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Collaboration Services 3.9.1 - Deployment Guide

About this document About Collaboration Services Architecture and functionality Before you begin Platform considerations Pre-installation planning Prepare for use Collaboration Services upgrade Installation checklists Re-installing Collaboration Services Troubleshooting

Transparency for end users

Using Collaboration Services means a zero learning curve for users —they just keep using Microsoft Outlook in the typical manner.

Secure solution

Collaboration Services is a secure directory, calendar, and free/busy data synchronization solution. It has the following benefits compared to other directory synchronization solutions:

Architecture and functionality

This section provides a high-level overview of the Collaboration Services architecture and functionality.

Collaboration Services structure

To achieve seamless inter-forest collaboration by providing a common GAL, Collaboration Services synchronizes the selected Active Directory objects between the selected forests using a “hub and spokes” architecture. The HQ forest is the hub, and the branch forests are the spokes.

This architecture optimizes synchronization traffic load balancing and makes deployment easy. Each forest participating in the collaboration sends its data to be published to the HQ forest, and the HQ forest distributes to each branch forest the data it requires. Thus, the HQ forest provides data distribution and manages the data flow between all collaboration partners.


All forests that take part in collaboration are called synchronization partners.

The administrators of these forests can publish their data in one or more collections and subscribe to the collections published by other forests. When publishing a collection, a forest administrator can either allow the collection to be available by subscription to all synchronization partners, or allow only selected synchronization partners to subscribe to it.

Before a forest can be added to the collaboration structure, one instance of Collaboration Services must be installed on a server in any domain of the forest. This server is referred to as the Collaboration Services server.

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