Background

For work purposes I was looking for software which facilitated full Contacts/Calendar/Tasks/Notes synchronisation from/to Outlook 2007 (Windows XP) / 2010 (Windows 7) and my Android ‘phone without using an MS Exchange server based solution nor the “Cloud”. Something to replace or better MS ActiveSync (Outlook Contacts/Calendar/Tasks) supplemented by SmartPhoneNotes (Outlook Notes) which I used on my Windows 6.5 HTC Touch Diamond 2.  (Unfortunately it appeared that MS dropped non-Exchange based synchronisation in Windows 7 otherwise I might have tried a Windows 7 ‘phone.) A few hundred of each of contacts, calendar items, & tasks; about one hundred notes.

My current day-to-day ‘phone is a Sony Experia Ray (Android 2.3.4, 32GB class 10 microSD), although when I started this search I was using an HTC Wildfire S (Android 2.3.3, 16GB class 10 microSD). The microSD card is where DejaOffice stores its own database.

For information about possible solutions I found this site very enlightening: www.syncandroid.net

Experience

In Oct 2011 I selected CompanionLink/DejaOffice to try (HTC Wildfire S), but I did not have complete success at that time because it seemed unable to synchronise annually-recurring events for our NZST/NZDT timezone. It would move such events from (say) 15th Nov in Outlook Calendar to 16th Nov in DejaCalendar.

I corresponded with DejaOffice support over a few weeks late in 2011 and tried a succession of releases (DejaOffice 1.12.2-1.12.7, CompanionLink 5002 ...), but I had no success and gave up on CompanionLink/DejaOffice for a few months.

I have just tried again (CompanionLink is now 5026 & DejaOffice has been updated from 1.12.x to 2.1.9 (264)) and the synchronisation now seems to be OK for both Sony Xperia Ray & HTC Wildfire S. I notice that DejaOffice had a further comment in Release Notes 2.1.4 about a fix related to timezone +13 (which is NZDT), so maybe that was the key. I understand DejaOffice uses Unix time in its internal database so one might have thought that the timezone handling should have been fairly robust in spite of the fact that MS Outlook displays an all-day event as 12am to 12am which on the face of it is somewhat ambiguous. (Of course MS Outlook also displays “noon” as 12pm, so what hope is there for correct and unambiguous terminology?)

I like the fact that CompanionLink synchronisation can be done over local wi-fi instead of BT.


Passing setup issues

“Phone” account: http://www.dejaoffice.com/androidapp/notes.html “ re DejaOffice 1.11.9: ... improved "Phone" account detection for most Samsung devices (1 or more records must exist in the Phone account) ...” [my emphasis]. I found that to be the case with my HTC Wildfire S [Marvel] (Android 2.3.3) DejaOffice 1.12.2 But after I entered one contact in “People”, the “Phone” account was listed by DejaOffice in “Contact Account” (in addition to the Google gmail account).

Note that because the Outlook contact fields are richer set than Android native contacts fields, there cannot be a one-to-one correspondence, however DejaContacts itself has a rich set of fields. Initially I found that DejaContacts had included each contact’s city, but not street address. I found that the mapping options set for “Work address” in the CompanionLink options was “No Mapping”. Whether that was the default or some change I had inadvertently made I do not know, but it was easily fixed – I changed the “No Mapping” to “Business Address Street”.

Miscellaneous

If you are considering this solution, I suggest you have a look at
http://www.companionlink.com/blog/
http://www.dejaoffice.com/classroom/android/ and
http://www.dejaoffice.com/forums/forum.php for an understanding of issues which may arise.

I note that CompanionLink/DejaOffice also list an Exchange Server solution, but I have not tried that.

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