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I apologize for the title of this question. I did not know how to summarize my question into the title.

Anyway ......

We have here a old program that we call "Who is where" (its a translation from my language).

This is a program we use to show what employees are doing. It does not monitor them what they are doing at the moment. It just shows that they are at work, or in a meeting, or on vacation. Managing this program is difficult. We have to manually input the employee info. Like full name, phone and email. Same thing when an employee quits. Have to manually remove them. Then we have to rely on the employee to make changes when they go on vacation or what ever.

So my question is this.....

Cant I have this on Outlook 2007 ?

I mean have like a public folder, or something, that all the users can see. And it automatically signs them in when they start up Outlook 2007. Sets them to Out of Office when they go on vacation or meetings. And maybe link it to Active Directory so that when I make a new users, and input all the information like phone and email, it will automatically show in that folder.

Someone told me I could do this with Tasks in Outlook 2007. But I have no idea on how to do that.

So any help would be very much appreciated.

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3 Answers 3

I take it from the fact you mention public folders, that you are using Exchange? If so you can use the free/busy features of Exchange to do this. It does have some problems, in that it will only show that a user is free or busy, not what they are busy doing. You can read more about it here.

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Thanks Sam. But I need to have the feature that shows what they are busy doing :) But this is something I can use if I cant get that feature. –  user2792 Jun 10 '09 at 11:40
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Without writing custom code, I don't think you're going to get the kind of "presence" information you're looking for with a stock Outlook 2007 installation. Microsoft's answer to "presence" is the "Office Communications Server" product, and though I can't tell you a lot about the feature set (because I haven't gotten interested enough in the product to play with it), I can only assume that Microsoft would be focusing their efforts toward doing the kind of things you're describing toward that platform.

An IM client with some integration into Outlook to do the kind of things you're talking about would be pretty neat. Outlook exposes a reasonably complete object model. It wouldn't be outside the realm of feasibility to have a coder take an open source IM client and tweak it up to use information provided by Outlook to augment the presence information the IM client provides natively.

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Don't know what your budget is but you could look at the Microsoft Communications server, can't remember what they call it these days.

Anyway basicly everyone gets the IM client and that ties into exchange and you then use the status to show what people are doing, it ties into their Outlook calendar so if they are in a meeting it will show in a meeting and so on, away when idle for 5 minutes, stuff like that. Much like MSN, but much more regulated and internal only.

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That is something I was thinking about using. But I first wanted to see if the problem could not be solved by using just Outlook 2007. –  user2792 Jun 10 '09 at 13:26
    
What about the poor man's communications server? Basicly use either Skype or MSN, but tell people they have to use a company IM name (ie companyFirstNameLastName), they can then set their own status. You can also tell them you'll be monitoring the MSN traffic to ensure it doesn't get used for idle chatting with friends. –  SpaceManSpiff Jun 10 '09 at 14:55
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