Syncing iCal with Entourage

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by OldManJimbo, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. OldManJimbo macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #1
    My daughter has taken a job in an office that is mostly PC driven. She uses a Mac and syncs iCal to her Treo phone.

    I believe Entourage is the Mac version of Outlook - yes?

    Is there a software that would allow her to use Entourage and then sync the Entourage appointments over to her iCal application?
     
  2. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Entourage will do this all by itself. In entourage, go:
    File->Preferences. Then click "sync services", and check "sync events and tasks with ical."

    Keep in mind that this wouldn't be "push". She'd have to manually:
    • 1st open entourage to update the exchange calendar
    • Then bring the phone to the computer and manualy tell it to sync.

    Then the phone will have a snapshot of her exchange calendar as it was when she last performed the steps above.
     
  3. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #3
    Thanks walnuts. Any issues with the sync or is it pretty flawless?
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    Although you are interested in a different feature, it is still important to understand that Entourage is a Mac-only application. It offers limited compatibility with Exchange servers. However, it is not the Mac version of Outlook--not even close. The last Mac version of Outlook is Outlook 2001, a MacOS 9 [not Classic] Exchange-only email client. Entourage is not compatible with Outlook at the file level.
     
  5. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #7
    OK - so I work alone and don't have experience with Macs in a corporate setting. Is it possible for Mac users to exist in a PC-based corporate environment? Or should my daughter just acquiesce and use a PC at work? :( Seems like I hear of Mac users being able to integrate their macBooks with their corporate servers?

    Her chief desire is to accept meetings and appts sent from Outlook and have them show up on her Mac -
     
  6. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I've been having this setup since late 2006 with Entourage 2004. The sync seems to have improved significantly with office 2008 (with the latest office updates- there is a major issue with the initial office 2008 release and this type of setup) and haven't noticed any errors (occasionally there are "sync conflicts" reported, but I have been fine by always selecting entourage as the correct item).


    Yes, the file structure may be different, and there are some outlook items that are inaccessible in entourage, I've found that it can be used as a decent substitute. I actually bring my macbook in to my pc based office and use it regularly and have found almost no instance where I wished I was using outlook over entourage. Could you offer some examples of how a standard user would be hampered with only entourage? Maybe I haven't come across the brunt of the entourage limitations yet.
     
  7. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #9
    Walnuts - no examples of trouble. I've just heard stories about IT departments who won't support Mac and my daughter doesn't want to cause trouble at her first decent job out of school.

    She's coming home this weekend and we're going to fiddle around with Entourage - it's not even loaded on her Mac at this point, but we have the Office 2008 disks. Thanks !!!
     
  8. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I believe what he means by "not compatible on a file level" is that you can't transfer stored e-mails in outlook to entourage or vice versa which your daughter shouldn't need to do.

    I do just what your daughter wishes to do with no issues when I am at work.
     
  9. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #11
    One note of caution- I had limited to no help from my IT department. Entourage can access an exchange account when it is configured to allow outlook web access and perhaps additional settings are required on IT's end. It was a coincidence that our exchange setup supported my access.

    However, I think (and I'm not an authority, I have no idea how to configure exchange accounts) that if their is nothing special that IT has to do for entourage users (my IT department certainly made no mac-specific changes). If it is your daughter's company's policy to allow outlook web access, then the setup you are speaking of should work (at least it did for me).
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #12
    I may be mistaken, but you appear to assume that Outlook and Exchange are the same thing. They are not. Exchange is Microsoft's proprietary server. Outlook is Microsoft's integrated communication client. The mistake that the two are the same is borne of the fact that Outlook seamlessly accesses Exchange servers.

    Entourage does not seamlessly access Exchange. It can do a passable job if the Exchange server is setup to allow it. Many Exchange servers are setup this way. However, others are not.

    The most frustrating incompatibility between Entourage and Outlook is with their archives. Outlook archives are the famous .pst files. Entourage archives use the .rge extension. Microsoft released a .pst to Entourage file converter, but it is designed exclusively for .pst files created using Outlook 2001, the last Mac version of Outlook. It is worthless for converting Windows-created .pst archives. Microsoft provides no way to share archives across platforms.

    We all have our crosses to bear. For us Mac users, our cross is being forced to navigate a Windows-dominated world. For Windows users, their cross is using Windows. I prefer my cross.

    I missed the Wonderful World of Entourage 2001 and the Wonderful World of Entourage v.X. I started using Entourage with Entourage 2004. Outlook is the tool used by users to administer their Exchange accounts on Windows. Entourage cannot administer an Exchange account. This is an issue for me because until recently my firm's Exchange passwords expired every 30 days. If I inadvertently forgot to change my password, then I was forced to use Outlook Web Access to change my password. If I were totally locked-out, then I had to call-up IT. However, I can actually fire-up my old PowerMac G3 running MacOS 9 and use Outlook 2001 to change my password. I can also use a Windows machine to do the job.

    We all have our priorities. For me, I am willing to make the sacrifice of a few minutes of Microsoft B.S. in order to minimize my exposure to Microsoft B.S.
     
  11. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Ok, so I get that outlook and entourage are both clients used to access exchange (and other types) -email/calendar/etc. accounts.

    It is also true that entourage does not connect as well as outlook does to an exchange server. Outlook uses something called MAPI which I've heard Microsoft is moving away from but it allows a more instant connection (e-mails show in outlook as soon as they are received but the exchange account). Entourage can only access via outlook web access and therefore can only pull mail at regular intervals from the exchange server.

    So my questions are, and are most helpful to the op are:

    • What are the exchange server settings required to allow entourage access and are they likely to be enabled already on most servers? If outlook web access works, will entourage?
    • What are the limitations of using entourage as a connection to an exchange server rather than outlook?

    The first question is really important to the op- if there's a chance that there's no way his daughter could access the server he should know now before he pays for/can't return entourage.

    The second question is a matter of convenience; will the differences annoy his daughter enough to wish she had outlook? From your posts, the differences I can gather are:

    • You cannot "administer" an exchange account, including changing your password
    • You cannot access Outlook archives
    • You will have a few minute delay in receiving e-mails

    From my own experience:
    • Setting up out of office assistant, though added in entourage 2008, is buggy and unreliable
    • Calendar items can only be edited using plain text (no html)
    • Subscribed calendars cannot be accessed in certain situations

    So far, the limitations, unless you require access to outlook archives or need to change your password very frequently, are relatively minor and probably wouldn't matter to the op.

    Sorry to be such a bug about this, but, I'm really curious myself- I've heard a lot of complaints but under the current setup I think the issues are minor. I'd like to know if I'm in for trouble down the road/shouldn't recommend this setup so strongly.
     
  12. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    If Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 are set up to allow Outlook Web Access, then Entourage will work. Additionally, if they're set up to allow IMAP, then Entourage will also work.

    Entourage 2008 does not support all Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 features. For example, Entourage 2008 does not syncronise categories, tasks, or notes with Exchange. Someone pointed out that calendar events are plaintext instead of HTML, which is another example.

    I am curious what kind of issues you're having with OOF. I'm not aware of any issues. I use OOF all the time and would whinge loudly and repeatedly if I had any problems. :)

    While I can't comment on future plans for Entourage, I can point out that Entourage has steadily gained Exchange features through releases and service packs. We work with our Exchange users to prioritise features that they want, and they're going in there. For example, in one of our recent updates to Entourage 2008, we added support for auto-discovery of your Exchange 2007 settings.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  13. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Well, unfortunately, it just doesn't work for me. I'll set it in entourage, and then nothing happens when someone sends a test e-mail.

    Hey by the way, I think its really cool that you guys listen to these forums and respond to us- that's really impressive customer service/outreach!
     
  14. hunter3740 macrumors member

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #16
    what about iCal directly with Exchange

    Walnut's #2 reply is right: setup Entourage.

    But what if one wanted to skip the client Microsoft stuff (obviously sticking with the server Microsoft stuff); i.e. getting iCal to directly sync with Exchange? This can be done *easily* with an iPhone or iTouch, just pick "Microsoft Exchange" (in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar > Add Account...) and it will all happen automatically (after connecting device and in iTunes, checking to syn calendar). My question is, how to do this with iCal and without iTouch or iPhone...
     
  15. nadyne macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
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    #17
    Do you know what Exchange version you're on? OOF support requires Exchange 2007. I have to admit that I always forget which Exchange versions have which features we use, since (as you might guess ... ) my own Exchange account is always on the latest Exchange.

    I was a member of MacRumours before I started working in MacBU. And actually, I owe my job at MacBU to MacRumours. :) They had a job opening for the position that I now hold, and they were having trouble finding someone with the right amount of on-the-job experience and Mac-ness. The MS recruiter somehow came across my profile here, which listed my previous title and my location. The rest ... hmmm, I should blog about that sometime. :)

    The difference between accessing Exchange through iCal and accessing it through the iPhone/iTouch is one of protocol. Mobile devices access Exchange through Exchange ActiveSync. If you have ActiveSync enabled on your Exchange server, and if you have mobile devices that support ActiveSync, then those devices can access the server and get all of your latest data. I absolutely love this -- I've had an iPhone since launch day, and having my Exchange calendar always up-to-date in my pocket is absolutely fantastic. But iCal isn't a mobile device, so ActiveSync isn't an option for it.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  16. hunter3740 macrumors member

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #18
    Thank you for that explanation; but, the problem isn't that I don't know why I can't sync directly with iCal, but rather was hoping someone had a suggestion (or really, someone at Mac would see and start working on iCal). Still hoping...
     
  17. walnuts macrumors 6502

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    #19
    That's it- thanks for the help. I think we use Exchange 2003. I would suggest that you implement some sort of warning for Exchange 2003 users- there was no warning and while entourage reported that OOF was on, it was not in fact on, which is not a good thing when you depend on it.

    Direct exchange support is an advertised feature of the upcoming Snow Leopard.
     
  18. hunter3740 macrumors member

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    #20
    Go Walnuts Go!

    Ah, this was the love I was looking for; can't wait for OS 10.6. I was thinking I might have to defect to non-exchange (or hope exchange bent a little); something like http://ietf.osafoundation.org/caldav.
     

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