Connect to exchange without an exchange account?

We now connect to a remote server integrated through Microsoft Outlook 2003 using the IMAP protocol.  However, when removing our old internal Exchange account from Outlook, it also removes all the Exchange Address Books, public folders etc.  Is there a way of having only the IMAP account in Outlook (which doesn't connect to Exchange) and not the old local Exchange account AND still have the facility of updating the address book through Microsoft Exchange so that it dynamically updates everyones address books. We'd obviously need to be connected to Exchange in some way?

The only way I'm able to do this currently, is to update all the contacts from an Address Book I created in my account, called "Internal Contacts", and then copy this to all the users appropriate folders over the network to update their address book from which they're connected too.  Of course, they can't have Outlook running whilst I'm trying to copy the updated address book over, as it just won't copy over.  It's a long winded way of doing it!!

If this is not possible, which I'm really hoping there is a way, is there any alternatives?

Software Used:
Exchange Server 2003
Microsoft Outlook 2003
EDynamicsAsked:
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TekServerCommented:
You might want to consider connecting your remote clients to the Exchange server via RPC over HTTP(S), rather than IMAP.  It's not too tricky to set up, and it will give you the best of both worlds:  the functionality of the Exchange client, and a protocol optimized for WAN & internet speeds.

Here is a good walkthrough for setting it up:  http://www.petri.co.il/configure_rpc_over_https_on_a_single_server.htm

Hope this helps!
:)
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EDynamicsAuthor Commented:
Thanks TekServer.  The problem is, the remote server we connect to for our e-mail, is not Microsoft Exchange.  We migrated over to this remote server recently and stopped using our local accounts which connect to our local exchange server.  I was just wondering whether there's a way of still using all the features of our local exchange, Global Address Book, Public folder etc.. by only having the remote Imap account attached to our Microsoft Outlook clients.  You see, as soon as you remove the local exchange account, it removes your connection to the exchange server and you can't access the global address book.
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TekServerCommented:
Ah, I misunderstood; I thought you were still on the Exchange server, but had switched from accessing it locally to remote access via IMAP.

As far as implementing Exchange's various collaboration tools without Exchange:  IMAP does have limited capability for shared folders, though I gather that these are for messages only (not calendars, contacts, and such), so probably not too helpful for your purposes.  Exchange's big selling point is the collaboration features (its only real advantage over more efficient non-MS mail server apps), so it's a pretty good bet that Outlook will not do this stuff on its own.

There are a number of third-party apps that claim to give you the ability to share calendars, contacts, and other folders without Exchange.  You can find out about many of them here:  http://www.slipstick.com/calendar/scheduleall.asp

You can also find a bunch of other possibilities with the following Google search terms:  shared folders "without exchange"

Hope this helps!
:)
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