*Bulletin ID* A2E_153
*Last Review* 06/13/2007
*Revision* 1.0
*Previous IDs* None
*Obsoletes* None

Exporting and Importing Add2Exchange Public Folder Items

Summary

Remove hidden Add2Exchange information from items in synchronized folders (such as folders restored from backups) with this process in Outlook.

Description

Add2Exchange and other products use hidden, customized fields on records such as contacts and calendar items to store important state information, such as whether a particular record has been synchronized to a user and how recently. This information does not appear when viewing the record with a normal client such as Outlook, but can be an issue for replication if it has gotten into an inconsistent state, for example when a synchronization has gotten abnormally interrupted. This procedure describes how to “clean” the records of Add2Exchange information (as well as hidden fields used by other programs) by using Outlook to export and import the records.

It is important to note that there is some risk of data loss in this procedure. You should not perform this procedure without carefully following these instructions and taking reasonable precautions such as ensuring you have a recent backup of your Exchange store.

It is also possible to generate large numbers of duplicate entries if the Add2Exchange relationships are not deleted and allowed to remove the copies in the destination folders. This procedure will not work properly without those steps.

Resolution

There is no reason anymore to export and reimport the folders and lose or dissassociate any pictures from items.  The rest of this post was left for information purposes only.  The resolution to "clean" any folder type for A2E items is to download and license the Add2Outlook Toolbox or if you already have Add2Exchange, to license the A2E Toolbox.

 

Requirements

  1. An MS Outlook client logged into the Exchange server under a profile that has ownership rights over the public folders
  2. The source items must not contain attachments such as contact pictures.
    • If you have pictures associated with your contacts, then you must manually reassociate them after the import process is complete

Summary

Detailed instructions follow this summary of the steps involved:

  1. Delete the relationships in Add2Exchange that use the public folder as a source or destination, allowing Add2Exchange to remove the copied items in destination folders
  2. Verify the Add2Exchange items were deleted from the destinations
  3. Copy the public folder to a personal mailbox
  4. Verify the copy
  5. Export the folder to a CSV file
  6. Create a new personal folder of the appropriate type
  7. Import the records into the newly created folder
  8. Verify the import
  9. Empty the original public folder
  10. Move the items into the original public folder
  11. Verify the move
  12. Rebuild one Add2Exchange relationship
  13. Allow Add2Exchange to replicate for a few cycles to verify things are working correctly
  14. Rebuild the remaining Add2Exchange relationships

Detailed Instructions

The goal is to provide a cleaned copy of the records back in the original folder so the existing

Delete the relationships in Add2Exchange that use the public folder as a source or destination, allowing Add2Exchange to remove the records it has generated

When A2E replicates, A2E does not know that there are “duplicate” items in the destination – it does not check on name, company or phone number or email… it uses key fields to know if there is a copy. Therefore if items have been manually copied there before and a relationship has been made from source to destination, then there will be duplicates in the destination.

When you delete the relationship, you will need to specify to remove all the items in the destination so that any tied items are cleaned out. You will have to make sure they are removed. If they are not, or the user has some private items, you can simply move the entire contents of the destination folder to a backup folder and let the user pick out any private items and move them back into the live folder.

  1. Go into the Add2Exchange console and right-click each relationship, selecting the Delete option
  2. Confirm the deletion by clicking OK
  3. Confirm cleanup by clicking Yes

Verify the Add2Exchange records were deleted from any destination folders

Once the relationships are removed, and you selected to remove all the destination items and let it clean up after itself, you have to manually go in and check to make sure it did remove the destination copies. The easiest way to do this is to log on as the A2E Service account to a workstation and make an Outlook profile for the A2E service account. Then open up the other users folder.

  1. Select Tools > E-mail Accounts…
  2. Click Next >
  3. Choose your Exchange account
  4. Click Change…
  5. Click More Settings
  6. Select View or change existing e-mail accounts
  7. Enter the target mailboxes and click Add

If the system did not remove the copies, you will have to manually remove them or move them to another folder of that type. This is very difficult to do in OWA – so make the Outlook profile.

Copy the public folder to a personal mailbox.

  1. Right-click the folder and select Copy
  2. Choose a personal mailbox as the destination
  3. Click OK

Outlook copies the items to the new folder.

Verify the copy.

If no message appears indicating issues with the copy, highlight the copied folder and look in the lower left corner of Outlook to see the item count.

Match this against the original folder item count. If these numbers don’t match, determining which records did not copy can be difficult. The procedure for doing this is outside the scope of this document, but it is suggested that you save all items to Excel for reconciliation later. Once the problem records are determined, they can be sorted and compared against the records in Exchange.

Export the folder to a CSV file.

CSV is the best format for the export because it preserves all of the user-visible fields while removing hidden, application-specific fields. PST will not work because it is a native Exchange format that preserves hidden fields. Excel format is also not a good choice because it truncates fields longer than 255 characters.

*Note*
This includes application-specific fields added by other programs, so you will want to consider whether any other applications will be affected by the import/export.
  1. Select File > Import and Export…
  2. Select Export to a file
  3. Click Next >
  4. Select Comma Separated Values (DOS)
  5. Click Next >
  6. Select the copied folder and click Next >, Next > and Finish

Create a new personal folder of the appropriate type.

Importing the items into a new folder allows you to maintain an archive copy of the “dirty” items in the first folder in your mailbox, should you have any problem with the import/export process.

  1. Right-click your mailbox and select New Folder…
  2. Name the folder, giving it the appropriate type of items
  3. Click OK

Import the records into the newly created folder.

  1. Choose File > Import and Export… again.
  2. Select Import from another program or file
  3. Click Next >
  4. Select Comma Separated Values (DOS)
  5. Click Next > and Next >
  6. Select the destination folder in your mailbox
  7. Click Next > and Finish

Verify the import.

Select the folder and verify in the lower left-hand corner that the same number of items was imported.

Empty the original public folder

Reuse the old folder rather than create a new one. This keeps Add2Exchange’s historical tracking information accurate.

Empty the original public folder of all items by highlighting all items (Ctrl+A) and deleting them (Del).

Move the imported items into the original public folder

In the imported folder, highlight all items (Ctrl+A), right-click them and select Move to move them to the original pubic folder.

Verify the move.

Check the number of items again.

This completes the import/export process.

Applies To

  • Public Folders

Keywords: Public Folders, Hidden Fields

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