Connector for Microsoft Outlook enables Outlook to be used as a desktop client on Windows with Messaging Server and Calendar Server, with support for Address Book as well.
Connector for Microsoft Outlook is an Outlook plug-in that must be installed on the end-user’s desktop. Connector for Microsoft Outlook queries Messaging Server for folder hierarchies and email messages. It converts the information into Messaging API (MAPI) properties that Outlook can display. Similarly, it uses WCAP to query Calendar Server for events and tasks which are then converted into MAPI properties. With this model, Connector for Microsoft Outlook builds an end-user Outlook view from two separate information sources: mail from Messaging Server and calendar information from Calendar Server.
When users create and modify items through Outlook, Connector for Microsoft Outlook passes the new message along to the appropriate server depending on its message type. It sends new outgoing email to an SMTP mail server for delivery, and sends modified email messages back to the user’s IMAP folder for storage. New calendar events and tasks are converted into a standard format to be stored in the Calendar Server database.
Connector for Microsoft Outlook includes support for address book service. You must install Communications Express to enable the address book service. This service makes use of WABP and allows a user to have their personal address book accessible from both Outlook and Communications Express.
This chapter contains the following sections:
Organizations deploy Connector for Microsoft Outlook so that users can use Microsoft Outlook as their email and calendar client while connected to Sun Java Enterprise System servers. The Connector for Microsoft Outlook plug-in must be installed and configured for each desktop user to facilitate the necessary ongoing communications between Outlook and the servers. Also provided is the desktop deployment toolkit. The toolkit is a collection of software tools for system administrators designed to simplify both the administrator's work and the user tasks associated with installing and configuring the Connector for Microsoft Outlook plug-in for individual users.
The desktop deployment toolkit allows the administrator to create customized end-user installation packages with preset configuration parameters to simplify and streamline the user’s process. This also enforces any configuration settings the administrator deems necessary or desirable for a particular user or group of users. The deployment configuration program saves those preset configuration parameters in an .ini text file, and then bundles the .ini file with an installation program—the setup wizard—for end users. When an end user activates the package, the setup wizard reads the .ini file to install and configure the Connector software on his or her desktop according to the administrator’s specifications.
The following key features and functionality are available with Connector for Microsoft Outlook:
Access to Messaging Server, Calendar Server, and Address Book Server
Access to email folders on the Messaging Server via IMAP4
Access to calendar data (events, appointments) and tasks stored in the Calendar Server via WCAP
Access to corporate directory via LDAP
Access to contacts stored in the Address Book server by using WABP
Access to multiple calendars and address books
Typical Outlook mail features:
Compose, reply, and forward messages
Use Microsoft Word to write and edit messages
Apply spell check and encryption to message body
Apply address completion to message headers
Add signatures to messages
Polling multiple folders
Share mail folders with other users and set specific permissions for shared contacts
Subscribe to other users’ mail folders
Typical calendar features:
Creating and sharing multiple calendars
Creating and sharing multiple address books
Viewing group memberships within contact details
Access attachments in calendar events and todos
Create new appointments and events (all-day, recurring, public, private)
Suggest alternate time for events
Track responses to event requests
Create and share multiple address books
View group memberships within Contact details
Email based group scheduling
Share calendar with other users and set specific permissions for shared calendars
Subscribe to other users’ calendars
Delegate calendar access to others
Typical task-related functionality (new task, modify task)
Client-side rules attached to folders and data types
Notes and Journal stored in IMAP folders
Full offline support for mail, calendar, and address book
Interoperability with web client (Communications Express)
Management of server-side message filters
Global Address List with browsing capabilities
Removal of dependency on Microsoft LDAP
Out-of-office setting, and ability to notify user that setting is activated at login
Progress displayed when synchronizing large folders
Setting mail filters
Sharing contacts with other users and setting specific permissions for shared contacts
Ability to search for users for mail/Calendar/Contacts folders sharing
Name and email address automatically set and updated from LDAP
Option to preview body of all messages
The Sun Java System Connector desktop deployment toolkit consists of the following components:
Deployment Configuration Program allows system administrators to create bundled, customized installation packages for end users. These packages can then install and configure Connector for Microsoft Outlook and, if appropriate, convert data from Microsoft Exchange local stores.
Setup Wizard allows end users to install the Connector for Microsoft Outlook plug-in, configure its operations and features based on the administrator's settings, and convert existing Outlook data files (.pst files) associated with Exchange into a form that Connector for Microsoft Outlook can use. (The setup wizard is one part of the bundled end-user installation package created by the deployment configuration program.)
Install kit (MSI) is the installation utility for the software that facilitates ongoing, permanent communications between Microsoft Outlook features and the Sun Java Enterprise System servers. This is supplied as part of the installation package.
Special Kits for using Microsoft System Management Services (SMS) to install the Connector for Microsoft Outlook support the “push” functionality of Microsoft's SMS to let a system administrator distribute and install the desktop components to user desktops with minimal or no user involvement.
In addition to the above-listed components of the deployment toolkit, the Microsoft installation program for Web Publishing Wizard (WPW) (available from other vendors) may be necessary for your users to install the Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook.
Microsoft's WPW is a tool used to generate HTML-coded documents, typically in the form of web pages to be viewed in a web browser. But WPW can also be used to “publish” information for other purposes—to create documents containing certain types of data and upload the documents to locations where other applications can find them and extract the pertinent data. Connector for Microsoft Outlook uses WPW this way to facilitate the transfer of users' free/busy data between Outlook and the Sun Java Enterprise System servers, and WPW therefore is a necessary intermediary and a required component of every user's installation.
The WPW, however, is not included in the deployment toolkit package because it is a Microsoft product, so you must obtain the Web Publishing Wizard from Microsoft. The installation program for Microsoft’s WPW is available as a free download from http://www.microsoft.com.