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I am not very good with Windows stuff, spend most of my life with Cisco routers, I have situation where i am the only one implementing Active Directory on small network of 20 computers. The staff use Outlook on those computers Mac and PC. Some of the systems are share. I need to configure and email client outlook express so when a user login onto a machine regardless of which machine with the login the system should load its outlook settings, emails etc. And the email should not store on local pc but store on server it self for each email ID. Keep in mind i don't have any Exchange server implement and we are currently using POP3 to get email from web server in data center. Please advise if you know the way to do this.

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What are you using for email now if Exchange isn't already deployed?

You can use Exchange which will, while it pains me, integrate much nicer with AD than most other solutions. If you're setting everything up from scratch you can get SBS with Exchange and AD functionality and work with that.

From there, you can either get the licensing for Outlook's full client (and use the Exchange protocol) or configure Exchange to use IMAP protocol and you can use just about any mail program you want (Thunderbird, for example). IMAP and Exchange protocols both keep messages on the server. Use both if you have users that want to use Outlook and other that use their own program of choice; personally I find Outlook quite bloated if you're just doing email (since it has scheduling, email, notes, etc. etc. built in. It's like the EMACS of mail programs...)

Configure roaming profiles in your active directory setup for the user accounts so their workstations cache the mail folders along with desktop settings and application settings. If you run into troubles with space issues and/or backup policies, experiment with settings for folder redirection for sub-trees of the profile. Keep in mind Outlook (and other Office applications) do NOT like working over a network, though, so don't redirect .pst files unless you like corrupted files.

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Thanks, Well its scratch new setup, although the computers are there but there isn't any server. So the plan is to implement Server 2008 active directory. I agree Exchange would be best choice. Two issue that i am confuse, 1- At the movement emails are setup on cpanel hosting can i continue to use that as mail server and set up Exchange to download massages from it. Because i don't trust the slow ADSL line that i have for internet. 2. I never work on exchange could you please refer me some link to get an idea how to setup exchange. MS client license is not issue its affordable. – Fahad Mahmood Jan 31 '12 at 16:10
With a small network, consider SBS. That integrates a lot of the functions into an affordable package. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 31 '12 at 16:11

Outlook Express isnt going to do what you want. You would need the full version of Outlook to do this. Reason being is that outlook express is 1. OE wont store data over the network and 2. Its discontinued so support for its going to be minimal at best.

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OE used to work with IMAP, which would keep the data on the server, as I recall... – Bart Silverstrim Jan 31 '12 at 15:54
I believe it would keep the mail but not the contacts. So at best its an iffy kind of solution that I don't think his EUs would be happy with in the long run. – ErnieTheGeek Jan 31 '12 at 16:22
Depends on how his clients use their systems/workflow. If they tend to use the same workstations or work in the same Windows network, the roaming profiles would store the address book on whatever they log into. If contacts are necessary, then integrating Exchange would be best bet. If not, IMAP would work fine. It comes down to how diverse his clients are in habits and workflow. Outlook is so bloated if you don't use all the features... – Bart Silverstrim Jan 31 '12 at 16:28
it does OE have option for IMAP and my hosting server does support IMAP, but how can i enforce the outlook IMAP account setting to load up with user profile in Active directory regardless of which ever machine user login. Say i have two user A and B and only have one client PC, A works in the morning shit and B workers in nigh, so i want Active directory to work like when A login the email account setting of A load up on machine and when B Login it loads B email account with its profile. I know i sound like kindy student as i am with MS, my understanding is it will done by policy on server ? – Fahad Mahmood Jan 31 '12 at 16:32
I am more interested in give it go with Exchange could you please send me some link to get started with Exchange. Software cost shit to my work place bcz it non profit. I can get SBS with Exchange and 10 Call license for devices for 143 dollar. so worth trying. we only have in total 12 computer plus adding server. only need email on 8 of them. – Fahad Mahmood Jan 31 '12 at 16:36

I need to configure and email client outlook express so when a user login onto a machine regardless of which machine with the login the system should load its outlook settings, emails etc.

This sounds like a typical use case for a roaming profile.

This would allow users to login using their Active Directory Credentials, and the client would copy down their profile, say from a network share. When the user logs off, their profile is copied back.

This usually works well enough for almost all applications that store data and settings as part of a user's profile. Outlook Express most likely stores all of the offline mail and user settings in profile.

If all you are trying to do is solve the problem of having access to email everywhere, I might suggest going with an IMAP solution instead. If your mail is hosted, most email providers these days offer IMAP as a solution.

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You mean that i configure each email account on outlook using IMAP protocol, so the mails actually stays on server instead of downloading on my local server or client. But i think IMAP does download the mail but it also synchronous them. What i have worked out by know is that i do have choice in outlook to change the file location for .pst file for each profile on server. Now the second part of it is how can i configure a policy where when a domain user login outlook setting push through server rather then i configure each outlook separate. – Fahad Mahmood Jan 31 '12 at 15:43
IMAP locally caches the messages (depending on implementation) but keeps the mails on the server. – Bart Silverstrim Jan 31 '12 at 15:55

Agreed with Ernie, although this isn't the best setup, the more simplistic and manageable solution would be to install SBS (that has built-in Exchange) and then purchase CAL licenses for full Outlook client.

As for short term solution, you need to use a registry log-on script to provide automatic settings of Outlook Express - here is the details you need -

(PS - as one of the other post says, roaming profiles would do the trick too)

Reply to comment

A common setup is to have a hosted mail server and also have the emails received by the local Exchange server. This way you have a fail-over to an extent, and if need to, then users can access via online portal (your current hosted mail server).

If you have a Hosted Exchange solution, you can nicely integrate it directly using Outlook without the need of local Exchange server. But saying that, you just mentioned its a hosted mail server so ideally at a minimum SBS 2008 would be good.

The Outlook profile is pretty straightforward once the autodiscovery is setup correctly. The most the user need to do is click 'Next, Next, Finish' (Outlook 2007/2010).

Unfortunately installation of SBS and configuration of Exchange is out of the scope here. There are plenty of 'how-to' guides, but seriously if i was a solid networking guy (like my colleague here).... I'd get some additional help.

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I can get SBS, but i have never worked with Exchange in my life. the second issue is i don't want the domain MAX record point to my server. I want to continue using the hosted mail server. Is it possible that i configure all mail account on Exchange and Exchange communicate with hosted mail server and user access those account using outlook from exchange rather than hosted mail server. Also i do have some idea about how to set profile for outlook to communicate with exchange but your input will be much apreciate – Fahad Mahmood Jan 31 '12 at 15:46

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