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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Sharing Outlook Without Exchange

    Hello all:On behalf of a friend who is the unofficial IT "guru" at her job, I'm asking if anyone can recommend a solid, reliable and low-cost solution to sharing Outlook (I don't know what versions, but I can ask) with other users in their small, in-building network without an Exchange server?Thanks so much for your thoughts, suggestions and recommendations.skeetre

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
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    If by 'Sharing you mean Calendars and Contacts as well as shared email accounts, etc., you may be able to use Gmail Accounts, then a program like gSyncit to Sync the calendars, notes, email, and tasks. About 20 per person for the license. You can Google other Outlook Sync programs and see it there is something that is better suited, but perhaps that will point you in the right direction!

    Cheers,

    Nathan

  3. #3
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    Need more details about sharing. What is expected to be shared? What are the Outlook versions? How is their current email hosted?

    Joe

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Thanks Joe and Nathan

    I appreciate the replies.What I know is everyone is on Outlook 2007 and is needing to share only Calendars at this time. Contacts would be nice, but Calendar is the priority. As to the hosting aspect, I'm not sure what you mean. They don't have a website and as far as I can tell there is no real internal network (network printers, etc.) I'll find out what I can.Thanks again.Skeetre

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Skeetre, there is a free Calendar Sync from Google, but that limits you to only syncing to your main Outlook calendar. Other software, like the one I mentioned above, can sync any Google Calendar to any Outlook calendar (plus contacts). There is other middleware software, but the clients have to be on a network, and it appears to cost a little more; the plus would be speed. The last option is to use an offsite Exchange Server service, which usually charge a per month/client charge. All options have their plus and minuses!

    Cheers,

    Nathan

  6. #6
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    See Sharing Outlook calendar and contacts for some ideas.

    If they are interested in a hosted Exchange environment that is easy to setup and administer they should check out Office 365. They are quite a few subscription levels with varying capabilities. Also, in spite of being very difficult to find there is an email only subscription.

    Joe

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Hi skeetre2,
    In the past, We've used an Outlook add-in called WorkgroupShare with 20+ users and had our fair share of issues, the most common were:
    1. Slowness during synchronization.
    2. The add-in was repeatedly being disabled by Outlook.
    3. Shared appointments that kept replicating themselves (ballooning the PST file in the process).

    Eventually we came to the conclusion that an Outlook add-in has too many inherent disadvantages that prevents it from performing calendar sharing properly and reliably.

    The only other alternatives are Exchange (and Exchange compatible solutions) and working directly with the PST,
    We decided to develop our own solution using the latter approach, which cut our initial synchronization time (for a new employee) from 30 minutes to around 1 minute,
    the disadvantage being that you can't sync when Outlook is running.

    Shared calendars can be viewed using Outlook, plus we have a cute web interface that can be used to view calendars from anywhere.

    Feel free to evaluate the product:
    http://kmrom.com/CalendarShare/About/

    Tal Aloni,
    ROM Knowledgeware

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