For those of you who have enabled Full-Text Indexing, you know that when it works it executes searches very quickly returning results for not only e-mail messages but also Word, Excel, HTML, and PowerPoint documents/attachments. However, since Outlook 2003 has come along with "Cached Mode" some people want to know if their Full-Text Indexing is being leveraged any more by Outlook. Well, it is not. That's right, Outlook 2003 in Cached Mode does not execute queries against the Exchange Server or the Full-Text Index on the server, and there is no way to make Outlook 2003 execute the query against the server.
So now what? Do you just delete your Full-Text Indices and go on about your day? Well, if you are running older versions of Outlook (Outlook XP, Outlook 2000) or Outlook 2003 in Online Mode, they will still send the queries back to the Exchange server which will use Full-Text Indexing if the feature is enabled and if the query can be partially or fully satisfied by the Full-Text Indexing (MSSearch) service. Also, if you have clients using OWA, OWA still leverages the Full-Text Indexing feature if it is enabled.
The only problem that you might have with leaving Full-Text Indexing enabled, is that if you have users who regularly do searches via OWA might get used to the faster searches, Office document indexing, and attachment indexing that Full-Text Indexing provides and they may come to expect the same behavior from Outlook 2003 in Cached Mode!