A Closer Look at the CityU Exchange System

by Henry Wong
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The Exchange System is more than an email system. It is an enhanced, integrated and unified messaging system that provides Email, Calendar, Scheduling, Resource Booking, Contacts (Address Books), Tasks, Notes, etc. on an integrated and unified platform. Thus, data and services can easily be accessed anywhere through Microsoft Office Outlook, Outlook Web Access (OWA, the Webmail of Exchange) and Mobile devices.

With Microsoft Office Outlook, especially Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, the CityU Exchange System provides the following advanced features to simplify collaboration and increase overall productivity of the university:

Outlook Anywhere Access

The Outlook Anywhere feature provided by the Exchange system allows Microsoft Office Outlook clients to connect to the Exchange servers over the Internet by using the RPC over HTTP Windows networking component. With this feature, users can access their Exchange accounts with MS Outlook anywhere under the secure (SSL) network connection, no matter using their office PC, home PC, or notebook carried in their trip.

Sharing and Delegates

  • With the Exchange Data Sharing feature, a user can give another user access to his/her Exchange calendars, address books, task, or mail folders. The shared folder appears under a separate account in the other user's mail folder list so that the person can read the owner's events, contacts, or mail messages. By giving the appropriate user permission, the person with shared rights can also create, edit, and delete items in the shared folder.
  • By using Outlook Delegates function, a user’s delegate (e.g. assistant or secretary) can view invitations and mail messages that are sent to the user (e.g. the manager). With the given permission, the delegate can also send and reply to invitations and messages for the user. However, both the user and the delegate's account name will appear on the invitation or message.

Calendar, Scheduling and Resource Booking Assistant

  • Scheduling Assistant helps users efficiently schedule meetings by providing visual guidance on the best and worst dates and times based on the free/busy information of meeting invites and required resources.
  • Calendar Attendant helps ensure the reliability of calendar items
  • Resource Booking Attendant enables resources, including meeting rooms or other equipment, to be automatically managed.

Out of Office Assistant

  • With improved Out of Office Assistant, you can set distinct internal and external out-of-office messages. You can also schedule start and end times for your out-of-office messages, setting them up in advance and turning them off automatically when they are out of date.

 

Exchange Outlook Web Access (OWA) function provides a rich Outlook-like web interface for users to access their Exchange accounts from any Internet connected computer with supported web browsers, under a secure (SSL encrypted) connection.

Features Available in OWA:

  • Access all your mail folders, calendar, contact lists, and task
  • Schedule Out of Office messages and send to internal and/or external recipients
  • Enable and control Automatic Calendar Processing
  • Use the Scheduling Assistant to efficiently book meetings
  • Use WebReady Document Viewing to read attachments in HTML even if the application that created the document is not installed locally
  • Access RSS subscriptions
  • View content in Managed E-mail Folders
  • Search the Global Address List
  • Edit and manage Server-side Rules
  • Enable and configure Junk E-mail Filter

Exchange ActiveSync technology enables mobile device users to access/synchronize their email, calendar, contacts, and tasks and continue to be able to access this information while they are working offline or during a trip.

Features Available for Mobile access:

(Note: Many of these features require the use of the latest version of Windows Mobile)

  • Access all your mail folders, calendar, contact lists, and task
  • Support for HTML messages
  • Support for follow-up flags
  • Support for fast message retrieval
  • Meeting attendee information
  • Enhanced Exchange search
  • Enhanced device security by using password policies
  • Autodiscover service for over-the-air provisioning
  • Support for Out of Office configuration
  • Support for Tasks synchronization
  • Direct Push

Features Available in the Future:

Unified Messaging - deliver additional types of communications to the Inbox, including faxes and voice mail, as well as offering new capabilities such as voice access from any standard phone.