group a universal group means that you can use it in all domains in the forest. (If you want to use the distribution group to secure access to public folders and other data, you'll need to create a Universal Security Group-—USG-—instead of a distribution group.) Click Next. 2. In the next dialog box, select the "Create an Exchange e-mail address" check box. Check Next, then click Finish. 3. In the Users container, right-click the newly created DL, select Properties, and add members on the Members tab. 4. Switch to the Security tab, then click Advanced. Under Permission Entries, select Authenticated Users, then click View/Edit. 5. In the Permission Entry dialog box, switch to the Properties tab. Under the Permissions list, change the permission for the Read Members property from Allow to Deny. Click OK until you return to the snap-in.

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



(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* REMOVE DUPLICATE MESSAGES Leigh Business Enterprises released Toolbox for Microsoft Outlook 1.17, software that you can use to remove duplicate contacts, email messages, appointments, and tasks. You can also use the software to remove email attachments, send an email message to multiple recipients as multiple individual messages rather than as one message to a group or distribution list (DL), monitor the status of as many as four Web sites, and open several of your favorite Web sites with one click. If you have a PDA, the software deletes duplicates caused by synchronization errors. Toolbox for Microsoft Outlook costs $23 for a single-user license and requires Outlook 98 or later. Contact Leigh Business Enterprises at 870-741-9887.



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Thank you for reading Exchange and Outlook UPDATE. __________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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