Two options here…
1) I’m just dumb and should have been aware of this (this is most likely), or
2) This isn’t well known and you should make sure your users are aware.
Either way, this info came from the wonderful Mary Beth Raven yesterday when I asked her about making replication easier for end users.
I wasn’t aware of this but the Inbox refresh button (see below) in ND8/8.5 is intelligent.
1. If you are running off a server copy of a mail file, it does a “refresh”, i.e. just checks the mail file to see if there are any new messages since the last time it was checked (as set in your Preferences/Mail/Sending&Receiving settings).
2. If you are running from a local mail file, it automatically kicks off a replication session with your server, replicating both the mailbox and also sending any outgoing mail.
Very neat. As Mary Beth says, this is almost too clever for its own good – I figured the button would just check the local replica for any changes. Also, it’s worth knowing that there is a menu item to kick off a replication session (Tools/Replicate All). On Windows that can be accessed using a keystroke too.