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  • Best no-excuses, no-compromises Outlook synchronizing solution

    I run Outlook 2003 on my home desktop and tablet, and occasionally whatever work system I'm using. I'm tired of having to synchronize all these Outlook installations manually. One of my e-mail accounts is IMAP which blissfully synchronizes itself by nature, but all my others are POP3, and it doesn't have anything to do with with my contacts, calendar (quite important), and task list (also quite important).

    What solution out there is best for preferably automatically synchronizing all these instances of Outlook 2003? I even went as far to look into installing Exchange Server but it does not appear to run on normal client Windows (meaning XP is out). I don't mind having to use my desktop as a server to store the information, having all clients connect.

    Price is no object. I just want it to freaking work on Windows XP Professional (XP Tablet Edition is an extended Professional). A solution that can also synchronize other Office programs such as especially OneNote 2003 is a plus but Outlook is my main concern. If installing Windows 2003 Server on a spare system and using it with Exchange Server is a viable solution, then I may attempt it.

    The Outlook systems will not always be on a LAN but will always have Internet access. I take my tablet to campus all the time and I don't work from home, so just a pure Windows domain-based solution or something similar would probably not work.
    --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
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  • #2
    I'm not a huge fan, but if you have the money you can run Exchange Server.

    You'll need a Windows 2000/2003 server with a domain/Active Directory and MS DNS server. Then you can install Exchange

    Once you've got it running, you can enable Outlook Web Access (OWA) to access your email via https/webmail - and then setup applications or mobile phones to do syncronisation over the internet.

    One small problem with this is that I couldn't firewall OWA properly since a mobile phone on the UK Orange network isn't provided a static IP address, and it can't be filtered by MAC address either since it is proxied. It is very possible, just depends on how paranoid you are about security and if you like having Windows boxen open on the 'net for anyone to have a tinker with.

    HTH.
    HP DL-380 G6, 2x E5520, 28GB RAM, 4x300GB SAS, VMWare ESXi
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    Unreal Tournament : Assault forums - irc://irc.utassault.net:6667 -

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    • #3
      Well I certainly don't want to have to put the machine on a DMZ or otherwise let the outside world have their way with it. I was hoping I could just open certain ports.
      --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
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      • #4
        Maybe Outlook Live will do what you want...


        http://outlooklive.msn.com
        Translations provided by Google.

        Wayne Luke
        The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
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        • #5
          I'm a bit unclear on how it works. Is it just for Hotmail with an Outlook interface, or is it really just Outlook 2003 where everything is stored on an MSN server?
          --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
          Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
          vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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          • #6
            I believe it is more towards the second option. You can view your Hotmail in Outlook simply by installed a program called Connector and it doesn't require a few.
            Translations provided by Google.

            Wayne Luke
            The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
            vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
            vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
            I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wayne Luke
              I believe it is more towards the second option. You can view your Hotmail in Outlook simply by installed a program called Connector and it doesn't require a few.
              I don't suppose there is a trial period? Their web site is none too detailed and they don't seem to have a phone number. Then again, I'm assuming you don't use Outlook Live yourself so no problem if you're not sure.
              --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
              Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
              vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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              • #8
                Originally posted by filburt1
                Well I certainly don't want to have to put the machine on a DMZ or otherwise let the outside world have their way with it. I was hoping I could just open certain ports.
                You could also get an exchange hosting account.
                http://www.msexchange.org/services/Exchange-Hosting/

                We currently run our own Exchange server in house for our mail and its one of the best methods of sharing email. Between Outlook Web Access, ActiveSync, and Outlook Mobile Access, its a great package.

                And you won't have to DMZ the server if you wish.
                http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/...-Firewall.html

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by filburt1
                  I don't suppose there is a trial period? Their web site is none too detailed and they don't seem to have a phone number. Then again, I'm assuming you don't use Outlook Live yourself so no problem if you're not sure.
                  No.. I have no need really for Outlook Live. I use MSN as my primary email address and central email connector. It connects to Outlook 2003 through Outlook/MSN Connector and I can read it offline. If I am away from my PC, I simply log into MSN.

                  p.s. Microsoft's phone number is 1-800-Microsoft (1-800-642-7676)
                  Translations provided by Google.

                  Wayne Luke
                  The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud customization and demonstration site.
                  vBulletin 5 Documentation - Updated every Friday. Report issues here.
                  vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
                  I am not currently available for vB Messenger Chats.

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                  • #10
                    As a side note, I tried playing around last night with the trial versions of Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server in VMware and I'm way out of my league; I had no idea even where to start. It seems like what I would want (a central server that persistently maintains the state of Outlook) but that's meaningless if I can't figure out how the hell it works.
                    --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                    Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                    vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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                    • #11
                      I called MS today at the number you gave and it was a waste of 10 minutes: the first two reps directly said that they didn't know what Outlook Live was (and at least the first was not an outsourced call center), and the third knew vaguely of it but didn't really provide any useful questions, nor could he really answer my question of how the pricing model would change if I already owned Outlook 2003.

                      So MOOL is out.
                      --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                      Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                      vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

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