How to configure One Hosted Exchange Email Account on two PCs?

Posted on 2009-04-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06

I have a user that has a hosted email exchange account.  Normally she accesses her email vial OL 2003 from a dedicated PC.  Recently she's started covering two separate desks and for work-flow reasons the desks are physically separated (and need to remain that way).  For a number of reasons she prefers to access her email vial OL and *not* via a browser.  

I asked our hosted exchange tech support how to set up a second instance of OL 2003 (on a separate PC at the 2nd desk) and they advised against it suggesting that two instances of OL accessing the same exchange account could cause "possible corruptions of the OST files".

I'm pretty certain that there should be a way to accomplish the "1-exchange-email-account-on-2-PCs" routine but I'm not certain of the specifics.  Some questions, please:

Should both instances of OL be configured in the cache mode?  

Is there a way that both instances of OL can be kept in-sync with each other (same sent messages, same folders, etc.)?

Will there be problems if this user keeps BOTH instances of OL open at the same time?

Any other specific set-up recommendations/suggestions would be sincerely appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
Question by:blockmental
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Expert Comment

ID: 24190965
Hosted exchange.. does that mean a slow connection?  They may want you to have an offline file to reduce bandwidth, or becsause the connection is slow.  Without offline files two PC's with the same user account would have exactly the properties you want. I'm afraid I just dont know about offline files and corrruption, but it I'm not sure why an offline file would become corrupted on one computer, becuase another computer is also recording an offline file.  Seems like it should work to me.
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Accepted Solution

Sanga Collins earned 1000 total points
ID: 24194131
quote: " they advised against it suggesting that two instances of OL accessing the same exchange account could cause "possible corruptions of the OST files"."

sounds like your IT dept just doesnt want to do any work. you can setup as many instances of outlook as you like and even have them open at the same time. the offline file is tied to instance of outlook that is installed on the pc. it doesnt care how many other pc's are running outlook connected to the same mailbox. it will never even know about them.

in my environment i routinely leave my outlook 08 running on my mac at home all day while i am in the office running outlook 07 on my work pc. both outlook are connected to the same exchange account on our servers.

so to answer your question on how to: just setu outlook on the second pc exactly the same as you did on the first PC. if you are in a windows domain its very straight forward as long as you login to both pcs with the same domain user name. if you are using RPC over http, just copy the settings from the first pc to the second

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31573487
Thanks sangamc,

As you suggested, I configured both PC's (each with WINXP Pro and OL 2003) in the exact same manner for connecting to our hosted exchange provider.  So far there have been absolutely no problems and my user is much happier now that she doesn't have to muck around with accessing her email via a browser interface.

Not certain what the hosted exchange tech support folks were worried about... but so far, so good!
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Sanga Collins
ID: 24208705
if they are anything like my tech support guys, they are probably spending way more energy trying NOTto do any work than they would if they did their work n the first place :)

Author Comment

ID: 24210455
And for this reason, we've now started looking into other hosted exchange providers.  

I'm not a techie by any means, but one of THE biggest reasons we gave up managing our own POP3 email and went with a hosted solution was to take maximum advantage of being able to keep our OL accounts and Blackberry's all in-sync.  It seemed rather "odd" that these folks didn't have a better solution... but then again, what do I know? <g>

Thanks again for the solution!

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