Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Transfer data from Microsoft Entourage to Microsoft Outlook

I made an assumption earlier today that transferring data from one Microsoft email product (Entourage on the Mac) to another (Outlook 2007 on Windows) would be as simple as export / import.

Wrong.

I also wanted to transfer the mail back onto the mail server rather than local storage, and thought I could just drag-and-drop the folder structure from the local copy to the IMAP server

Wrong again!



It seems you need to create the folder structure on the server, then folder-by-folder, do select all, then drag that selection into the new folder. This usually works, although on some occasions it fails with "An error occurred" but doesn't tell you what error, why or where.

Anyway, so I managed to get the mail back over using that method and Outlook could then see it via IMAP as well.  Next for the contacts - Entourage does have an export-to-csv for contacts. However it's not comma separated, it's tab separated. And they're not Windows compatible tabs.

Once I converted it to a Windows CSV using OpenOffice (Microsoft Excel rejected it with lots of random characters where the tabs should've been), I then had the joy of matching the field names.

"Work Street Address" in Entourage becomes "Business Address 1" in Outlook.
Repeat this for several dozen field names like "Work Phone 1" becomes "Business Phone"  etc.

Then it was onto the calendar.  As a "I wonder if I can read it" attempt, I did an export to Entourage's native "RGE" format export. This turns out to be a few folders, one with hundreds of files, each with a random, seemingly coded filename.  There's also a couple of fairly meaningless XML files.   Looking at the coded filename files in notepad (YAY for Notepad!) they turn out to be .vcs files in disguise!   I renamed one to "1.vcs" and sure enough Outlook could read it as a single calendar entry.

A quick command prompt "type *. >> calendar.vcs" later, and I had one big file with all the entries.
Import that into Outlook and it picked them all up.


So there we go.  Messy, but effective.

Now all I need to do is get the calendar and contacts to synch with the mail server too
(We're not using Exchange, so that'll be fun)
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