Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

Part VI Deploying Connector for Microsoft Outlook

This part contains the following chapters:

Chapter 25 Introduction to Connector for Microsoft Outlook Software

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:

Connector for Microsoft Outlook Overview

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.

Connector for Microsoft Outlook Features

The following key features and functionality are available with Connector for Microsoft Outlook:

Connector for Microsoft Outlook High-Level Architecture

The Sun Java System Connector desktop deployment toolkit consists of the following components:

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.

Note –

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

Chapter 26 Developing a Connector for Microsoft Outlook Architecture

This chapter introduces the deployment process of the Connector for Microsoft Outlook.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Desktop Deployment Process Tasks

Deployment of the Connector for Microsoft Outlook plug-in to each user desktop requires three distinct tasks:

The Deployment Configuration Program lets a system administrator create installation packages that will automate some or all of these tasks for end users, depending on the administrator's deployment strategy for any particular group of users.

Why Use the Deployment Toolkit?

With the deployment toolkit, an administrator can control a wide range of configuration parameters for desktop users. Mandating many or most configuration settings will bypass the need for users to ponder options, make choices and set values themselves. These automated or semi-automated installations will spare the corporate help desk many calls for guidance, support, and solutions to the inevitable problems that arise when user choices produce unexpected results. Overall, the toolkit substantially reduces the cost, time and effort required to deploy the Sun Java System Connector software.

A system administrator may create different installation packages for different groups of desktop end user—for example, to enforce different configuration schemes for users in the Sales department versus the Engineering department and so forth, or to offer configuration options to some groups of users while setting fixed parameters (eliminating the choices) for other groups.

If the organization is migrating from Microsoft Exchange, the user's installation packages will also preserve the considerable value of their existing Outlook data stored in .pst files on user desktops, as well as their Notes, Journals and Contacts stored on the Exchange server. The bundled installation packages include a conversion utility that quickly converts all such data to pure Internet addresses, so users will be able to reply to older messages, appointment invitees will receive change notices, and address books and personal distribution lists will remain serviceable after your migration to the Java Enterprise System server.

Chapter 27 Understanding Connector for Microsoft Outlook Pre-Installation Considerations

This chapter describes considerations you need to think about before installing Connector for Microsoft Outlook.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Connector for Microsoft Outlook Installation Considerations

The deployment toolkit contains a variety of deployment options with operational options that permit considerable flexibility in devising and implementing a suitable migration strategy for most any environment, circumstances and administrator preferences. The topics in this section describe the most common scenarios, and explain how the migration tools accommodate them.

Interactive User Installation (Self-Service)

The setup wizard is designed to be straightforward for end users to run by themselves. The setup wizard can be placed on a file server, so it need not be individually installed on end-user workstations. However, the physical installation of the plug-in on user desktops requires access privileges that often are disallowed to many or most end users. If users do not have installation privileges for their own desktops, either of the following strategies may be used:

After the software has been physically copied to a user's desktop, the user can run the setup wizard to configure the software and convert existing Personal Folders (.pst) files.

End users who run the conversion program will provide their own credentials for the servers. This method therefore permits conversion of password-protected .pst files (see Password-Protected Personal Stores in Outlook below), and lets users specify which of their personal stores should be converted for use with the plug-in.

Users can read unconverted email messages, but cannot reply to them because unconverted addresses are unfamiliar to the new server. Users who have some personal stores that are very old, so that the need for a future reply is highly unlikely, may therefore opt to leave such files unconverted. The conversions can run in the background, freeing the user's computer for other work, but the process is likely to slow the performance of other applications.

The significant downsides of interactive user installation are:

Individual Desktop Installation

Administrators may allow some users to perform their own installations, as described above, but visit other user's desktops to perform some or all of the installation and configuration tasks for them. This approach can ensure a smooth migration for top executives or less technical users who are not prepared to perform the tasks for themselves. The deployment plan should address whether these sorts of administrator visits are warranted for any users in the organization, and for whom.

Automated Installation Using Configuration Management Tools

Software installation on user desktops requires access privileges that often are disallowed to many or most end users. Most administrators of such networks use a configuration management tool, such as Microsoft's SMS, to “push” the software to multiple users' desktops— a method that bypasses the requirement for user access privileges. If your network serves “locked-down” Windows environments, where end users cannot install software, this sort of automated configuration management can spare the administrator many visits to individual user desktops.

To accomplish a “push” distribution, you can use the deployment configuration program to build two different bundled installation packages for each user, to be executed in succession. The first would perform the “push” installation of the necessary software, while the second would run an interactive process by which the user could make choices about the configuration of the installed software and the conversion of the user's own existing data files. This “push” method may even be used to completely automate the conversion process for end users, but would require some scripting since the package must be invoked with information specific to each end user (e.g., the user's credentials).

The Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Administration Guide provides instructions for using Microsoft's SMS to implement this “push” method of software distribution. The Administration Guide also explains how to use command-line switches with an SMS script to fully automate the process by passing the necessary user passwords, for the user’s Personal Folders (.pst) files, to the desktop installation program.

Command-Line Switches for Desktop Installation

The Sun Java System Connector Setup Wizard supports command-line switches that may be used in combination with the other desktop installation methods described above, or with an SMS script as described in Command-Line Switches for the User Installation Package in Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Administration Guide.

The installation package will support these command-line switches:

/USERNAME=xxx, where xxx is the username on the Sun servers
/PASSWORD=xxx, where xxx is the password on the Sun servers
/FULLNAME=xxx, where xxx is the display name of the user
/EMAILADDRESS=xxx, where xxx is the email address of the user
/DN=xxx, where xxx is the user DN on the Sun servers
/NEWPROFILENAME=xxx, where xxx is the name of the created profile
/SAVEPASSWORD=n, where n = 1 (save) or 0 (don't save)

These switches will be useful if you are converting an Exchange profile:

/OLDDOMAIN=xxx, where xxx is the Exchange domain
/OLDUSERNAME=xxx, where xxx is the Exchange user name
/OLDPASSWORD=xxx, where xxx is the Exchange password

Password-Protected Personal Stores in Outlook

Outlook users can assign passwords to their Personal Folders (.pst) files, but the Sun Java System Connector Setup Wizard needs to open and modify these files in order to convert them for use with the new Connector software and the Sun Java System server. Your end users will therefore have to provide the passwords for any .pst files that they want to convert.

The Setup Wizard will automatically prompt users for the necessary passwords as they are needed, but obviously this will require user involvement that makes a Silent Mode setup impossible. If it is important for you to run the Setup Wizard in Silent Mode, users can be instructed to remove all such passwords during the conversion, or simply let the Wizard run with the passwords in place. If the Setup Wizard runs in Silent Mode and encounters a password-protected file, it will not convert the file, and will report that not all files were converted. Depending on the settings in your administrator's Deployment Configuration tool, the Setup Wizard may also log the event as an error.

Exchange to Communications Suite Migration Considerations

This section describes considerations to be made before migrating from a Microsoft Exchange server to Communications Suite.

Migration of Important Server Data: More Than Just Messages

The Exchange server contains valuable user information, and an efficient migration will extract and use this information to provision the user accounts on the new Communications Suite server. In addition to users' old mail messages, the old server contains user calendars, tasks, and personal address books and contacts. The old server also contains user names, primary Internet addresses, Internet aliases, phone numbers, postal addresses, and even descriptive information such as users' departments, titles, and so forth, and also all of the enterprise's public distribution lists.

While a detailed account of server data migration is beyond the scope of this document, the old server is a valuable data resource that can be mined to drive user provisioning on the Communications Suite servers, as well as changes in mail routing. Sun Professional Services can help you to understand and accommodate server data migration in your deployment plan, and other third-party companies offer both technology and consulting expertise to facilitate the migration of your server data.

Mail Routing During Transition Phase of Server Migration

Not all users will migrate from the old server to the new server at the same time. User accounts on the new server are created and provisioned prior to users' actual migrations. As such, user mailboxes with the same address will reside on both the old and new servers simultaneously during your transition period. Some temporary mail-forwarding rules must therefore be defined to make sure that your users' mail is correctly routed during the transition period.

Even if the organization is implementing new Internet addresses, the old addresses must be maintained on the old server because replies to older messages will be deliverable only if the users' old primary Internet addresses continue to deliver to the correct server. Since all Internet mail for a given domain must go to a single server, specified in an associated MX record, your organization must decide when it will update its MX record to point to the new Sun Java System server.

If the MX record is switched to the Communications Suite server at the beginning of the transition period, you must configure the Communications Suite server so that any mail it cannot deliver to a local mailbox will be sent to the corresponding mailbox on the old server. Moreover, as new users are provisioned on Communications Suite, forwarding rules must be defined on the new server so that any mail that would normally be delivered to the new mailboxes will instead be forwarded to the corresponding user mailboxes on the old server. As each user migrates to the new server, delete the first forwarding rule on the new server, and define a new rule on the old server to forward all of the user's mail to the corresponding Communications Suite mailbox.

On the other hand, if the MX record will point to the old server until the end of the transition phase, configure the old server to send mail it cannot deliver locally to the corresponding user mailboxes on the Communications Suite server. As users migrate to the new server you must then define new rules on the old server to forward mail sent by other users on the old server to the users' new accounts on the Communications Suite server.

Synchronization of Global Address Books During Migration

Larger organizations are likely to require weeks or months to complete a phased migration, and during transition there will be some users on each of the two systems. Many organizations prefer that all users maintain access to an accurate enterprise directory (white pages, global address book), but accuracy will require regular synchronizations of the two servers' directories as employees are hired, transferred, terminated and so forth. The deployment plan should therefore specify some mechanism for regularly synchronizing the two directories throughout your transition period.

Sun Professional Services can assist in addressing this issue. There are also several products available to perform directory synchronization.

New User IDs and Passwords for Sun Java System Servers

Most network systems are designed to prevent people from discovering user passwords, and this is particularly true of Microsoft Exchange. These security safeguards make it impossible to automatically retain users' existing passwords as they migrate from the old server to the new.

Meanwhile, many organizations prefer to standardize the form of their Internet addresses, or to combine domains during their migration to Communications Suite. An organization must therefore decide, in advance, how account names and Internet addresses will be derived, and how users' new passwords will be assigned.

The network administrator must also devise a method for communicating these user credentials to both the users and the corporate help desk. One common approach is simply to prepare an email merge, just prior to a group's migration, so that each member of the migrating group receives his or her credentials independently, and just in time for the group's first logins to the new server.

Where to Go for More Connector for Microsoft Outlook Information

To install administrator's Desktop Deployment Configuration toolkit for the Connector for Microsoft Outlook, see the Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Installation Guide. To configure and administer Connector for Microsoft Outlook, see the Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 Administration Guide.

To understand how to configure Calendar Server with Connector for Microsoft Outlook, see Configuring Calendar Server for Connector for Microsoft Outlook.