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Chapter 30. Working Remotely with Exchan... > Offline Access Versus Remote Access

Offline Access Versus Remote Access

Using Outlook in offline mode and using remote access are actually two different scenarios. Think of them as two sides of the same coin. When you work offline with Outlook, you don't have any sort of connection to your Exchange Server. You might not have any network connection at all, or you might be connected to a network that isn't your own. You have no interaction with the messages actually stored on your Exchange Server and instead are working with only messages stored on your local computer. You can perform just about any operation on any message stored in your Offline Folders file. You can read messages that have been downloaded to your Offline Folders file, reply to those messages, compose new messages, delete messages, and work with all the rest of your Outlook data including contacts, tasks, journal, notes, and calendar items. When you connect to the server at a later time, you move into online mode. All the changes you made when you were working offline are synchronized to the server. Messages you deleted from your Offline Folders file are removed from the server, messages waiting in your Outbox are sent, and messages that you received while you were offline are downloaded to your computer.

Remote access to Exchange requires you to actually be connected to the server. That connection could be over a dial-up connection in a hotel room, a VPN connection over another network, or an HTTP connection from your local coffee shop or airport. When you're connected to Exchange and using the remote mail features, you can preview message headers without actually downloading messages. Much like using cached mode in slow mode, you can download all of your headers and work with only them. You can mark items for download, delete items, and reply to items all without downloading the full text of the message and its attachments. Remote mail can be very useful if you receive a large number of messages when you're away from the office. It can also be helpful if Aunt Irma keeps sending you very large emails with multiple pictures of her cats when you're out of the office and connected over a cellular modem. You can process the headers and decide which messages you want to download, which messages you want to delete, and which messages you want to leave on the server for retrieval when you return to the office and are on a high-speed connection again.


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