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Outlook alternative that can handle file management

I have a client that came from a GroupWise environment to a Outlook 2010/Hosted Exchange environment.  They were able to manage all email content along with other documents (Word, Excel, PDFs) in Groupwise as well instead of having email in Groupwise and files in folders.  Does anyone know if there is either an Outlook pluggin that would accomplish this or a different Exchange client that would hook up with Exchange yet if this functionality on the front end?  They are looking for one interface that combines their email streams with other documents based cases (they are a small law firm).

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Top Expert 2010

Hi, ClearBlueTechnologies.

I've never used Groupwise, so I don't know how it handled files.  Did it store them in the file system or did it store them in the email system (i.e. whatever Groupwise uses to store its mail).  If it's the latter, then Outlook/Exchange can do that too.  Create public folders, set permissions on them, and store files.  I don't think this is a good idea though.  Exchange is not intended to do this and I think it carries a good bit of risk, but it is possible.  If instead Groupwise had an interface to the file system, with the files stored in the file system but available in Groupwise's interface, then I'm not aware of anything like that for Outlook.

Not sure what of the cost but appears to be a great product

Create a mailbox/folder structure in Exchange, share permissions to all relevant users at whatever level is appropriate (e.g., Reviewer, Editor, etc.), set the data storage location to an "offline" location, such as a network file server (offline from Exchange perspective; essentially you are creating an archived mailbox).  Map access to account for users through Outlook.  Exchange will "manage" the folder structure and access, but files won't be stored on Exchange server/DB.  Make sure the file storage location is part of whatever backup solution is in place.

However, it's likely that they need a more robust document management system, something that supports revision controls, etc.  Qualifying their needs and or use case will need to be the first step.
Top Expert 2011
Do they have SharePoint as part of the Hosted Exchange. If they have it they can add the sharepoint lists directly to to Outloook and use the files from Outlook 2010.

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