I'm in the process of reconfiguring Outlook 2016 clients with an Exchange 365 backend. The majority of my users need access to one or more shared mailboxes to receive and to send e-mail. Using the default option to give these users full mailbox access to the shared mailboxes, that is easily and automatically accomplished. With some tweaking (Set-MailboxSentItemsConfiguration), I can even have a copy of send items stored in the send items folder of the shared mailbox, so everyone is up to date of what is being send. Nice.

But I also need to have seperate signatures for all mailboxes and I also need to be able to configure different local cache period settings. For the primary mailbox I need to keep a local copy of about 6 months (for fast searching), but for the shared mailboxes one month would do. This keeps the local .ost files a lot smaller, compared to the scenario where all shared mailboxes have the same cache period.

The only way I know how to accomplish this, is by using extra Outlook accounts instead of using extra Outlook mailboxes. Now I need the find a way to add the extra accounts automatically to the Outlook profile. In the pre Exchange 365 era, I would have used Microsoft's Office Customization Tool to create a basic .prf file, use VBscript to find the shared mailboxes the current user has access to and add these to the .prf profile. Have the user start Outlook with the /importprf switch, and voila.

But now I'm already stuck at creating the .prf file with the OCT. What to use for Exchange Server name? This weird guid you find after manually configuring Outlook with Exchange 365? Maybe the OCT is not the best option. I also found a PowerShell tool called PowerMAPI (http://powermapi.com) but it's hard to find out if this works with Exchange 365. The same goes for Outlook Redemption (http://www.dimastr.com/redemption/home.htm). Does anyone have experience with these tools? Or am I making this far more complicated than needed? I'm open to all suggestions...


I recommend to use ZeroConfigExchange to auto configure an Outlook profile for Exchange Online mailbox.

However, I suppose we need a separate Outlook profile for each account that we can set different local cache period on each profile.

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