Navigation:  Add2Outlook Administration Guide >

Recommended Relationship Settings

Print this Topic Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

Many users have questions about the most common values of the settings for the type of relationship as they set up a relationship.  Below are some typical values of the relationship settings for the most common types of relationships.

Tip: The most important thing to think about when setting up a relationship is to concentrate on which is the MASTER (original calendar item) and which is the Slave (copied calendar item).  Each relationship is one way, made in the source and copied or synced to a destination.  Each relationship can be unidirectional on information flow - where information is only flowing one way.

Conversely, each relationship can be bidirectional, where information changed in the destination can be synced back to modify the original source.  Bidirectional changes can be for edits AND/OR deletes.  If someone edits the synced destination item, it can sync back to the source.  If someone deletes the synced item, it can delete the original if desired, and if it deletes the source, it will therefore delete all other copies.

If there is more than one master copy on a particular folder, with many relationships (one to many), and two users change the item during the same sync cycle, then one of the changes will be overwritten.  This does not happen often, but can happen.  Some of the rules of the relationship will effectively allow you to do this.  For example, if going from a public to multiple private calendars, you can set the Conflict resolution to overwrite the Source and Copied resolution to sync changes back to the Source if destination item is changed in more than one relationship.  If Add2Outlook is operating off the same public calendar and two users change the item and both of them are set to overwrite the source item, someone’s changes will be lost.

If you keep this in mind when selecting the relationship settings, it will assist you in selecting the right relationship options that satisfy your particular business requirement.

The program has optional rules to not copy items marked “private” from the source to the destination.  These settings are only applicable from a private to a public or private-to-private folder, as there is no such thing as a “private public calendar” item.

See the following screenshots for examples and descriptions of typical relationship settings.  Screenshots are of calendar relationships which include all possible settings.  Task and Contact relationships contain either the same settings or a subset.  All settings for calendar relationships apply to those types as well.

 

Folder Publication and Folder Aggregation (One-way)

Folder Publication (One-way)

 

 

This is the most common configuration.  Publication of a source folder consists of a one-way relationship where edits and deletions in the source folder are mirrored in the destination.  In the destination folder, edits and deletions of copied items do not affect the source folder.  Destination edits and deletions are undone on the next synchronization, replacing the affected items with fresh copies of the original items from the source folder.  This enforces a common view of the source folder contents.  The term publication implies that the owner of the destination folder has no control over the items residing in the source folder.

In the example shown, the relationship is from a public calendar to a user.

If an appointment in the public folder is edited, the copy in the user's folder will be replaced with a new copy of the changed appointment.  Interim changes to the user's old copy, if any, will be discarded (conflict resolution).
If the user edits their copy of a public folder appointment, changes to the user's copy will be discarded and replaced with a new copy of the original item from the public folder.
If an appointment is removed (deleted or moved) from the public folder, its copy will be removed from the user's folder.
If the user removes their copy of a public folder appointment, a new copy of the original item from the public folder will be created.

This relationship is popular because the user cannot accidentally delete copied items.  The destination folder therefore always reflects the entire contents of the source folder.  This makes it easy to verify the correct operation of synchronization.

All of these behaviors are unaffected by the location of source and destination folder, public or private, or the folder type, calendar, contact or task.

Technical Details: The only option which is affected by the location of the source and destination folders is the Skip Private Items setting, which only affects items that are marked private in the source folder.  Since items in a public folder cannot be marked private in Outlook, this option does not apply to public-to-private and public-to-public relationships, but does in the private-to-public relationship above.

 

Folder Publication with Pruning (Partial One-way)

Folder Publication with Pruning (One-way with “Do Nothing” destination deletions)

 

 

This configuration is less common.  Because items can be removed from the destination folder without creating a new copy from the source, once an item is deleted it can never be synchronized again.  Removing destination copies in this manner is called pruning.

Like regular publication, publication with pruning consists of one-way relationship(s) where edits and deletions in the source folder are mirrored in the destination.  Also like publication, edits and deletions of copied items do not affect the source folder.  Destination edits are still undone on the next synchronization as well.

Where publication with pruning differs from publication is that destination deletions are not undone on the next synchronization.  Instead, the source item remains unchanged but is no longer copied to the destination.  This allows the user to “get rid of” certain items without affecting any other folder.

In the example shown, the relationship is from a public calendar to a user.

If an appointment in the public folder is edited, the copy in the user's folder will be replaced with a new copy of the changed appointment.  Interim changes to the user's old copy, if any, will be discarded (conflict resolution).
If the user edits their copy of a public folder appointment, changes to the user's copy will be discarded and replaced with a new copy of the original item from the public folder.
If an appointment is removed (deleted or moved) from the public folder, its copy will be removed from the user's folder.
If the user removes their copy of a public folder appointment, no further copies will be made of that appointment to this user.

This relationship is used for various reasons, such as limitations on space in mobile devices, or to allow users to clear space on their calendars taken by synchronized meetings that they will not be attending.

The difficulty with this relationship is that the occasional accidental deletion of an item necessitates either a manual, unsynchronized copy of the item be placed in the user's folder, or that the relationship needs to be deleted and rebuilt in order to bring back the item.

Another drawback is that the destination usually does not contain the exact contents of the source folder, making verification of correct synchronization difficult.

For these reasons, we recommend that you only use this configuration if you are certain it is necessary.

 

Folder Participation and Folder Grouping (Two-way)

Folder Participation (Two-way)

 

 

This is a less common configuration because the user can accidentally delete items from the source folder, causing confusion.  For a more common configuration that still allows shared editing control, see the section below, Folder Participation with Restricted Deletion.

Participation consists of a two-way relationship where edits and deletions in either the source or destination folder are mirrored in the other.  The term participation implies that the owner of the destination folder has at least some control over the items residing in the source folder, not just their copies.

Note: participation in a source folder is different than making two folders equivalent.  The folder participation configuration is a single relationship, which only includes the contents of the source folder in the destination folder, not vice-versa.  The original contents of the destination folder, which were there prior to synchronization, are not brought to the source folder.  If you want to make the folders equivalent so that both folders contain the combined contents of the two, you will need another relationship going from the destination folder to the source (called a mutual relationship).

In the example shown, the relationship is from a public calendar to a user.

If the user edits their copy of a public folder appointment, the original appointment in the public folder will be replaced with the changed appointment from the user.  Interim changes to the original item in the public, if any, will be discarded (conflict resolution).  Even though the appointment in the source has been replaced, it is still considered the original item, not a copy.
If an appointment in the public folder is edited, the copy in the user's folder will be replaced with a new copy of the changed appointment.
If an appointment is removed (deleted or moved) from the public folder, its copy will be removed from the user's folder.
If the user removes (deletes or moves) their copy of a public folder appointment, the original item from the public folder will be deleted.

 

Folder Participation with Restricted Deletions (Partial Two-way)

Folder Participation with Restricted Deletions

 

 

This is the recommended and most common configuration of Folder participation because the user cannot accidentally delete items from the source folder.

This form of sharing a source folder consists of a two-way relationship where edits in either the source or destination folder are mirrored in the other.  Deletions from the source folder are reflected in the destination, but deletions in the destination do not affect the source.  Instead, a new copy of the source item is created in the destination.

The term participation implies that the owner of the destination folder has at least some control over the items residing in the source folder, not just the copies in the destination.  In this case, the control is the ability to edit but not to delete.

In the example shown, the relationship is from a public calendar to a user.

If the user edits their copy of a public folder appointment, the original appointment in the public folder will be replaced with the changed appointment from the user.  Interim changes to the original item in the public, if any, will be discarded (conflict resolution).  Even though the appointment in the source has been replaced, it is still considered the original item, not a copy.
If an appointment in the public folder is edited, the copy in the user's folder will be replaced with a new copy of the changed appointment.
If an appointment is removed (deleted or moved) from the public folder, its copy will be removed from the user's folder.
If the user removes (deletes or moves) their copy of a public folder appointment, a new copy of the original item from the public folder will be created.

This relationship is popular because the user cannot accidentally delete items in the source.  The destination folder therefore always reflects the entire contents of the source folder.  This makes it easy to verify the correct operation of synchronization.

 

Other Variations

Folder Publication with Preserved Destination Edits

 

 

This is a less common configuration that allows a user to make edits to the destination copies.  The edited item is preserved and a new copy of the original item is made in the destination.

This is not a recommended configuration because frequently the synchronized item cannot be told apart from the non-synchronized copy with the user's edits.  Sometimes users mistake this for duplication, especially if further edits are made to the synchronized version of the item, resulting in an additional copy from the source.

If this configuration is chosen, it is recommended to make the edited copy distinguishable by, for example, changing the message subject field.

 

Folder Participation with Deletion Marking in the Source

 

 

This is another less common configuration that allows a user to delete an item from the destination folder.  Add2Exchange then marks the original item in the source folder with the tag “Deleted” and does not copy the item to that user again.  If other relationships exist from the source folder, they will also copy the “Deleted” tag to their destinations.

This configuration can allow users to “vote” that an item be deleted from the source folder, while maintaining centralized control of actual deletion of items from the source folder.

 

Public-to-Private Relationship TIP: Recommended Defaults

 

 

For syncing without any possibility of loss of a change made, it is always best to have one master, and unidirectional flow of information, from source to destination.  This way you can limit with Client Access Control to the source to just those who you want to be able to edit the items.  Add2Outlook will execute the relationships in the order they sync, so the program can easily inadvertently overwrite the master from two sources and lose someone’s changes.  Add2Outlook will provide the ability to do both unidirectional data flow or bidirectional data flow, depending on the settings selected below.  The system is powerful enough to allow for changes to sync back to the source item, and then that change synced to any other replicas, again depending on the options specified below.

Conflict Resolution: if you want the public to be the master item, then you would select "Always Replace Item In Destination Folder".  This means any changes of an item which got made in the public and Synced to the private would be overwritten each time by the public no matter what changes they made to their copy.  Be sure to change the Copied resolution option below to “Overwrite Changes” (the next option below) so any changes are overwritten by the Source item.  This selection is unidirectional on edits (changes only go from public-to-private) and the Source item in the public is always the master copy.

If you want the public to be able to be updated with changes from a user's copy of the item, you would select “Always Replace Item In Source Folder”, and in the next option Copied Resolution, select to “Synchronize Changes Back To Source Item”.  When making a new relationship, this option is the default way the relationship is made, but you can change it if you wish.  This option is bidirectional on edits, where the item can be edited in either location and it will attempt to update the source and every other destination of the relationship.

Copied Resolution: Again, to completely avoid the possibility of data loss by some user, the best practice is to have one master, but again, it depends on what you want.

To have one way syncing, the Copied Resolution must be set to "Always Overwrite Any Changed Destination Copy".

Source Item Delete Resolution: Since the Rules of the Relationship send the information where you tell it, you should either delete it to clean up the folder or mark the item deleted so everyone knows what is going on.

Tip: The best practices for a calendar appointment is to train your users to edit the subject with “Rescheduled to…” or "Canceled" so other users know of the changes without it just disappearing.  If you select Do Nothing, the item will remain in the destination folders but never get replicated again.  It will be an orphan item.

Deleting the Destination item is recommended, since it seems everyone wants a calendar free of deleted or canceled appointments.

 

Private-to-Public Relationship Tip: Recommended Defaults

 

 

Bidirectional on edits, unidirectional on deletes.

Conflict Resolution: In the picture above, the item is made in the private and is the original master.  The settings above are set so that the item can be changed in the public and brought back to the user's private folder.

Copied Resolution: This setting is set to change the item in the private if the item changes in the public.  An example of this kind of relationship is a sales manager who has the salespeople's calendar replicated to a public, then makes notes and comments in the public and have it replicate back to the original user.  Any changes to the destination item in the public by anyone with client access control will update the original item.

If source item is deleted, delete the destination item.

If the destination item is deleted from the public, it will recopy from the private.

 

 

Bidirectional on edits, unidirectional on deletes.

This option specifies that the private item is always the master and no matter what is done to a copy of the item in the public, the private item overwrites any change and the item is recopied when deleted.

Copied Resolution: This setting is set to overwrite any changed destination item.

Conflict Resolution: Overwrite changed destination items.

Source Item Delete Resolution: Delete destination item is almost always the most common selection.

Destination Deleted: If the destination item is deleted from the public, it will recopy from the private.

Tip: Source Item Delete Resolution: If you are going to select this to delete destination, it is best practice to open the item and edit the subject so everyone knows of the change and things don’t just start deleting.

The best practices is to have your users edit the subject with “Rescheduled to …” or “Canceled”.

Delete destination item is normal, but nice to know what happened to a calendar item, for example if it was moved to another date.

 

Private-to-Public Relationship Tip: Recommended Defaults when you want to have users edit the Destination public and write back to the source.

Conflict Resolution: Always replace item in the source folder.

Copied Resolution: Synchronize changes back to the source item.

Source Item Delete Resolution: Mark the item deleted or edit the subject.

 

Private-to-Private Relationship Tip: Recommended Defaults.

 

 

Conflict Resolution: Usually the place you created the appointment is the master, so this option should be to replace destination.  This way a user does not change another’s original appointment.  Since a private-to-private relationship is often one to many, replace the destination is the preferred option so the original private calendar is the master.  If many users can edit the original, as is the case where the assistants of a doctor can all edit, consider a private-to-public relationship instead.  Always Replace Item In Source Folder is not recommended.

Copied Resolution: It should be always overwrite or untie and create a new tied item if changes are to be saved in the destination item.  The master is still the original private, and editing that is not recommended.  Synchronize Changes Back To Source Item – again, not recommended.

Source Item Delete Resolution: Delete Destination Item is ok for a clean calendar, but better is again to mark the item deleted or edit the subject.

Destination Item Deleted Resolution: Either to do nothing so the other user can prune the appointments they don't want or Recopy.