Getting the Most Out of the Microsoft Outlook Client : Deploying Outlook 2007

3/6/2011 2:58:12 PM
To take advantage of all the features of Outlook 2007, you need to deploy Outlook 2007 to your users. The deployment can be performed with many tools such as Systems Management Server 2003 or though Group Policy Objects. This section focuses on how to preconfigure Outlook 2007 so that it will be deployed with the functions and settings that you need.

Utilizing the Office Customization Tool

The Office Customization Tool (OCT) is a new application included in Office 2007. The OCT allows an administrator to preconfigure components and settings within the Office 2007 suite to simplify deployments of Office 2007 applications.

The OCT is accessed in the following manner:

Launch a command prompt.

Browse to the drive containing the Office install files.

Browse to the directory containing the setup.exe file.

Type Setup.exe /admin.

Running the OCT in this way allows you to either create a new setup customization file or to modify an existing one. If you are creating a new file, the OCT displays a list of the products available on the network installation point. You must select a single product that you want to customize.

After running the wizard, you can save your customizations in the Updates folder. Setup will look into this folder to find customizations when you run the setup.

Alternatively, you can save your customizations in another location and reference them during the install. For example:

Setup.exe /adminfile \\server\share\OCT\remoteusers.msp

This is an exceptionally powerful ability as you can create different custom settings for different types of users.

Taking Advantage of OCT for Outlook 2007

Although the OCT offers customizations for all Office 2007 components, this section examines some of the settings available specifically for Outlook 2007. Some of the more useful settings include the following:

  • Use existing profile— This setting retains the existing profile or prompts the user to create a profile the first time Outlook is started.

  • Modify profile— This setting modifies the default profile or makes changes to profiles that you specify. If there isn’t a default profile or no profile by the name that you specify, Outlook creates a profile based on settings you choose in the other areas of the OCT.

  • New profile— This setting creates a new profile and sets it as the default profile. If a profile already exists, it is not removed and is still available to the user. You need to enter a name in the Profile name box, which appears in the E-Mail Accounts dialog box in Outlook. The new profile is created based on the options you choose in the other areas of the OCT.

  • Apply PRF— This setting imports an Outlook profile (PRF) file to define a new default profile. You can use any profile created for Outlook 2007. Enter a name and path for the profile in the Apply the Following Profile (PRF File) field. If you created a PRF file for a previous version of Outlook, you can import it to Office Outlook 2007, provided it uses only MAPI services.

  • Do not configure Cached Exchange mode— This setting configures Outlook 2007 to only attach to the Exchange Server mailboxes directly from the Exchange server, as opposed to being cached on users’ computers in an Offline Folder file (OST file).

  • Configure Cached Exchange mode— This setting creates an OST file or uses an existing OST file. This results in users working with a local copy of their Exchange Server mailbox. When selecting Use Cached Exchange mode, you can configure the following options.

    • Download only headers— Download copies of headers only from users’ Exchange Server mailboxes.

    • Download headers followed by the full item— Download copies of headers from users’ Exchange Server mailboxes, and then download copies of messages.

    • Download full items— Download copies of full messages (headers and message bodies) from users’ Exchange Server mailboxes.

    • On slow connections, download only headers— When a slow network connection is detected, download copies of headers only from users’ Exchange Server mailboxes.

    • Download public folder favorites— Download the list of public folder favorites.

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