The Hostway Blog

Using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync is the part of Exchange Server that enables users to synchronize contacts, email, calendars and tasks between the server and compatible mobile devices. It enables users to connect to the same mailbox on their mobile and PC and have information on either device update the other. Users can also use Outlook Web Access to connect to the mailbox via any Internet enable device with browsing capability.

Mobile devices can be scheduled to synchronize with the mailbox at timed intervals, or if the device supports DirectPush, it can use a latent connection to the server to receive instructions to synchronize when updates are available.

Setting up Your Exchange Server

Before you can use Exchange ActiveSync, you will need to have an Exchange Server set up, and have purchased Mailboxes for your users.

Each mailbox comes with a licensed copy of Outlook, which you may need to download and configure. If you are using a Mac operating system, you should be able to download a copy of Entourage instead, or you may decide to use Outlook Web Access to maximize access to mailboxes and minimize support issues.

You will also need to activate Mobile Services to enable devices to connect using ActiveSync. To do this, log in to your Exchange administration, and click “Mobile Services.” Select either “Manage Windows Mobile” or “Manage BlackBerry Services,” depending on the devices you want to enable, then click on “Select users from Address Book,” select the users you want to enable, or disable, and click “Update.”

Configuring Mobile Devices for ActiveSync

Windows Mobile Devices

  • Select “Start” then “ActiveSync”, “Menu” and “Add Server Source”
  • Enter your server name
  • Check “This server requires and encrypted (SSL) connection” and click next.
  • Enter your User name, password and domain as provided by your host, then click “save password” and “Next.”
  • Select the data type to synchronize, then click “Finish.”

Your device should now synchronize.

BlackBerry Devices

  • Activate the BlackBerry service on your Exchange server for the mailbox. BlackBerry Enterprise Server will then send an activation email to the mailbox with a password to use during activation of the device.
  • On the device, browse to “Settings” then chose “Options,” “Advanced Options” and “Enterprise Activation.”
  • Enter the Exchange mailbox and the activation password from the email, then click “Activate.”
  • When activation is completed, click “OK.” and the device will synchronize to the Exchange mailbox.

iPhone and iPod Touch

  • Navigate to “Settings” then “Mail” and “Add Account.”
  • Chose “Microsoft Exchange” and enter the settings as provided by your host for incoming and outgoing mail servers, then select “Save.”
  • Next choose “Settings” and “Advanced” and set “Use SSL” to On for both incoming and outgoing servers if required by your host, and set authentication methods and ports to those supplied by the server.

iPhones use IMAP mail settings, so not all Exchange Services will be available on these devices.