Why details template changes don’t seem to show up on clients after being made

I wanted to elaborate a little on the topic of details templates and how they work. Details templates control the appearance of object properties that are accessed by using address lists. When a user opens an address list in Outlook, for example, the properties of a particular object are presented as defined by the details template in the Exchange organization.

There are two parts to the details templates that most people don't remember or realize.

  1. They reside in the active directory and can be changed at any time.
  2. Reside in the OAB files when they are downloaded by Outlook clients.

The details templates reside in the active directory and can be accessed via the ESM. You can open the Recipients Container | Details Templates | <Your Language>. For more information on how to modify them you can view my blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/dgoldman/archive/2007/02/14/how-to-add-edit-change-and-revert-address-and-details-templates.aspx

Here is where the confusion comes in to play. Depending on which Outlook client you are running you will see different results.

  1. For legacy clients (OAB Version 2 and OAB Version 3) they will have to do a full OAB download to get the new template changes. Please read this blog on how legacy clients generate the OAB files (this includes the Tmplts.oab file): http://blogs.msdn.com/dgoldman/archive/2005/04/28/413043.aspx.
  2. NOTE: To cause a full OAB download for a client you can go to the following location: C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and delete all of the *.oab files. This will cause the Outlook client to perform a full OAB download. You can also initiate this via the Send/Receive settings from within Outlook.
  3. We made changes in Exchange 2003 service pack 2 that will allow Outlook clients to download the template changes if they are downloading OAB Version 4. For more information on the changes you can read this blog I wrote: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/08/01/408473.aspx, however the most important change I in the blog that I want to note is the following: OAB Templates will now be added to differential OAB download when they are updated. With the introduction of OAB v4, when an administrator changes or adds a template file on the Exchange server, Outlook clients will now have the ability to download this new template file when it downloads the diff file.

This does not matter for OAB Version 4 clients that are on an Exchange 2003 server that is running Service Pack 2, or an Exchange 2007 Server that is generated OAB Version 4 for Public Folder and Web Distribution. The clients *will* download the template changes as part of the differential OAB download.

I hope this helps


Comments (5)

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  3. Oddvar Moe says:

    Do you know a way to change the template so that the thumbnailphoto attribute will show? The thumbnailphoto does not have an mapiID.

  4. You cant add one because we do not support at this time adding mapiID’s within Exchange. Please see: http://blogs.msdn.com/dgoldman/archive/2007/11/09/adding-attributes-to-the-exchange-details-templates.aspx

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