Outlook Client

This article is from way back when things were very different and the information will be at least ten years out of date! We keep it online for curiosity purposes, as the page still turns up in search results and it is preferable to a page not found message.

Outlook Client Overview

If you have ever tried to implement roving or roaming user profiles with Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP or Vista and have them support access to a Microsoft Exchange Server using Outlook 97, 98, 2000, XP, 2003 or 2007, you will know why you need this!

Originally designed for classroom or open access environments in Schools in the UK, where any one of hundreds of students could potentially log on to any PC and would expect to be able to access their email; the roving client utility is now in use on thousands of workstations world-wide.

However, the effectiveness of this utility is not limited to educational establishments, it could well save a lot of time and trouble in any environment where more than one user has access to a given workstation.

By default, Outlook does not easily fit into a multiple user profile environment, adding Microsoft Exchange Server into the mix complicates matters further:

  • In it's default configuration Outlook stores all its user profile information locally in the registry. Each user must have an Outlook profile configured on the PC they intend to use before Outlook will successfully start.
  • If the Outlook profile is to include the client for Exchange Server, the user's mailbox details have to be pre-set in the profile as well.

The net result is that if you want to use Outlook in a roving profile environment you either manually create a profile for every user on every machine or you get something like Outlook Client to do it for you on the fly!


Microsoft have made tools available to extend Outlook's support for roaming profiles, a search of Microsoft's knowledgebase (http://www.microsoft.com/support) for 'ProfGen', 'NewProf' or 'ModProf' should give you all the information you need.

However, these tools have limitations that make them inflexible or difficult to use for many people due to the scripting or batch file requirements. The Outlook Client utility will usually resolve the problem in a flexible and easy to implement manner.

Outlook Client Instructions


Description Of Use

By starting Outlook Roving Client instead of Microsoft Outlook, the utility will automatically configure and install a valid MAPI profile for each user and then load Outlook on the user's behalf correctly configured. The user is usually unaware of the process and uses Outlook in the normal way.


Installation & Configuration

1. Make sure Outlook is ready to use
For Outlook 97 and 98 this simply means install it, but Outlook 2000 and later versions and later must be installed and have been used at least once, so that Outlook's post installation configuration is completed and corporate mode selected.
2. Download the setup file
Download the setup program from the download page, you may be prompted to register with us before the download begins.
3. Install the client utility on each workstation required
The setup program will attempt to install the necessary files to c:\Program Files\RedFox\olClient, you can use any location of your choosing, but for Outlook 97, 98 and 2000 you will need to ensure NEWPROF.EXE is in the same folder.
4. Use the Configuration Wizard to create Microsoft Outlook shortcuts
Upon completion of the setup program start the Outlook Roving Client configuration wizard, from the 'Configure Roving Client' icon on the desktop. The configuration wizard which will assist you in collecting all the information required to get the utility running and will generate the shortcuts than will be used to load Microsoft Outlook. You can cancel the configuration wizard at any time and come back to it later via either the shortcut on your desktop or by starting OlClient without any switches and opting to run the wizard when prompted.
5. Load Outlook using the shortcut created by the Configuration Wizard
Provided the switches are set correctly Outlook should now load when using the shortcut(s) created in the above process. If it does not, the utility should will generally give you a very basic idea as to what went wrong, you can get a far more detailed description of any errors by specifying the /VE (verbose errors) switch.

It is well worth checking the Optional Switch Settings and below to see if there is a setting that will improve the use or support of the utility.

Optional Switch Settings

There is only one mandatory switch setting and this is the Exchange Server name specified with the /XS switch. In a single server environment this may be the only command line option you need. However, it is worth examining the list below to see if any extra switches are required.

/ARC

Enable Auto Archive
This setting will enable Outlook's Auto Archiving feature to ARCHIVE.PST in the Outlook directory of the users home folder, using outlook's default archive interval of 14 days. You can adjust the archive interval by using /ARC:N, where N is the number of days required.
/CONFIG Load the Configuration Wizard
If specified anywhere in the command line switches will instruct OlClient to start the Configuration Wizard rather than doing anything else.
/D Empty Deleted Items on exit
Enables the option that clears deleted items folder when outlook is closed. /DEL is also valid for this option
/DS Do not automatically start Outlook
Instructs OlClient not to start outlook once the profile generation and installation process has completed. Can be used from the start menu to ensure a profile is always available so that other MAPI applications are assured a valid profile. /DONTSTART is also valid for this option. This switch is ignored when Outlook 2002/2003 is installed as Outlook itself is used to import the profile.
/GP Force profile generation
By default OlClient will use an existing user profile and install it without generating a new one on the fly, as this is quicker and allows some flexibility regarding individual user settings. If you need to enforce a new profile due to recent command line switch changes or general security policy reasons, you can override this behaviour by specifying the /GP switch and a new profile will always be generated.
/HS:{ServerName} Specify user's Home Server
Specify the user share server the if different from the Exchange server.
/MAX Maximise Outlook startup window
Starts Outlook in a maximised window, the default is to start with a normalised window.
/MIN Minimise Outlook startup window
Starts Outlook with in a minimised window, the default is to start with a normalised window.
/M New mail notification
Enables the new message notification option that displays the 'You have new mail' window on receiving mail. /MSG is also valid for this option.
/MD:{DriveLetter} Use mapped drive for home folder
Overrides the default behaviour of using a share on the Home Server to store the user's profile and related files to use the mapped drive indicated after the /MD: switch instead.
/OAB Enable Outlook Address Book
Adds support for use of the Outlook Contacts folder as an address book and means of display name resolution.
/OP Overwrite Profile
Forces a new profile to be created even if one already exists, effectively resetting any changes the user may have made in their last Outlook session. This was the standard mode of operation prior to version 3.00.
/N Do not save sent items
This option will disable saving copies of sent items in the sent items folder. /NOSAVE is also valid for this option
/PAB Enable Personal Address Book
Include a personal address book the user's profile. If specified the folder will reside in USERNAME.PAB in the Outlook directory of the users home folder.
/PST Enable Personal Folders
Include personal folders in the user's profile. If specified the folder will reside in USERNAME.PST in the Outlook directory of the users home folder.
/Q Enable Quiet operational mode
Disables the profile generation progress the bar that is usually displayed when creating a new profile for a user. /QUIET is also valid for this option.
/R Provide registry support for Favorites and Views
Modifies the Office Explorer key of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive in the Registry to support relocation of the views and favorites folders, from default the Windows directory to the user's home share. Using this option will further enhance use of Outlook in a Roving/Roaming user environment by allowing user Outlook Bar settings to follow them. /REG is also valid for this option. The Outlook 2002 favorites folder file cannot be read by earlier versions of Outlook and will be reset to default in a mixed version environment if a user moves from Outlook 2002 to an earlier version!

/TF:{FilePath}

Custom Template File
For speed and efficiency OlClient will usually create a user's profile based on it's own template profile held internally. However there may be occasions where template changes outside the scope of OlClient's control are required. You can specify your own template file with the /TF: switch followed by the full path to the file, the path can contain a drive letter or full UNC path. For this option to work the template file must be in a format recognised by OlClient, the Configuration Wizard can be used to create a template file that you can modify to suite your requirements.

/US:{ShareName}

Specify User Share
Specify an alternate NT share name on the users Home Server that is to contain ‘username’ directories for storing Outlook.prf and related files, instead of using the user’s home share. If the share specified does not contain the required user’s directory it will be created. The share can be hidden but all users will require read/write (Change) access to it.

/V

View Settings
This option is intended as a diagnostic aid. When specified OlClient will display a window indicating the settings in use instead of starting outlook. Most command line settings will be verified before the view window is displayed, but a profile will not be created. /VIEW is also valid for this option

/VE

Enable Verbose Error messages
By default, OlClient returns only a limited amount of information on encountering any errors, this is by design in order that information you might not want users to see, such as hidden share names and registry keys, is kept out of sight. When the /VE switch is specified OlClient returns a much more informative message if an error is encountered. Note: the Configuration Wizard will always use verbose error messages regardless of switch settings.

/XS:{ServerName}

Exchange Server Name
This is the only mandatory switch, OlClient cannot operate without it. Specifies the the name the Exchange Server to be used in the user's profile.

Outlook Client Version Log

3.02 24/05/07 Outlook 2007 support
By popular(ish) demand, added support for Outlook 2007 and tested to ensure correct operation in Windows Vista. Also added vb runtime to the install package, as the extra 500K that needs to be downloaded is not such a problem these days.
3.01 14/09/04 Added Outlook 2002/2003 minor bug fix
Fixed an Installation Wizard issue where only printer shares would be displayed in the folder selection dialogue when selecting a common user share to store the profile in. Added Outlook 2003 icon to Installation Wizard to help demonstrate that it has correctly identified the Outlook version.
3.00 07/05/03 Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003 support, automatic profile reuse.
Redesigned profile creation process used with Outlook 2002 or 2003 so that Outlook rather then NewProf imports the profile. Installation Wizard will now correctly identify Exchange 2000/2003 servers. Removed support for /DS switch when used with Outlook 2002/2003 as Outlook itself is required to import the user's profile. Added a much requested profile re-use feature to preserve any existing user profiles and a /OP switch to disable this behaviour.
2.00 22/04/00 Configuration Wizard and other additional features added.
Introduced installation wizard to simplify setup and distribution. Default command line behaviour changed to look for /XS switch indicating Exchange Server. Made profile template storage internal with option to specify /TF switch to indicate that an external template file is to be used instead. Legacy command lines are interpreted into /XS and /TF switches. Introduced /MD switch to support use of mapped drives for user files instead of a network share. Introduced /GP switch to force profile generation regardless of any existing profile. Added /VE switch to allow verbose error reporting if required. Improved registry key detection when checking for an Outlook installation, particularly in Windows NT. Improved profile OAB, PAB and PST usage by only including support for the services requested in the command line.
1.05 25/11/99 Outlook 2000 registry support added, WAB and PST support improved.
/R switch now checks for which version of Outlook is in use to support Outlook 2000's new registry location. Added /DONTSTART switch to stop OlClient loading Outlook when profile generation has completed. Added /NOAB switch to turn off the Outlook Address Book and improved support for /PAB and /PST switches so that they can be used independently of each other.
1.04 29/01/99 Quiet Operation Mode added, NT Share fix and Favorites file moved.
Added /QUIET switch to disable displaying the 'Fetching Outlook Profile' progress bar when creating a new profile for a user. Resolved an issue finding the user's home share when used with NT Workstation and the user share was a root mapping. Relocated the location of the favorites file storage from the root of the home share mapping to the user's outlook profile directory.
1.03 06/10/98 Roving Favorites and Views support added.
Added /REG switch to enable 'on the fly' changes to the registry to support the use of roving Outlook Bar settings and name space views by relocating the favorites file to the same user share as outlook.prf. The main reason for doing this was to reduce warnings generated by Outlook in an environment where access the user's C: drive is denied as, by default, Outlook uses C:\Windows for these files.
1.02 24/09/98 Hidden Outlook Directory Fix.
Fixed an issue if user decided to hide Outlook dir in user share by Attrib +H on the directory program would error 'Unable to create outlook dir'. This method of hiding information is not recommended, as directory is still available to user if they are aware it exists. Preferred method is to create a hidden share to store UserName\Outlook.prf in and specify it at the command line with the /US switch.
1.01 19/09/98 Additional functionality.
Added greater functionality at the command line to make better use of information stored in outlook.prf rather than expecting user to edit default prf. Also added a view configuration switch and option for specifying Outlook start window size. New command line switches /HS, /US, /PST, /PAB, /ARC, /DEL, /NOSAVE, /MSG, /VIEW, /NORM, /MIN and /MAX added.
1.00 04/09/98 Initial Release.
First fully tested version released, supported single server use with option for alternate home directory support. Provided command line support for URL to outlook.prf and alternate users share only.