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Online vs. Offline Exchange

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Online vs. Offline Exchange

Postby brad » Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:50 pm

ClearContext Beta 3 provides complete support for Outlook clients accessing Exchange Server 5.5, 2000, and 2003. To mitigate potential message conflicts, functionality available is dependent on whether the user is online or offline. This post explains how functionality changes and provides advice to ensure data integrity.

To support our complex prioritization algorithm, when a message is received, ClearContext adds data onto each individual message, including topic name, priority, thread id, etc.. Once this data has changed, it must be synchronized between offline and online mailboxes. If it changes in both mailboxes between synchronizations, a message conflict will arise. In Outlook 2000 and XP this results in the crossed swords icon next to the message within the inbox and the user must choose which of the of the two conflicted messages to keep. Outlook 2003 displays the most recent email and a message in the header alerting the user to the conflict.

ClearContext changes message organization information on individual inbox messages when an action is requested that results in re-scoring. This action could include first time setup of ClearContext, changing of a contact priority, changing the scoring parameters, etc.. If the user were to rescore both online and offline without synchronization, this could result in a conflict on all inbox messages.

To mitigate this potential problem, we have disabled scoring while offline. Individual messages will continue to be scored as they are received, but should the user attempt to rescore the entire inbox while offline, a dialog box will let the user know that he/she must wait until online. Also, ClearContext will only allow setup to run if the user is online.

To further protect from potential conflicts, it is highly recommended that the user enable automatic synchronization as frequently as possible; at a minimum on startup and shutdown of Outlook. This can be done within the Send/Receive Settings item under the Tools menu. Outlook 2003 users should take advantage of Cached Exchange mode (set under Tools/ Email Accounts) to permit the offline mailbox to synchronize with the server whenever it is available.

With the protections built into the ClearContext application and the precautions outlined above, it is highly unlikely that a user will experience this issue.

Error Messages Related to This Issue


If opening email in offline mode immediately after install of ClearContext:
Message: "Setup for ClearContext for Outlook cannot complete until Outlook is connected in Online Mode. Setup will complete the next time Outlook is started in Online Mode."
Resolution: Reopen outlook in online mode.

After installing in online mode, but opening in offline mode:
Message: "It does not appear that Outlook has been synchronized since ClearContext has been installed. ClearContext can not run until synchronization has been run."
Resolution: Synchronize (via Send/Receive and/or Synchronize on the Tools Menu).

When attempting to rescore the inbox (via scoring, contacts, or analyze functions):
Message: "The Inbox will not be rescored because Outlook is currently in offline mode."
Resolution: The parameter is saved, but the scoring was not completed. Rescore when in online mode by adjusting one of the scoring sliders in the ClearContext options menu.
Brad Meador
brad
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm

Completing install via VPN connection to Exchange

Postby mmatute » Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:54 am

Is it possible to complete an install while remotely connected to an Exchange server via VPN? Or, is it better to try finishing the installation when I'm in the office? I receive a message from CC that says I need to be in online mode. While connected via VPN, there appears to be a delay between when the Outlook client starts up and when it connects to Exchange, prompting this message from CC.
mmatute
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 11:39 am
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Connection Delay

Postby brad » Mon Jul 05, 2004 1:41 pm

It is recommended that you install while connected locally to your Exchange server rather than via VPN or dial up.

That said, if installing over a remote connection, make sure that you are forcing Outlook into Connected mode when starting up. Under Tools > Email Accounts find the Exchange Account and select "Control Connection State at Startup." If you are running Outlook 2003 Cached Exchange mode, turn it off (for install only). Restart Outlook and make sure that you select "Connect" when starting up. It should find the server prior to running the ClearContext setup.
Brad Meador
brad
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm

v1.0.1 Update

Postby brad » Tue Oct 19, 2004 1:42 pm

We have changed the setup script to allow installation while in disconnected, cached exchange mode. This eliminates the problem of being unable to install while in Cached Exchange mode because the client does not connect to the server fast enough. If you do install while offline, please ensure that you connect and sync as soon as possible.
Brad Meador
brad
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:35 pm


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