Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Posts Tagged ‘2007’

Entourage 2008 and Exchange 2007

Posted by graycat on 8 September 2010

Some of you may be like me as in completely OS and vendor neutral (ok as far as can be expected) and use both Microsoft and other software vendors. If you use a Mac then you will most likely be aware of Office 2008:Mac from Microsoft. Which, credit where credit is due, is not a bad suite of software. I particularly like Entourage which I rate higher than most version of Outlook for usability and basic functionality for a base user.

However recently I’ve run into a problem. What occurred after an Exchange upgrade from 2003 to 2007 was that Entourage would not connect properly. Initially this was annoying then frustrating and then a blessing in disguise as I work too much and needed down time.

Recently though I’ve had to do some travelling for work and needed both my Mac and a local copy of my e-mails. Mac’s inbuilt e-mail program just wasn’t cutting it so it was time to sort out Entourage.

A lot of research points towards the lack of WebDAV in Exchange 2007 out of the box as being the culprit and to be honest it is. Microsoft has changed a lot of the back end and IIS configuration of Exchange in 2007 and a lot of things just plain aren’t there by default.

Now you can add WebDAV back in pretty easily as well as setup the sub-folders that are no longer in IIS but to my mind this was a last resort really. I mean, why have a new bit of tech only to hobble it by adding old bits back in? Ok, it’s not exactly killing Exchange by putting those bits back in but the thought still stood.

After a lot more research I ran across a page on the Microsoft Mactopia site (who comes up with these names? Seriously.) which discussed Entourage working with the new web services in Exchange 2007. A quick review and a download later and I had the addon. The install is very quick and easy as you would expect with Entourage asking to import settings as per a new build. Supplying my e-mail details and it was away but would it connect?

Simple answer is yes it does and it just works.

So that was it. In a nutshell to get Entourage to work with a vaguely standard Exchange 2007 or even a secured one, first download the addon for Entourage Web Services and you’ll be good to go.

If only everything else was as simple as that when you know how, huh?

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Deploying Visio 2007

Posted by graycat on 3 June 2008

……. or how to force Visio 2007 to do deploy kind of like 2003.

Now if you’re new to the Office 2007 side of things you may not be aware that the deployment side of things has completely changed from the 2003 release ……. and it’s not for the better in my opinion.

With the previous version you would make an admin install point on a share and then create the GPO and apply a msp to customise the settings and / or parts you want deploying. Using this method you could have one install point and use msp’s to deploy different versions. For example, you can make an admin install point using Office 2003 Professional and then use msp’s to cut the installed applications down to just those that are needed for each of the other versions such as Basic, Small Business, Standard etc.

This was the approved and recommended method for deploying the Office suite of applications but no more. Microsoft are now pushing people towards using their System Management Server (SMS) or
System Center Configuration Manager 2007 as it is now called to roll out software and as such have seriously crippled it by removing the ability to use msp’s and customise your install.

That’s the bad side of things but if you think about it, how much do you actually customise your Office installs?

One improvement with 2007 is that the admin install point is created by just copying the contents of the CD on to a share. Unfortunately when you combine this with the lack of support for the msp transforms, it means you’re going to have to have a copy of the CD for each version you’re going to deploy. Annoying but not overwhelmingly difficult.

The only way to customise the install is using the config.xml file located in the same directory as the msi files. About the only useful things you can put in there are install location, software key, licensed user and company. All useful things but that’s as far as it goes really.

My basic process for rolling out the 2007 office applications is this:

  1. Copy the CD up on to the deployment share (for us this is a DFS site that is replicated round the company)
  2. Configure the config.xml file with the required info
  3. Create a GPO with the msi
  4. Apply as required and filter as needed

Pretty simple, huh? I’ll let you know how it goes with our roll out 😉

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Outlook Address Auto-Complete

Posted by graycat on 29 April 2008

Now as a Geek Cat who covers a lot of offices, there are also a lot of different versions of software to support. I know, it’s something I’m working on. Anyway, sometimes it takes a little headwork to swing from whatever version you use day in, day out to what an end user might be using.

One that got me recently was the auto-completion of addresses in MS Outlook.

Now this is not something I think about regularly so I was a bit stumped when someone asked why has it stopped working and what can we do about it. But I like a challenge so I dived on into a little research.

It turns out that the autocomplete of addresses is actually “nickname cache” and is held in a file under C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. Quite often if Outlook is not shutdown properly, this can become corrupt and will dump all its cached names forcing you to start again with them.

Unfortunately it’s just one of those things that happen. It should start caching names again pretty soon. if not, it might be worth deleting the *.NK2 from that directory and have it build a new one from scratch.

Simple and easy but worth a little research to find out about.

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