We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

How do I share calendars and contacts with Small Business Server 2003 but not use the e-mail functions of Exchange?

I am the IT person for a small company that is about to purchase a server.  They want the server not only for file sharing and backup purposes but to share their MS Outlook 2003 contacts and calendars.  However, they are using an external POP3 e-mail provider and do not wish to have the server do anything with e-mail.  I need to tell them whether a server running MS Small Business Server 2003 with Exchange will allow them to do these things, and, if so, what are the specific steps for configuring SBS/Exchange to do this (I know how to create domains and users)?  Also, a quick question:  They will be having a total of 15 Client Access Licenses (CALs)--does the licensing for SBS allow Outlook 2003 to be installed on up to those 15 users' systems, if they don't already have it installed?  Thank you very much for your time and whatever assistance you can provide.
Watch Question

Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Yes, the CALs for SBS provide Outlook to all systems.

I strongly recommend you run e-mail through the exchange server if it all possible.  If you don't you WILL make your life more difficult. Exchange is an integrated solution that EXPECTS and very nearly demands you use it as it was designed - this includes using Exchange for e-mail.

If you need a partial argument for why, how about backup of e-mail?  Even when you delete an email message in exchange, it may remain on the server for weeks before it's purged.  So accidental deletions are no longer a problem.  Plus, e-mail backup is MUCH, MUCH easier as you can backup the server only (Exchange Information Store) without errors whether your users have outlook open or not.
Dave StringfellowIT manager

I had this issue a while back, and i solved it then by doing the following:

setup exchange on the server, then setup pop3 email on all the systems, but have them deliver in to the exchange server. this makes the customer look like its their PCs doing the mail, but you have a centralised email solution.

They are on SMTP email with exchange now, they saw the light! ;)
Top Expert 2009

Hi, this could be usefull for you.
while searching on net, i got this information from microsoft.

have a look
Top Expert 2009

check this out out - but its outlook 2000
Top Expert 2009
Another one you can consider (if you dont want to install exchange )

may be you have to pay but there is trial version
Thanks .


I should provide some additional information about my company's motivations to do this the way I have asked.  We use the outside mail provider's Web interface to check e-mail remotely without having to be on-site.  I've read that it's possible to have the server do a web interface.  My inclination is not to do this because then we need to open a port on the firewall, exposing the server to the Internet.  This would make things complicated because this would introduce a whole bunch of security issues (the server is going to hold some pretty sensitive company data).  If possible, I'd like to keep the server behind the firewall with absolutely no way to access it from the outside.

Thanks so far for all the suggestions (and to leew for answering the Outlook licensing question) so quickly!  The sun hasn't even come up here in Seattle and I already have five suggestions to consider.  :)


It appears that my company is going to pass on getting a real server because the appeal of having a product that does the sharing of contacts and calendars for a few hundred dollars without spending thousands on a server is significant.

The product we're most likely going to use is WorkgroupShare from Softalk.  Here is a link to their product information:


I am going to close out this question now.  Thanks everyone for your comments!

Explore More ContentExplore courses, solutions, and other research materials related to this topic.