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Topic # 57065 2-Feb-2010 11:37
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Hi all,

We have multiple calendars, multiple mobile devices and multiple oerating systems, the net result is that we have reverted to a printed calendar on the fridge to ensure the family is organised (and so we remeber to pick the kids up!).

So I'm looking for a solution that will allow all of the following calendars to be syncronised at all times:

Mobile Devices:
- iPhone (me)
- Blackberry Bold (wife)

Home Calendars (all on an iMac):
- Entrouage (wife)
- iCal (me)

Work Calendars (we work at the same organisation):
- Outlook (me)
- Outlook (wife)

I have had a play with GMail/Google Calendar and Mobileme but it all looks too hard to get everything syncronised easily, any recommendations greatly appreciated.

Cheers


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  Reply # 295376 2-Feb-2010 13:44
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I'm going through the same thing at the moment - I must say that if you get setup with Exchange 2007, it's all just too easy.

I still have concerns with managing appointments (particularly responses) - I hear Exchange 2010's web interfaces works in "Any damn browser"(tm) - so that could be solved there. (My current solution generally involves grabbing a PC and using Outlook Web Access to manage the responses)

Of course - I'm working through a plan currently to migrate to Google Apps (this is a cost saving measure - google apps for free, vs. paying for an exchange account). I'm not sure how syncing a calendar with Entourage will be, nor the Blackberry...

If it wasn't for the cost, I would be sticking with Exchange ...

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  Reply # 295427 2-Feb-2010 15:59
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Here's what I've done. It's predominantly a Windows environment and it's not perfect, but it's much better than what we had (calendar on back of kitchen door etc), plus mail server at home.

Previously:
I was running Exchange at home as part of an SBS 2003 set up. I have my own domain registered and we are using six PC's/Laptops/Netbooks, one Mac and two Windows mobile devices - between five of us. I added Windows Home Server to the mix and then began to wonder why I was really running my own mail server, particularly when rats chewed thru a power cable in the garage and tripped a bunch of circuit breakers while we were overseas for several weeks and I had no access to my mail server anyway! Various family moved away/moved home/moved away over this time (I'm sure you're familiar with the cycle), so I needed to provide access from Exchange out to external clients and/or OWA. I never had got around to providing over the air activesync with the Windows Mobile devices.

Now:
I've moved my domain email to Windows Live Hotmail using the Windows Live Custom Domains (aka Windows Live Admin) service and established mailboxes for each family member. These of course also include calendar and contacts. Family members access these via a mixture of web (webmail.mydomain.co.nz), Windows Live Mail client and Office Outlook Connector (on both Outlook 2003 & 2007).


What's good?


  • Shared calendars, access to which are controlled via the Hotmail web interface, work pretty well when viewed in overlay mode in Outlook 2007, which is the default via Hotmail web and Windows Live mail calendar - just not so flash in Outlook 2003.

  • Contacts and Hotmail sync well to Windows Mobile devices.

  • Using Office Outlook Connector is pretty much like being connected to an Exchange Server for mail, calendar and contacts and I have a consistent view, no matter where I connect to it.

  • Microsoft's SPAM control works fine.

  • No worries about backing up email, it's both in the cloud and also on individual devices.





What's not so good?


  • No email aliases available in Windows Live Custom Domains. Can work around by forwarding to another address, but messy.

  • No calendar sync to Windows Mobile. "Maybe" coming in Windows Live Wave 4.

  • Hard limit of 50 items per folder in Windows Mobile Hotmail. Yet to find a hack for this.

  • No Task sync in Office Outlook Connector.


All of the above may be equally well/or better achievable in Gmail, but I've not experimented enough to comment.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 295439 2-Feb-2010 16:14
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Take note that my experience here is with google apps and my own domain - it's not vanilla gmail.


I'm only responding in kind to my (limited) experience with google apps


 

  • No email aliases available in Windows Live Custom Domains. Can work around by forwarding to another address, but messy


This is done very easily in Google Apps - if you have multiple domains under the same google apps account, then any alias you setup also applies to your other domains - i.e:


if I have geekzone.domain and othertech.domain and i setup the user wazzageek, then the email addresses wazzageek@geekzone.domain and wazzageek@othertech.domain will work by default.


If I then setup an alias to that of geekman, then the email addresses geekman@geekzone.domain and geekman@othertech.domain will also work.



  • No calendar sync to Windows Mobile. "Maybe" coming in Windows Live Wave 4.


This is reported to work in Google Apps Standard, but I'm yet to prove it. (That will be in the next couple of days)





  • Hard limit of 50 items per folder in Windows Mobile Hotmail. Yet to find a hack for this.





  • No Task sync in Office Outlook Connector.





    I've note checked this yet...





All of the above may be equally well/or better achievable in Gmail, but I've not experimented enough to comment.







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  Reply # 296049 4-Feb-2010 13:53
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Thanks for your inputs, the boss has decided that we are to use Entourage as the main calendar so I will work things out from there....

Cheers

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  Reply # 296067 4-Feb-2010 14:32
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Have a look at Funambol. It is open source and works great with Outlook and a variety of devices. There is a demo at http://my.funambol.com.... If you are techy you can install the server software and away you go.

Cheers. Matt.




My views (except when I am looking out their windows) are not those of my employer.

:)
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  Reply # 297825 10-Feb-2010 23:06
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We're using Exchange 14 at my college.

And I can tell you now - it MOSTLY works in all browsers.

It's not 100% yet, I have tried it in Safari (but couldnt open it), used Chrome and Firefox (worked OK in Chrome, seemed almost perfect in Firefox) and believe it or not, it was a less than satisfactory experience trying to use IE.




EDIT: I wouldn't use anything other than Exchange anymore.


After having Emails to my phone - it's hard to go back now.




The contact syncing, calendars and mail, just makes it THAT much easier. If I open something on my phone - it's opened on my account so my client at home is synced. If I change a contact, it's changed at home. 


I have never had to tether my phone for anything else other than loading my GPS maps onto it, and using it as a mobile modem (on the very rare occasion).










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  Reply # 297874 11-Feb-2010 09:42
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Aaroona: We're using Exchange 14 at my college. 

And I can tell you now - it MOSTLY works in all browsers.



That's what I've heard - although 2003/2007 both worked in all the browsers I have - the stipulation for IE was for a "full" Outlook-like experience and the "Light" version misses some features (like categorisation of contacts)

It's not 100% yet, I have tried it in Safari (but couldnt open it), used Chrome and Firefox (worked OK in Chrome, seemed almost perfect in Firefox) and believe it or not, it was a less than satisfactory experience trying to use IE.



What version of IE?

EDIT: I wouldn't use anything other than Exchange anymore.

After having Emails to my phone - it's hard to go back now.

The contact syncing, calendars and mail, just makes it THAT much easier. If I open something on my phone - it's opened on my account so my client at home is synced. If I change a contact, it's changed at home. 

I have never had to tether my phone for anything else other than loading my GPS maps onto it, and using it as a mobile modem (on the very rare occasion).



I've been a huge fan of exchange ever since I first had a go at it - however financial constraints have caused me to look seriously at google apps, in terms of the mobile phone, it works as good as exchange.


On the Mac, I'm finding connections fine, as usual appointment (request) management is not great - for that I switch back to using google apps in the browser.  (Which is typically what I did with exchange + the mac, although in this case I could use any browser)


Humorously Google Chrome on the mac struggles with Google Apps more than Safari ...


I'm yet to get all this going on windows native apps ... but with Google Apps in the browser and not having to install or support anything on Windows ... I'm finding it a hard road to get motivated to solve that piece ...




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