Special to Slipstick.com by Hal Hostetler
I can clearly recall my boss telling me, when I'd finally convinced him we really needed to upgrade our WorkGroup PostOffice to an Exchange Server, 'Remember, this is a Television Station! e-mail is SECONDARY." My, how a little time changes things. Not only has e-mail become mission critical, but I now have a half users who own PDAs and several more are looking at two-way pagers. My boss has a brand new 'smart" digital cell phone, and they ALL want to access our Exchange Server. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps, I can save you some legwork....
Two-way mobile Exchange connectivity currently comes in three general flavors -- PDA synchronization, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) devices, and BlackBerry/2-way pager devices. In all cases, a server or wireless service (or both) is used as an interface between the Exchange Server and the mobile device.
PDAs -- or Personal Digital Assistants -- such as Palm and PocketPC devices have been around a few years; they are probably the first mobile devices you'll have to deal with. They all ship with some form of synchronization application, usually designed to work with an Exchange Server client (usually Outlook) on the user's desktop PC. This is fine when a user is in the office, but generally useless when on the road. Several companies have addressed this issue by offering applications that allow direct sync with the Exchange server itself.
BlackBerry and 2-way pager devices are a new generation of wireless handheld that offers users e-mail and Web-browsing capabilities built on the simplicity of the pager. They are about the same size and weight as pager or PDA and are designed to be always on and always connected like a pager. Research In Motion makes the BlackBerry. Coverage is available via the GPRS wireless network in the United States and Canada and also via GSM in the United Kingdom. Like PDA sync applications, these devices come with desktop software that allows you to synchronize mail, calendar, contacts and tasks. Server applications provide the interface between the various wireless services and Exchange.
The Wireless Application Protocol started out as an initiative by Unwired Planet, Motorola, Nokia, and Ericsson to develop a standard for wireless content delivery to the next generation of mobile communicators and has grown to include just about all mobile devices. It comes built into many newer digital mobile phones. A number of companies now offer WAP applications for PDAs. Even 2-Way pager device manufacturers indicate they'll offer support for it. This looks to be the most promising of the three, because it should provide connectivity for all types of mobile devices from a common service.
It is worthwhile to note that not all mobile solutions require third party applications; Exchange Server ships with a very useful mobile service of its own, Outlook Web Access. OWA allows many PDA and virtually ALL notebook users real time access to their Exchange Server mailbox from any location that offers an Internet connection. And there are other novel approaches, listed under Other Tools.
Other mobile access tools are on the following pages:
This page lists server-based solutions that connect directly to Microsoft Exchange. Standalone, mostly non-Exchange users can get two-way mobile access with these tools and services listed at Tools for Mobile Access to Microsoft Outlook Data.
An Exchange add-on, Outlook synchronization solution which synchronizes any combination of Outlook private and/or public folders of the same type (Calendars, Contacts, Tasks) and in any direction. This application works wirelessly with any PDA, Pocket PC, Smartphone or Blackberry handheld and Outlook Web Access. Add2Exchange is licensed and sold separately for Add2Exchange for Calendars, Add2Exchange for Contacts, & Add2Exchange for Tasks. Free trial available.
Davton ContactSync is a free tool which will synchronise contacts in one contact folder to another. It is designed to synchronise contacts from a shared Microsoft Outlook 'Public Folder' to a personal folder - so that the contacts can be synchronised to a PDA using ActiveSync. It is a one way synchronization - changes made in the local folder or on the PDA will not be reflected back to the Public folder.
ExMixedFolders is a system service for Exchange Server as of version 2007 SP1 which can synchronize folders within the Exchange server structure or it can synchronize folders of other Exchange servers. The service can be installed remotely, for example on Hosted Exchange servers or it can be installed directly on the Exchange server. The user does not have any point of contact with the service.
GeneralSync can sync between any number of Android devices and PCs with Thunderbird and/or Outlook. In contrast to other options it does not require a designated computer to be powered on at all times and works without uploading your data to any cloud. The synchronization is instead performed directly between the devices that are connected to each other at a given time (decentral, peer-to-peer). That way, it can be used in small offices or at home, without setting up or administering any kind of server. Currently, GeneralSync is available for free during a public beta phase.
gSyncit is an Outlook add-in that allows for two-way synchronization between Google and Outlook calendars, contacts, notes, and tasks with your Google account. In addition, gSyncit also supports synchronization between Outlook and Toodledo, Pocket Informant Online, Evernote, Dropbox, Simplenote and Nozbe. Version 3.6 and higher support Windows 8 and Outlook 2013. Supports Outlook 2010 and 2013 64-bit.
Your sync-software can sync only default folders of Outlook, but you need also subfolders and public folders? OLMixedFolders can synchronize any Microsoft Outlook subfolder or public folders with your Outlook default folders. It uses categories to keep in touch with the origin folder. It is possible to create elements for the linked folders directly on your mobile phone. After synchronization, the element goes to the specified folder.
XE2 Mobility provides mobile device users with secure access to shared Microsoft Exchange contacts / calendars / delegated mailboxes. Works with all iOS, Android and BlackBerry (v7) devices.
- Exchange Messaging Outlook 8 Oct 2003 - Special on Exchange Mobility
- RIM and BlackBerry Developer Resources