Does Android 2.0 Really Have MS Exchange Support?

Why are many Linux advocates excited about Android 2.0's built-in support for Microsoft Exchange?

First, let us try to give a brief overview of Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft Exchange is a global leader in messaging and collaboration solutions. It is popular among large enterprises, where the top executives communicate and collaborate using (typically) BlackBerry mobile devices over the Microsoft Exchange infrastructure.

Aside from email services, Exchange also offers features like shared calendar, contacts, and tasks. That means, you can be sure members of your team have the latest information when it comes, for instance, to meetings and other important activities for as long as they have a mobile device with Exchange capabilities.

When a meeting is rescheduled over Exchange, they'll know about it. When a new employee joins the team and new contact information is subsequently added, they'll know about it. When tasks are created, updated, or removed, they'll know about it. All the information will be accessible via their Exchange-capable mobile devices.

Although a number of Linux-powered smart phones gained a decent amount of following, one of the reasons why some people opted to shy away from them initially was their lack of support for MS Exchange. The T-Mobile G1 (a.k.a. HTC Dream) had no Exchange support when it was first introduced while Palm Pre had its share of birth pains in syncing with Exchange.

So far, only contact synchronization and e-mail is currently being mentioned in the Android developers site. I'm not sure if calendar and task synchronization is also supported. Unless Android 2.0 supports more Exchange features than just e-mail and contact syncs, it would be a hard sell to business enterprises where such features are virtually basic necessities.



If you want to learn how to start using Android, I've got a post talking about how you can install the JDK and Eclipse for Android development.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Calendar sync works just fine. The missing feature is the ability to add email signatures.

Anonymous said...

My Nokia N900 seems to have excellent Exchange support - mail, contacts, and calendar.

Anonymous said...

Blackberry does not support syncing calendar, contacts, or tasks out of the box. In order to get calendar, contacts, and tasks syncing on a Blackberry, you have to have a Blackberry Enterprise server ($600+ for five users) installed on your Exchange server.

mkmaster78 said...

Actually BlackBerry does support Exchange out of the box. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server is used for simplifying the process, enabling extra features, and allowing centralized IT management of the BlackBerry devices. But BlackBerry does have OOB support for Exchange, usually through OWA.

Surloc said...

A Fair number of android phones have 3rd party active sync plugins for exchange. This is pretty common. My N900 has full exchange support as well. It happily does calendars, and mail. (I don't think it does contacts, but that may just be my work's screwed up server.)

I just wish I could do 2 exchange accounts so I could do google as well.

Anonymous said...

"Actually BlackBerry does support Exchange out of the box. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server is used for simplifying the process, enabling extra features, and allowing centralized IT management of the BlackBerry devices. But BlackBerry does have OOB support for Exchange, usually through OWA."

This is not technically "supporting Exchange". This is simply adding the OWA email address, which brings Calendar with it, into the included BB Web Services.

To actually "Support" Exchange features, yes, you do have to have a BES installation.

Anonymous said...

Blackberrys support connecting to Exchange out of the box but, it treats it as a pop3 server. You will not have the ability to delete messages on the Blackberry and have it delete the message out of outlook. You must have Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES)to do so. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Additionally, BES adds a cost of $30 per user on the plan. Whereas my Samsung Momement with Android 1.5 (cupcake) on Sprint works flawlessly with our Exchange server for Calendar, mail, task, and address book for $0 extra.

Thomas Heiss said...

Check AstraSync/NotifySync for Blackberry. It adds Exchange ActiveSync support (over the air, e.g UMTS) without Blackberry BES server and active data message push option. Searched/read a lot about it in 2009.

I am going for a Blackberry business device in 2010 and I am keen to use it with Zarafa Linux Server (Exchange alternative) + Z-Push.

Term Papers said...

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Brian said...

Android also does not support Exchange ActiveSync remote wipe , so I don't allow it in my shop.