Dgoldman's WebLog

The daily adventures of an Escalation Engineer

How to deploy the .oab and .ost files for use with Outlook 2003 in Cached Mode Exchange

How to deploy the .oab and .ost files for use with Outlook 2003 in Cached Mode Exchange

  • Comments 3

Outlook 2003 introduces Cached Exchange Mode. Cached Exchange Mode lets you work primarily from offline files in a Connected mode and to periodically synchronize with an Exchange Server. Using Outlook 2003 in Cached Exchange Mode is useful when users are located at remote sites or are working over slow or unreliable connections.

By default, all the e-mail messages that are stored on the Exchange Server and that are full copies of the Global Address List are downloaded to the your computer when Cached Exchange Mode is enabled in Outlook 2003. Depending on the size of your mailbox, the size of the organization's Global Address List, the number of users who are using Outlook 2003 in Cached Exchange Mode, and the network bandwidth, this can cause performance issues with the Exchange Server, the organization's Network topology, or both. During an initial synchronization with the Exchange Server, Outlook 2003 users may experience delayed responses during the initial synchronization of Outlook 2003 with the server.

Deploying the .oab files - How to manually deploy the .oab files
Use the following methods to manually deploy the .oab files to remote client computers.

Test computer preparation
Follow these ssteps for a test computer from which you will be gathering files and registry data to be deployed to your remote computers:

1. Locate a test computer to be used to generate the .oab files that you want to deploy.

2. Delete the *.oab files that are on this test computer. By default, the *.oab files are located in the following folder: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

For additional information about the names of the .oab files you that can find in this folder, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 841273 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/841273/ - Administering the Offline Address Book in Outlook 2003

3. By default, Outlook 2003 will download Unicode .oab files if you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 server. If you want to download ANSI .oab files, you must add the following registry data to the test computer that you are using to generate the offline Address Book files that you are going to deploy:

Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\EMSP
Value Name: PreferANSI
Type: DWORD
Value Data: 1

Note You do not have to add the previously mentioned registry data if you are using either Microsoft Exchange 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. Both of these versions of Microsoft Exchange download ANSI .oab files. However, they cannot generate Unicode .oab files.

4. Create a new Microsoft Outlook profile that uses Cached Exchange Mode on the test computer.

5. Start Outlook 2003 with this new profile, and then wait until the .oab files have been automatically downloaded from the Exchange server.

6. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder:  \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\ Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

7. If you are going to use a CD-ROM to send to your remote users, examine the size of all the .oab files that are in this folder. Make sure that all the .oab files will fit on the CD-ROM.

8. On the test computer that you created the new Outlook profile in, downloaded the .oab files, and then follow these steps to add the following registry data.

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

a. Quit Outlook.

b. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

c. Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider

d. After you select the key that is specified in step c, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.

e. Type IsDeployed, and then press ENTER.

f. Right-click IsDeployed, and then click Modify.

g. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

h. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

9. When the registry modification is complete, follow these steps to export the Exchange Provider registry key to a file for use on the remote systems.

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

a. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

b. Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider

c. On the File menu, click Export Registry File

d. Select a location, type a file name for the file, and then click Save.

10. Remove the registry data that is listed in step 8 from the test computer.

Remote client computer preparation
Follow these steps on the remote client computer. There are some optional steps that you can perform, depending on the amount of the offline address book that you want to download after the deployment occurs.

1. On the remote client computer, copy the *.oab files that you generated in the "Test computer preparation" section to the following folder:

\Documents and Settings\< user name>\Local Settings\ Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

2. Import the following registry key that you exported in step 9 of the "Test computer preparation" section: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider

3. If you are using an Exchange Server 2003 server, and you enabled the PreferANSI registry key on the test computer in step 3 of the "Test computer preparation" section, add the following registry data to the remote client computer:

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

a. Quit Outlook.

b. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

c. Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\EMSP

d. After you select the key that is specified in step c, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.

e. Type PreferANSI, and then press ENTER.

f. Right-click PreferANSI, and then click Modify.

g. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

h. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

4. Create a new Outlook 2003 profile in Cached Exchange Mode, but do not start Outlook 2003 on the remote client computer.

5. If you want to disable the automatic Offline Address Book differential and the full update checks on the remote client computers, add the following registry data to the remote client computer.

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

a. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

b.  Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Cached Mode

c. After you select the key that is specified in step c, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.

d. Type DownloadOAB, and then press ENTER.

e. Right-click DownloadOAB, and then click Modify.

f. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.

g. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

NoteAdding this registry data will not prevent you from manually forcing a full or differential .oab download.

6. If you want your remote client computers to perform differential .oab file downloads, you must deploy the sequence number for the .oab data that you created in the "Test computer preparation" section, starting with the offline address book data that you are deploying. To do this, note the value for the 0003667d DWORD under the following key on the test computer from the "Test computer preparation" section:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\ Profiles\<test machine Profile Name>\13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a

In this registry key, <test machine Profile Name> is the name of the Outlook 2003 profile that you created on the test computer in step 4 of the "Test computer preparation" section.
Create the same 0003667d DWORD under the following registry key on the remote client computer to set its value to the same value that exists on the test computer:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\ Profiles\<Profile Name>\13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a

7. Start Outlook 2003 on the remote client computer.

Automated deployment
You can use the Custom Installation Wizard (CIW) and the Office Profile Wizard (OPW) to deploy the .oab files and relevant registry keys during the installation of Outlook 2003. To automate the deployment of the offline address book data to Outlook 2003 clients, follow these steps.

Test computer preparation
Follow these steps for a test computer from which you will be gathering files and registry data to be deployed to your remote computers.

1. Locate a test computer to be used to generate the .oab files used in this deployment.

2. Delete the *.oab files on this test computer. By default, the *.oab files are located in the following folder: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

3. [Optional] If you are using an Exchange 2003 server, Outlook will, by default, download Unicode .oab files. If you want to download ANSI .oab files instead, add the following registry data to the test Outlook client that is being used to generate the .oab files.

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

a. Quit Outlook.

b. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

c. Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\EMSP

d. After you select the key that is specified in step c, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.

e. Type PreferANSI, and then press ENTER.

f. Right-click PreferANSI, and then click Modify.

g. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

h. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

Note You do not have to add this registry data if you are using either Microsoft Exchange version 5.5 or Microsoft Exchange 2000. Both of these versions of Exchange download ANSI .oab files and cannot generate Unicode .oab files.

4. Create a new Outlook profile configured for Cached Exchange Mode on the test computer.

5. Start Outlook with this new profile, and then wait until the .oab files have been automatically downloaded from the Exchange server.

6. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder location, and then make sure the .oab files exist: \Documents and Settings\<your name>\Local Settings\ Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

7. Quit Outlook if it is still running, and then move all files out of this folder except for any file with an .oab file name extension.

8. On the test computer where you created the new profile and downloaded the .oab files, add the following registry data.

Warning - If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

1. Quit Outlook.

2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

3. Locate and then click to select the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider

4. After you select the key that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.

5. Type IsDeployed, and then press ENTER.

6. Right-click IsDeployed, and then click Modify.

7. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

8. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.

Microsoft Office Resource Kit tool usage
After you finish preparing the test computer with the downloaded .oab files and relevant registry data, the next steps in this process uses tools from the Office Resource Kit.

1. Install the Office Resource Kit tools on the test computer. The Office Resource Kit tools can be downloaded from the following Web site:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/e/d/0eda9ae6-f5c9-44be-98c7-ccc3016a296a/ork.exe (http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/e/d/0eda9ae6-f5c9-44be-98c7-ccc3016a296a/ork.exe)

2. Open a new text file in Notepad.

3. Copy and paste the following text into a text file in Notepad. This information will be the contents of a customized .ini file for the Office Profile Wizard:

[Header]
Version = 11.0 
Product = Microsoft Office 11.0 

# ********************* File/Folder Sections *********************** 

[IncludeIndividualFolders] 
<UserProfile>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook 

[ExcludeFiles]
*.OST 
*.PAB 
*.PST 
*.TMP 
EXTEND.DAT 

# ********************** Registry Sections *********************** 

[IncludeIndividualRegistryKeys]
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider 

4. Save the file as the OABdata.ini file to the root of the Drive C on the test computer. Close the file.

5. Copy the Proflwiz.exe file from the C:\Program Files\ORKTools\ORK11\Tools\Profile Wizard folder to the root of the Drive C on the test computer.

6. On the test computer, run the following command line: C:\Proflwiz.exe /a /i OABdata.ini /s OABpkg.ops

Note that the .ops file contains the registry data under the \Exchange Provider registry key in addition to the .oab files. This .ops file will be used later to deploy these items to the remote client computer.

7. After the OABpkg.ops file has been generated by the Office Profile Wizard, remove the registry data from the test computer that is listed in step 8 of the "Test computer preparation" section.

8. Start the Custom Installation Wizard.

9. If you enabled the PreferANSI registry key on the test computer (step 3 in the "Test computer preparation" section), add the following registry data to the transform in the Add/Remove Registry Entries dialog box:

Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\EMSP
Value Name: PreferANSI
Type: DWORD
Value data: 1

10. [Optional] If you want to disable automatic offline address book differential and full update checks on the remote clients, add the following registry data in the Add/Remove Registry Entries dialog box:

Registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Cached Mode
Value Name: DownloadOAB
Type: DWORD
Value Data: 0

[Optional: Steps 11-14] If the user who will be running Outlook 2003 will also be the user installing Office 2003, you can add the Office Profile Wizard as an additional program to run after the Microsoft Office installation is finished. This will automatically add the .oab files to their profile under the following folder: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

If multiple users will be using Outlook 2003 on the same computer, or if the installing user will not be the same as the user running Outlook 2003, skip to step 15. Otherwise, go to step 11.

11. In the Add Installations and Run Programs dialog box, click Add.

12. In the Target box, enter the full path of the Proflwiz.exe file. This path can either be a local path on the remote computer or a shared network location.

13. In the Arguments box, enter the following text: /r <path>\OABpkg.ops /q

Note that the placeholder <path> is the full path of the OABpkg.ops file. This path can either be a local path on the remote computer or a shared network location.

14. In the options the Arguments box, select the following items, and then click OK:

• Run this program only once per machine
• Run this program only the first time this product is installed

15. In the Outlook: Customize Default Profile dialog box, click New Profile. In the Profile name box, enter any name for your Outlook 2003 profile, and then click Next.

16. In the Outlook: Specify Exchange Settings dialog box, clickConfigure an Exchange Server connection, and then enter your Exchange Server name.

17. In the Outlook: Specify Exchange Settings dialog box, clickConfigure Cached Exchange Mode.

18. Enable any other options that you may need in the Outlook: Specify Exchange Settings dialog box.

[Optional: Steps 19-27] If you want your remote client computers to perform differential offline address book downloads, starting from the offline address book data that is being deployed, you will have to deploy the sequence number for the .oab data that was created earlier. To do this, go to step 19. Otherwise, go to step 28.

19. On the test computer, note the value for the 0003667dDWORD under the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\ Profiles\<test machine Profile name>\13dbb0c8aa05101a9bb000aa002fc45a

This value will have to be converted and used in step 23. For example, if you see 31 48 10 00 in this registry data, the number you will enter in step 23 will be 0x00104831. Basically, the converted number uses the binary registry data in reverse order preceded by “0x” (without the quotation marks).

20. In the Outlook: Remove Accounts and Export Settings dialog box, click Export Profile Settings.

21. In the Save As dialog box, select your desktop, and then save the file as the OABdeploy.prf file.

22. Using Notepad, open the OABdeploy.prf file on your desktop.

23. In the [ServiceEGS] section of the .prf file, add the following line:
OABSequenceNumber=<converted value>

Note that the placeholder <converted value> is the value that you determined and converted in step 19.

24. In the [Exchange Global Section] of the .prf file, add the following line: OABSequenceNumber=PT_LONG,0x667d

25. Save and close the .prf file.

26. In the CIW, click Back until you return to the Outlook: Customize Default Profile dialog box.

27. Click Apply PRF.

28. Click Browse.

29. Locate and select the OABdeploy.prf file from your desktop.

30. Click Finish to create the completed transform file.

Remote client user computer preparation
1. Install Office using the transform that you created in the "Microsoft Office Resource Kit tool usage" section.

2. [Contingent step] If you did not add the Office Profile Wizard as an Additional Installations and Run Programs in the transform (steps 11-14 in the Office Resource Kit tool usage section), continue with this step. Otherwise, go to step 3. For the user who will be running Outlook on the remote client, run a batch file or a logon script that uses the following command-line: <path>\Proflwiz.exe /r <path>\OABpkg.ops /q

Note that the placeholder <path> is the full path of the files. Ideally, the path of these files will be a local path on the computer. You will have to run this command-line for any user who will be using Outlook on the computer. The .oab files cannot be shared by multiple users on the same computer so they must be copied to each user’s profile under the following folder: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

3. Start Outlook.

Step 1: Administrator workstation
1. Log on with an account that can fully access the user's mailbox (the actual user account or the Exchange Service Account)

2. Delete all Outlook profiles that may exist. To do this, click the Mail icon in Control Panel, and then click Show Profiles to access the list of configured profiles for Outlook. Also, delete any files in the default folder location for Outlook .ost files. By default, the Outlook .ost files are located in the following folder: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

3. Create a new Outlook profile for the user that you want, and make sure that Cached Exchange Mode is enabled. The check box for Cached Exchange Mode is on the Exchange Server Account window in the E-mail Account wizard.

4. When the new profile is created, start Outlook and allow for a complete synchronization with the mailbox. The status bar will display your synchronization status.

5. Quit Outlook, and then make sure it completely shuts down. When Outlook is closed, copy the files from the following folder to a location where the files can be accessed by the client computer: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

Step 2: Client Workstation
1. Log on to the client workstation as the user.

2. Copy the files that you created in the "Step 1: Administrator workstation" section to the client system in the target directory on the workstation. For example, copy the files to the following folder: \Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

3. Configure an Outlook profile for the user. To do this, click the Mail icon in Control Panel, and then click Show Profiles. When you create the Outlook profile, click More Settings in the Exchange Server Account window of the E-mail Account wizard, click the Advanced tab, and then click Offline Folder Settings. Make sure that your path of your offline files is correct and pointing to the correctly named file.

4. Click OK to return to the E-mail Account wizard, and verify that Cached Exchange Mode option is enabled. Make sure that this step is completed by clicking OK after confirming the location of the .ost file.

5. Finish creating the profile, and then log on to Outlook.

Dave

Comments
  • Excellent Post! But the question is: Why is it that difficult? Meaning, why are there still those unintuitive MAPI ID's? Are there any plans to change this in the future? Hopefully...

  • Thanks. That is what mapi is based on, perhaps in the future they will become a thing of the past. Myself I am not sure if there are any plans to change them.

    Dave

  • Going Live with Exchange 2007, Part 1 Integrate SharePoint into Your Exchange Environment Exchange 2007

Page 1 of 1 (3 items)