Configuring Outlook 2007 with Exchange Server 2007


In this article I will show you how to configure Outlook 2007 with Exchange Server 2007. I will also show you how the new Exchange 2007 Autodiscovery service works with Outlook 2007 and some new features of Outlook 2007 like different out of office (OOF) settings for internal and external use and some new enhancements in calendar scheduling.


This article will cover three different areas of configuring Outlook 2007 with Exchange Server 2007:



  • Exchange 2007 / Outlook 2007 Autodiscovery
  • Out of Office configuration (OOF) for Outlook clients
  • Outlook 2007 scheduling assistant

Exchange 2007 / Outlook 2007 Autodiscovery


The Autodiscovery service in Exchange Server 2007 uses users’ e-mail address or a domain user account to automatically configure a user’s Outlook 2007 profile. The Autodiscovery service provides the following information to the Outlook client:



  • User’s Display name
  • Separate connection settings for internal and external connectivity
  • The location of users Exchange Server 2007 with the Mailbox server role installed
  • The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for several Outlook 2007 features (Outlook availability services) such as Outlook Free/busy or Offline address book (OAB) information
  • Configuration for Outlook Anywhere

The Autodiscovery process


The following image shows the Outlook 2007 Autodiscovery process.


The Outlook 2007 client looks for a SCP (Service connection point) object in Active Directory. You will see the SCP object when you use tools like ADSIedit. You can find the SCP at the following location:


CN=<CAS_server>,CN=AutoDiscover,CN=Protocols,CN=<CAS_Server>,CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group, CN=AdministrativeGroup,CN=<Organization>,CN=Services,[Configuration Naming Context].


The SCP points to an Exchange Server 2007 with the Client Access Server role. The Client Access Server returns the URL for the Autodiscover file (Autodiscover.xml).


The Outlook client establishes a connection via HTTPS to the Client Access Server.


Note:
It is possible to disable the HTTPS authentication process for Autodiscover if you want. To disable HTTPS for Autodiscovery modify the following registry key:


HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\AutoConfiguration – REG_DWORD – UseSSL – change the value to 0.


The Client Access Server returns addresses of Exchange 2007 availability services like Free+Busy and OAB.



Figure 1:
Autodiscovery process


Collecting information about the Autodiscovery function


The Autodiscovery feature is installed on a Exchange Server 2007 with the Client Access Server role installed. You will get more information about the Autodiscovery service if you execute the Exchange Management Shell CMDLet in the following image.



Figure 2:
Get more information about the Autodiscovery process


Autodiscovery URL


The Client Access Server role of Exchange Server 2007 uses the following URLs for the autodiscover process:



  • https://autodiscover.domain.tld/autodiscover.xml
  • https://autodiscover.domain.tld/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

Configuring Outlook 2007 for automatic profile creation


When a user tries to start Outlook for the first time, a new Outlook profile generation request starts and the user is required to enter some information to create an Outlook profile. The user has the option to manually create an Outlook profile or to use the Autodiscovery service from Exchange Server 2007. 


The first question is if you would like to configure Outlook to connect to Internet E-mail, Microsoft Exchange or another E-mail server.



Figure 3:
Configure Outlook with a mail-profile


If you want to configure Outlook 2007 for Autodiscovery in Exchange Server 2007, a user must enter the e-mail address if this e-mail address is not automatically detected by Outlook 2007.



Figure 4:
Detecting Autodiscover settings


If you would like to manually configure the server settings or other server types, activate the option for manual configuration.


Outlook now tries to automatically find the Autodiscover settings from the server with the Client Access Server role installed. After some processing, the Autodiscover feature will configure a new e-mail profile for the Outlook user.



Figure 5:
Autodiscover process


Auto-configuration test


You can test the Autodiscovery configuration service by right clicking the Outlook button while holding the CTRL key. Now you can select the test e-mail auto-configuration button to test the Autodiscovery function as you can see in the following images.



Figure 6:
Test E-Mail Auto-configuration


Guessmart


Guessmart is relatively new technology which tries to find POP/SMTP and IMAP Servers automatically by trying to establish a connection to servers in the form of IMAP.SERVER.DOMAIN.TLD, POP.SERVER.DOMAIN.TLD SMTP.SERVER.DOMAIN.TLD and so on.


As you have seen in the beginning of this article, Exchange Server 2007 Autodiscovery is a straightforward process in simple environments. If you are planning to use the Autodiscover feature with Network Load Balancing or for external clients, additional steps are required to get this working.


Out of Office configuration


Outlook 2007 has several enhancements regarding Out of Office configuration. Outlook 2007 now allows you to configure different out of office notifications for internal and external uses as you can see in the following image. It is also possible to define a start and an end date for the out of office replies so you will never forget to disable OOF when you are in the office.



Figure 7:
Out of Office configuration


Out of Office configuration in Exchange Server 2007


In Exchange Server 2007 it is possible to configure the behavior of out of office notifications.


It is possible to define out of office notifications for external use only. You can also define if out of office notifications from Outlook 2003 clients are allowed to leave the Exchange 2007 organization.



Figure 8:
Out of Office settings in the Exchange Management Console (EMC)


Outlook 2007 Scheduling


Outlook 2007 has a completely new rewritten scheduling engine. Meeting requests and scheduling queries are much easier and provide more powerful information. A new scheduling agent makes it easier to get a new experience when planning meetings with your colleagues.


The new scheduling assistant can automatically find the best meeting time for all attendees.



Figure 9:
Scheduling meetings


Conclusion


In this article I showed you how to configure Outlook 2007 with Exchange Server 2007. I also explained some new Outlook 2007 features. This article was not designed to give you an overview about all the new Outlook 2007 features. The new Autodiscovery service in Exchange Server 2007 is one of the most wanted new features and it makes the work for us administrators a lot easier.


Related Links


How the Autodiscovery service works


Client features in Exchange Server 2007

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