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Slave Mode for a Single Exchange Account on Two Machines

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Slave Mode for a Single Exchange Account on Two Machines

Postby brad » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:00 pm

As Omar Shahine has pointed out in his blog, the current version of Inbox Manager (v1.0.2b) does not fully support access of Exchange mailboxes on two different machines. We're working on a solution and want to give you a heads up on our thinking.

Our proposed approach to implement this functionality is to create a ClearContext "slave" mode for users running Outlook 2003 Cached Exchange Mode dual configurations. When messages come in, they will only be processed by the "master" instance. When Cached Outlook is synced up with the network, the "slave" machine will receive the correctly scored messages. All Inbox Manager functionality (priority, topic assignment, filing etc.) will be available on the slave machine, with the exception that CC functions will not be available for use on new, unscored messages until they are scored and synced with the master.

We expect this to work well for users who have a primary Cached Outlook desktop running all the time plus a laptop. It doesn't work as well for people who might be running two machines as interchangeable primary workstations that are both connected/disconnected from the network frequently. The same approach can be used for other offline versions of Exchange, but the user must set Outlook on both machines to synchronize frequently.

We also have plans for an Exchange Server based version of our product. This is at least a couple of releases away - we will provide more details in future forum posts.

We plan to implement "Slave Mode" in an upcoming release - we will post a projected product roadmap when we finalize that information. As a workaround until we implement, users may disable ClearContext but retain the views on one of their machines to simulate slave/master functionality. That will, however, disable manual ClearContext functionality such as topic assignment and message priority adjustment.
Brad Meador
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Use of ClearConText on one of two desktops running cache exc

Postby nclark5050 » Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:44 am

I run Outlook in cache mode on a desktop at the office and at home. I would like to use ClearContext on the home computer. Without the master/slave mode being resolved, what problems could this cause?
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The problem is timing...

Postby brad » Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:06 pm

When ClearContext receives a new message, it scores the message, appending information to the actual message (thread id, score, topic, priority, etc.). The problem caused by running two machines is that you could have ClearContext scoring the same message in two different places, causing a message conflict. This results in what appears to be "buggy" behavior - sometimes thread id's get out of synch which causes topics to not assign correctly, threads to get broken within the view, etc..

If the workaround above won't work for you, you might try to mitigate this problem by setting up one of your machines to connect to the exchange server in online mode and the other in cached exchange mode. This is not foolproof, but should minimize the problem - the always on, online machine will score messages near instantaneously - usually before the message is replicated down to the cached exchange machine.

Please let me know if one of these solutions works for you and/or whether you have additional questions.
Brad Meador
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One point of clarification

Postby brad » Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:22 pm

FYI - There is only a problem if you are accessing the same mail file from two machines at the same time - if you only access the mail file with one machine at a time then you won't have any problems with ClearContext functioning on both machines.
Brad Meador
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Postby djblois » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:45 am


Those posts were from back in 2005? has anything changed since then? or is the slave mode coming soon?
Daniel J Blois
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Postby brad » Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:34 am

We continue to investigate what it will take to build this functionality, but it has proven to be much more complicated than originally anticipated. I don't have an estimate on when we will implement this at this time.
Brad Meador
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Postby phammond » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:11 am

If you are running CC on two machines (NOT at the same time) wouldn't they be using different historical data and therefore score mails in different ways?

Is there a particular directory I can share (using Foldershare or similar) that will ensure my mail gets scored using the same historical data on both machines?
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Postby brad » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:30 am


All scoring information in stored within the mail file itself. As long as the mail file is synchronized with Exchange all historical scoring information should be available on both machines.

The only data that isn't stored within the mail file itself is AutoAssign rules and configuration and preferences. These are stored in the registry.
Brad Meador
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Postby forgo » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:53 am

I'm new, so forgive me if I'm off base or something. I run Outlook always on my office workstation. I have a laptop that syncs with Exchange that runs Outlook only when I need it. When they're both running, I do get weird things (odd scoring, wrong linkages).

What seems to make the most sense to me would be to just be able to turn scoring off for one of the machines. I have my autoassign rules and everything on my workstation. I don't want my laptop ever scoring an email. So to just turn it off seems to make sense for me.

Don't know if that's any easier than trying to have them both score or whatever, but HTH and thanks!

- Mark
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Postby brad » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:16 am

Thanks for the suggestion.
Brad Meador
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Postby ssholloway » Mon May 05, 2008 5:15 pm

Hi, Brad--
Any further insight into whether master-slave can be implemented? If not, will the work-around forgo proposed work?
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Postby ClearContext Support » Mon May 05, 2008 6:21 pm

We continue to make incremental improvements in the way IMS works with multiple machines with each release, but I do not have an estimate at this time for full implementation of master/slave mode.

The most important point is that you should avoid allowing two machines with IMS installed to access your mail file simultaneously. If you shut down Outlook on one machine before opening on another, most potential issues are mitigated.
ClearContext Support
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Re: Slave Mode for a Single Exchange Account on Two Machines

Postby ClearContext Support » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:00 pm

Full multi-machine support is provided in v5.0 and later.
ClearContext Support
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