They may be evil, but I am delighted with Exchange Server 2007 with the mobile activesync feature. After attempting to find the holy grail of synchronization of email/contacts/calendar/tasks, Exchange has came in closest.
My requirements included a desktop client running on a Linux OS, a ’smart’ phone running 1 of the shitty OS’s available (PalmOS,WindowsMobile,Blackberry), a web front end to access when I am away from a cellular signal and my laptop, and finally a backup-able data source on the server. I desired for all of the previous to be fully syncing automagically 24/7 as long as the devices were connected to the internet.
I tried the Funambol open source server which used SyncML and was unsatisfied with the number of bugs which I experienced during sync’ing of large amounts of data. I use a calendar which has tons of appointments dating back to the late 1990’s. Also, there are limited clients and a limited number of options available for each client. Funambol/SyncML was just not the right solution for me.
So I never even considered any microsoft products since I am strongly against their style of computing (closed source). But as I thought and stressed over my situation, exchange popped into my head….
My syncing/emailing/PIM sollution:
– Outlook 2007 running in a Windows XP virtual machine guest connecting to the exchange server via the closed MS Exchange protocol which I named WIN_PROD_01.
– Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise running in a Windows Server 2003 virtual machine guest which I’ll call WWW_01.
– And the soon to come CDMA/EVDO smartphone running Windows Mobile 6.0. (I am thinking about the Moto Q9m .. But the Sprint version, whenever it finally gets released).
In order to support the Exchange server, I had to setup Active Directory.
So.. If anyone is interested, here are the instructions I used to setup the server:
Setup DNS on Windows Server 2003 http://www.petri.co.il/install_and_configure_windows_2003_dns_server.htm
Setup Active Directory on Windows Server 2003 http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_install_active_directory_on_windows_2003.htm
Setup Exchange Server 2003 http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/general/0,295582,sid43_gci1229129,00.html