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Peer-to-Peer Outlook

By CrownBass ·

I have been tasked by a client to set up Outlook on their peer-to-peer network. Installation and use on individual workstations is no problem but the difficulty arises when they want to be able to share contacts, calendars, etc. There is no collaborative foundation (such as Exchange) in order to facilitate this easily. I know it can be done but am not sure how. My research has turned up very little. Can anyone help with experience and/or knowledge?



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Re: Peer-to-Peer Outlook

by jjohnson In reply to Peer-to-Peer Outlook

Outlook implements peer-to-peer shared folders (including calendars, tasks, etc.) using email between the participating computers. If your client doesn't have an email server, you can use MS Mail (included with Win 9x & NT) as the messaging platform.
The biggest drawbacks I've encountered with this system:
1) Setup is required at each workstation for each folder shared. 3 users sharing calendars with each other = 9 setup actions; calendars and tasks, 18 actions.
2) Reliable email is critical. If email is lost, the systems get out of sync and you will likely have to "unshare" the affected machines and start over. The special Outlook sync email usually doesn't show up in the Inbox (or shows up very briefly as processed), but if a user closes Outlook after the messages arrive but before they're processed, they show up as odd (for the user) messages. Double-clicking them causes them to be processed, but I've had a number of users just delete them - even after I showed them proper procedure.
3) The PCs have to be on with Outlook running for the sync to take place.

In short, for a truly small network with few changes to the sharing configuration after initial setup, this can be a workable solution; outside those parameters, it can be more trouble than it's worth.

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by sbogener In reply to Peer-to-Peer Outlook

I have used MS Mail to set this up in a small workgroup. Used, Outlook 2000 as the reader and linked everyone to a shared folder. The problem that I have seen is the file lock that Outlook places on the shared folder. Only one person can gain access to the shared .pst at any given time.

I would like to tie a Mac into this mail solution. Anyone seen this done before?

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