Sharing BCM accounts and contacts


G

Guest

This is a really stupid quest, but our office only has 6 computers and my
boss put me in charge of somehow synching/networking them so that we share
one common BCM database and Outlook calendar.

Can I simply share my BCM database with the other 5 computers if SP2 is
installed on all computers?

Do I need to set up a network in order to do this, that links all of the
computers to mine? If so, is this something that is free and can be done from
"My Network Places/Add Network"? Or do we have to pay for a server, etc.

I've tried "adding Network place" and playing with that option (MSN
Commmunities, etc), but I am confused. We're trying to save money by not
calling in a Network consultant.

It is possible for us to network all computers to mine to see my BCM without
spending a dime?
 
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L

Leonid S. Knyshov

Jamie said:
This is a really stupid quest, but our office only has 6 computers and my
boss put me in charge of somehow synching/networking them so that we share
one common BCM database and Outlook calendar.

Can I simply share my BCM database with the other 5 computers if SP2 is
installed on all computers?

Do I need to set up a network in order to do this, that links all of the
computers to mine? If so, is this something that is free and can be done
from
"My Network Places/Add Network"? Or do we have to pay for a server, etc.

I've tried "adding Network place" and playing with that option (MSN
Commmunities, etc), but I am confused. We're trying to save money by not
calling in a Network consultant.

It is possible for us to network all computers to mine to see my BCM
without
spending a dime?
Your calendar and inbox won't be shared without Exchange server or some
other crutch. I personally much prefer Exchange server to any add-on because
there are many sharing features that become "unlocked" on Outlook when
Exchange is properly deployed and because you get very nifty features for
web access to your data from anywhere you happen to be with Internet
connection.

Small Business Server 2003 contains Exchange component that would enable
that functionality. It is a fairly inexpensive product that would cost a lot
more if purchased in pieces. With regards to saving money on a network
consultant - I don't recommend attempting to set this up yourself - though
it's not difficult to deploy the server itself, configuring it to not lose
any data in case of disk failure is a different requirement. An SBS expert
can get your whole company on the network in less than a day without losing
access to your local user profiles (known as My Documents etc) and
configuring Exchange MX records and things of that nature. :)

However, BCM data excluding calendar and email can be shared at no extra
cost without any consultant's assistance as per Larry's article. As far as I
can see at the database level, e-mail is not copied into the BCM database
but linked to messages in your inbox instead, so your inbox won't be shared
that way. Moreover, e-mail autolinking will be disabled, though you would be
able to reenable it.

One more requirement - if you want to use your systems in a truly networked
setting, Windows XP Professional should be installed on all systems to be
joined to the domain. Windows XP Media Center Edition can still be used if
we modify it very slightly, but attempting to use XP Home will result in
increased ongoing support costs and user aggravation due to endless
authorization prompts.
 
O

Oliver Vukovics

Dear Jamie,

On this site is an article on various ways to share Outlook data:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011477571033.aspx

With BCM it is not possible to share Calendars, but the the BCM is shareable
with the Update 2 (see Larrys posting).

In contrast to Leonid "Your calendar and inbox won't be shared without
Exchange server or some
other crutch." there are other and recommended solutions as alternative to
an Exchange Server.

Without a hardware server and with additional backup software to backup
"live" an Exchange and if you wouldn´t know how to install an Exchange
Server it is a lot of money that you have to invest.

If you still have a server machine and all the backup stuff and the
knowledge, you can get a SBS for a few hundred dollars, but do you have all
the hardware? Do you have a digital recorder for a backup or Exchange Live
Backup software? Licenses is one part of the total cost of ownership. To buy
an old Porsche is cheep, to drive him is expensive.

and: not all alternatives to Exchange are "crutch".

On the Microsoft Office Marketplace site is a list of recommended
third-party messaging
tools:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/CE010719621033.aspx

and a list of a list of third-party sharing tools is also on this site:
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/share.htm
 
L

Leonid S. Knyshov

Oliver Vukovics said:
On the Microsoft Office Marketplace site is a list of recommended
third-party messaging
tools:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/CE010719621033.aspx

and a list of a list of third-party sharing tools is also on this site:
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/share.htm

I am sorry, Oliver, but I must address your post. I will simply shower the
readers with concrete facts.

I will go on the record that I have had to personally deal with various
issues with users who acquired multiple devices. Some of these users had a
previous investment in "crutch" tools as I refer to them. Some had a
legitimate concern - Exchange 2003 requires Active Directory and any
migration from NT4 to Windows Server 2003 requires very specialized skills.

I've had run into the following products so far:

1. ShareOutlook by 4team. - very bizarre database storage pattern and
activation nightmares for users who have multiple devices.
2. ExchangeIt! byy Nitix - worked pretty well, but relied on IMAP rather
than MAPI for its protocol.

About your OfficeMarketplace reference:

Office Marketplace is a directory provided by Microsoft for its partners to
showcase their software and solutions. This is explained here:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010419511033.aspx
It does not imply Microsoft's endorsement, but it does indicate that the
product passes Microsoft's requirements as outlined above.

About Slipstick listing of products:

Most of these products were created in the days of Outlook 98 and maintained
since then. As of SBS2000 and especially SBS2003, SBS is much better
platform that eliminates the need for these crutches.

I by no means discourage someone to try your product, but SBS with Exchange
is what anyone with more than 1 workstations needs. After all, the pricing
is very comparable even at retail, though we make SBS actually more
affordable through the spread payment program.

Now I will go line by line and address your concerns as I find them omitting
critical information.
Without a hardware server and with additional backup software to backup
"live" an Exchange and if you wouldn´t know how to install an Exchange
Server it is a lot of money that you have to invest.
MSRP for SBS 2003 is $599 for a retail package and lower for the volume
package.
MSRP for 5 additional users for SBS 2003 is $489 and again it's lower for
the volume package.
MSRP for Public ShareFolder (R) as per publicshareware.com is $475.86 for 5
users and $900 for 10 users. ShareFolder is a registered trademark owned by
Public Shareware.
Microsoft SBS CALs are sold in 5-user increments so that's why I only quote
the 5 and 10-user packages.

Am I being factual here? I'd say Microsoft's pricing is pretty competitive.
Discounts do not belong in this discussion because I can get aggressive
competitive sales assistance directly from Microsoft, which would make it a
moot point :).

Now, this is where Microsoft value prevails:
Volume pricing (server with 5 CALs + 5 more CALs) from Microsoft under the
Open Value program: $575/year for 3 years or $1725. Why is this a better
option? Well, for one it includes free and unlimited web-based technical
support for this server! Secondly, it enables the customer to move the
server to new hardware and receive next version of the server, if released
during SA-covered period at no extra charge.
If you still have a server machine and all the backup stuff and the
knowledge, you can get a SBS for a few hundred dollars, but do you have
all the hardware? Do you have a digital recorder for a backup or Exchange
Live Backup software? Licenses is one part of the total cost of ownership.
To buy an old Porsche is cheep, to drive him is expensive.

and: not all alternatives to Exchange are "crutch".
SBS 2003 makes backup extremely simple. As one of top experts in the world
on Windows Server, Exchange, high availability and clustering, and features
specific to SBS 2003, I can assure you of that. You do not need 3rd-party
backup software for this product. We have this functionality integrated as a
simple impossible to misunderstand wizard.

"Digital recorder" is a strange term to me. I assume you are referring to
some way to backup all that data? Well! Not having a backup regimen is one
way to rack up a very high consulting bill! I just rebuilt an Exchange
server that was in a particularly bad shape and not backed up since last
year and the client incurred 27 billable hours. This taught them to monitor
their backups, which SBS does for you. You can attach a USB external hard
disk and backup to that without any additional expense. You do NOT need
Veritas Backup products or the typically expensive Exchange "Agents"
typically required with enterprise backup software suites. SBS 2003 provides
built-in capability to assure consistent, reliable, and automatic backups of
both all corporate data and the messaging data stores.

In fact, everything in SBS 2003 is managed through wizards. Once it's setup
correctly, which takes less than a day, the client never needs the
consultant besides routine maintenance. We setup an on-site power user with
account management rights so no billable time is incurred as they add users
and equipment. We setup a client's server to install updates via WSUS and do
not charge monthly fees for this, though other consulting firms might have
extra charges.

By the way, notice that I rebuilt a badly damaged server with no backups. It
required specialized expertise, but it was possible. That is the power of
Exchange resiliency. The reliability of PST files is nowhere near this
level. In fact, storing a PST file on the network and abnormally closing the
network connection while it's open may result in data being lost from that
file.

This is the entire (slightly simplified) process of configuring Exchange on
SBS:
1. Boot from CD1.
2. Continue with setup process answering simple questions until it's
complete.
3. Run the CEICW wizard (configure e-mail and internet connection wizard)
and specify your e-mail domain name and how you want to send e-mail out:
send it direct from server or send through Smart Host. Most will choose
smarthost, which would be a setting identical to their current SMTP setup.
4. Add users through the Add Multiple Users wizard. We recommend assigning
them to the Mobile User profile. Exchange mailboxes are setup automatically
for those users
5. You are done.

What I do differently is enable certain settings for greater availability,
which are by no means secret. Search through my posts for "transaction logs"
in microsoft.public.windows.server.sbs newsgroup.

SBS 2003 hardware requirements 1-2GB of RAM and a couple of hard disks in a
RAID1 configuration. It can run on any decent PC. Server hardware is
strongly preferred, but I have it running on some PC hardware for a couple
of smaller clients.

Now, let's explode this argument into shreds.

Features of Exchange (no extra charge!):

1. Outlook Web Access
2. Outlook Mobile Access
3. Unlimited number of concurrent device accesses. I access my Exchange
server with 2 desktops, a web session, and my mobile phone for example.
4. Public folders
5. Highly granular delegation features allow for very customized sharing
options
6. Server-side spam filtering
7. Native support for everything shared. No crutches. Everything works.
8. Ability to access delegated mailboxes through OWA by typing the exchange
alias in the URL
9. Highly robust central storage based on a transactional database
10. Centralized Free/Busy, including real-time web access
11. Web access to Public Folders
12. ActiveSync native support for Exchange for wireless synchronization

Exchange by itself costs $699 + 5*67 = $1034 (MSRP) :) but SBS makes it far
more affordable.

Now, here are some features of SBS 2003.

1. Remote web workplace - work on your office PC from home or anywhere
without Gotomypc's monthly charges. Unique to SBS.
2. You license per user, so if you own 3 laptops, you are licensed on all 3.
A per device license option is also available.
3. Sharepoint Services - you have a highly functional Sharepoint intranet
out of the box.
4. Electronic faxing - you can terminate your eFax account
5. Built-in VPN
6. Built-in server monitoring tools send you and your consultant an e-mail
about how the server is doing (backups, disk space, any other concerns)
7. One login and one password to remember. Login once and you are authorized
for everything else transparently.

I can go on for hours about the overwhelming value of Small Business Server
2003. None of these features are fully available in any other competing
product that is simply an Outlook add-on.

They all imitate the award-winning Exchange Server product. Why buy an
imitation when you can buy the real product? :) Did I mention that SBS
costs about the same? ;-)

Anyway, I have to be somewhere, but I'd be happy to post more points of why
SBS is the #1 preferred platform in the world for any company with less than
75 users. I genuinely love the product.
 
M

marika

Leonid said:
I will go on the record that I have had to personally deal with various
issues with users who acquired multiple devices.
yea i tried all of the obvious ones.

Some of these users had a
previous investment in "crutch" tools as I refer to them.
I jiggled til my heart was broken
Some had a
legitimate concern - Exchange 2003 requires Active Directory and any
migration from NT4 to Windows Server 2003 requires very specialized skills.
I tried a different outlet.
I've had run into the following products so far:

1. ShareOutlook by 4team. - very bizarre database storage pattern and
activation nightmares for users who have multiple devices.
I have with two pieces so far. One is a surge protector and the other
is the cord itself.
2. ExchangeIt! byy Nitix - worked pretty well, but relied on IMAP rather
than MAPI for its protocol.

About your OfficeMarketplace reference:

Office Marketplace is a directory provided by Microsoft for its partners to
showcase their software and solutions. This is explained here:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010419511033.aspx
It does not imply Microsoft's endorsement, but it does indicate that the
product passes Microsoft's requirements as outlined above.

About Slipstick listing of products:

Most of these products were created in the days of Outlook 98 and maintained
since then. As of SBS2000 and especially SBS2003, SBS is much better
platform that eliminates the need for these crutches.
I checked inside the three prong plug that goes to the back of the
laptop. You are right it is a crutch
I by no means discourage someone to try your product, but SBS with Exchange
is what anyone with more than 1 workstations needs. After all, the pricing
is very comparable even at retail, though we make SBS actually more
affordable through the spread payment program.

Now I will go line by line and address your concerns as I find them omitting
critical information.


MSRP for SBS 2003 is $599 for a retail package and lower for the volume
package.
MSRP for 5 additional users for SBS 2003 is $489 and again it's lower for
the volume package.
MSRP for Public ShareFolder (R) as per publicshareware.com is $475.86 for5
users and $900 for 10 users. ShareFolder is a registered trademark owned by
Public Shareware.
Microsoft SBS CALs are sold in 5-user increments so that's why I only quote
the 5 and 10-user packages.

Am I being factual here? I'd say Microsoft's pricing is pretty competitive.
Discounts do not belong in this discussion because I can get aggressive
competitive sales assistance directly from Microsoft, which would make ita
moot point :).

Now, this is where Microsoft value prevails:
Volume pricing (server with 5 CALs + 5 more CALs) from Microsoft under the
Open Value program: $575/year for 3 years or $1725. Why is this a better
option? Well, for one it includes free and unlimited web-based technical
support for this server! Secondly, it enables the customer to move the
server to new hardware and receive next version of the server, if released
during SA-covered period at no extra charge.


SBS 2003 makes backup extremely simple. As one of top experts in the world
on Windows Server, Exchange, high availability and clustering, and features
specific to SBS 2003, I can assure you of that. You do not need 3rd-party
backup software for this product. We have this functionality integrated as a
simple impossible to misunderstand wizard.

"Digital recorder" is a strange term to me.
I have one and It looks like 2 have a metal coating or jacket inside
and it seems as
if the third receptor has no metal at all,. stripped or bent perhaps.

I assume you are referring to
some way to backup all that data? Well! Not having a backup regimen is one
way to rack up a very high consulting bill!
I think the contact is just gone.
I just rebuilt an Exchange
server that was in a particularly bad shape and not backed up since last
year and the client incurred 27 billable hours.
I think you should try to order a new cord
This taught them to monitor
their backups, which SBS does for you. You can attach a USB external hard
disk and backup to that without any additional expense.

Those things, I used to have to order them about 4 times a year they
are so friable.


You do NOT need
Veritas Backup products or the typically expensive Exchange "Agents"
typically required with enterprise backup software suites. SBS 2003 provides
built-in capability to assure consistent, reliable, and automatic backupsof
both all corporate data and the messaging data stores.
if you leave the wire kinked, it gets exposed wires and stops providing
current.
In fact, everything in SBS 2003 is managed through wizards. Once it's setup
correctly, which takes less than a day, the client never needs the
consultant besides routine maintenance. We setup an on-site power user with
account management rights so no billable time is incurred as they add users
and equipment.
it might be the case again, are there exposed wires or even
worn wires this time.
We setup a client's server to install updates via WSUS and do
not charge monthly fees for this, though other consulting firms might have
extra charges.
By the way, notice that I rebuilt a badly damaged server with no backups.It
required specialized expertise, but it was possible.
everyone seems to have new laptops now for 500 bux return to school
special. a
whole bunch of others have followed suit. i hate to scrap mine
because it is a high end model. I would rather refurbish than power
down.


mk5000

ladybug-- lou rawls
 
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O

Oliver Vukovics

Hi Leonid,

sorry but I must contradict you:

On http://www.lucid8.com/press/analyst_coverage.asp#meta

you will find this part:
[...]
According to IT research firm META Group, close to 20 percent of unplanned
Exchange downtime is due to corruption of the database or Active Directory

also Gartner said:
http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2003/10/20/198023/CostofupgradeeclipsesnewOffice2003features.htm

Gartner estimated the AVERAGE cost of moving to Exchange 2003 (from Exchange
5.5) with 89 British Pounds (if you have 100.000 users) and they still have
the hardware and the servers.
We talk about less then 50 users and not about an update, so the cost will
be much higher. There must be a big different between your customers and our
or Gartners customers.
About Slipstick listing of products:
Most of these products were created in the days of Outlook 98 and
maintained since then.
This is not correct. Most of the products were developted after 2000 because
in 98/2000 the NetFolder function was the main alternative to Exchange. You
are right that a lot of programs can not share PST files, they can only
synchronize emails like NetFolders.
Now I will go line by line and address your concerns as I find them
omitting critical information.
Sorry but you forget in your detailed description the Hardware and your
personal cost of administration or is your time for less?

80% of all companies have less then 10 users, no administrator, no active
directory, no domain and no domain server. 50% of all Outlook users have no
Exchange. The questions is:

Additional cost for the hardware?
Additional cost for the installation?
Additional cost for maintenance?
Additional cost for downtime?
Additional hidden cost?
Additional cost for Server upgrates?

Maybe an important information: We have the same software version since 2002
and we work with Outlook 97-2003, so you don´t need an update for our Public
ShareFolder version if you update the Outlook version.
Features of Exchange (no extra charge!):

1. Outlook Web Access
2. Outlook Mobile Access
3. ....
etc..

My cellphone also cost 1US$ but the time to install all functions needs a
month and 5.000 $ for the administrator. ;-)

You are a professionell but the costumers make the money as taxcounter,
doctor, lawyers etc. not as exchange administrator.
Exchange has a lot of hidden cost and we have 9.000 companies as customers
who don´t want Exchange but they want to share Outlook without to buy a
hardware server for 2.000 US$ and 900US$ for the licenses and 1.100 US$ for
installation. Anyhow how much funtion Exchange have. Now they can share
Outlook with 750US$ compare to the cost of Exchange. ;-)

If you only see the cost for the license, you ignore the additional cost,
but your customer have to pay the total cost and not only the license and
there are a lot of interesting articles with a lot of additional cost if you
are using Exchange.
 
L

Leonid S. Knyshov

Oliver Vukovics said:
This is not correct. Most of the products were developted after 2000
because in 98/2000 the NetFolder function was the main alternative to
Exchange. You are right that a lot of programs can not share PST files,
they can only synchronize emails like NetFolders.

I finally have some time to respond to these claims.

I would like to make it clear that I am simply responding to facts and have
nothing against Public Shareware's competing product and that my comments
are based on experience and not studies.

Gartner estimate may well be correct at UKP89/user. In smaller environments,
we find 2-3 hours/device to be an accurate estimate. As the number of
systems grows, the amount of time necessary decreases dramatically. It takes
us about as much time to migrate 20 systems as it does 200. This is
documented with our customers. Why such a time period? This is not truly
related to migration of data, in most cases, but more to catching up with
best practices lapses. 9 out of 10 cases will have no backup, no UPS for the
"server" machine, malware infestations (the infamous popups), highly
customized Outlook with various add-ons, and a lot of general training and
cleanup.

If the customer simply wants to go live with SBS 2003 for 20 desktops to
immediately start using the entire feature set starting with their NT4
domain or a peer-to-peer network and worry about data migration later, this
can be done in a matter of 4-5 hours.

I will go on the record to say that we can enable customers to begin
receiving Exchange benefits immediately after the deployment of SBS. The
legacy data migration does not take long either and depends on their current
groupware solution. This point is moot in the context of this discussion
since we focus on Outlook 2003 as the centerpiece of the common solution.

OK, so what is the business of Lucid8? Their business is to deliver value
through removing the human factor of Exchange management. As such, they will
offer quotes that further support their position. I am not a PR professional
and spend more of my time helping people than reading various studies. :)

I was considering writing software similar to Lucid8's a few years ago and I
may yet do so - I can leverage the Exchange BPA XML files courtesy of
Microsoft and automate the thing. At this point, I will make a claim that
Exchange Best Practices Analyzer is good enough for most customers to help
provide the most stable Exchange environment possible on that particular
hardware.

Practically speaking, Active Directory corruption in small environments is
not common. Active Directory is not a black box and it in fact shares the
ESE technology with Exchange for its database. The technology is based on
standard enterprise concepts - a database and a transaction log. Best
practices stipulate the separation of the transaction log from its database
to a different partition, and ideally a different set of physical disks.

Most of the supposed AD corruption is simply a manifestation of customers
choosing to cut a few too many corners and is directly related to hardware
failure. A properly deployed server, which means the user simply followed
the wizards and activated the backup wizard can be rebuilt in under 4 hours
from bare metal. We can do an Active Directory rebuild much faster than that
in about an hour from a System State backup. I do not view, based on my
experience as a recovery specialist for Windows 2003, Active Directory
corruption as a risk factor in SBS environments.

Exchange Server 2003 is legendary as far as reliability of the solution is
concerned. Customers wishing evidence of this fact need only to look at
Fortune 1000, of which the ovewhelming majority are Exchange users. Yes, the
database may get corrupted. However, there are tools available to fix that
corruption and there are a lot of Exchange experts available to fix these
issues. Exchange relies on transaction logs for data integrity and if
properly configured is extremely difficult to break. In just about all cases
I linked Exchange database corruption to disk failures. In a typical small
business that never even heard of RAID levels, you'll find the situation
more to be like "All of our data is gone!" vs. the typical Exchange down
scenario where the situation is "Our stores have dismounted. We need to
replace the failed disk drive and to restore the database. We then need to
remount the stores."

Customers who do not have have in-house expertise - Microsoft provides
unlimited no-charge web-based support to Software Assurance customers. They
don't need to pay me to come in and fix this as Microsoft will do it for
them.

My biggest concern with Public Sharefolder is that it relies on PST files.
PST files are known to be easily subject to corruption and there is no
transaction log generated and the utilities available are frankly not very
robust. If faced with Exchange database corruption vs. PST corruption, I can
recover Exchange with a much greater chance of success. Moreover, there are
very serious limitations in this format:

1. Pre-Outlook 2003 the file limit for a PST file was 2GB.
2. While this limit has been raised to 20GB in Outlook 2003, it is a far cry
from the 75GB per mail store in Exchange 2003 SP2.
3. Opening large PST files over a typical small business network will stress
the network, which will substantially increase the risk of data loss.
4. Attempting to use Outlook over a VPN with PST files is far from
enjoyable. The cached mode of Exchange does not exist in this
implementation.

I enjoyed this discussion, but... ;-)

.... why don't you click this:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297019&sd=RMVP

The title of that article is "Personal folder files are unsupported over a
LAN or over a WAN link". For the benefit of readers, I'll explain that PSTs
are the short technical name for "personal folder files". This means that
Microsoft will advise the customer that the configuration is not supported
when they call about PST file corruption issues.

I am aware that MAPI through DCOM is used to access the networked PSTs so
the file-level limitation does not necessarily apply in this case.

In other words, we are discussing here a potentially unsupported method vs.
an enterprise grade solution that is usable on very low bandwidth devices
and scalable to hundreds of thousands of users that every other vendor is
attempting to emulate.
80% of all companies have less then 10 users, no administrator, no active
directory, no domain and no domain server. 50% of all Outlook users have
no Exchange. The questions is:

Additional cost for the hardware?
Additional cost for the installation?
Additional cost for maintenance?
Additional cost for downtime?
Additional hidden cost?
Additional cost for Server upgrates
We are addressing this with Small Business Server 2003. The cost of hardware
is irrelevant. I can technically put SBS 2003 on a PC platform. I am sure
you advise your customers to put your software on a server system.

Cost of installation - I can bring up a new SBS2003 machine in 4 hours from
scratch. Typically this is done much faster. 2-3hrs per device, ideal case 5
minutes. I can overlap working on desktops and the server.
Maintenance - 5 hrs per month for the entire account
Downtime costs - none. Sorry, but it's possible. $20/year for MX backup
service actually.
Hidden costs - none. This is not a recurring license charge. Software
Assurance is optional.
Server upgrades - none specifically required. For greater resiliency, these
upgrades will match those that your product would require.
SBS2003 cost - $599 for 5 users, retail. Includes the domain controller,
Exchange server, web server, Intranet, Outlook 2003 for every user, Outlook
Web Access, remote access through Remote Web Workplace, VPN etc. Your claim
was $750 for just Exchange. SBS2003 costs a lot less and gives the user both
Windows Server 2003 Std and Exchange 2003 Std. Combination of the two would
normally cost over $2000 with all the licenses.

You may have had a case if your solution was inexpensive at say $20/user,
however, license costs are all too similar and your product does not provide
any of the additional value-added features of SBS2003.

Your own support forums are full of problems with XP SP2, antivirus apps,
firewall and so forth. The solutions in the FAQ start with "Open Registry
editor". Guess who opens Regedit? The consultants that your clients hire to
fix it for them do. All of that is bypassed with Exchange.

Recommended scenario, and tell me if this recommendation doesn't apply to
your software:

1. Hardware RAID1 for system
2. Server OS
3. Active Directory
4. 2GB of RAM
5. Dedicated mirror for mail storage

That's just basic system resiliency.

Costs to deploy the above to support Public Sharefolder in terms of time if
done from scratch with Windows Server 2003 Std? Windows Server 2003 Std
actually costs more than SBS2003 does! SBS2003 is a deeply discounted
package of enterprise technologies. Costs to monitor this Windows 2003
Server Std, setup backups etc? It will actually be more - no built-in
monitoring wizards, no built-in backup wizard. In this case you will need an
MCSE because it's all too easy to not configure DNS correctly and break
things.

To summarize, the supported method is to use Exchange. Any other method is a
crutch. With the release of SBS2003 there is no reason to look at any other
solutions, especially if they leverage unsupported methods using PST files.

I am afraid you'll have to innovate because your solution is now obsolete.

By the way, you can access Exchange 2003 with older Outlook clients, web
clients, mobile clients, POP3 clients, and IMAP4 clients at the same time.
Microsoft does not require you to upgrade Outlook. I can access Exchange 5.5
with Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003 with older Outlook.

There is some upfront cost with upgrading the entire infrastructure so we
don't have to worry about a single disk failure and such, but if all things
were equal, such as installing in a virtual machine on some workstation, as
a lab example, you would find that SBS2003 would delivery significantly
better value to the customer and to be a much better supported scenario.
Further, if data corruption were to be introduced, with Exchange I can
restore a previous backup and not lose any transactions since that backup.
This is not the case with PSTs! With PSTs, if I restore that backup, than
all of my e-mail activity since then is gone permanently.

By the way, since you love quoting statistics...customers report 947% ROI on
their SBS2003 deployment.

That's is not the high...that's the average
a.. Exceptionally high return on investment (ROI)
ROI for the surveyed companies averaged 947 percent and ranged from a low of
63 percent to a high of more than 2,000 percent.



http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/roi/outofboxROI.mspx -
here is the source, courtesy of Microsoft and Forbes.



I think I've made the case by now?



I can give you quite a few references where customers use less than 5 hours
of my time per month. Their Exchange deployment is absolutely stable.



Your claims may have been valid for older products, but SBS2003 delivers
unparallelled value. It even includes a license of Outlook 2003 for every
user, which is an extra expense otherwise.
 
R

Raul

Hi Leonid

I havn't read the entire post ,but appreciate the time and effort for
sharing your inputs with other users in the news group

Excellent work my Friend
 
O

Oliver Vukovics

Dear Leonid,

at first thank you for your answer and some very interesting an important
information.

[Leonid]
I would like to make it clear that I am simply responding to facts and have
nothing against Public Shareware's competing product and that my comments
are based on experience and not studies.

[Oliver]
I don´t have the feeling that your are against Public ShareFolder. You have
positive experiences with Exchange and bad experience with some Exchange
alternates (based on synchronization). I can understand your position and I
understand why my position is different to yours..

At first the most important information (for me):

[Leonid]
... why don't you click this:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297019&sd=RMVP
The title of that article is "Personal folder files are unsupported over a
LAN or over a WAN link".
[Oliver]
This is the biggest misunderstanding of our technical solution.
Public ShareFolder don´t use "PST files over the LAN". ;-)

We also advise our customers not to move a PST file on a network drive.

Our Public ShareFolder clients are connected to a Public ShareFolder Server
and this server software is connected with the lokal Outlook profile on the
"Server PC".
The PST files are connected with this Outlook profile. The Public
ShareFolder server handle all connected clients not Outlook.

For Outlook it is only one user who is connected with his PST file and we
prefer to use a local PST file. ;-)

It is like the "Public Folders" in Exchange. I think shared Public Folders
are supported by Exchange with a few thousand users?

We do the same. The clients are connected to our server. The server is
connected to the Outlook profiles and the Outlook profile is connected to
the PST file. The right description would be, that we share Outlook profiles
with all integrated PST files.

Some other additional information, with other experiences:

[Leonid]
1. Pre-Outlook 2003 the file limit for a PST file was 2GB.
[Oliver]
Right, this is the reason why we use additional PST files in our network. I
told you that we share Outlook profiles with all connected PST file. We can
share 256 PST files in one Outlook profile, real time and life. PST files
can go corrupted, Exchange too. I agree that the "old" pst files are more
sensible then the newer PST files, but Exchange also synchronize old PST
files in OST files and in the cache mode, Exchange 2003 also use PST files,
and if you have a shared mailbox that is used in cache mode, you have not a
"LAN" PST?

If this is not a LAN PST file, then Public ShareFolder also is not a LAN
PST, because our server handle the client connections.


[Leonid]
2. While this limit has been raised to 20GB in Outlook 2003, it is a far cry
from the 75GB per mail store in Exchange 2003 SP2.
[Oliver]
Sorry but we have a customer with 15 users and they have a shared Outlook
2003 PST file with 400GB!
And the company is not bankrupt. :)

We tested Outlook 2003 with a few 40GB PST files without any problems, so
75GB per mail store does not impress us.

400GB is for our solution the actual size and I hearded that the limit of
the 2003 PST file is 3.9TB.

[Leonid]
3. Opening large PST files over a typical small business network will stress
the network, which will substantially increase the risk of data loss.
[Oliver]
Yes, but we don´t open the PST files over the network. Outlook on the server
open this local PST files and we transport only the information that we
need, like Exchange Server with the Public Folder. The Public Folder are
stored in a database and the Exchange software handle the connections to
this database over the client installed Outlook profiles. Outlook must not
be open with Public ShareFolder on the "Server" to share the items.

[Leonid]
4. Attempting to use Outlook over a VPN with PST files is far from
enjoyable. The cached mode of Exchange does not exist in this
implementation
[Oliver]
Right, but we wouldn´t synchronize or transfer the complete PST file. We
only transfer the view.

Maybe (if you have the time) you would test Public ShareFolder and you will
see that we are complete different to any "synchronization shareing" tools.

[Leonid]
In other words, we are discussing here a potentially unsupported method
vs.

[Oliver]
I think I could describe that we are not unsupported because we don´t use
the PST file as a network PST, we use a shared Outlook profile with local
PST files and our server handle the network connection. The connection to
Outlook and the PST files is a local connection.

Anyhow, I hope you will try it; then you can see how it works and how fast
it is. It is as fast as Exchange (minimum).

[Leonid]
an enterprise grade solution that is usable on very low bandwidth devices
and scalable to hundreds of thousands of users that every other vendor is
attempting to emulate.
[Oliver]
I never would recommend our solution for customers who need Exchange Server.
We have a customer with 4 users and they need an Exchange, because they need
a lot of function of Exchange that we don´t support. Please don´t
misunderstand me. I prefer to use Exchange Server if our customers need
Exchange. If you don´t need it, maybe our solution could be the right
software but it is not a "must".

If your customer would like to have a Terminal Server, you can not install
SBS. He must pay much more for this additional function. If he still has a
Windows Server and he don´t want to have the AD on the same server as
Exchange Server, I think you also can not install the SBS, because the SBS
needs the AD on the same machine. I am not sure about this, but I heard it.

Also the SBS have some limits. ;-)

[Leonid]
I am sure you advise your customers to put your software on a server
system.

[Oliver]
Why? Our "communication" server is a Celeron 1.2GB with Windows 2000prof.
and an Outlook 2000 as "Server Outlook".

We backup every day our 14 shared PST files on this "server" as a copy to a
Network Storage Device. Of course we have also a Windows 2003 server but our
Public ShareFolder Server is since 3 years a 1.2Mhz Celeron Windows
2000prof.. The first one was a Pentium III with 560 Mhz. :)

We advise to make a backup every day, but this is normal. If you have a
customer with 4 users, a peer-to-peer network and the only thing that they
want is a shared calendar, shared contacts and a shared inbox.

I wouldn´t sell them a hardware server and a SBS server and installation and
configuration etc. if they could have the same Public Folders in the same
network in 15 minutes and they can install everything by themself. They
don´t need us.

I always prefer to decide: Do they need Exchange or not. If they need
Exchange, I advise to buy Exchange. If they don´t need an Exchange what is
the best alternate solution. To synchronize Outlook is (for me) not a "share
Outlook" solution. NetFolder is not a sharing solution (for me). So, I
think, that we are the best alternate to Exchange if a customer don´t need
Exchange.

[Leonid]
If the customer simply wants to go live with SBS 2003 for 20 desktops to
immediately start using the entire feature set starting with their NT4
domain or a peer-to-peer network and worry about data migration later, this
can be done in a matter of 4-5 hours.
[Oliver]
A customer of mine get an offer for an Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 update
with 14GB space for 10.000 ? and 1 week, because they need 1 week with 2
persons.

[Leonid]
However, there are tools available to fix that
corruption and there are a lot of Exchange experts available to fix these
issues.
[Oliver]
Yes, but at first you must find this experts and you must pay them. You must
also pay your time for installation and configuration and I have to pay you
if the exchange database is corrupt.
If I wnat support by microsoft, I have to pay 260 ?/hour in germany to get
support by Microsoft.

A copy of a PST file on a network storage is copied in 5 minutes and small
companies can do this by themself. I don´t talk about companies with 20 or
more users. I talk about companies with less then 10 users or a peer-to-peer
network and with less money.

[Leonid]
My biggest concern with Public Sharefolder is that it relies on PST files.
[Oliver]
This is interesting.
Do you never advise your customers to archive the mailbox in PST files?
Have you heard about Outlook "Live"?
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/msn/factsheet/outlooklive2005fs.mspx

All information stored in Outlook 2003 PST files?

Our biggest companies have also the problem that they must store most of the
information in archive PST files to reduce the Exchange server and the
Exchange mailboxes. The cache mode takes to much traffik if you have big
mailboxes. Now they want to share the archive PST files, but this is not
possible. Now the use us (in addition to Exchange) to share the archive PST
files. Crazy, but true.

I don´t know what people have against PST files. Exchange synchronize in the
Cache Mode with PST files, Outlook live save all information on PST files
and synchronize this with an exchange mailbox on msn.com, the personal
Exhange mailboxes are archived in PST files! All companies have all problems
only with PST files and not with the offline times of Exchange? :)

We know Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, Exchange 2003, SBS, Terminalserver etc.
because we have to test all this Exchange software. (The 2003 WebAccess
looks great). :)
We also tested most of the "3rd party solutions" to see that most of them
were synchronization solutions based on NetFolder technology.

Maybe you will have the time to test our software, then you will see why I
think, that we are different to other 3rd party solutions and why I think
that we are the best alternate to Exchange and SBS. We know all Exchange
versions and SBS versions and maybe you will install our software in order
to extend your horizon. :))

Kind regards

--
Oliver Vukovics
Outlook Network without Exchange: Public ShareFolder
Awarded by ZDNet UK and ZDNet DE with the "Editors Choice".
http://www.publicshareware.com


Leonid S. Knyshov said:
I finally have some time to respond to these claims.

I would like to make it clear that I am simply responding to facts and have
nothing against Public Shareware's competing product and that my comments
are based on experience and not studies.

Gartner estimate may well be correct at UKP89/user. In smaller environments,
we find 2-3 hours/device to be an accurate estimate. As the number of
systems grows, the amount of time necessary decreases dramatically. It takes
us about as much time to migrate 20 systems as it does 200. This is
documented with our customers. Why such a time period? This is not truly
related to migration of data, in most cases, but more to catching up with
best practices lapses. 9 out of 10 cases will have no backup, no UPS for the
"server" machine, malware infestations (the infamous popups), highly
customized Outlook with various add-ons, and a lot of general training and
cleanup.

If the customer simply wants to go live with SBS 2003 for 20 desktops to
immediately start using the entire feature set starting with their NT4
domain or a peer-to-peer network and worry about data migration later, this
can be done in a matter of 4-5 hours.

I will go on the record to say that we can enable customers to begin
receiving Exchange benefits immediately after the deployment of SBS. The
legacy data migration does not take long either and depends on their current
groupware solution. This point is moot in the context of this discussion
since we focus on Outlook 2003 as the centerpiece of the common solution.

OK, so what is the business of Lucid8? Their business is to deliver value
through removing the human factor of Exchange management. As such, they will
offer quotes that further support their position. I am not a PR professional
and spend more of my time helping people than reading various studies. :)

I was considering writing software similar to Lucid8's a few years ago and I
may yet do so - I can leverage the Exchange BPA XML files courtesy of
Microsoft and automate the thing. At this point, I will make a claim that
Exchange Best Practices Analyzer is good enough for most customers to help
provide the most stable Exchange environment possible on that particular
hardware.

Practically speaking, Active Directory corruption in small environments is
not common. Active Directory is not a black box and it in fact shares the
ESE technology with Exchange for its database. The technology is based on
standard enterprise concepts - a database and a transaction log. Best
practices stipulate the separation of the transaction log from its database
to a different partition, and ideally a different set of physical disks.

Most of the supposed AD corruption is simply a manifestation of customers
choosing to cut a few too many corners and is directly related to hardware
failure. A properly deployed server, which means the user simply followed
the wizards and activated the backup wizard can be rebuilt in under 4 hours
from bare metal. We can do an Active Directory rebuild much faster than that
in about an hour from a System State backup. I do not view, based on my
experience as a recovery specialist for Windows 2003, Active Directory
corruption as a risk factor in SBS environments.

Exchange Server 2003 is legendary as far as reliability of the solution is
concerned. Customers wishing evidence of this fact need only to look at
Fortune 1000, of which the ovewhelming majority are Exchange users. Yes, the
database may get corrupted. However, there are tools available to fix that
corruption and there are a lot of Exchange experts available to fix these
issues. Exchange relies on transaction logs for data integrity and if
properly configured is extremely difficult to break. In just about all cases
I linked Exchange database corruption to disk failures. In a typical small
business that never even heard of RAID levels, you'll find the situation
more to be like "All of our data is gone!" vs. the typical Exchange down
scenario where the situation is "Our stores have dismounted. We need to
replace the failed disk drive and to restore the database. We then need to
remount the stores."

Customers who do not have have in-house expertise - Microsoft provides
unlimited no-charge web-based support to Software Assurance customers. They
don't need to pay me to come in and fix this as Microsoft will do it for
them.

My biggest concern with Public Sharefolder is that it relies on PST files.
PST files are known to be easily subject to corruption and there is no
transaction log generated and the utilities available are frankly not very
robust. If faced with Exchange database corruption vs. PST corruption, I can
recover Exchange with a much greater chance of success. Moreover, there are
very serious limitations in this format:

1. Pre-Outlook 2003 the file limit for a PST file was 2GB.
2. While this limit has been raised to 20GB in Outlook 2003, it is a far cry
from the 75GB per mail store in Exchange 2003 SP2.
3. Opening large PST files over a typical small business network will stress
the network, which will substantially increase the risk of data loss.
4. Attempting to use Outlook over a VPN with PST files is far from
enjoyable. The cached mode of Exchange does not exist in this
implementation.

I enjoyed this discussion, but... ;-)

... why don't you click this:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297019&sd=RMVP

The title of that article is "Personal folder files are unsupported over a
LAN or over a WAN link". For the benefit of readers, I'll explain that PSTs
are the short technical name for "personal folder files". This means that
Microsoft will advise the customer that the configuration is not supported
when they call about PST file corruption issues.

I am aware that MAPI through DCOM is used to access the networked PSTs so
the file-level limitation does not necessarily apply in this case.

In other words, we are discussing here a potentially unsupported method vs.
an enterprise grade solution that is usable on very low bandwidth devices
and scalable to hundreds of thousands of users that every other vendor is
attempting to emulate.


We are addressing this with Small Business Server 2003. The cost of hardware
is irrelevant. I can technically put SBS 2003 on a PC platform. I am sure
you advise your customers to put your software on a server system.

Cost of installation - I can bring up a new SBS2003 machine in 4 hours from
scratch. Typically this is done much faster. 2-3hrs per device, ideal case 5
minutes. I can overlap working on desktops and the server.
Maintenance - 5 hrs per month for the entire account
Downtime costs - none. Sorry, but it's possible. $20/year for MX backup
service actually.
Hidden costs - none. This is not a recurring license charge. Software
Assurance is optional.
Server upgrades - none specifically required. For greater resiliency, these
upgrades will match those that your product would require.
SBS2003 cost - $599 for 5 users, retail. Includes the domain controller,
Exchange server, web server, Intranet, Outlook 2003 for every user, Outlook
Web Access, remote access through Remote Web Workplace, VPN etc. Your claim
was $750 for just Exchange. SBS2003 costs a lot less and gives the user both
Windows Server 2003 Std and Exchange 2003 Std. Combination of the two would
normally cost over $2000 with all the licenses.

You may have had a case if your solution was inexpensive at say $20/user,
however, license costs are all too similar and your product does not provide
any of the additional value-added features of SBS2003.

Your own support forums are full of problems with XP SP2, antivirus apps,
firewall and so forth. The solutions in the FAQ start with "Open Registry
editor". Guess who opens Regedit? The consultants that your clients hire to
fix it for them do. All of that is bypassed with Exchange.

Recommended scenario, and tell me if this recommendation doesn't apply to
your software:

1. Hardware RAID1 for system
2. Server OS
3. Active Directory
4. 2GB of RAM
5. Dedicated mirror for mail storage

That's just basic system resiliency.

Costs to deploy the above to support Public Sharefolder in terms of time if
done from scratch with Windows Server 2003 Std? Windows Server 2003 Std
actually costs more than SBS2003 does! SBS2003 is a deeply discounted
package of enterprise technologies. Costs to monitor this Windows 2003
Server Std, setup backups etc? It will actually be more - no built-in
monitoring wizards, no built-in backup wizard. In this case you will need an
MCSE because it's all too easy to not configure DNS correctly and break
things.

To summarize, the supported method is to use Exchange. Any other method is a
crutch. With the release of SBS2003 there is no reason to look at any other
solutions, especially if they leverage unsupported methods using PST files.

I am afraid you'll have to innovate because your solution is now obsolete.

By the way, you can access Exchange 2003 with older Outlook clients, web
clients, mobile clients, POP3 clients, and IMAP4 clients at the same time.
Microsoft does not require you to upgrade Outlook. I can access Exchange 5.5
with Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003 with older Outlook.

There is some upfront cost with upgrading the entire infrastructure so we
don't have to worry about a single disk failure and such, but if all things
were equal, such as installing in a virtual machine on some workstation, as
a lab example, you would find that SBS2003 would delivery significantly
better value to the customer and to be a much better supported scenario.
Further, if data corruption were to be introduced, with Exchange I can
restore a previous backup and not lose any transactions since that backup.
This is not the case with PSTs! With PSTs, if I restore that backup, than
all of my e-mail activity since then is gone permanently.

By the way, since you love quoting statistics...customers report 947% ROI on
their SBS2003 deployment.

That's is not the high...that's the average
a.. Exceptionally high return on investment (ROI)
ROI for the surveyed companies averaged 947 percent and ranged from a low of
63 percent to a high of more than 2,000 percent.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/roi/outofboxROI.mspx -
 
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G

Guest

I thank everyone for their suggestions. After reading all posts and being
thoroughly confused, I convinced my boss to hire a network consultant to set
up our network. He also configured the network so that everyone shares my BCM
and they can made changes/add contacts to it from their computers.
--
Jamie


Oliver Vukovics said:
Dear Leonid,

at first thank you for your answer and some very interesting an important
information.

[Leonid]
I would like to make it clear that I am simply responding to facts and have
nothing against Public Shareware's competing product and that my comments
are based on experience and not studies.

[Oliver]
I don´t have the feeling that your are against Public ShareFolder. You have
positive experiences with Exchange and bad experience with some Exchange
alternates (based on synchronization). I can understand your position and I
understand why my position is different to yours..

At first the most important information (for me):

[Leonid]
... why don't you click this:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;297019&sd=RMVP
The title of that article is "Personal folder files are unsupported over a
LAN or over a WAN link".
[Oliver]
This is the biggest misunderstanding of our technical solution.
Public ShareFolder don´t use "PST files over the LAN". ;-)

We also advise our customers not to move a PST file on a network drive.

Our Public ShareFolder clients are connected to a Public ShareFolder Server
and this server software is connected with the lokal Outlook profile on the
"Server PC".
The PST files are connected with this Outlook profile. The Public
ShareFolder server handle all connected clients not Outlook.

For Outlook it is only one user who is connected with his PST file and we
prefer to use a local PST file. ;-)

It is like the "Public Folders" in Exchange. I think shared Public Folders
are supported by Exchange with a few thousand users?

We do the same. The clients are connected to our server. The server is
connected to the Outlook profiles and the Outlook profile is connected to
the PST file. The right description would be, that we share Outlook profiles
with all integrated PST files.

Some other additional information, with other experiences:

[Leonid]
1. Pre-Outlook 2003 the file limit for a PST file was 2GB.
[Oliver]
Right, this is the reason why we use additional PST files in our network. I
told you that we share Outlook profiles with all connected PST file. We can
share 256 PST files in one Outlook profile, real time and life. PST files
can go corrupted, Exchange too. I agree that the "old" pst files are more
sensible then the newer PST files, but Exchange also synchronize old PST
files in OST files and in the cache mode, Exchange 2003 also use PST files,
and if you have a shared mailbox that is used in cache mode, you have not a
"LAN" PST?

If this is not a LAN PST file, then Public ShareFolder also is not a LAN
PST, because our server handle the client connections.


[Leonid]
2. While this limit has been raised to 20GB in Outlook 2003, it is a far cry
from the 75GB per mail store in Exchange 2003 SP2.
[Oliver]
Sorry but we have a customer with 15 users and they have a shared Outlook
2003 PST file with 400GB!
And the company is not bankrupt. :)

We tested Outlook 2003 with a few 40GB PST files without any problems, so
75GB per mail store does not impress us.

400GB is for our solution the actual size and I hearded that the limit of
the 2003 PST file is 3.9TB.

[Leonid]
3. Opening large PST files over a typical small business network will stress
the network, which will substantially increase the risk of data loss.
[Oliver]
Yes, but we don´t open the PST files over the network. Outlook on the server
open this local PST files and we transport only the information that we
need, like Exchange Server with the Public Folder. The Public Folder are
stored in a database and the Exchange software handle the connections to
this database over the client installed Outlook profiles. Outlook must not
be open with Public ShareFolder on the "Server" to share the items.

[Leonid]
4. Attempting to use Outlook over a VPN with PST files is far from
enjoyable. The cached mode of Exchange does not exist in this
implementation
[Oliver]
Right, but we wouldn´t synchronize or transfer the complete PST file. We
only transfer the view.

Maybe (if you have the time) you would test Public ShareFolder and you will
see that we are complete different to any "synchronization shareing" tools.

[Leonid]
In other words, we are discussing here a potentially unsupported method
vs.

[Oliver]
I think I could describe that we are not unsupported because we don´t use
the PST file as a network PST, we use a shared Outlook profile with local
PST files and our server handle the network connection. The connection to
Outlook and the PST files is a local connection.

Anyhow, I hope you will try it; then you can see how it works and how fast
it is. It is as fast as Exchange (minimum).

[Leonid]
an enterprise grade solution that is usable on very low bandwidth devices
and scalable to hundreds of thousands of users that every other vendor is
attempting to emulate.
[Oliver]
I never would recommend our solution for customers who need Exchange Server.
We have a customer with 4 users and they need an Exchange, because they need
a lot of function of Exchange that we don´t support. Please don´t
misunderstand me. I prefer to use Exchange Server if our customers need
Exchange. If you don´t need it, maybe our solution could be the right
software but it is not a "must".

If your customer would like to have a Terminal Server, you can not install
SBS. He must pay much more for this additional function. If he still has a
Windows Server and he don´t want to have the AD on the same server as
Exchange Server, I think you also can not install the SBS, because the SBS
needs the AD on the same machine. I am not sure about this, but I heard it.

Also the SBS have some limits. ;-)

[Leonid]
I am sure you advise your customers to put your software on a server
system.

[Oliver]
Why? Our "communication" server is a Celeron 1.2GB with Windows 2000prof.
and an Outlook 2000 as "Server Outlook".

We backup every day our 14 shared PST files on this "server" as a copy to a
Network Storage Device. Of course we have also a Windows 2003 server but our
Public ShareFolder Server is since 3 years a 1.2Mhz Celeron Windows
2000prof.. The first one was a Pentium III with 560 Mhz. :)

We advise to make a backup every day, but this is normal. If you have a
customer with 4 users, a peer-to-peer network and the only thing that they
want is a shared calendar, shared contacts and a shared inbox.

I wouldn´t sell them a hardware server and a SBS server and installation and
configuration etc. if they could have the same Public Folders in the same
network in 15 minutes and they can install everything by themself. They
don´t need us.

I always prefer to decide: Do they need Exchange or not. If they need
Exchange, I advise to buy Exchange. If they don´t need an Exchange what is
the best alternate solution. To synchronize Outlook is (for me) not a "share
Outlook" solution. NetFolder is not a sharing solution (for me). So, I
think, that we are the best alternate to Exchange if a customer don´t need
Exchange.

[Leonid]
If the customer simply wants to go live with SBS 2003 for 20 desktops to
immediately start using the entire feature set starting with their NT4
domain or a peer-to-peer network and worry about data migration later, this
can be done in a matter of 4-5 hours.
[Oliver]
A customer of mine get an offer for an Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 update
with 14GB space for 10.000 ? and 1 week, because they need 1 week with 2
persons.

[Leonid]
However, there are tools available to fix that
corruption and there are a lot of Exchange experts available to fix these
issues.
[Oliver]
Yes, but at first you must find this experts and you must pay them. You must
also pay your time for installation and configuration and I have to pay you
if the exchange database is corrupt.
If I wnat support by microsoft, I have to pay 260 ?/hour in germany to get
support by Microsoft.

A copy of a PST file on a network storage is copied in 5 minutes and small
companies can do this by themself. I don´t talk about companies with 20 or
more users. I talk about companies with less then 10 users or a peer-to-peer
network and with less money.

[Leonid]
My biggest concern with Public Sharefolder is that it relies on PST files.
[Oliver]
This is interesting.
Do you never advise your customers to archive the mailbox in PST files?
Have you heard about Outlook "Live"?
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/msn/factsheet/outlooklive2005fs.mspx

All information stored in Outlook 2003 PST files?

Our biggest companies have also the problem that they must store most of the
information in archive PST files to reduce the Exchange server and the
Exchange mailboxes. The cache mode takes to much traffik if you have big
mailboxes. Now they want to share the archive PST files, but this is not
possible. Now the use us (in addition to Exchange) to share the archive PST
files. Crazy, but true.

I don´t know what people have against PST files. Exchange synchronize in the
Cache Mode with PST files, Outlook live save all information on PST files
and synchronize this with an exchange mailbox on msn.com, the personal
Exhange mailboxes are archived in PST files! All companies have all problems
only with PST files and not with the offline times of Exchange? :)

We know Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, Exchange 2003, SBS, Terminalserver etc.
because we have to test all this Exchange software. (The 2003 WebAccess
looks great). :)
We also tested most of the "3rd party solutions" to see that most of them
were synchronization solutions based on NetFolder technology.

Maybe you will have the time to test our software, then you will see why I
think, that we are different to other 3rd party solutions and why I think
that we are the best alternate to Exchange and SBS. We know all Exchange
versions and SBS versions and maybe you will install our software in order
to extend your horizon. :))

Kind regards

--
Oliver Vukovics
Outlook Network without Exchange: Public ShareFolder
Awarded by ZDNet UK and ZDNet DE with the "Editors Choice".
http://www.publicshareware.com


Leonid S. Knyshov said:
I finally have some time to respond to these claims.

I would like to make it clear that I am simply responding to facts and have
nothing against Public Shareware's competing product and that my comments
are based on experience and not studies.

Gartner estimate may well be correct at UKP89/user. In smaller environments,
we find 2-3 hours/device to be an accurate estimate. As the number of
systems grows, the amount of time necessary decreases dramatically. It takes
us about as much time to migrate 20 systems as it does 200. This is
documented with our customers. Why such a time period? This is not truly
related to migration of data, in most cases, but more to catching up with
best practices lapses. 9 out of 10 cases will have no backup, no UPS for the
"server" machine, malware infestations (the infamous popups), highly
customized Outlook with various add-ons, and a lot of general training and
cleanup.

If the customer simply wants to go live with SBS 2003 for 20 desktops to
immediately start using the entire feature set starting with their NT4
domain or a peer-to-peer network and worry about data migration later, this
can be done in a matter of 4-5 hours.

I will go on the record to say that we can enable customers to begin
receiving Exchange benefits immediately after the deployment of SBS. The
legacy data migration does not take long either and depends on their current
groupware solution. This point is moot in the context of this discussion
since we focus on Outlook 2003 as the centerpiece of the common solution.

OK, so what is the business of Lucid8? Their business is to deliver value
through removing the human factor of Exchange management. As such, they will
offer quotes that further support their position. I am not a PR professional
and spend more of my time helping people than reading various studies. :)

I was considering writing software similar to Lucid8's a few years ago and I
may yet do so - I can leverage the Exchange BPA XML files courtesy of
Microsoft and automate the thing. At this point, I will make a claim that
 
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