How to create a PRF file for configuring MAPI profiles during a custom installation of Outlook 2002

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The Outlook profile file (PRF file) allows you to quickly create MAPI profiles for Outlook users. To create an Outlook 2002 PRF file, you can configure profile settings in the Custom Installation Wizard and then export the settings to a PRF file. This process creates a new Outlook 2002 PRF file with your specifications.

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Create a PRF File by Using the Custom Installation Wizard

The PRF file is a text file with syntax that Microsoft Outlook uses to generate a profile. By using a PRF file, you can set up new profiles for users or modify existing profiles without affecting other aspects of your Outlook (or Microsoft Office) installation. You can also manually edit a PRF file to customize Outlook to include services that are not included in the Custom Installation Wizard user interface.

The most straightforward way to create a PRF file with Outlook 2002 profile settings is to customize the settings in the Custom Installation Wizard, and then to export the settings to a PRF file.

To create a PRF file in the Custom Installation Wizard:
  1. On the Outlook: Customize Default User Profile page of the wizard, select how you want to customize profiles for your users. To specify settings to be included in a PRF file, select Modify Profile or New Profile, and then click Next.
  2. On the next three pages, customize the profile information, for example, configure Exchange server connections and add accounts.
  3. On the Outlook: Remove Accounts and Export Settings page, click Export Profile Settings. When you are prompted, type (or browse to) a file name and location.
NOTE: You may already have a PRF file from an earlier version of Outlook that you want to update and use with Outlook 2002. If you have a PRF file from Outlook 98 or Outlook 2000 that includes Corporate or Workgroup settings only, you can import the file into the Custom Installation Wizard to specify the profile settings for your transform.

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Edit the Outlook 2002 PRF File

If your organization requires special modifications to Outlook profiles--for example, if you want to add a new service that is not included in the Custom Installation Wizard--you can edit the PRF file. Use a text editor such as Notepad to edit either your older PRF file or a new PRF file that was created with the Custom Installation Wizard. Make your changes or additions, and then save the file.

The main functional areas in the Outlook 2002 PRF file include the following:
  • A section that specifies actions to take, such as create new profiles, modify existing profiles, overwrite existing profiles, and so on.
  • Sections with organization-specific customizations, including server names, configurations to deploy, and so on.
  • Sections that map information that is specified in earlier parts of the file to Windows registry key settings.
The PRF file includes detailed comments for each section that describe existing settings and options for modifying the file with your updates. The file includes seven sections:
  • Section 1: Profile defaults
  • Section 2: A list of MAPI services to be added to the profile
  • Section 3: A list of Internet accounts to be created
  • Section 4: Default values for each service
  • Section 5: Settings values for each Internet account
  • Section 6: Mapping for profile properties
  • Section 7: Mapping for Internet account properties
To allow each service definition to be customized individually, default variables and values in section 4 can be duplicated under the separate headings (Service1, Service2, and so on) for each service in the profile. Section 6 also groups variables under each service definition. For example, some services can be defined as unique (UniqueService is Yes), and others are not unique (UniqueService is No).

Typically, you do not modify existing entries in sections 6 and 7. These sections define mappings to registry key settings for information that is defined elsewhere in the file. Nonetheless, if you define new services in the PRF file, you must add the appropriate mappings for those services to sections 6 and 7.

The following list displays accounts that are unique and how Outlook determines whether a new account of the same type can be added. Keep this information in mind when you add providers in the PRF file. Outlook verifies that unique services are not added more than once, and that other services do not collide (for example, that all POP accounts have unique names). Each line in the list displays the name of an account, whether the account is unique, and the method for determining collisions when you add the new account:
  • POP - No - Account name
  • IMAP- No - Account name
  • Hotmail/HTTP - No - Account name
  • PST - No - Full path to PST (including file name)
  • Outlook Address Book - Yes - Existence of account
  • Personal Address Book - Yes - Existence of account
  • LDAP - No - Account name
  • Exchange - Yes - Existence of provider

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Article ID: 308300 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 05:49:20 - Revision: 1.4

Microsoft Office XP Professional, Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Office XP Standard Edition, Microsoft Office XP Developer Edition

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