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Roaming Office Users

Posted on 2004-10-04
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Hi everyone,

I need to bring a new branch office online, and the setup is somewhat different to what I am used to working with, and so I am posting this here in the hope that I will get feedback from those with direct experience of this. I don't really need general links as I can find these myself, so only post them if they are directly relevant if you know what I mean!

Scenario is - 20 Pc's and 40 roaming users and when I say roaming I mean any user could use a different one of these pc's at every login. They're support workers that work rotating shifts and we now need to log all their activities electronically get access to email etc. What I would like to achieve is this - automatically configured Outlook profiles in relation to our exchange server regardless of where they logon, and transfer of docs and settings etc. I have tested this slightly (although am up to my neck in work and short on time hence my posting this). Have currently got a working test version of a network administrative install of Office pushed out via group policy with a custom transform, coupled with folder redirection of My Docs, app data and desktop based on Office XP. This works fine when a user logs in but like I said have had limited opportunity to test this. Will this do what I need or do I need to do more? Any and all contributions welcome and please request any additional info you may need,

Thanks in advance,

Deb :))

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Question by:Debsyl99
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by:Debsyl99
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Oh - I didn't mention that the intention is for a deployment to roaming users of Office 2003 - let me know if this is not a good idea - sorry for the rushed question....
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by:JConchie
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Giving each user a roaming profile will do the trick. Folder redirection is essential to keep the profile sizes down to a manageble level... beyond that, once you have created a desktop, mapped drives, apps, etc,////// you can copy it to each user's profile...the only thing you will have to do manually for each user is set up their outlook to point to the correct exchange mailbox and server.

Once that is done, they can login anywhere and will always have their own desktop, complete with functioning outlook.

The only thing you may want to do differently....if your users are all the same....is make the roaming profiles mandatory...so they can't add anything to them that will increase the profile size...
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by:Debsyl99
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Problem is I don't want to set up the exchange server/outlook profile manually as I'm looking at doing this for 20X40 users which = an awful lot of time that I don't have (we have just one IT person -me!)

This is my main concern so any help on this issue is totally welcome,

Deb :))
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by:JConchie
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You don't have to do this 20 times for each user.  You do have to do it once for each user...in the roaming profile.....then, no matter which machine they log into, their profile, with their correctly configured email will be available to them.  Thats why it is called a roaming profile.
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by:Debsyl99
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I can create a custom desktop (and have) although it doesn't need to be mandatory right now (we'll see how they use it). They'll all be restricted users, and the redirected elements of their profiles work. The rest of our network is strictly one user per PC on the whole which is easy. I've set up a custom office transform on a test OU that installs office elements on demand via the machine policy which does work with the limited amount of testing I've been able to dedicate to it so far. This specifies in the outlook / exchange settings in the transform : %username%  exchange server=ourexchangeserver.ourdomain.com. What I want to know is:

Is this setting coupled with the roaming application data enough to allow a user to have auto config of outlook profile/exchange settings regardless of where they logon? Or is it only going to work when they logon to that particular PC the first time? This may seem lazy but busy IT person just doesn't cover it right now,

thanks

Deb :))
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by:Debsyl99
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Sorry JConchie,

Posted before I saw your response. I just don't want to do it once for any user. I just want to be able to configure settings via group policy. Is this possible or am I expecting too much?

Deb :))
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by:JConchie
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You may be able to do it with Office 2003, certainly worth a try...why not set up a test user set up the roamin profile and see it it will automate the outlook set up.  If so, you can copy that profile to the other users.
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JConchie earned 500 total points
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You should be able to do it through group policy, using the %username%  exchange server=ourexchangeserver.ourdomain.com. tag.
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by:Debsyl99
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I guess I was looking for a "Yes you definitely CAN do it this way because I have and it worked great" kind of response. I can't test it until next week, but give me until then and I'll respond and close the question,

Thanks for your help,

Deb :))
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by:JConchie
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No problem.....Can't give you a definite yes because I've never had to do it this way...but I do know that Office 2003 is much more amenable to auto config than previous versions and I do know that you can set up a roaming profiles through GP, soooo.....good luck.  :-)
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by:Debsyl99
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Just letting you know I haven't forgotten - just behind testing schedule - I won't just leave this open,

Deb :))
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by:JConchie
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Thanks Deb, I assume it worked for you the way it should.
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by:Debsyl99
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Kind of - but you can't roam application data ie OAB/OST
Thanks though,
Deb :))
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