Responses needed: Outlook for Mac Exchange Setup Script Survey

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Mac Admins, if you’re currently using any version of my Outlook for Mac Exchange Setup Script, I need your responses. The script I’m referencing is available at these two locations:

Version 4.0.1 - http://www.officeformachelp.com/outlook/exchange/setup-script/
Version 4.5.2 - https://github.com/talkingmoose/Outlook-Exchange-Setup

Some planned changes in Outlook for Mac will break the automatic setup portion of the script and I will not be able to create a workaround for it. If you rely on this feature of the script, I need your help to inform Microsoft how many users will be affected by the changes. My goal is to show there is a need for automatic user configuration in Outlook for Mac when Autodiscover doesn’t work in an envronment. (Because I’m under a Non-Disclosure Agreement I cannot provide more detail than this.)

I’ll be traveling to Redmond, WA, to visit with the Office for Mac development group at Microsoft in early November 2014. If the results of this survey indicate a strong need for another form of automatic setup for users other than Autodiscover, I will present the findings to them.

Your personally identifiable responses will be confidential unless you otherwise approve me sharing with Microsoft.

This survey closes October 31, 2014.

Survey link: http://talkingmoose.net/2014/09/responses-needed-outlook-for-mac-exchange-setup-script-survey/

21 REPLIES 21

geoffreykobrien
Contributor

I use this and the Lync setup script, thank you for your work on this!

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

@geoffreykobrien

You're welcome. 🙂

mm2270
Legendary Contributor II

@talkingmoose, Just wanted to mention that, although we're not currently using your scripts/process here, we've talked about it off and on and continue to consider it. As an Outlook/Exchange shop, if we want to automate user account setups, your scripts are pretty much the only game in town.
Only thing is, I went to the survey and if I answer the first question honestly, it ends my submission, since I'm not currently using it.
But consider using my name as a "potential" user since if we ever decide to automate the setup further, we would look to use what you've put together. We have over 8000 Mac users and growing. Even if we only started using it going forward and not looking back. we'd still be talking about possibly 600-800 new users per year that could utilize it.

I know you can't mention any specifics, but my guess is Microsoft is removing some of the Applescript dictionary in the upcoming release of Office, making it impossible to automate some aspects. Isn't this a bit like when they removed VBA from Office 2008 some years back and eventually had to eat their hats and bring it back?

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

@mm2270

Thanks for the response, Mike! I'll take your comments along with me and present them.

Please don't read anything into my comments about what Microsoft is doing regarding features. The only thing I can say is "Some planned changes in Outlook for Mac will break the automatic setup portion of the script." A recommendation I've made to Microsoft would eliminate the need for the script altogether, which is what I'd prefer. My goal is to simply show Autodiscover shouldn't be the only method for automatic configuration because it doesn't always work (for whatever variety of reasons we all have).

cainehorr
Contributor III

@talkingmoose][/url

I just wrote an article (yesterday as a matter of fact) that speaks to this very same topic.

Feel free to check it out here on JAMFNation...

https://jamfnation.jamfsoftware.com/discussion.html?id=11673

I ended up making modifications to the Outlook script to meet my needs. We used Hosted Exchange / Office 365 through Microsoft.

The script really does work quite well if properly planned out and implemented.

P.S. - You can use my name in your research. Contact me for details if you so desire.

FritzsCorner
Contributor III

@talkingmoose We have been using your script in a 250+ Mac user environment for about a year now. It has been a big timesaver in terms of automating our Mac deployments with Outlook.

m_entholzner
Contributor III
Contributor III

@talkingmoose: we're using your script in multiple locations, about 1000+ users.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Thanks for everyone's input and feedback so far! Since posting in MacE and JAMF lists I've seen double the responses I had already.

If you haven't already, please complete the survey itself. Should just take a couple of minutes. It's compiling the data for me.

znilsson
Contributor II

I'm also in the same boat regarding Autodiscover, it doesn't work on our network for Macs. And I definitely have a need to automate the outlook setup process, because we get new users on Macs all the time. I haven't implemented your script yet but I was definitely going to as soon as I got a couple other projects up and running. It was actually pretty high on my priority list.

ctangora
Contributor II

Use it.

krichterjr
Contributor

@talkingmoose

Like others above, this is not currently being used in our production environment but it is something we had on the roadmap. I did not compete the survey because we are not currently using this but please add us to your list to present to Microsoft who would benefit from your scripts or another automated setup option. And thank you for all your efforts!

lsmc08
Contributor

@talkingmoose,

Hope all is well!

I use it - about 1500 users. It has been extremely helpful! From your script, we were also able to accomplish a change of e-mail format process we're currently going through. We placed this variation of your script in the Outlook script folder and when the users e-mail addresses are changed, we simply ask them to run that script for their Outlook e-mail settings to be fixed automatically. Imagine having to do this manually for 1500 users - so, yes, we need Outlook automation!

I will post that variation of the script on the separate thread we talked about.

I also completed the survey.

Thank you for taking the lead on this and for your contribution!

Keep us post it.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Thanks to everyone who has so far completed the survey!

I've had nearly 100 folks answer and provide lots of insight into why an automated means of configuring Outlook for Mac is needed outside of Autodiscover.

If you haven't responded yet, please do so before the end of October. The survey closes at the end of this month.

franton
Valued Contributor II

I completed the survey when I was still employed. At that time 2500+ clients serving up to a few hundred staff and 40,000 ish students. Yeah, I'll say it worked a treat!

Look
Valued Contributor III

I borrowed the innards of the script to allow me to make a custom setup in our environment.
I am definitely in favour of anything that allows me to easily get Outlook to a point where the only thing the user needs to know is their password, especially as our login names differ from our email addresses and some accounts have multiple addresses attached, basically if I can't script querying what I need out of AD and passing it in Outlook things will get far more dificult for us.

sven_eberhard
New Contributor

@talkingmoose

Great Script, saving a lot of time and gives Outlook for Mac a professionell Feeling in Enterprise Environments!
I completed the survey.

I have the script tested with OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Here I noticed that the name and the mail address can not be read correctly. Does the script someone brought to work?
We are using the Version 4.5.1 and i would like to download the Version 4.5.2 with the posted Link above, but there is only the Version 4.0.1 available.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Just a few days left. Anyone using the Exchange Setup Script for Outlook for Mac, please complete the survey by end of this week.

Thanks!

emily
Valued Contributor III

I've avoided using it because we have a cloud-hosted Office 365 subscription and I was at a loss as to how to adapt it for the auto-discovery portion of an Office 365 server. I'd love to use it though…

GaToRAiD
Contributor II

@talkingmoose I current do use your script, but had to make a few changes to better suite my corp. And we love it!

I will mention, I added the ability for the user to just put in his/her password and it will automatically do the rest. It automatically pulls the user's email address, and then your script does the rest.

Another thing we did to spice up your script, was to leave the files in the user template location, as it's supposed to be, but we create a nice self service policy that will allow the user to rebuild their exchange mailbox. It closes all of office products, then also closes the Microsoft Daemon. Then erases their current User Database, then copies over the files from the user template folder. This way the user doesn't have to call when they have an issue where their email locks up over and over. That way our helpdesk isn't constantly fixing the same issue.

jhbush
Valued Contributor II

@GaToRAiD any chance you can post your modifications to the @talkingmoose script?

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Today's the day I get to present the survey results to the folks at Microsoft. Eventually, I'll write up a blog post with details.

Now that Outlook 15 has dropped I can explain the issue: Schedules has been removed. The script as I wrote it relied on a schedule to run the script when a user launched Outlook. Without the ability to use a schedule, Mac admins will have to instruct their users to somehow manually run the script. That may be as simple as double-clicking an icon or putting it into Self Service. Some admins create launchd items to run the script but that launches Outlook automatically, which may be disconcerting to the user. Either way, it's not as fully automatic as I'd like.

I had nearly 100 respondents in two months with over 150,000 users they support.

Thank you to all the folks who spoke up here and on the survey!