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MacRumors
Dec 13, 2007, 11:14 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Appleinsider points out (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/07/12/13/apple_working_on_improved_exchange_support_for_iphone.html) a job listing (http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=1&method=mExternal.showJob&RID=12122&CurrentPage=4) from Apple which seeks a "motivated, highly-technical Exchange test/sync engineer."

The focus of the job will be testing Exchange and Outlook functionality with Apple's iPhone.

The rumor site speculates that this could mean that Apple is working to deliver support for ActiveSync, allowing iPhone synchronization with email, calendar items and contacts with Exchange servers.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/12/13/apple-working-on-improved-exchange-support-for-iphone/)



malenfant
Dec 13, 2007, 11:19 AM
Apple should have been working on this from Day One. I love my iPhone, and I don't have any trouble using its e-mail with my Exchange Server, but synchronizing contacts and calendar items through Address Book and iCal is problematic. I frequently run into problems with items not being synchronized, or duplicate items being created, especially in my calendar. And of course, those items can only be synchronized when I dock, not wirelessly.

emccus01
Dec 13, 2007, 11:29 AM
I knew this was coming. This most likely will be available for the current phones. Hopefully within the next few months. About time Apple.

walnuts
Dec 13, 2007, 12:10 PM
Apple should have been working on this from Day One. I love my iPhone, and I don't have any trouble using its e-mail with my Exchange Server, but synchronizing contacts and calendar items through Address Book and iCal is problematic. I frequently run into problems with items not being synchronized, or duplicate items being created, especially in my calendar. And of course, those items can only be synchronized when I dock, not wirelessly.

Ditto- I once duplicated every item on my calendar. Even worse, when I tried to delete the second set, iCal gave me choices: cancel or notify everyone that meetings are cancelled. Imagine that- my boss would have gotten hundreds of cancelation notices of meetings that had happened years ago. I had to delete them individually from my outlook- it took hours.

So if this is true, is it something we'd have to pay extra for?

walnuts
Dec 13, 2007, 12:36 PM
If you look at the required skills section for the actual ad:

Required Experience:
* BS in Computer Science or equivalent experience
* Firm knowledge of Exchange 2003/2007 including configuration and troubleshooting
* Ability to investigate and debug difficult problems on Windows
* Creative thinker and problem solver
* A passion for user-focused design & high quality technology
* Comfortable and adaptable in a fast-paced and informal environment
* Thorough knowledge of the Windows operating systems

It actually seems as though the job is more orientated to assist in the sync between a windows pc and an iphone, not for activesync. Knowledge of Mac OS X is under "perferred experience".

Oh well...In actuallity, if this were really an ad for someone to work with ActiveSync, it would actually be sort of disappointing. The iphone's been out for months now- they've only now gotten around to posting a help wanted ad for one guy to start working on getting activesync working? It would be bad news as I would see it.

wsellers
Dec 13, 2007, 01:37 PM
This would be AWESOME if this was released/announced at Macworld! I have been fighting sync/duplicate/Entourage issues since my customers have been using Entourage/iPhones.
(and others).

Wifi/edge syncing would be the fix to ALOT of problems we see with Mac/Entourage/iPhone users.

Will
www.wsellers.com
www.bootandreboot.com

BadMac
Dec 13, 2007, 01:45 PM
I can't believe they are just now "working on" improving the iPhone sync issues with Exchange, and just now hiring QA people to test.

Sean
www.seanmontgomery.com
www.bootandreboot.com

Some_Big_Spoon
Dec 13, 2007, 02:23 PM
Crikey, I hope so. I use my iPhone for work, but it's such an incredible pain to not have calendars, contacts, etc. Add that, and my entire company will buy them.

gschumsky
Dec 13, 2007, 02:57 PM
Apple should have been working on this from Day One. I love my iPhone, and I don't have any trouble using its e-mail with my Exchange Server, but synchronizing contacts and calendar items through Address Book and iCal is problematic. I frequently run into problems with items not being synchronized, or duplicate items being created, especially in my calendar. And of course, those items can only be synchronized when I dock, not wirelessly.

So how do you get it to work with your company's exchange server? I can use Apple mail with ours when I'm on the network no problem, or when I'm vpn'd in but that or webmail requires an RSA secureID code.

So what's the trick (and no, I can't get the IT guys to make changes to the exchange server..company is WAY to big for that).

walnuts
Dec 13, 2007, 03:12 PM
So what's the trick (and no, I can't get the IT guys to make changes to the exchange server..company is WAY to big for that).

I'm in the same boat. Though my company is small, they'll never change/tinker with it.

wsellers
Dec 13, 2007, 03:19 PM
gschumsky--- The main problem that I have with Entourage is that it does't use a MAPI connection---- like Outlook. Entourage uses IMAP/OWA-- which works---but there are issues.

To get your company to make it work, you have to make them enable IMAP on Exchange---possibly open those ports on their firewall... Here is a link to a Microsoft doc that explains how to configure exchange: http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/3/c/a3cc1743-3d24-41fd-b6cc-5cd5fde04e97/WorkingWithExchangeServer.pdf
Look at page 31 and 32.

Here is another good link: http://search.techrepublic.com.com/search/Microsoft+Exchange+Server+and+Microsoft+Office+and+Microsoft+Office+2004.html
PST IMPORT TOOL....yah.

I really think that when Office 2008 comes "officially" out, we'll see big improvements---- at least possibly good support from Microsoft.

Also--- check this out: http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/remove_duplicates/
You may eventually run in to DUPLICATES in calendar/contact entries. It's not free...but looks nice... for now, I've just been battling by hand.


wsellers.

wsellers
Dec 13, 2007, 03:20 PM
WHY, OH WHY---can't there just be OUTLOOK for the Mac?!?!? Get rid of IMAP/OWA connection type----and just use good ol'MAPI.... This would solve SOOOO many issues.

wsellers

Mr. Zorg
Dec 13, 2007, 04:52 PM
Hallelujah! Here's hoping they apply what they learn to Mail.app and iCal.app as well. That would be the clincher for a lot more business Mac adoption...

walnuts
Dec 13, 2007, 05:12 PM
WHY, OH WHY---can't there just be OUTLOOK for the Mac?!?!? Get rid of IMAP/OWA connection type----and just use good ol'MAPI.... This would solve SOOOO many issues.

wsellers

I agree- it seems really strange that there is no outlook-like connection. I am assuming that it must be really difficult to do? If it were easy, why wouldn't they have done it already?

I think that the fact that both Mail.app and Entourage on the Mac don't support an outlook-like connection, it isn't likely that one would pop up for iphone before the mac itself.

walnuts
Dec 13, 2007, 05:15 PM
I really think that when Office 2008 comes "officially" out, we'll see big improvements---- at least possibly good support from Microsoft.


I hope so too, but so far they haven't mentioned it in their Office preview nor in the blog.


Also--- check this out: http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/remove_duplicates/
You may eventually run in to DUPLICATES in calendar/contact entries. It's not free...but looks nice... for now, I've just been battling by hand.

Thanks for the heads up!

gschumsky
Dec 13, 2007, 06:38 PM
gschumsky--- The main problem that I have with Entourage is that it does't use a MAPI connection---- like Outlook. Entourage uses IMAP/OWA-- which works---but there are issues.

To get your company to make it work, you have to make them enable IMAP on Exchange---possibly open those ports on their firewall... Here is a link to a Microsoft doc that explains how to configure exchange: http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/3/c/a3cc1743-3d24-41fd-b6cc-5cd5fde04e97/WorkingWithExchangeServer.pdf
Look at page 31 and 32.

Here is another good link: http://search.techrepublic.com.com/search/Microsoft+Exchange+Server+and+Microsoft+Office+and+Microsoft+Office+2004.html
PST IMPORT TOOL....yah.

I really think that when Office 2008 comes "officially" out, we'll see big improvements---- at least possibly good support from Microsoft.

Also--- check this out: http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/remove_duplicates/
You may eventually run in to DUPLICATES in calendar/contact entries. It's not free...but looks nice... for now, I've just been battling by hand.


wsellers.

Yeah, not happening in Mega Conglomerate Corp. where I work. Security changes take nothing less then an act of God, unless of course the CEO,maybe, MAYBE, gets an iPhone and dumps his Blackberry.

Though I can have Outlook redirect my mail to my personal account...that's a start.

emccus01
Dec 13, 2007, 07:24 PM
Yeah, not happening in Mega Conglomerate Corp. where I work. Security changes take nothing less then an act of God, unless of course the CEO,maybe, MAYBE, gets an iPhone and dumps his Blackberry.

Though I can have Outlook redirect my mail to my personal account...that's a start.

I can't even forward my outlook to my gmail account. I have tried to set up rules to do this but my company finds a way to block it. It's ridiculous. If anyone knows a way around this it would be much appreciated. I hope our CEO gets one too haha.

pilotError
Dec 13, 2007, 08:49 PM
I was under the impression there was a 3rd party provider that was supposed to do this. I assume a vendor who already has the license agreement with Microsoft...

Mr. Zorg
Dec 13, 2007, 10:28 PM
I was under the impression there was a 3rd party provider that was supposed to do this. I assume a vendor who already has the license agreement with Microsoft...
There is. Snerdware. As a longtime user their groupcal, I can tell you it's less than perfect. It often gets confused and I wind up having to clean my iCal and sync from scratch. Even at that, there are some meeting invites it just won't handle right. Based on my conversations with their tech support, it does NOT use ActiveSync -- to expensive to license. But, it's pretty much your only real option.

moominuk
Dec 14, 2007, 02:03 AM
WHY, OH WHY---can't there just be OUTLOOK for the Mac?!?!? Get rid of IMAP/OWA connection type----and just use good ol'MAPI.... This would solve SOOOO many issues.

wsellers



Because Microsoft are moving away from MAPI on Windows too. Both MAPI and public folders will be history soon.

Wallacebiy
Dec 14, 2007, 03:55 AM
Has anyone tested the iPhone with a citrix presentation server ? Even the Java version of it . My corporate network has a policy of only allowing Citrix connections . From the point of view of a web rich phone accessing this I should be able to have full access ( Via Citrix) to my corporate apps , with absolute security . Both ends ( phone and Corporate IT) should be happy with this model.

I suspect that this might be the reason iPhone hasn't really supported exchange as a secure virtual connection to something like citrix is far better from the point of view of a remote device. On a link back to a Mac network this would be " Back to My Mac " Makes tons more sense than having fellows syncing mail off servers to little pocket devices, As long as unlimited data plans are in place and High network availability.

blackcrayon
Dec 14, 2007, 12:04 PM
WHY, OH WHY---can't there just be OUTLOOK for the Mac?!?!? Get rid of IMAP/OWA connection type----and just use good ol'MAPI.... This would solve SOOOO many issues.

wsellers


There was a full blown MAPI Outlook for the Mac- Outlook 2001... I guess it was too hard to port that to OS X or to include the functionality in Entourage... It's like the Exchange team refused to give the code to the Mac Business Unit ;)

I'm sure there were some technical issues involved in converting it over- but it was funny to read things like "We put in the features our customers wanted most" into Entourage... The #1 requested feature must've been "We want a 3rd class Exchange client!"

liberty4all
Dec 17, 2007, 02:50 PM
Better yet have M$ stop using MAPI altogether and more to standards for Outlook, including on Windoze.

WHY, OH WHY---can't there just be OUTLOOK for the Mac?!?!? Get rid of IMAP/OWA connection type----and just use good ol'MAPI.... This would solve SOOOO many issues.

wsellers

FunkyJunk
Dec 17, 2007, 02:53 PM
Has anyone tested the iPhone with a citrix presentation server ? Even the Java version of it . My corporate network has a policy of only allowing Citrix connections . From the point of view of a web rich phone accessing this I should be able to have full access ( Via Citrix) to my corporate apps , with absolute security . Both ends ( phone and Corporate IT) should be happy with this model.

I suspect that this might be the reason iPhone hasn't really supported exchange as a secure virtual connection to something like citrix is far better from the point of view of a remote device. On a link back to a Mac network this would be " Back to My Mac " Makes tons more sense than having fellows syncing mail off servers to little pocket devices, As long as unlimited data plans are in place and High network availability.

Don't you have to have a Citrix client in order to connect? Since the iPhone currently doesn't allow 3rd-party software (officially), does such a client even exist?

wsellers
Dec 17, 2007, 04:30 PM
Hum... It seems that you can still download Outlook 2001 for Mac... However, I'm not sure if it will work with the latest version of Tiger/Leopard.

See: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx?pid=download&location=/mac/download/outlook2001/outlook2001.xml&secid=50&ssid=1&flgnosysreq=True

Anyone up for trying? ;)

clevin
Dec 17, 2007, 09:43 PM
with apple's malicious pr towards M$, Im surprised M$ would help apple in anyway at all.

Wallacebiy
Dec 18, 2007, 04:12 AM
Don't you have to have a Citrix client in order to connect? Since the iPhone currently doesn't allow 3rd-party software (officially), does such a client even exist?


There is a Java app version of the connection software , it isn't a full citrix client , we use it on non controlled machines to log in ( ie web cafe machines ) not sure if that would work on the i Phone . Haven't got the opportunity yet as the iphone hasn't been released here yet. I might get a check on whether the iPod Touch can do it , as far as I know the web functionality should be the same on both, no ?

Anyway the point I'm trying to make really here is that Apple have probably looked at the whole exchange syncing thing and analysed it from the point of view of security , thinking along the lines of " you only need to sync to view offline , it's a technical difficulty and the permutations to support are too many, is it not better to ensure High availability ( unlimited data plans ) to remove the need for offline viewing , then provide one solution for secure connectivity with the server , supporting not just mail , but all apps available "
That is of course , back to my mac on OSX and something akin to citrix secure onto a windows network or VNC on a 'nix.
Maybe I'm just reading too much into the iPhone and what it is , but I feel it in my bones , it is heading towards the mobile PC , and the relationship between that mobile PC and the Home PC / Server is going to be a strong one .
If anyone does get an opportunity , Id love to see if the Safari on iPhone can make a Citrix connection ,

Wallacebiy
Dec 18, 2007, 06:52 AM
http://blogs.computerworld.com/think_business_doesnt_care_about_the_iphone_think_again

Link above kinda supports my arguement , even though it's not talking directly about the cases I gave , they're all similar situations, with Sap and Oracle being stand out big players , working on iPhone integration with networked solutions.

I reckon there's a sleight of hand going on here .
" we really really really don't care about enterprise solutions , we're consumer focused " With the left hand ,
while with the right hand smoothing out the cloth on the table , making a nice space for all the big boys to play in .

The reason there was no widely available SDK for the iPhone could be because they don't want any cluttering of the device with silly unstable apps that set off animated chicken alarms or whatever , it's a serious machine for serious productivity . Maybe ? The Consumer phase could just be the Beta test .

FunkyJunk
Dec 18, 2007, 03:15 PM
Maybe, but it seems to me that they've never been that serious about the enterprise arena with their Mac lineup and OS. I don't know if it's that they felt they couldn't compete with the PC there and didn't want to throw a lot of money at it or if they really just don't see that as an area they're interested in. They've always been more focused on the general home consumer and niche business like graphic design. In any case, it comes as no suprise to me that they could be treating the cell phone the same way.

That said, the times they are a changin'. It seems like Apple's becoming a bit more ambitious given their growing market share. Who knows what the future holds, particularly if Steve steps down.

patrickj
Dec 22, 2007, 12:34 PM
Another 3rd party that has been promising an iPhone / Exchange offering is ipxSync. They are behind on their promised 'opening up' of their beta, and on releasing something, so who knows if / when they'll come out with something. What they have talked about sounded promising, and included support for Hosted Exchange - so you could use it as an individual instead of / in addition to a corporate setup ...