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FACSys Fax Connector 1.5
Frequently Asked Questions

 


What is the FACSys Fax Connector, and how does it work?

The FACSys Fax Connector is a gateway installed at the Exchange server that passes fax messages between an Exchange server and a FACSys fax server. The Fax Connector gives users the ability to send and receive fax messages from/to their Microsoft Exchange and Outlook mail systems.
When you install the Fax Connector, the "FACSYS" and "FAX" address types are identified in the Exchange routing table as belonging to the Fax Connector. When a user sends a message having a FAX or FACSYS destination address type, Exchange forwards the message to the Fax Connector which, in turn, forwards the message to a FACSys fax server for conversion into fax format and outbound transmission.
Inbound faxes are received at the FACSys fax server. Any fax message destined for a user who wishes to receive faxes in their Exchange client application is routed to the Fax Connector and then to Exchange. Exchange subsequently forwards the inbound fax message to the intended recipient's Exchange mailbox. All inbound faxes are received as file attachments in a mail message. The faxes also display as thumbnail images in the mail message.

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Can I install more than one Fax Connector in an Exchange site? Can a single Fax Connector talk to multiple fax servers?

You can install one FACSys Fax Connector per Exchange server. A site with multiple Exchange servers can also have multiple Fax Connectors and thus take advantage of the least cost routing facilities provided by Microsoft Exchange and the Fax Connector. (Least cost routing is discussed further below.)
To install the FACSys Fax Connector, you must be a Microsoft Exchange Site Administrator. The Exchange server (v4.0 or later) on which you install the Fax Connector must have network connectivity to one or more FACSys fax servers. These "fax server participants" handle the inbound and outbound fax messages for the Fax Connector. A fax server may be a participant to more than one Fax Connector.

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How do I manage the Fax Connector?

The FACSys Fax Connector operates as a core part of the Microsoft Exchange Server architecture and is managed using the Exchange Administrator program. Optus has made provisions for Exchange support that help ease the implementation of the Fax Connector without having to manually update FACSys fax servers and/or clients.
When you install the Fax Connector, the Fax Connector object is added to the Exchange site's Connections container from where it can be configured and managed. Three custom property sheets, Connections, Configuration, and Cover Pages allow you to manage the Fax Connector and all fax server participants remotely. The standard Exchange Export Containers property sheet prompts you to select the recipient containers that can be exported to a FACSys fax server to synchronize FACSys and Exchange user profile information. These property sheets are discussed in detail in the Fax Connector documentation.

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Is there a preferred method of managing the Exchange user accounts and FACSys user accounts?

For Exchange client users to send fax messages or receive fax messages in their Exchange Inbox, every user must have a FACSys User Profile defined on the fax server participant(s). You can use the Exchange Administrator and the FACSys Administrator programs to manage user accounts.
FACSys Fax Connector also provides a "synchronization" feature which exports Exchange User Profile information to a fax server. The Fax Connector's flexible export facility provides several options to synchronize user account data between the two systems: full export, incremental export, and scheduled export. All export options are discussed in detail in the Fax Connector documentation.

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Does the Fax Connector provide for least cost routing among fax servers?

Because the FACSys Fax Connector operates and functions as an ordinary Exchange connector, all cost routing and configuration parameters are defined using native Exchange tools. This means that you define and manage least cost routing (LCR) for the Fax Connector directly from the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program.
To optimize message routing between sites, Exchange examines the "address space costs" defined in its routing table. Using the Microsoft Exchange Administrator program, you can influence fax message routing by defining site addressing costs for Exchange site connectors and address space costs for FACSys Fax Connectors.
For detailed information on configuring least cost routing for the Fax Connector, refer to the Support area of the FACSys Web site.

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What are the requirements for the Fax Connector Service Account?

The FACSys Fax Connector service must log onto Windows NT to gain access to NT and Exchange server shared resources. Before you run the Fax Connector installation program, you should identify the Windows NT account to be used by the Fax Connector service. You are prompted to specify this account during the Connector's installation procedure.
You can have the Fax Connector service log onto NT under the same account used by the Exchange Message Transfer Agent (MTA) or another account that has the appropriate rights.
The minimum rights for the NT account that is associated with the Fax Connector service are as follows:

You must not use a Windows NT account of a user that might log onto or off of Windows NT while the Fax Connector service is running.

 

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How do users send faxes from Exchange?

With FACSys and the Fax Connector, users can create fax messages with Exchange with any of the following methods:

Detailed steps for each method are included in the FACSys Fax Messaging Gateway and Fax Connector documentation.

 

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Will the Fax Connector work with the Microsoft Outlook client? What do I have to do to make the Fax Connector work with Outlook?

With FACSys Fax Connector 1.5, Exchange and Outlook users can create fax messages by simply addressing their messages to a fax destination, for example, [FAX:LarryS@+1 (732) 555-1212]. Because the FAX address type is added to the Exchange routing table as being a Fax Connector message type, all FAX addressed messages are routed by Exchange to the Fax Connector for processing. This makes the faxing process entirely transparent to Outlook users.
To give users the added ability to attach fax cover pages or apply FACSys scheduling options to their outbound fax messages, you can install the FACSys fax client extension or implement Outlook forms, as discussed later in this document.

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Does the Fax Connector Support Outlook Forms?

With FACSys Fax Connector, Exchange and Outlook users can create fax messages by simply addressing messages to a fax destination. To give users the added ability to attach fax cover pages or apply FACSys scheduling options to outbound fax messages, administrators can install the FACSys fax client extension or implement Outlook forms.
Optus provides a library of sample Outlook form templates available from the FACSys FTP site. All Outlook forms included in the Fax Forms Library have been developed for use with FACSys Fax Connector. All sample forms are fully customizable and can be quickly installed and implemented in your organization. The forms can also be run "out of the box" without customization. In many cases, organizations or workgroups can solve business problems or increase productivity by simply installing one of the sample forms.
The Fax Connector forms can be published in a user's personal library, in a Folder's Forms Library, or publicly in the Exchange Organization Forms Library.
Forms are discussed in detail in
Technical Support Bulletin (TSB): Outlook Form Templates in the Support area of the FACSys Web site. For more information about Outlook forms, also refer to the following pages on the Microsoft Web site:

 

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Can users add "fax destinations" directly to their Exchange address books and Outlook contact lists?

Yes. The FACSys Fax Connector uses the existing Exchange address books and Outlook contacts as defined by the user and the site administrator. No additional import and/or export of address book information is required.
The Fax Connector also provides a FACSYS Fax Address template that gives users the ability to add fax destinations directly to their Exchange address books. In addition to the fax number, the user can specify a name to show on the cover page, a company name, and billing information for the fax destination.
Similarly, Outlook users have the ability to add fax addresses directly to their Outlook Contact database. Outlook identifies the contact's information in the Business Fax and Home Fax fields as being "FAX" address information. Outlook will also identify FAX and FACSYS addresses in the contact's Email field. The Fax Connector's forms library also provides a form that lets users easily create a new contact that has fax options.

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Can the FACSys Fax Address template be translated into a language other than English?

As mentioned above, the Fax Connector provides a FACSYS Fax Address template that gives users the ability to add fax destinations directly to their Exchange address books. By default, the FACSys Fax Connector installs the English language version of the One-Off Address Template. You can replace this template or add another one if the template you are seeing is in a language other than the language spoken by your users.
Optus provides many language versions of the FACSys Fax Connector Address template available for download from the FACSys FTP site. Some of the address templates have been fully translated and others simply show the appropriate language ID.
The available language templates are discussed in detail in
Technical Support Bulletin (TSB) PS97-1008: FACSys Fax Connector Language Templates in the Support area of the FACSys Web site. For detailed information on importing objects, refer to the Microsoft Exchange Administrator's Guide.

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What is the Fax Connector's Exchange/Outlook Client Extension?

The Fax Connector's client extension gives Exchange and Outlook users the added ability to attach fax cover pages or apply FACSys scheduling options to their outbound fax messages. Installing the FACSys fax client extension at a user's workstation adds fax-related commands and/or toolbar buttons to the Exchange/Outlook client interface. These new commands give the user access to cover page editing tools and fax scheduling options.
The fax client extension is discussed in more detail in the Fax Connector 1.5 manual.

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Does the FACSys Fax Connector allow users to attach files to outbound faxes?

Yes. Exchange users can include file attachments in outbound fax messages. There is no limit to the number of attachments that can be included within each fax message, and all text, graphics and formatting are preserved in the rendered fax image.
Current supported attachment formats include ASCII TXT, Windows BMP, Intel DCX, Microsoft MG3, Paintbrush PCX, HPPCL4/5e, Postscript Level I/II, TIFF Group 3/4, *Microsoft Office document types, *Adobe Acrobat PDF, *Lotus 1-2-3, and *Lotus WordPro. To render the document formats designated in the list with an asterisk (*), the FACSys Fax Printer Driver must be installed at the FACSys fax server. The fax printer driver is designed to offer high speed rendering of document attachments using their native applications to handle the printing and general formatting of the document.
In addition, FACSys Fax Messaging Gateway 4.5 SP1 and later provides support for the INSO (Outside-In) Viewer technology used for rendering over 200+ document/file formats without requiring the native applications to be installed at the fax server.
For detailed information on file attachment format,INSO configuration, and installing the fax printer driver, please refer to
Technical Support Bulletin (TSB) PS97-503: Fax Printer Driver: Support for Native File Attachments in the Support area of the FACSys Web site at www.facsys.com.

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How do I get Microsoft Office documents to be rendered as fax attachments?

When you install the FACSys fax server software, a custom print driver and a custom FACSys printer port are installed and configured. If FACSys users will be attaching native document files to outbound faxes, at the fax server you must create and configure a FACSys Fax Printer that prints to the custom printer port. This Fax Printer performs high-speed fax rendering of the document attachments using the document's native application to handle the printing and general formatting of the document.
To render the native document attachments at the fax server, you must do the following:

For more information on creating and configuring the FACSys Fax Printer, refer to the FACSys 4.5 Administrator guide or on-line help system.

 

In addition, FACSys Fax Messaging Gateway 4.5 SP1 and later provides support for the INSO (Outside-In) Viewer technology used for rendering over 200+ document/file formats without requiring the native applications to be installed at the fax server. For detailed information on INSO configuration, visit the Support area of the FACSys Web site at www.facsys.com.

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Can users monitor the status of their pending outbound faxes?

Yes. FACSys Fax Connector 1.5 includes a new Mailbox Agent service that gives users the ability to monitor their pending outbound fax messages from the Exchange/Outlook client application. The FACSys Mailbox Agent service runs on the Exchange server. You install the Mailbox Agent service using the Fax Connector setup program. After installing the FACSys Mailbox Agent service, the Mailbox Agent object is created in the Exchange site's Recipients container.
When a user sends a fax message, a special server-based mailbox folder named "FACSys Outbox" is created in the user's Exchange/Outlook folder tree. The folder lists the user's pending message destinations, status and subjects.

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Can I route all incoming faxes to a single Exchange mailbox, to a public folder, or to a group/distribution list?

Yes. To route all faxes received on a channel to an Exchange mailbox/public folder/group, you must do the following using the FACSys Administrator program:

  1. Create a FACSys user profile configured to route all inbound faxes to an email address. In the user profile under the Routing tab, enable and define the Mail Configuration fields. In the Mail Address field, enter the Exchange address to which you want to route the inbound faxes.
  2. Configure a fax device for line routing and associate the line with this FACSys user account.

Detailed instructions on creating user profiles and configuring line routing are included in the FACSys 4.5 Administrator guide.

 

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What cover page options does the Fax Connector support?

Administrators of the Fax Connector have the ability to define and manage cover page options for both the Fax Connector and for individual Fax Connector users. Flexible cover page options give you the ability to define a specific cover page to be used by the Fax Connector, define a unique cover page for every Fax Connector user, or define a single cover page for all members of an Exchange Recipient container. You can also force a cover page to be sent with all outbound faxes handled by the Fax Connector.
Detailed instructions on managing Fax Connector cover pages are included in the FACSys 4.5 Administrators guide.

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Is there a way to display a "fax" icon so my Outlook users can distinguish between their mail and fax messages?

The way a message is handled and identified by Microsoft Exchange is controlled by its message class. Standard Exchange e-mail messages have the class IPM.Note, and every new message is assigned this class by default.
Message class also determines the icon associated with items displayed in an Outlook folder. When displaying a list of messages in a folder, it is helpful to users if you distinguish messages with custom message classes from the standard IPM.Note messages. The FACSys Fax Connector for Microsoft Exchange Server automatically sets the message class of all fax messages to IPM.NOTE.FAX. Messages having this class type will have a "fax" icon. Therefore, to display fax icons for your users' fax messages, you must publish a FACSys fax form having the IPM.NOTE.FAX message class in the Exchange Organization Forms Library.
Note that after you define the Fax Connector's Administrator mailbox, the Fax Connector sends a Welcome message that outlines the configuration tasks and lists several Fax Connector features. The Welcome message also contains an Outlook form having the message class IPM.NOTE.FAX. To publish the fax form in the Exchange Organization Forms Library, simply double-click on the form icon. This is an easy way to enable fax icons for your Outlook clients.

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Why aren't my Exchange accounts exported when I click the Export Users button on the Fax Connector's Connections property sheet?

Before you synchronize your Exchange and FACSys user profile information, you need to identify the Exchange containers that have the information you want to export. Export containers are the Microsoft Exchange Server recipient lists that you want to be exported to a target FACSys fax server.
If your Exchange accounts are not exported, verify that you have selected at least one recipient container on the Fax Connector's Export Containers property sheet. Also note that the Exchange recipients that are exported to the FACSys fax server are those in the selected recipient containers that have a Trust Level equal to or lower than the defined Trust Level. To export all accounts in the selected containers, set the Trust Level to 100.

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Why are my destination fax numbers being modified and passed to the fax server incorrectly?

Microsoft has confirmed an Exchange server dialing issue and solution that is discussed in detail on the following Web page: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q185/5/92.asp?.
When using 3 digit area codes between 000-300 and submitted within parentheses, there is a conversion made by Exchange that results in a letter in the destination fax number string. This is an Exchange feature used for X.400/SMTP conversions and it is not possible to work around this with the Fax Connector. This conversion most commonly occurs when the destination fax area code is between 255 and 300 AND the fax number is dialed without a country code.
In addition to the solution discussed on the Microsoft Web site, Exchange/Outlook users can try the following:

This issue is discussed in more detail in Technical Support Bulletin PS97-1003: FACSys Fax Connector Dialing Issues in the Support area of the FACSys Web site.

 

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