Export (0) Print
Expand All

Cached Exchange Mode conflict handling in Outlook 2007

Office 2007

Updated: August 21, 2008

Applies To: Office Resource Kit

Updated: 2008-08-21

In this article:

This article provides a high-level overview of the process that Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 goes through when working in Cached Exchange Mode with a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 environment. Cached Exchange Mode was first introduced in Office Outlook 2003 to utilize a local copy of your mailbox, at the same time, maintaining an online connection to a remote copy in Exchange Server.

Conflict handling

Office Outlook 2007 has an advanced architecture for handling conflicts in Cached Exchange Mode. There are a number of scenarios where users are prompted and user interaction is required. For example, one scenario is when two different third-party vendors update the same item, independent of each other. The user will get an error with the conflict information in the status bar. At that time, there could be a potential data loss as a result of one of the items taking precedence over the other one. Office Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 cannot “merge” conflicting items so one item might be moved to the Conflicts folder.

Conflict handling steps apply to both Office Outlook 2003 Service Pack 3 and Office Outlook 2007 Service Pack 1 working with either Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 or Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 — when the Office Outlook 2007 or the Office Outlook 2003 client is configured to work in Cached Exchange Mode.

Steps during synchronization

Any modifications that are done in an item when working Offline, or changes that are done in the timeslot when Outlook is waiting to synchronize items, forces the item to go through the synchronization process.

For more information about synchronization in Cached Exchange Mode, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 870926: Description of Outlook 2003 with Cached Exchange Mode in an Exchange Server 2003 environment (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=124980).

Simplified Steps

  • Step 1

    Outlook starts to synchronize and receive the hierarchy information from the mailbox - for example confirmation that the Conflicts folder exists.

  • Step 2

    When there is a new Outlook Appointment item, it is tracked for potential duplication detection. This prevents both the possibility of two meetings in the Calendar, or a duplicate feed entry for RSS showing up online.

  • Step 3

    If it is an existing Outlook item, did the same item change on the server?

    No, then we upload the item to the Exchange Server computer.

    Yes, the item did change on the Exchange Server computer. Then, the next step is the “Conflict Resolver” stage.

  • Step 4

    The “Conflict Resolver” stage is where Outlook checks each modified property in the Offline Folder (OST) file to determine if any of the properties can run through an automatic resolution algorithm. The set of properties that can be automatically resolved are fairly small in number. If there are any properties that cannot be automatically resolved, the item that was changed last will become the winning item, including its complete property set. The losing item will be stored in the Conflicts folder and linked to the winning item.

    Is there a resolution rule that can automatically handle any of the OST changed properties?

    Yes, then we apply the rule for it and skip generating a conflict item.

    No, there is not an automatic way of correcting this, go into “Critical Conflict.” At this stage, we keep the newest item (the one that was modified last) and move the entire older item into the Conflicts folder and close the check for this item.

    NoteNote:

    The item located on the client or server, which has the latest modification time stamped to the item, will be available in the Inbox (or its subfolder) and the “old” version will be moved to the Conflicts folder.

  • Step 5

    Download Exchange Server Outlook items.

  • Step 6

    The synchronizing cycle is complete.

Conflict scenarios

Scenario 1

A new item arrives in the mailbox on the Exchange Server computer. The item does not exist in the cache on the client computer. No conflict.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item arrives

X

2

Synchronization process starts

3

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

Nothing to upload. The server holds a new item.

4

Conflict?

No conflict, because we only have a new item on server.

5

Download

X

Download new item to client.

6

Item in sync

X

X

Scenario 2

A new item is in the cache on the client computer, and does not exist on the Exchange Server computer. No conflict.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item created

X

2

Synchronization process starts

3

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

New item to upload.

4

Conflict?

No conflict, because we only have a new item on client.

5

Upload

X

Upload new item to Exchange.

6

Item in sync

X

X

Scenario 3

An item exists on both the client and the Exchange Server computer. The item is changed on the client. No conflict.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item exists

X

X

2

Item changed

X

Item changed on client.

3

Synchronization process starts

4

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

No changes on server.

5

Conflict?

No conflict, because we only changed item on client.

6

Upload

X

Upload changes to Exchange.

7

Item in sync

X

X

Scenario 4

An item exists on both the client and the Exchange Server computer. The item is changed in the mailbox on the Exchange Server computer. No conflict.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item exists

X

X

2

Item changed

X

Item changed on server.

3

Synchronization process starts

4

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

No changes on client.

5

Conflict?

No conflict, because we only changed item on server.

6

Download

X

Item is downloaded.

7

Item in sync

X

X

Scenario 5

An item exists on both the client and the Exchange Server computer. The item has changed the level of importance both on the client and in the mailbox on the Exchange Server computer. A conflict occurs.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comment

1

Item exists

X

X

2

Item changed

X

X

Item changed on server and client. Changed to high importance on client and set to low importance on server.

3

Synchronization process starts

4

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

X

Synchronization process detects changes on client and server.

5

Conflict?

X

X

Yes, there is a conflict. The Outlook internal process makes sure that the item with high importance takes precedence.

6

Upload

X

Item is uploaded with High Importance setting.

7

Item in sync

X

X

The user will see a message in the status bar of the Inbox item: “You made changes to another copy of this item. This is the most recent version. Click here to see the other versions.”

Scenario 6

An item exists on both the client and the Exchange Server computer. The item has changed the subject both on the client and in the mailbox on the Exchange Server computer. A conflict occurs.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item exists

X

X

2

Item changed

X

X

Item changed (subject) on client and server.

3

Synchronization process starts

4

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

X

Synchronization process detects changes on client and server.

5

Conflict?

X

X

Yes, there is a conflict. The item that was changed last is found in the Inbox; the other item is moved to the Conflicts folder.

6

Download/upload

X

X

The user can go to the Conflicts folder and chose which item to keep (client or server).

7

Item in sync

X

X

Scenario 7

An item exists on both the client and the Exchange Server computer. The item is changed by a third-party vendor both on the client and in the mailbox on the Exchange Server computer. The result will be a conflict.

Steps Action Outlook/OST Exchange Comments

1

Item exists

X

X

2

Item changed

X

X

Item changed on server and client by a third-party vendor. Named Properties added to the item.

3

Synchronization process starts

4

Outlook compares changes on client and server

X

X

Synchronization process detects changes on client and server.

5

Conflict?

X

X

Yes, there is a conflict. Outlook does not know which item to keep. The item that is changed last is found in the Inbox; the other item is moved to the Conflicts folder.

6

Download/upload

X

X

The user can go to the Conflicts folder and chose which item to keep (client or server).

7

Item in sync

X

X

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft