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How does "Sync Contact" feature work in attachedContacts?

Keeping shared contacts in sync, or up to date, across an organization is at the heart of attachedContacts Exchange integration functionality.  While all records in attachedContacts are shared across the organization, each user makes their own choice about which ones to sync with their Outlook contacts.  The sync feature is “bi-directional” meaning a user can edit a contact record either in their own Outlook, or in attachedContacts, and the record will auto-update in the other application.  At the same time, every instance of the Outlook contact is updated for each user that has chosen to sync it.  In this way, each user is ensured that information about the unique subset of company contacts they need is always up to date.

Here is more detail about sync functionality:

1.  Sync Contact checkbox:

a. Contacts donated by a user from their Outlook to attachedContacts are imported with a default setting of “Sync Contact”.  It is assumed that users will want to keep the contacts they donate up to date in both applications.  Users can decide at any time to stop syncing a contact by unchecking “Sync Contact”.

b. Each user will notice that contacts donated by others in the organization will not initially be synced for them.  Each user can decide to have any contact donated by another user synced with their own Outlook by checking the “Sync Contact” box.  Doing so will automatically create the contact in their Outlook and keep it up to date going forward.


2.  Bi-directional Sync functionality:

a.  Sync Out – Edits made by any user to a contact in attachedContacts will be pushed “out” to Outlook for all users that have chosen to sync that contact.

b.  Sync In – Edits made by a user to an Outlook contact (that they have set to sync) will first be pushed “in” to the record in attachedContacts, and then out to Outlook for all other users that have chosen to sync that contact for themselves.


3.  Sync Watermark:

a.  Each user can easily identify which of their own Outlook contacts are set to sync with the company’s attachedContacts library.  A Sync Watermark (see below) will appear in Outlook “People” pictures for each contact that is set to sync.

b.  The watermark will appear in the People view whether or not the contact in Outlook has an actual photo.

c.  Unchecking “Sync Contact” for a contact in attachedapps will remove the watermark from the People view picture in Outlook.


NOTE:  You will know which user last updated a contact record by viewing the audit stamp at the top of each contact record in attachedContacts.



4.  Deleting synced contacts:

a.  Deleting a contact record in attachedContacts will not delete it from your Outlook contacts.  For example, if you decide to do an import from Outlook and realize you imported some personal contacts you don't wish to share with other users within your company, you would want to delete them from attachedContacts but keep them in Outlook.

b.  If you delete a contact record from your Outlook contacts, it will not be deleted in attachedContacts if other users have selected to sync that same record to their Outlook Contacts.  You must be the only one syncing that record before it can be deleted from attachedContacts.  If you want to delete the contact record from Outlook but you wish to keep that record in attachedapps, simply uncheck the sync checkbox in attachedContacts before you delete it from Outlook.

c.  If you wish to no longer have a contact that exists in attachedContacts sync to your Outlook simply uncheck the sync box that enables that synchronization.  If you delete a contact from Outlook and you have it set to sync in attachedContacts, it will continue to push that contact record back out to your Outlook contacts.  Therefore, you must remember to uncheck the sync checkbox for any contacts you don't want pushed out to your Outlook contacts.


NOTE:  Please note that the synchronization process may take anywhere between 2-15 minutes depending on the Exchange traffic at that time and therefore changes you make to a contact record may take a few minutes to be reflected in either Outlook or attachedContacts.

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