MS Outlook profile Cached Exchange mode can be used when you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account .In cache exchange mode the Exchange mailbox data is copied on the local user system in off line storage files (OST files).
Cached Exchange Mode is a great feature of Outlook with Exchange that offers the user flexibility to work without Exchange or work off line in case network connection couldn't be established.
Cached Exchange Mode feature can't be used if:
- You don't have an Exchange server e-mail account for your Outlook profile
- Cached Exchange Mode feature is disabled by the Exchange server administrator
- If you are using Microsoft Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003 and have installed Microsoft Terminal Services.
When you are working in Cached Exchange Mode and the connection with Exchange breaks then, Outlook automatically switches to 'Trying to connect' status and switches to 'Disconnected mode' if the connection is still broken. In such situation, you can work off line and access your data. Outlook keeps checking whether the connection with Exchange server is available or not. When the connection is reestablished then, the changes done to the mailbox data (while you were working off line) are automatically synchronized with Exchange database.
For fast Internet connection the header, body, and attachments of an e-mail item are copied from the server to the OST file. For slower Internet connections only headers are automatically downloaded. If you want to download Offline Address Book, body of the Email and associated attachments then, you need to perform additional steps to do it manually. You can set the Outlook to Exchange connection behavior manually.
Benefits of Cached Exchange Mode:
- It provides the ability to work offline( choice or due to a connection problem)
- It provides quick access to your data
- Data is frequently updated and synchronized with the mail server.
- It reduces the amount of data sent over the connection.
- It shortens the connection time as it offers the facility to work with a local copy of mail data (i.e. OST file).
- It provides faster access to messages and to attachments because you work from the local copy instead of the server copy.
- It provides faster user operations & synchronization (Quick flagging, replying, and editing).
- As we are working with cached copy of data so, small amount of data to be pushed up to the server to keep the mailboxes synchronized.
- It preserves all conventional functionality of Outlook such as: you will still be able to receive new e-mail notifications, full Global Address List details, free/busy lookup, public folder access, and delegate support function as expected.
- It provides better utilization of bandwidth.
- It reduces server load because the Email messages and other data are cached locally so, re-opening the same message does not require server transactions.
- It reduces network load. After messages have been pulled over the network one time, subsequent access to those messages does not cause additional network traffic. Because messages are also compressed, there is an additional reduction on network load.
- It optimizes data transmissions for slower connection
While working in Exchange cache mode, you need to take special care when working a collaborative environment where resources are being shared or when of your mailbox sizes are increasing up to a specific limits .There are several size limitations of the OST files. But we can't deny that The OST files are of great use to an Outlook user. Besides providing the user ability to work off line it has several other uses too however, Sometimes to avail them you need to convert OST file to PST. Check my next article to know more about the OST file in Outlook.