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How do I share contacts with Outlook 2007?

Posted on 2010-08-24
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We have a small group of users (say 20) within our company intranet with a central file server and would like to share contacts.  All users have Outlook 2007 but we do not presently have Business Contact Manager.  We have a business card scanner and would like to scan everyone's card collections from a centrally located scanner/ work station and have the ability to look up a card from any other workstation.  Microsoft currently only has 2010 Business Contact Manager available from their site. We are using Windows XP or 7 at workstations and Win Server 2000 on central file server.  What is the easiest way to accomplish this?
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Question by:acdecal
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by:59cal
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Do you have access to a sharepoint site?
You could setup the contacts list on the site and set your permissions so that only these 20 users have access to it.
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by:acdecal
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We do not have Sharepointe.
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by:59cal
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Create a distribution list in Outlook and share it with the other users. Read the below blogs on how to do this
 create distribution list:
http://cybernetnews.com/distribution-list-in-outlook-2007/
Share distribution list:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/share-a-distribution-list-with-others-HA010283278.aspx  
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by:60Cal
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you could try free business Contact Management software:


http://sourceforge.net/projects/sugarcrm/

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by:Mike Lazarus
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Do you have an Exchange Server?
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by:acdecal
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No exchange server.
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by:59cal
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try the distribution list method I posted above. I think its the only way to achieve what you want.
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by:acdecal
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Sharing a distribution list will only work if all users have the same Global address list.  Besides, it would be cumbersome to email out the entire list every time a new contact is added.  
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by:acdecal
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Can we save/share a contact folder to a centrally accessible location and then others can choose that in their contact folder?
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by:acdecal
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If not, how expensive or complicated is running Exchange?
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by:59cal
59cal earned 166 total points
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here's another option, Store the contacts in Google contacts, then sync them down onto the users contact lists using sync2
http://download.cnet.com/Sync2-for-Outlook/3000-2381_4-10642105.html?tag=mncol
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by:acdecal
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What does Business Contact Manager do?
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60Cal earned 167 total points
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A Business Contact Manager is a place where you can share contacts, and their perspective data along with a multitude of other functionality that comes with a BCM system.
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by:Mike Lazarus
Mike Lazarus earned 167 total points
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Exchange isn't cheap and you'd need some outside help to set it up
Sharing Outlook or BCM without an Exchange server is also not a simple task.

You might look at a simple CRM like Sage ACT! that's fairly easy to setup and will link to Outlook and card scanners - www.act.com
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Author Closing Comment

by:acdecal
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Thanks and point to all.  I have decided to setup Exchange as it appears that is the best and most effective solution.
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