Outlook synchronization enhancement request


Blue Max

We want to suggest an enhancement to Outlook 2007 for synchronizing different .PST files. This feature has been ignored for too long and, in an era of mobility, is more than just essential. What would we expect such an enhancement to provide? Here are some starter ideas:
1.. Allow user to synchronize any two .PST files regardless of whether they reside in the same folder on the same computer, on the same local network, on removable media, over the internet, or to a PDA/Cellular device, without an exchange server.
2.. Allow the user to link a multiple set of .PST files so that any change to one updates the rest.
3.. Allow the synchronization to be either automatic or manual. Automatic would continually or periodically sync (mirror) all the files, while manual would allow the user to manually start a one-time synchronization.
4.. Enable alerts warning of unresolvable sync conflicts with recommended courses of action, such as saving duplicate items versus overwriting the originals.
5.. Ability to visually compare two sync items, such as two contacts, during a resolution conflict in order to help the user determine how to proceed.
6.. An option to summarize, preview differences, and resolve conflicts between Outlook items, prior to confirming the actual synchronization process.
7.. Options to limit synchronization to additions only, updates only, deletions only, or any combination.
8.. Options to specify unidirectional links, bidirectional links, polylinks, and the direction of each link in the case of unidirectional links.
9.. Options to synchronize mail, contacts, calendar, journal, tasks, notes, or any combination of Outlook items.
10.. Provide this functionality without the need of any other third-party utilities. We did pay for this product and might even pay a little more for a better one.
11.. I am old . . . and quickly wearying of maintaining multiple sets of Outlook (home, office, travel) while the winds of technology suggest we should have enjoyed a much simpler way to sync multiple Outlook databases long ago!
If anyone would like to add their own ideas, please feel free to do so!

Duncan McC

I know you said without exchange server - but surely, it is *the* answer
- and much more!

It does all you want in your questions, and...
* you can have an (disposable) addy for every "web logon",
* spam filtering (spamhous realtime blacklist) and IMF (built in
Exchange Server filter).
* You can access other users email, or calender, tasks etc.
* OWA in to email from anywhere
* Outlook HTTP over RPC

And I'm sure there's more. Basically, with Exchange Server and your own
domain, you have full control.

OK... I think OST files and PST files must be quite similar - and MS
could then do syncing on PST's just like Exchange Server offline files
(OST's). (Pulling entire PST's across a network, or the internet, is a
right PITA). However... Outlook does much more with Exchange, and
Exchange already does the rest (what you want) - I don't think MS are
gonna update Outlook (itself, as a client) to do what you want - given
they have Exchange Server. Sorry, that's my opinion on it, maybe MS
will see diferent, but I don't think so.

Blue Max

Thanks, Duncan, we certainly respect your opinion. However, as a small
user, we don't necessarily want to make the investment in dollars, time, and
training to implement a full scale server-client system. We are talking
more about home or small office users that simply want a straight-forward,
nimble means of synchronizing two or more sets of Outlook information.
Whether the feature set is as diverse as we described or not, we would
welcome almost any basic means of reliably synchronizing two sets of
Outlook. It is unusual that a program, meant to accommodate people on the
move, is so feature poor as to ignore such a basic feature.



Blue Max

Thank you, Duncan, for the recommendations and web link. We have reviewed
this article several times and it has some very intriguing suggestions,
none, however, as efficient as if the features were built-in to Outlook.
Many of those suggestion really deal with sharing versus synchronizing, but
I especially like the suggestion of using Windows Briefcase. The problem
with Briefcase is that it always seems to impose a limit on synchronizing
two files in the same folder or even on the same computer versus removeably
media or a network.

Thanks for the ideas,

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