Sharing Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Contacts - Microsoft Office  Add-in and Add-on Software.


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OLfolders FAQ - Questions and answers

1.0 General

1.1 How does sharing of Outlook folders work?

1.2 What happens to my personal data

1.3 Why can't I simply share my Outlook data file at the server

2.0 Connection to Server

2.1 Where do I set up which files are shared?

2.2 How can I protect my data?

2.3 I can not delete elements but I have all rights for this folder.

2.4 I can not connect to the server.

2.5 The server/Outlook sometimes crashes.

2.6 Can I connect via the internet?

2.7 I get the error message "user name or password wrong

2.8 I can connect to the server but do not see any data files

2.9 How do I set up the server as service?

3.0 Emails

3.1 How do I receive emails with OLfolders?

3.2 Is the server able to receive and send emails?

3.3 I can receive emails but not send

3.4 How can I manage common email addresses like info@

3.5 What is a mail proxy

3.6 Can I move my personal folders file to the server?

3.7 Some (all) users share the same email account.

4.0 Kalender

4.1 I want to share my personal calendar.

4.2 How can I create a group calendar?

4.3 I receive the message "the free busy data at the server can not be saved"

4.4 Reminders do not work in the shared folder

5.0 Synchronzation

5.1 QSynchronization vanished from Outlook

1.1 How does sharing of Outlook folders work

Sharing Outlook folders works similar to sharing disk drives, all data remains at the server it is not replicated to the client, if a client connects to the folders, the data remains at the server, if data is modified it is modified directly at the server. The same on disk sharing, if you connect to a shared disk, this will not copy all data to your local hard disk nor overwrite your hard disk, you simply can see and modify data at your local disk the same way as you modify data at the shared drive.

Instead of replicating data from the server to the client, the client sends commands to the server, asking for the contents table of a folder, sorted and groped by a criteria and other commands to open, modify and save data. All commands are executed at the server which then sends the result to the client.



Sharing Outlook folders

Sharing disk folders


Accessing folders from any remote Outlook does not replicate the whole file but sends commands which are executed at the server, the client simply displays the results.
You can continue to access your local personal folders file.

If you connect to a remote disk drive, this will not copy the whole disk to your computer but enable you to modify data. The client will send commands to the server and return the result to applications opening files. You still can use your local disk drive, the network drive is additionally mapped to your computer.


All changes are made at the server, and are visible at all clients immediately. This happens with all kinds of changes, even if you move a folder containing thousands of elements and sub folders, all clients will see the result immediately. It also does not matter how many clients are connected, each one sees changes as they happen.

All changes are made at the server which is sharing the data, all clients see changes immediately is does not matter how big the change is or how many clients look at the folder.


You can define user rights for profiles, files, folders and individual elements.

You can define user rights for folders and files.


The shared folders are visible as long as the server is online, if you turn off the server, you can not access any data. In order to work offline - use: QSynchronization to synchronize elements.

You can access shared files as long as the server is online, if the server is offline, no access is possible.

If you want to use files offline, use QSynchronization.


You can have all data at a server or many many computers share their data.

You can have all files at the server or each computer is sharing some files.


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1.2 What happens to my personal data

OLFolders maps shared folders into your Outlook as additional folders, your personal folders are still intact, also your email accounts will work normally. If you like, you can move to server folders, only.

1.3 Why can't I simply share my Outlook data file at the server

Outlook is locking the data file if it accesses it. More precisely, MAPI is accessing the files using a data base component allowing other applications access to the data.


Technical background:

Lets pretend, we want to work at the same text file with two clients, lets say with WinWord. For the same reason as Outlook, WinWord does not allow tow clients to modify the same document, lets pretend it works.

Now that two users opened the same document, we have three copies: One at the disk, one in the memory of each computer. If User A modifies the file, User B will not see it, User A for example may delete a chapter, user B is modifying the same chapter, what will happen if both save the file?

Lets pretend, we want to write a text editor which allows two persons modifying a document in the same network. We can not share the memory via a network because this will be very slow, also each computer will lay out the letters, lines etc. differently in memory because we need fast data structures, which linear text is not. One solution is opening and modifying the text only at the program which opened the text first (server) the second one acts as client displaying results. Commands may be more or less like this


Client: Open file xzz.doc

Server: Opens the file and returns OK

Client1: Give contents of page 1

Server: Sends the contents of page 1.

Client1: Displays page 1

Client1: Change word 3 in line 25 from "this" to "that"

Server: Finds line 25 and changes the word.

Server: Informs all clients, that line 25 is changed.

Client2: Checks if line 25 is at the screen if yes, asks server for new contents of the line.


Though Outlook files are not loaded completely into the memory but a lot of indexes are built. You can see this on searching, the first search takes minutes, the second search for the same thing takes less than a second.

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2.1 Where do I set up which files are shared?

OLfolders shares all files which are visible in Outlook, in any profile. In order to share a new or a different file, just create or open it in Outlook or in control panel/mail.

2.2 How can I protect my data?

OLFolders allows protection of data in 4 ways:

  • Disabling profiles
    If you are using more than one profile, you can deselect the profile the profile in the user manager, each new file in the profile will not be shared. You may create a profile called shared data and only allow access to this profle
  • Disabling files
    The user manager also allows disabling certain files in profiles
  • Disbling rights in folders
    Using folder rights, a range of rights can be assigned to folders, for example disabling write access to element, hiding sub folders etc.
  • Disabling elements
    Using user rights, opening individual elements, for example private elements can be denied.

2.3 I can not delete elements but I have all rights for this folder

Deletion is moving into the folder "Deleted objects". Check if you set up a user right on deleted objects.

2.4 I can not connect to the server

In order to be able to connect to the server, a network connection must be established, normally the server uses port 20002 for connection via RPC and 22177 for NPC. One of the both ports must be set up to be not be blocked at your firewall.

In order to find out, where the port is blocking, try first to connect from the server to the server. In Tools/Install OLFolders, enter the server name then try to drop down the user name. If you fail with the servername, try servername:2002, servername:20002, npc:servername to see if one of them works.

If no network connection can be established, the following error message will be shown:



The error may be caused by:

  • Server is not started or not connected to the network.
  • The server uses a different port than the client. Please check the port in tools/options, then enter the same number in the connection dialog, for example server1:20002
  • If  firewall is installed at server or client, it may block either the port or OLWServer.exe. You need to configure the firewall properly. While searching the error, you may disable the firewall or all firewalls.
    You may check connection with telnet, type "open servername 20002"
  • Normally, OLFolders works with RPC (Remote procedure  calls), at some clients, RPC is damaged, in this case you may use NPC, simply type NPC:servername or NPC:servername:port

    NPC (Network procedure calls) is a based only on sockets, it is a protocol similar to RPC but not dependend of any other DLLs.

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2.5 The server/Outlook sometimes crashes

Some reasons for crashes are:

2.6 Can I connect via the internet?

Yes, if the IP address of the server is known and if your router is configured properly (port forward of port 20002 to the computer running the OLFolders server).

  • If you have a dynamic IP address, use a dyndns provider to publish your ip address, for example You also will need an application publishing your ip address, some routers (for example netgear) are supporting
  • If you are using a router, you need to forward the port (usually 20002)
  • Protocol 2.3 is faster on internet connections than previous protocols.
  • It is better to have a VPN connection (virtual private network).

2.7 I get the error message "user name or password wrong"

Please check:

  • If the user name and password is correct in all services.
  • You have updated the client but not the server, the client tries to send the password encrypted, the old server does not understand this, so the client tries again uncrypted.
  • Your profile is corrupted, either create a new one or use olfix to repair it.

2.8 I can connect to the server but do not see any data files.

Please check:

  • Outlook is installed at the server but it is not configured and does not have any data file, there is nothing configured on which OLFolders could connect to.
  • Data files are configured, but the user is not allowed to connect to them. In OLFolders open the user account and click on "profiles", either check "all profiles" or select profiles which the user should be able to see.
  • The server runs as service but under a different user account.
    If you install the server, by default it runs under the user account "Local system". Since Outlook profiles are different for each user, Local Sytem does not have any Outlook profiles. If you install OLFolders as local system, check also "interactive" so you can open the server icon, now you can configure profiles using options/Profiles and data files.
    Otherwise go to control panel/services and change the log on data for that service.

2.9 How do I set up the server as service?

In the server icon, open options/services, then click on service/install. If you want to run the server under local system interactivly, check also interactive. You need to configure profiles if you run under local system, because this use does not have any outlook profiles installed. After starting the server, click on the icon and open profiles and data files.

If you want to use the same profiles, open control panel/services or click at the services button in OLfolders, then find the OLfolders server and select a user name in the property dialog.


Installation of service



You need to specify a user account in order to access existing Outlook profile.


Even if the server runs under the same user account, it probably (depending on the Outlook version) will not be able to access the same data file as any Outlook running as application. Though the user name is the same, you have two different log ons to windows, this is the same as if two users log on using the terminal server at the same server, both are unable to work on the same file.


3.1 How do I receive emails with OLfolders?

If OLfolders is installed, all functions of Outlook remain the same, you still have your local personal folders file, your local email account etc. The OLfolders folder is visible additionally.

3.2 Is the server able to receive and send emails?

If you want to work with common email addresses, for example info@, sales@, mail@ you might probably want the server to receive the emails so that everybody isable to see them. There are two choices:

  • Configure Outlook at the server to receive info@, sales@ etc.
    If you are running Outlook 97/98/2000 in workgroup mode, the MAPI spooler will be responsible for receiving the emails, this works even if Outlook is not started.
    From Outlook 2002 on, there is no separate MAPI spooler application, Outlook must be started to receive and send emails.
  • You may configure the mail proxy and use PST transport to pass incomming emails to folders into any Outlook data file.

3.3 I can receive emails but not send.

There are many way of how to configure email in Outlook with OLfolders. In order to find why it is not sending, first you need to find out how email is configured.

  • You receive the error messge "the service provider does not support this operation".
    You have configured an OLfolders folder as default folder but not checked "support for local email account" or you are running an old version of OLfolders.
  • You are using a local personal folders file with a local email account.
    Email transport does not use OLfolders in any way, something in your email configuration is wrong.
  • You configured a local email account in Outlook 2000
    After configuring an email account, you need to re-start Outlook 2000 and all MAPI applications, also the MAPI Spooler. Eventually you need to end the program MAPISP32 using the task manager, then re-start Outlook.
  • OLfolders is default folder the email account is at the server.
    Emails keep sitting in the Outbox until you press send/receive in Outlook at the server.
    In OLfolders options, check "server side support for pst files", this will instruct OLfolders to pass on the send command to the local Outlook installed at the server.
    If you are sending via PST transport, you probably do not have a log on with the correct user name, OLfolders will send everything in the Outbox next time it goes online.

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3.4 How can I manage commom email addresses like info@

You need to configure OLfolders or Outlook at the server to receive all common email accounts, you now can see all common emails in the OLfolders folder and answer them with Outlook. Normally Outlook will take your personal email address as sender email address. If you have Outlook 2002 or 2003 you can configure a new email account only for sending emails (leave POP3 empty).

Do not try to configure the same email account in more than one Outlook, depending on the time emails are received by any of your Outlooks, the email will go sometimes  here, sometimes there sometimes to both clients, sometimes you will receive an error message.


You also must now, which email is answered, Outlook automatically modifies the icon if emails are anwered or forwarded. Also it is a good practice to mark emails as unread if you read an email but do not like to answer it because you want to leave it for everybody else to answer.


You may download and install QSearchFolders which automatically creates a view of for example unanswered emails.



  • If you want to have all responses at the server, you need either set up a rule in Outlook or manually move messages from the local sent items to the shared sent items folder.

3.5 What is a mail proxy

A mail proxy does the same as your internet service provider with emails, but in small. The mail proxy receives emails and sends emails, clients can connect to the mail proxy using the standard internet mail protocol pop3 and smtp. The advantage of the mail proxy are:

  • Internal emails will not go to the internet but will be transported directly to the other mail box.
    Outlooks can be configured to transport emails every minute. Internal emails will arrive in one minute instead of for example 20 minutes.
    The mail proxy can be configured to connect to the internet for example every 10 minutes or every hour depending on what kind of internet connection you have.
  • The mail proxy is able to filter almost all virus mails and many spam emails.
  • The mail proxy is able to deliver emails directly to a personal folders file and send all emails it finds in an outbox.

3.6 Can I move my personal folders file to the server?

Yes, if you are running OLfolders 2.3.6 or newer, you can simply move the file to the server and use it with your local email account.

Alternativly you can use the PST transport or the MAPI Spooler at the server to send/receive your emails, this way you will not be able to the rules assistant, but your emails will be delivered to your mailbox even if your Outlook is not running.


3.7 Some (all) users share the same email account.

Probably previously you have received emails from this account with more than one client, eventually checking leave email at the server. In this way each user gets a copy of the email and nobody knows which of them is answered and which is not answered.

With OLfolders you are able to configure exactly one email account at one computer, everybody else connects to the same data file. Emails are received only once, if somebody answers an email, the icon changes at all workstations, if somebody reads an email, the email changes the read state at all workstations etc.

  • If you addiationally have a personal email address and personal email folder, simply connect to the computer receiving the common email account and look in both inbox folders.
  • If you do not have a personal email address and a personal email folder, connect to the computer and set the OLfolders folder as default folder. Do not configure an email account at the client.
    If you are using Outlook 2002 or 2003, you need to configure a dummy email account, otherwise the send button will not be visible.
    At the server, check "server support for pst files", this will pass on the "send" command to the outlook running at the server.
    The client does not need an email account because all sending/receiving is done already by the server Outlook, sending or receiving duplicate is not a good idea.

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4.1 I want to share my personal calendar.

I want my secretary to use my calendar and create new appointments.

  • If you computer is always online.
    Install OLfolders server at your computer and share your data.
  • If you computer is sometimes offline.
    Move your personal folders file to the server, at the server create a profile containing your personal folders. Now you can connect with OLfolders to your personal folders file at the server, using your personal email account etc. The secretary can connect to the folders even if you computer is offline.
  • The computer is a laptop and sometims out of office.
    You must synchronize your calendar, for example with QSync. QSync accepts the same license code as OLfolders, one copy of QSync is included in each client, but must be downloaded separatly.
    At the server, create a new calendar folder, then configure QSync to synchronize with this folder. Be aware that synchronization may cause conflicts, for example if both the secretary and you move the same appointment. You will receive a notification on synchroniaztion.
    Recurrences are not handled correctly by QSync, all recurrences are stored as one element in Outlook in a format which is not document. If you move one recurrence item, the element is modified and copied to the other side, completly with all recurrence entries.

4.2 How can I create a group calendar?

A group calendar should contain all calendar entries of all users. The problem is how to access them, because normally calendar entries are stored in personal folders files, laptops which may be out of office and so on.


In order to create a group calendar, each user should synchronize the private calendar into a single folder at the server (folder type: appointment, name for example group calendar). Normally, you would receive on synchronization all appointments from all users, if you do not like this, create a query in QSync, for example:


SenderName = "David User"

This will filter the calendar before synchronization, and David User will receive only his elements. If you want the secreatry create appointments for you, you need to create any criteria which QSync can read, for example write "[David User]" somewhere in the body or create a category "David User". The Brackes "[" and "]" are used to prevent finding the name in the text body for example "David Users sayed...", you probably do not want this appiontment entry.

The query may be:


SenderName = "David User" or Categories = "David User" or Body = substring ignorecase "[David User]"


Now that you have a group calender containing all elements, you will discover that Outlook does not offer any method of finding out to which user any entry belongs, though the data is stored in all elements, there is no way, not even on opening elements to find out the user. OLfolders offers a user right for this: Show Names in Elements.


If Show Names in Elements is set, OLfolders modifies the data on the way to the client, writing for example


[David User] Appointment 1


This is too long for Outlook to display, you can create abbrevations (click on "..." in folder rights, show names in elements. The entry now may be shown as


DU-Appointment 1


4.3 I receive the message "the free busy data at the server can not be saved"

I expect this is an error in Outlook which in some conditions occurs. We tried to find out what exactly happens then discovered that the error also occurs without OLfolders but with a second personal folders file.

The elements are saved, all free-busy lists also are correctly updated, then Outlook displays the error message, wanting to do something on some server, probably Exchange Server. Maybe some of the data structures in the pst file are wrong.

We wrote a program which is supressing this error message you can find it in the OLfolders start menu under tools/fbclick.

4.4 Reminders do not work in the shared folder

Outlook is not supporting reminders in shared folders. Reminders only can occur in the default calendar, appointments and in the inbox.

5.1 QSynchronization vanished from Outlook

QSynchronization - If you are using Outlook 2002 or 2003 probably it is disabled. Check Help/About Outlook, then click on deactivated elements.


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