Outlook 2003 IMAP account problems


recently my customer migrated from local Exchange on SBS 2003 server to external mail provider (me). Main reason was unreliable SBS 2003, where Exchange was delaying messages in/out from time to time, every month or so, which drove them crazy.

Ok, I configured really excellent and secure IMAP accounts for them, having SSL tunnel for incoming and outgoing mail, with passive off-site full accounts backup on secondary server.

Well, the PROBLEM is that with Outlook 2007 everything works really great, but with Outlook 2003, which they have installed, there are some problems:

Since IMAP cannot be Outlook's only one account, Outlook 2003 saves SENT messages in default Mailbox's SENT folder. Outlook 2007 has simple setting, which enables you to select sent items location, but 2003 does not.
I wanted to create a rule, but rules are stupid and I can only "copy" sent items to IMAP's SENT folder, and beside that, all sent items are marked as "Unread", which is annoying.
Any idea?

Deleted items are only marked for deletion, meaning that they show just striked thru, but they stay in INBOX. Again, Outlook 2007 has a checkbox, saying "Purge items when switching folders", but Outlook 2003 seems not to have any simmilar setting, so deleted items are kept in INBOX folder until I exit and reopen Oultook.
Any idea?

Actually, I'd be most happy if I could remove Exchange acocunts from users Outlooks, but they need to keep common Calendars functionality, so I left Exchange accounts untouched.

Ideas welcome!
LVL 18
Andrej PirmanAsked:
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Matthew EnglandTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I know this dosn't answer the question, but are you running Exchange to host their mail or a different mail server?
If you're running Exchange, why not utilize RPC over HTTPS (Outlook Anywhere), which would eliminate this issue, and provide them with Calendar & Task sync which IMAP lacks as well as be a better option if they utilize devices.

Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I must have had explained it wrong:
They WERE using Exchange for past few years, but it proved to be unreliable. Beside that, their previous e-mail was configured in Exchange to pull each user's mail with POP3 connector. Also, they have poor internet connectivity, so in-house mail server is not good solution.

So, now Exchange MAIL is NOT used anymore. Exchange will be used just for Calendars, nothing else.

MAIL will be now configured with Oultook 2003 + IMAP on external mail provider.
In every IMAP account there is a PST file associated. Why the users use that PST file for calendars and you get rid of their OLD exchange account. You just need to export the calendar into PST and then import back into the calendar of personal folder
Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Hi, ashishkpandey,
I am afraid that your solution does not provide CALENDAR SHARING among users in AD domain. That's the main reason they want to keep Exchange - just for having common calendar.
Andrej PirmanAuthor Commented:
Unfortunatelly, none of given answers offered an solution or explanation. Sadly, there is no solution for the given problem with Outlook 2003 as I investigated myself:

1.) DELETED ITEMS cannot be moved to "Trash" or any other folder with Outlook 2003, but only with 2010 version. Indeed there is a workaround if you get some VB Macro, which moves an item to "Trash" folder. Then you associate this macro with your own button, design this button to have "X" inside (like DELETE button), and remove the original DELETE button from taskbar.
But this is waaaaay around, and it still does not solve problem for items deleted via DELETE button on keyboard.

2.) SENT ITEMS problem can be workaround by creating a rule, which copies all sent items to IMAP "Sent" folder, but thare is still a copy in "PErsonal folder". This workaround works quite well.

3.) SHARED CALENDAR is not so easy to solve. Outlook does not handle IMAP calendars, in any version, so you need to provide some 3rd party solution.

Also, having EXCHANGE plus IMAP account on any Outlook version, is messy regarding local sender's and receipent's address. From time to time Outlook transforms local receipent name from "name@domain.com" into <name> without @domain part. Exchange would handel this with no problems, but as mail is sent out via IMAP (or actually via SMTP), it needs @domain part, so such a message is not sent out.

MY advice is NOT to use EXCHANGE + IMAP accounts combination on any Outloouk version.

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