Best way for remote mail

We are using Exchange 2K with latest SP. Its working perfect with the internal users and even through Terminals like citrix. The delemma starts with the travelling users. I need an expert advice whats the best way to deliver the emails for travelling users, in what way should i configure their outtlook.

I have tried these:
- Configured outlook for offline folder, and end up with long waiting time to synchronize and mail download

- Configured outlook for POP3. it doesnot give you Global Address List as offline. I followed the MS article to save the GAL offline, is unusable!

Please let me know how you guys use Outlook outdoor in a situation as mine.

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Have you looked into OWA?
With Exchange 2000 you come down to four options.

1. Outlook Web Access.
2. Outlook with Offline Folders and a VPN.
4. POP3

If you need the GAL, then the only reliable option is options 1 and 2.
Option 2 will work fine, but it depends on the speed of your connections. There is still the sync process to go through. The length of time for the sync is very much dependant on how much email there is waiting.
If you aren't already, then Outlook 2003 in cached mode might improve matters for you.

Otherwise, your better option would be to upgrade to Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003. To make best use you would also need at least one Windows 2003 GC/DC and the clients to be on Windows XP.

That will give you the additional options...

- push email to a handheld - so that the users can see whether an email is urgent or not.
- enhanced OWA
- RPC over HTTPS - which is offline folders etc, but without the VPN. The users just need an internet connection.


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BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the details simon,
To say you, my connection is not so fast. I tried OWA and its working but performance didnt impress. My Goal is the emails should remain in the exchange store (to include in backup), same time the user has to take them to read offline with GAL available during compose.

How does small business companies solve this issue? What should i require to take full outlook to the road with backup concern in the server? Are there any other way to connect OWA other than the IE?

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Exchange 2000 doesn't do remote working very well. OWA is pretty naff compared to Exchange 2003, and you don't get any of the additional remote working.

Almost all of the small businesses that I support are on Exchange 2003 (either full product or SBS) and are using one of the methods I have outlined above to access email. All have RPC over HTTPS and are using Outlook 2003 with cached mode.

Depending on how small your business is, another option would be to outsource email. There are loads of Exchange hosting companies in the market now. That will give you access to all of the options of Exchange 2003. Choose the right host and you would also get Blackberry support.

Remember Exchange 2000 is seven years old and the industry has moved on rapidly since then.

BasheerptAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your suggestions simon, Would you please elaborate how the outsourcing works? Can the internal users still use the outlook locally as before? Please let me know how the way outsource mail works, and if there is any cons, let me know.

Who all are the legends in outsource filed?!

An outsourced email solution means that you don't host Exchange. The servers are elsewhere. You still have Outlook installed on all of the machines, but instead of the Outlook pointing to your local Exchange server, it points to one on the Internet.

The major problems with an outsourced solution is that everything is on the internet - so if your internet link is slow you may see some performance issues (although Outlook 2003 in cached mode deals with most of those) and if the internet link is down, you can't get email either internally or externally.
There is also the issue of initial population. You would have to export all the content from your existing solution and then import it in to the outsourced mailbox.

There are loads of Outlook hosters in the marketplace now. You should find one in your own location. If you are in the US, then I tend to point people at Blue Ridge InternetWorks: Their site is managed by another Exchange MVP (Michael B Smith).

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