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Two-way Sync Mobile to MS Exchange Public Folders

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Last response: in Cell Phones & Smartphones
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October 8, 2012 4:06:30 PM

This is how we solved it:

Created a special Email Account in Outlook (named it, PFSync) for syncing with Public Folders and created extra Folders to match Public Folders we wanted to sync, i.e., Shared Email, (Special) Contact list, etc.... The other folders are already created on the local account, for example, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Journal that we will sync with Public Folders.

Purchased and installed Easy2Sync Business Edition on Server: http://www.easy2sync.com/en/produkte/e2s4o_features2.ph...

$79.00.

Simply create a new task in Easy2Sync and be sure to select the "Contacts" folder for BOTH data storages. Easy2Sync will ask you if you want to sync only that folder and you should confirm that. That's all.

For the other folders pairs (Calendars, Tasks, Notes), you can either simply repeat this. Or duplicate the task, edit it and change the base folders for both data storages (button "Extended"). We used the Extended button for all folders. You can even look at the data to insure you are getting the right information. Do not schedule anything to sync yet.

Next, setup a Task in Easy2Sync and chose all the folders you created and set the Scheduler to sync every 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, etc., whatever you prefer. The first sync may be lengthy depending on how much data you have. We have a lot of Saved Emails and Contacts and Scheduled items in Calendar. It took about 15 minutes. Thereafter, it will be mere seconds to sync added data.

Setup PFSync email that you created earlier on all your employee's Android, Windows Phone, iPhones, Blackberry phones and select the folders you wish to sync. We excluded email and chose all the other folders. Use Push technology for immediate satisfaction.

Now, here is the clincher. You now have two-way syncing in place! If they update their schedule out in the field, the home office or any other employee will see the added item within the amount of time you set Easy2Sync to sync the PFSync Task, hence, syncing the individual Public Folders.

We tried ALL of the Exchange sync products including the prohibitively expensive Code2 products and Thomas Holz's Easy2Sync is by far the best. It works with Outlook x64 or x32 equally well. Their support is via email and we always get an immediate response with personal instructions to resolve questions. For example, we did not immediately figure out the Extended option when setting up the individual folders. We mistakenly let the wizard just choose all the standard folders. This is fine if you do not have any non-standard Public Folders like extra contact folders or email collection folders. So, Easy2Sync is completely customizable. It has choices to make the program run as a service after you have all the settings in place and don't wish to ever bother with the interface. You can also continue to not use it as a service (our choice) and eliminate all notifications for automation. We just like having the option to occasionally look at what is getting synced.

Now, here is the catch. You have to install Outlook on the server or an always-on networked workstation and setup the PFSync email account profile. It works out of Outlook as an add-in although you configure it outside of Outlook. Outlook does not have to be open to use this product.

Other notes:

We use this solution because we:

1. Have only 1 Exchange 2010 Server under 10 users with Self-Signed Certificates
2. Do not use SharePoint
3. Use Public Folders with Outlook Exchange, ActiveSync or Outlook Anywhere to share all information across the WAN or LAN or Mobile.
4. Use Outlook 2010 x64

$590 or $79? Not a hard choice for a CIO to make.
October 8, 2012 4:11:40 PM

How does this compare to other solutions? Otherwise, the information is FYI rather than a question.
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February 26, 2013 10:31:34 AM

We use third party software called smartafone. We use it almost two years now with our iPhones, BB's and Androids. I'm sure it would work fine with Windows phones as well. See for yourselves but highly recommended.

http://www.smartafone.com/
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