Using the Organizational Forms Library in Exchange Server
Since Microsoft began 'de-emphasizing' Public Folders a few years back (see the article 'The Future of Exchange Server Public Folders', it seems not many folks are using the Organizational Forms Library any more. But this still remains an incredibly useful mechanism for storing/maintaining custom forms for both Private and Public Folders. This article discusses the use of the Organizational Forms Library in Exchange Server. Download the Article in PDF Format

Overview

Exchange Server has a mechanism known as Organizational Forms which allows a custom Outlook form to be set as the default form for any Outlook/Exchange folder. So for example, if you create a Companies custom folder in Outlook, you can design and publish a custom form tailored to accommodate the typical company data fields, as shown below:

Advantages of Organizational Forms

The use of Organizational Forms has several key benefits:

  • Forms are maintained in a central repository, which means any changes to the form are automatically loaded by each user the next time he or she opens an item in the folder utilising that form.
  • Standard Outlook/Exchange functionality is utilised for maintaining information. The standard Outlook Forms Designer is used for making changes to the forms design. VB Script on the form is used to code any business logic required.
  • No client installation is necessary for displaying/deploying custom forms. This reduces the support burden on the IT department.
  • Forms are synchronized to one’s Cached Mode folders and so are available offline. However, as mentioned above, forms are automatically updated when a connection to the Exchange Server is re-established.
  • Forms can be designed for each language environment so that each user sees the form in his or her own language.
  • Forms can be replicated from one Exchange Server to another.

Download the full article in PDF format.