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This is really a two-part question but I'm writing them in the same question because there might be solutions that could handle both.

A customer has a custom LOB database based on MS SQL Server with customer data which we want to use as a basis for a mailing list. Currently they're using a public folder in Exchange and then sending out mails to different distribution lists. The public folder is maintained separately from the LOB. This, obviously, is a very time consuming solution.

I'm considering doing some integration with MailChimp using the API, but the budget is tight, so that might be too much. Also they don't really want all of the features that MailChimp provides. This would take care of the mailing list part of the solution.

The second part of the question is, that they want to retain the contacts in Exchange/Outlook. So I've googled around and found different suggestions such as STSsync, which would let the LOB database appear to Outlook as a Sharepoint store. Pretty neat, but unfortunately the project looks abandoned.

Anyone have any experience with such a solution? Any good 3rd party apps out there?

BTW. we're talking Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2007.

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I'd say write your own app that would sync the LOB database with the public folder. The Exchange Web Services API (EWS) is pretty easy to use and lots of examples are available on the net. You could even ask on StackOverflow.com.

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