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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Client has requirements using Outlook

    I am now facing an interesting problem with a client and have NOT been able to figure out a reasonable solution:

    My attorney client and his assistant both share the same Verizon.net account for his practice. The assistant runs Outlook on her desktop and painstakingly files all the incoming mail into a detailed series of subfolders undereath her Inbox.

    The attorney also runs Outlook on his desk and checks the same mail account. since Verizon does not appear to support IMAP, both Outlooks are set to leave mail on the server for many days in order to keep the mail available to both users.

    While on his desktop, the attorney wants to be able to access the set of subfolders from the assistant's Outlook as well as have access to the incoming mail.

    How can I accomplish this while leaving them both with the ability to read (and respond to) incoming mail using the same account?

    Advice and suggestions greatly appreciated!

    T.I.A.,
    Jeff

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger
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    Hi Jeff,

    I'm living in Australia so I am not familiar with Verizon's packages but it appears your client is looking for features that a simple POP3/Outlook system cannot provide. My suggestion would be to investigate a hosted exchange option or perhaps Google Apps.

    Both have their pro's and con's and I am more familiar with hosted exchange environments so that would be my preference. It would also allow your client "attorney" to easily sync email/calendar/contacts on his mobile device which can be handy for small firms where the people have that extra work load on their plate while on the go.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegellman View Post
    While on his desktop, the attorney wants to be able to access the set of subfolders from the assistant's Outlook as well as have access to the incoming mail.
    Outlook's PST files are not not meant to be shared over a network; Microsoft doesn't even recommend single users opening a PST file over a network for performance reasons. It's difficult to think of any good solution that doesn't involve shared folders on a server. (If only historical messages are of interest, copying a nightly backup to the attorney's PC for reference as a secondary PST file might be acceptable.)

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks to you both.

    @jscher: your suggestion of copying the .pst file nightly might have some promise... in theory, that sounds fairly simple... however, automatically closing the open copy of the 'secondary' .pst in order to facilitate it's update on the attorney's Outlook is somewhat challenging. I could certainly do a little macro programming to mimic the keystrokes of closing the secondary .pst, updating it and then reopening it in Outlook. Perhaps you had a more elegant process in mind?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegellman View Post
    ...automatically closing the open copy of the 'secondary' .pst in order to facilitate it's update on the attorney's Outlook is somewhat challenging. I could certainly do a little macro programming to mimic the keystrokes of closing the secondary .pst, updating it and then reopening it in Outlook. Perhaps you had a more elegant process in mind?
    I just assumed (!!) that Outlook would be closed during that time. It appears (at least as of Outlook 2003) that you could close and open PSTs using the RemoveStore and AddStore methods of the default namespace (Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")). However, I would be a little nervous about manipulating the active profile that way; frequent changes could promote corruption...

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger
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    jegellman,

    The recent discussion does not meet the requirements outlined in your original post and to be honest as jscher2000 has stated unless it is only historical email i.e. daily backup of emails being updated to the secondary machine then things are without a doubt going to turn into a messy pile of email in various PSTs.

    The easiest options I have already outlined in my previous post but have you considered setting up your own IMAPI compatible server on a local desktop which pulls down the email via a POP3 connector and then the clients connect to the local IMAPI host across the network?

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Following up on JDB's suggestion, some people use GMail as their free IMAP server. If you choose to adopt the IMAP folders approach for sharing, when the assistant copies messages to folders in that IMAP account, she probably needs to hold the Ctrl key so Outlook copies rather than moves the messages.

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  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    I think an app called Synchpst will do what you are after. It even has an option to kill Outlook on the other PC so that the PST file can be unlocked.

    john

    http://www.synchpst.com/

    Sync Outlook between two or more computers or between your Desktop and your Laptop - automatically

    Do you use Outlook on more than one computer and want to keep your Outlook data like E-mails, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Appointments or Journal Entries in sync?

    Then you need this software to synchronize Outlook either between different Outlo
    ok data files (pst files)

  10. #9
    New Lounger
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    I will absolutely check out 'synchpst'.

    I spoke with the attorney who DID indicate that (complexity to implement notwithstanding), the ability to simply peruze the folders on a strictly historical basis would be acceptable.

    Thanks to all who offered contributions.

    Jeff

  11. #10
    Lounger Splash's Avatar
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    Personally I would endorse gmail/Google Apps
    Gapps with a $9/p.a. domain gives your business branding and a fantastic free available anywhere IMAP service
    You can set up Gmail to collect your (Verizon) pop3 mail (link)whilst maintaining the ability to send out under that address (link)
    Also using your own domain gives them an address (or many addresses) independent of their provider and looks more professional
    An IMAP set up in Outlook (link)would allow both lawyer and secretary to interact with all mail in imap folders - even simultaneously or from home/mobile via gmail web
    The options are nearly endless
    Plus shared/collaborative calendars that sync with devices/phones and Task/ToDoLists (with functionality that is about to take off)
    For $9 a year you cannot go wrong
    NOBLEJOKER
    Sth Coast NSW Australia
    My Tech Help Site www.techhelpsite.com
    My Computer Club www.mulligrubs.miltonulladulla.com

  12. #11
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    Two computers, one user for each, same data, everything in sync. You might suggest to both users that it might be useful for each of them to create a new user on their respective computers, which user has the same source data as their present user(name), but with which they can perform operations that need not be kept in sync. In other words, an Idea Laboratory where they can apply their own analytical tools without messing up the 'official' (and terribly rigid) data format. One thing it must not do, however, is conflict with the existing source data. If something experimental 'works' and is suitable for both (e.g. colour code), then incorporate it in the primary and synchronized version.
    The second user accounts should each have a different colour scheme from the official, so the user can see at a glance which user he or she is logged in as.

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