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Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Exchange Support

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Windows Enthusiasts like to spin Apple's support for Exchange on the iPhone and in Snow Leopard as endorsement of Microsoft in the server space. From another angle, Apple is reducing its dependance upon Microsoft's client software, weakening Microsoft's ability to hold back and dumb down its Mac offerings at Apple's expense.

More importantly, Apple is providing its users with additional options that benefit both Mac users and the open source community. Here's how, the fourth in this series looking closer at some of Snow Leopard's well-known, but often misrepresented or misunderstood features.

(This article was updated to clarify details in how Apple implements support for Microsoft's changing roadmap of Exchange Server client APIs.)

Introducing Snow Leopard's Exchange clients

Integrated support for Exchange beginning with last year's iPhone 2.0 means Apple's mobile platform simply doesn't need an Outlook client. Now Snow Leopard can also get by without Entourage/Outlook, thanks to new and improved baked-in support for Exchange in Mail, Address Book and iCal.

Microsoft has responded with the announcement that it will now be delivering a real (but still scaled back) version of Outlook for the Mac again, after a decade of giving enterprise Mac users a third rate alternative in Entourage, but Microsoft's efforts to win back Mac clients may come too late to prevent the significant erosion of one of the primary reasons companies have to pay for Office on the Mac.

With iWork and the built in Exchange client support in Snow Leopard, many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings. It will be very difficult for Microsoft to convince Mac users that they need Office after those users discover suitable alternatives that cost significantly less.

Why the client is so important

With Snow Leopard and the iPhone each now providing their own client layer for accessing Exchange Server, Apple can now offer its users alternative access to other server products as well, from its own MobileMe and Snow Leopard Server offerings to web services from Google and Yahoo. This effectively turns Microsoft from a direct seller into a wholesaler that has to deal with Apple as a middleman retailer.

Ten years ago, Apple was in that position with its hardware sales. It tried hard to get Sears, CompUSA and other retailers to sell Macs for it, but those retailers also sold generic PCs. Because they made more money selling generic PCs, they had little incentive to aggressively market Macs. Apple's retail stores eventually solved this issue by allowing the company to reach users directly.

In the software business, Microsoft has long known the importance of owning the client end. It worked hard to displace Netscape's web browser in the late 90s, not because there was any money to be made in giving away browser clients, but because it knew that whoever controlled the client could set up proprietary demands for a specific web server. That's what Netscape had worked to do as it gave away its web browser in hopes that it could make money selling Netscape web servers; Microsoft first took control of the client with Internet Explorer and then began tying its IE client to its own IIS on the server side with features that gave companies reasons to buy all of their server software from Microsoft.

As Apple takes over the client end of Exchange, it similarly gains market leverage. First and foremost, the move allows Apple to improve the Exchange experience of Mac users so that business users have no reason not to buy Macs. Secondly, it gives Apple a client audience to market its own server solutions, including MobileMe to individual users and Snow Leopard Server to organizations. In concert with providing Exchange Server support, Apple is also delivering integrated support for its own Exchange alternatives in both MobileMe and with Snow Leopard Server's improved Dovecot email services, Address Book Server, iCal Server, the new Mobile Access secure gateway, and its included Push Notification Server.

Two Birds, One Stone

Apple's support for Exchange and its promotion of its own Exchange alternatives are two sides of the same coin, in the sense that they use the same technologies. Apple built its original support for Exchange using WebDAV, the open specification that Microsoft supports on Exchange Server as a way to deliver messages to mobile clients.

However, Microsoft has since moved away from supporting the open WebDAV specification, and now advocates the use of its own proprietary Exchange Web Services protocol using SOAP and XML to accomplish things that aren't possible using WebDAV alone.



In contrast, Apple's strategy for providing messaging services in Mac OS X Server has been to work with the open community in extending WebDAV. This began with CalDAV, a calendaring extension to WebDAV implemented in Leopard Server's iCal Server, and continues with CardDAV, a similarly open contact sharing extension for WebDAV.

In order to keep up with Microsoft's changing client strategy, Apple has pursued multiple efforts to deliver Exchange support for its clients. For the iPhone, Apple licensed the rights to implement a compatible Exchange Active Sync conduit with Exchange; it did not license any Exchange Active Sync software from Microsoft. Apple owns both the iPhone and Snow Leopard software that talks to Exchange.

The client applications Apple has upgraded in Snow Leopard to connect to Exchange, including Mail, Address Book, and iCal, use WebDAV to talk to Apple's own Snow Leopard Server applications. Because Microsoft only supports its new Exchange Web Services API under Exchange 2007, Snow Leopard's new Exchange support requires a modern version of Exchange. The iPhone's EAS works with older versions, including Exchange 2003.

Because Apple makes its money almost exclusively from selling hardware, it has opened up its own Snow Leopard Server applications, Address Book Server and iCal Server, as open source Darwin servers that can be compiled to run on Linux. That means Apple is essentially giving away both the client (to Mac users) and the servers (to the community) in order to encourage the use of open standards in messaging and collaboration. That giveaway is being done to help Apple sell Macs.

This effort to support everything from integrated client software owned by Apple makes Snow Leopard's support for Exchange of use to everyone, even if they don't use Exchange. The client work Apple has invested in making Macs Exchange-friendly also improves the features available via MobileMe, Snow Leopard Server, and even some other third party services such as those from Google and Yahoo.

Apple's App Store software model

If this seems like a familiar strategy, it's because Apple is doing something similar on the iPhone: creating a managed market for third party developers, as long as they support Apple's business as well. Apple's iPhone App Store goal is to support and assist small developers in producing high quality, good looking apps that are sold at low prices in high volume. This "managed market" strategy has worked much better than the "laissez faire" conventional third party Mac platform that developed on its own starting in the 80s, where developers set prices relatively high, piracy abounded, quality was unchecked, and the only force keeping software consistent and looking good was the taste of Mac software buyers.

Microsoft did a better job of supporting developers on its DOS and Windows platforms, but also required less of its developers, resulting in a mixed bag of third party PC software that is usually expensive, often buggy and hobbled with old legacy issues, and almost always inconsistent and inelegant. The Linux community, along with Google's new Android mobile platform, offer even less in terms of minimum standards and quality control, resulting in software that is often free but usually unfinished and typically inaccessible to anyone outside of dedicated tinkerers and hobbyists. While examples of fine open source client software exists, there is no available market driving this kind of development financially.

The success of the iPhone App Store has benefited both developers and users by establishing a competitive market based on meritocracy. Snow Leopard's support for Exchange, because it opens up equal access to alternative competition, similarly creates an iPhone-like market for desktop messaging services ranked by merit, not the vendor's current market position. This will provide Snow Leopard users with not just the ability to talk to corporate Exchange Servers, but also the ability to access Apple's own offerings and other third party services.

The next segment in this series looks at fifth feature of Snow Leopard that has often been misrepresented: its new malware protection and related security features.

Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: QuickTime X
Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits
Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: GPU Optimization
Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Malware Protection



Daniel Eran Dilger is the author of "Snow Leopard Server (Developer Reference)," a new book from Wiley available now for pre-order at a special price from Amazon.
post #2 of 28
What happened to the 20+ comments that were here earlier?
post #3 of 28
Obviously got up someone's nose.

The article was marginal at best - if it provoked so much comment maybe the whole article should have been canned.
post #4 of 28
If every comment on your board bothered you enough to remove all comments there was obviously a problem with the article.

At least have the decency to remove the article as well.

WEAK ARTICLE & WEAK YOU REMOVED ALL THE POSTINGS!
post #5 of 28
For some comments on how "competently" Snow Leopard incorporates Exchange Support, see the eleven pages of comments on Apple's discussion forums...!

Basically, Exchange Support in Mail doesn't work (though, stupidly, it seems to work fine on the iPhone). People are understandably p***ed off that they have wasted money upgrading to "Blow Leopard" for a heavily advertised feature that it appears doesn't actually work. To add insult to injury, many up-graders are also now having to deal with various apps (e.g. Word; Mail) crashing or slowing down.

Apple really needs to fix this fast, or they'll have a "Vista-downgrade-frenzy" situation.

Disappointing.

A.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by asterion View Post

For some comments on how "competently" Snow Leopard incorporates Exchange Support, see the eleven pages of comments on Apple's discussion forums...!

Basically, Exchange Support in Mail doesn't work (though, stupidly, it seems to work fine on the iPhone). People are understandably p***ed off that they have wasted money upgrading to "Blow Leopard" for a heavily advertised feature that it appears doesn't actually work. To add insult to injury, many up-graders are also now having to deal with various apps (e.g. Word; Mail) crashing or slowing down.

Apple really needs to fix this fast, or they'll have a "Vista-downgrade-frenzy" situation.

Disappointing....

I dunno.

What I find even more disappointing is comments like this one that say pretty much nothing at all and are just negative junk without any analysis or anything. I don't come to this forum to hear people like you shout about nothing.

What's the point of saying there is a problem with the exchange support and that the problem is "it doesn't work."?? What are you twelve? Guessing by the "blow leopard" comment I suppose you are.

If there is a problem with Exchange support you know about, just tell us what it is. If you don't know, then please just keep the whinging to yourself. Posting a comment like this is just like a little kid shouting "look at me." It has no content other than self-aggrandisement and is a completely unsupported criticism.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post

What happened to the 20+ comments that were here earlier?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Obviously got up someone's nose.

The article was marginal at best - if it provoked so much comment maybe the whole article should have been canned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NonVendorFan View Post

If every comment on your board bothered you enough to remove all comments there was obviously a problem with the article.

At least have the decency to remove the article as well. ...

I guess it never occurred to anyone that the postings were removed because the article has been changed?

AI posts an article with an error and all anyone can do is bitch and gripe about the error. The article is then reposted without the error, and all anyone can do is complain about that? Don't you people have anything better to do?
post #8 of 28
The article is poor because it misrepresents the capability of the Exchange support (I won't say 'lies' because that would get this comment deleted and would suggest the writer's familiarity with the truth of the matter), then dives into some strained dichotomy with the App Store and the iPhone. How ironic that the article talks about features being misrepresented. There is also no need to open with such an inflammatory sentence because it really sets the tone for what is to follow. No secret this is an Apple fan site, but instead of railing on the competition, how about let the product stand on their own merits?


Quote:
AI posts an article with an error and all anyone can do is bitch and gripe about the error. The article is then reposted without the error, and all anyone can do is complain about that? Don't you people have anything better to do?

Reposted without any indication of same? EDIT: Oops my bad. Saw the byline.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I guess it never occurred to anyone that the postings were removed because the article has been changed?

AI posts an article with an error and all anyone can do is bitch and gripe about the error. The article is then reposted without the error, and all anyone can do is complain about that? Don't you people have anything better to do?

Give it a new title if it's been reposted and it's still a lube job that can't be taken with any seriousness.

Seems to be the article process of late.

Combine 3 stories about Apple. 2 Good and 1 Bad. All the postings go to the Apple Good and anyone that posts on the 3rd is labeled as a troll.

APPLE INSIDER. IF AN ARTICLE IS WORTH POSTING THEN GIVE IT A HEADLINE.

Grouping the articles is 1. Poor management & 2. Creates havoc in the postings.


Starting to question if I'm reading Aliens buy more Mac's than PC's on 9to5Mac.com or AppleInsider.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonVendorFan View Post

Give it a new title if it's been reposted and it's still a lube job that can't be taken with any seriousness. ....

Nah, the thing that can't be taken with any seriousness at all is any comment like the one above.

You think by showing that you have a clear bias, (as well as a potty mouth) makes anyone take what your saying seriously?
I think it's quite the reverse.

This comment is just like holding up a sign saying "Ignore me, I don't have anything to say." It shows you haven't really got an argument, and that you aren't bright enough to realise that people will see that. It shows that your only purpose is to make disparaging remarks and bitch for no reason.

Make a reasonable, sane argument about something and people will take you seriously. Otherwise, not really.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Nah, the thing that can't be taken with any seriousness at all is any comment like the one above.

You think by showing that you have a clear bias, (as well as a potty mouth) makes anyone take what your saying seriously?
I think it's quite the reverse.

This comment is just like holding up a sign saying "Ignore me, I don't have anything to say." It shows you haven't really got an argument, and that you aren't bright enough to realise that people will see that. It shows that your only purpose is to make disrparaging remarks and bitch for no reason.

Make a reasonable, sane argument about something and people will take you seriously. Otherwise, not really.

A potty mouth? Clearly you need to be reading the Sunday Comics rather than a forum posting. I woudn't call my posting either Biased or Potty Mouth (3rd grade talk). You can talk about a lube job article at least in MY USA.

Many postings in the last Article made clear references to the BS being Spewed By Apple Insiders (for lack of a better word "journalist")

Quit being an apoligist and get a spine. Apple Nor Apple Insider is Always right and for them to remove every posting is the worst form of a BIASED FORUM BOARD.

May as well be posting in China.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonVendorFan View Post

A potty mouth? Clearly you need to be reading the Sunday Comics rather than a forum posting. I woudn't call my posting either Biased or Potty Mouth (3rd grade talk). You can talk about a lube job article at least in MY USA.

Many postings in the last Article made clear references to the BS being Spewed By Apple Insiders (for lack of a better word "journalist")

Quit being an apoligist and get a spine. Apple Nor Apple Insider is Always right and for them to remove every posting is the worst form of a BIASED FORUM BOARD.

May as well be posting in China.

Your just a bully with nothing to say. Anyone who has to swear or make sexual references to make their argument seem more forceful is already not worth listening to.

I read the entire 11 pages of the thread on Apple support and it doesn't say anything like you think it does. It's mostly a lot of angry people complaining about issues that have nothing to do with the facts. Perhaps you are one of those posters. I'm sure you would feel right at home.

The most authoritative post of them all from that very thread you refer to says this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Marti

Hey guys. Let's look at this situation logically. And, btw, I am an Exchange Admin and a user of a MBPro on a Windows network that uses Exchange 2007 (and before that 2003) for all e-mail services. iPhone using ActiveSync works great, of course. That's a separate and distinct process that Exchange uses. Snow Leopard using Exchange 2007 EWSworks for me, too. Snow Leopard is set up to take avantage of EWS services that are available ONLY through Exchnage 2007. However, you can still use Mail.app if your Exchange 2003 OR Exchange 2007 server is set by your admin to use iMAP services. This means there are two ways to connect Mail.app to Exchange 2003/2007.

But, YOU NEED TO GET YOUR EXCHANGE ADMINS TO HELP YOU. Apple can't do this - they've done everything they can do opn the Mac side to make this work.

If Exchange is not set up properly to allow you to use Apple Mail to connect, you will simply not be able to connect using Snow Leopard. Period.

Make sense?

(emphasis mine)

Not only is this information essentially the same as in the article on this forum that you're complaining about, it makes what you are asserting seem like the made up trash that it is.

Please take note of the tone that this person used as well. He didn't get angry, or preachy, he didn't swear, and his main purpose was to try and help the people on the thread. Even though the majority of those were being childish and angry for no reason.

You could learn a lot from this example even if it's only a more improved facility with the English language.
post #13 of 28
Isn't Microsoft's winning strategy here to coerce shops to upgrade at significant expense to the latest version of Exchange Server and sell more CALs? And we have no idea how long Apple has a license to use the client protocol or what it cost.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Microsoft has responded with the announcement that it will now be delivering a real (but still scaled back) version of Outlook for the Mac again, after a decade of giving enterprise Mac users a third rate alternative in Entourage, but Microsoft's efforts to win back Mac clients may come too late to prevent the significant erosion of one of the primary reasons companies have to pay for Office on the Mac.

With iWork and the built in Exchange client support in Snow Leopard, many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings. It will be very difficult for Microsoft to convince Mac users that they need Office after those users discover suitable alternatives that cost significantly less.

Why do Mac users think that just because they can receive a single message in their inbox, that means they are "fully supported" under Exchange? As if there are no other Exchange features such as notes and tasks, public folders, server side rules, out of office, shared folder permissions, delegation, etc.

By calling Entourage "third rate" and the upcoming Mac version of Outlook "scaled back", and then claiming "many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings", is the author trying to argue that Apple's applications deliver greater Exchange client functionality that is on par with Outlook for Windows?
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

Why do Mac users think that just because they can receive a single message in their inbox, that means they are "fully supported" under Exchange? As if there are no other Exchange features such as notes and tasks, public folders, server side rules, out of office, shared folder permissions, delegation, etc.

By calling Entourage "third rate" and the upcoming Mac version of Outlook "scaled back", and then claiming "many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings", is the author trying to argue that Apple's applications deliver greater Exchange client functionality that is on par with Outlook for Windows?

That's a pretty broad generalization about "all Mac users." Who specifically has said anything along those lines? Even this article only mentions that with Apple owning the client, it will have the possibility of offering alternatives. It does not claim that MobileMe or SL Server offer an identical feature set, nor that the built in support for Exchange is equal to or superior to Microsoft's own Windows Outlook client features. I've never heard anyone suggest anything like that.

Entourage is certainly third rate compared to Outlook for Windows, and the new 2010 Outlook for Mac will not support all the features of Exchange either. But Apple's delivery of even 80% of the functionality customers are looking for, for FREE, will certainly prevent a large number of Mac Exchange users from going out of their way to use Outlook, and with other options, there will be those who decide to use Google/MobileMe/SL Server.

What makes you think that sheer numbers of technical features will prevent sales of alternatives, particularly options that are significantly cheaper? The top selling game console is the Wii, not the PS3. There are phones fancier and more featured than the iPhone. There are MP3 players with features the iPod never had. There are IE features that Safari and Firefox don't provide.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I dunno.

What I find even more disappointing is comments like this one that say pretty much nothing at all and are just negative junk without any analysis or anything. I don't come to this forum to hear people like you shout about nothing.

What's the point of saying there is a problem with the exchange support and that the problem is "it doesn't work."?? What are you twelve? Guessing by the "blow leopard" comment I suppose you are.

If there is a problem with Exchange support you know about, just tell us what it is. If you don't know, then please just keep the whinging to yourself. Posting a comment like this is just like a little kid shouting "look at me." It has no content other than self-aggrandisement and is a completely unsupported criticism.

Nobody I know has been able to get exchange to work. From what I am reading online, Apple's exchange implementation is extremely picky about server side configuration. There are forums devoted to exchange admins where there are entire threads revolving around how to get their servers configured properly in order to allow SL to connect. To put it mildly, there seems to be wide-spread confusion over SL exchange support and how to get it to function properly, both among end users and among exchange server admins.

As I said, I don't know anyone who has been able to get it to work, and anyone can do a Google search and see that there are many many users who cannot get it to work, despite the 'it just works' spin we see in articles here and elsewhere. Against that backdrop, there appears to be a small group of loyalist cheer-leaders who have nothing positive to contribute to the discussion, and who seem content to concentrate their efforts on attacking those who are reporting problems. But that isn't a very winning strategy - dismissing these issues won't make them go away, it just adds 'insulting' to the list of aggravations these users are suffering.

My hope is that Apple will address these issues in a serious, responsible way. An acknowledgement that 'yes we see there is a problem' and a promise that 'we are working on it' would go a long way to calming rough feelings. Apple could also make some positive headway here by releasing a guide for exchange admins to help them configure their servers properly, as it is clear that many admins do not have their boxes properly configured for SL, and do not know how to do so.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I guess it never occurred to anyone that the postings were removed because the article has been changed?

AI posts an article with an error and all anyone can do is bitch and gripe about the error. The article is then reposted without the error, and all anyone can do is complain about that? Don't you people have anything better to do?

NO I DID NOT NOTICE THAT THIS PIECE WAS EDITED.

Better notification (BY THE TITLE) would be advisable when changing / editing.

It was legitimate to wonder what had happened to the comments since I read this area and DED's blog on a daily basis.

It is better to leave the original text and then include new text with it marked as edited.

Comments should be left alone.

This make AppleInsider look bad - changes should be handled better.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by asterion View Post

For some comments on how "competently" Snow Leopard incorporates Exchange Support, see the eleven pages of comments on Apple's discussion forums...!

Most of the 11 pages are people complaining that it doesn't work with their version of exchange server (2003, usually) and moaning how it works on the iPhone and therefore should work on the fat client. What none understand is the difference between a mobile platform and a desktop, and the suitability of technologies to each (ActiveSync vs EWS).

I believe that the difference between your post and mine is experience: I have installed SL, configured Exchange, and am happy as a clam. Everything works swimmingly. In fact, because it works through EWS it works even better than Outlook which requires VPN access.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Levi Black View Post

That's a pretty broad generalization about "all Mac users." Who specifically has said anything along those lines? Even this article only mentions that with Apple owning the client, it will have the possibility of offering alternatives. It does not claim that MobileMe or SL Server offer an identical feature set, nor that the built in support for Exchange is equal to or superior to Microsoft's own Windows Outlook client features. I've never heard anyone suggest anything like that.

Entourage is certainly third rate compared to Outlook for Windows, and the new 2010 Outlook for Mac will not support all the features of Exchange either. But Apple's delivery of even 80% of the functionality customers are looking for, for FREE, will certainly prevent a large number of Mac Exchange users from going out of their way to use Outlook, and with other options, there will be those who decide to use Google/MobileMe/SL Server.

Don't try to play dumb. Do a Google search for snow leopard full exchange support and you will see several instances of people referring to Apple's applications in Snow Leopard as "full Exchange support". Here are just a few examples:

http://www.macwindows.com/column_sno..._exchange.html

http://www.zimbra.com/forums/isync-c...rt-mac-os.html

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...opard-reviewed

http://osrevolution.com/os-misc/os-x...atures-roundup

Quote:
What makes you think that sheer numbers of technical features will prevent sales of alternatives, particularly options that are significantly cheaper? The top selling game console is the Wii, not the PS3. There are phones fancier and more featured than the iPhone. There are MP3 players with features the iPod never had. There are IE features that Safari and Firefox don't provide.

Spoken like a used car salesman. Sure, there will be sales-- sales to people thinking that Apples "full Exchange support" is going to solve all their Exchange compatibility issues. But these people will be in for a rude awakening when they discover that "full Exchange support" is not really "full Exchange support". But at least it was a sale, right? But wait. Since you can't buy Mail, Address Book and iCal separately, how can you correlate sales of Snow Leopard to people looking for Exchange client alternatives?
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by barthrh View Post

Most of the 11 pages are people complaining that it doesn't work with their version of exchange server (2003, usually) and moaning how it works on the iPhone and therefore should work on the fat client. What none understand is the difference between a mobile platform and a desktop, and the suitability of technologies to each (ActiveSync vs EWS).

I believe that the difference between your post and mine is experience: I have installed SL, configured Exchange, and am happy as a clam. Everything works swimmingly. In fact, because it works through EWS it works even better than Outlook which requires VPN access.

I disagree with you.

First, on the personal experience front (the one you are relying on) our mail provider (we use a MAJOR hosted exchange provider) uses exchange 2007, and SL won't work with their servers. Apparently, it isn't that uncommon for EWS to be turned off on exchange servers, or for it to be published only internally. That means that many shops that are using exchange 2007 still cannot handle SL connections.

Second, Apple could have included support for more than EWS in their implementation. They did not do so, and that isn't the fault of end users who are rightfully disappointed that things work for their iPhone but not their Mac.

Third, it is disingenuous at best to characterize these users as 'moaners'. When a product is billed as having support for something, you don't need to have a crystal ball or be a super-genius to see what is headed your way if you in actuality support technologies only a fraction of your user-base can gain access to. Under such conditions, users will justifiably complain. Putting on your wizard hat and pontificating about how dumb users are because they don't know the difference between active-synch and EWS doesn't address the issue, it only speaks to your inability to understand technology from an end-user perspective. Given that Apple is almost entirely about the end user experience, your comments ring hollow in my opinion; they aren't appropriate.

The bottom line is that, for whatever reason, Apple chose to support only EWS in SL, which left many users out in the cold and wondering why their phone works and their Mac doesn't; It was a mistake to do so. Further, I am not convinced that there are not other problems in the mix as well which have nothing to do with EWS / lack of ActiveSynch, WebDAV, etc. From what I am seeing, the portion of users who cannot use SL exchange may be as high as those who can, and I find it hard to believe Apple would have released the product and billed it as they did knowing that this would be the case. I would consider it more likely that they did not see this coming, which suggests bugs to me and not merely a narrow implementation. Finally, many exchange admins seem lost as to why SL will not connect, which doesn't bode well for near-term solutions, and is something Apple ought to begin addressing.

My opinion is that this hasn't been handled very well, and it has the potential to become a PR mess if Apple doesn't get on-task about these issues in a hurry. I am confident that screaming about how dumb the users are is absolutely not the correct solution path.
post #21 of 28
The reason apple is only supporting exchange 2007 is support. Exchange 2003 is in or about to go into extended suppot and that means no dev support from Microsoft. And I bet apple and Microsoft worked it out as a deal to only support 2007.

And the article is still wrong. Apple licenses activesync. There is even a press release about it from right before the iPhone 3g launch.

Microsoft doesn't care about giving the client to apple because apple doesn't seem to want to offer decent servers and they probably make more monel selling apple users exchange cal's even if they don't use them. How many itouch users use exchange?

And there is no exchange alternative. Only hacked together products that can't seem to capture any market share.
post #22 of 28
I continually have issues with the lack of professional tone I encounter in articles that ought to be purely technical, but that deviate from what they ought to be. If you start off with a statement such as, "Windows Enthusiasts like to spin Apple's support for Exchange on the iPhone and in Snow Leopard as endorsement of Microsoft in the server space. From another angle, ...", then your article is inherently lacking in objectivity at the get go. There is just no way that an objective, purely technical article would be concerned at all with what sort of "spin" others may or may not have applied to a topic.

It concerns me that we have a whole generation of younger professionals who are so accustomed to technical articles that push a particular agenda, that they take for granted that this is the normal way that technical articles should be written. This is very unfortunate.

For this to have been a good article, it would have needed to start by explaining exactly what MS exchange even is, and would need to have proceeded from there to explain what is required of a client application that interfaces with MS exchange, and from there to explaining how those requirements break down, in a UNIX-based operating system, between operating system functionality and application program functionality. Being of the Old School where we believe that the UNIX operating system was essentially complete back when Berkeley added the socket system call that solved the problem where a process could not block simultaneously on dissimilar I/O calls, I think it is highly unlikely that the operating system per se was lacking anything that was needed to fully support Exchange. That elegant layering model has long since been broken of course by the requirement to write applications in high-level OO languages where the foundation classes force the application to embed method calls that cause the program the block and without most application programmers these days even aware of the fact that their process is blocking within this or that method call. As a consequence of this programming paradigm, a whole generation of programmers does not even understand the difference between the operating system and the application, and this is why we now see all these different articles that espouse all these notions about how certain versions of Apple's OS do not "support" certain networking applications such as MS Exchange.

My assumption, which I believe is reasonable, is that whatever application-layer protocols are defined in association with MS Exchange, they are layered over the standard layers of the Internet protocol stack. As such, they are fully supported by Apple's OS, and have been since long before Apple even switched over to the UNIX-based OS. It has been more than a decade since I looked into how BSD implemented the IP stack, but off the top of my head it is a pretty good bet that there is more of it implemented within the kernel than is inherently necessary. In any case, there is no way, no how that the operating system itself, being a derivation of Berkeley UNIX, has lacked anything that was needed to fully support whatever application layer protocols MS is using.

The operating system (OS X) is separate and distinct from the myriad applications that Apple provides. There is a one-way dependence between the operating system and the applications. It is not logically correct to infer, from the fact that Apple bundles some applications along with the operating system and sends updates to some applications along with updates to the operating system, that these applications are part of the operating system and should therefore be placed in the same logical bucket as the operating system per se. Anything that Apple has ever delivered that was specific to a client application of MS Exchange or any other application that defines application protocols that are layered over the standard IP protocol stack, is not now and never has been a feature or attribute of the operating system per se. Let's get that much straight to start with, and then go from there, because if we can't get that much straight, then nothing that we have said amounts to anything more than a pile of jabberwocky. Send the kids back to school so that they can learn how to write to start with, and then send them back to study computer science.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by asterion View Post

For some comments on how "competently" Snow Leopard incorporates Exchange Support, see the eleven pages of comments on Apple's discussion forums...!

Basically, Exchange Support in Mail doesn't work (though, stupidly, it seems to work fine on the iPhone).

Exchange support works on the iPhone because Apple licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Levi Black View Post

That's a pretty broad generalization about "all Mac users." Who specifically has said anything along those lines? Even this article only mentions that with Apple owning the client, it will have the possibility of offering alternatives. It does not claim that MobileMe or SL Server offer an identical feature set, nor that the built in support for Exchange is equal to or superior to Microsoft's own Windows Outlook client features. I've never heard anyone suggest anything like that.

Entourage is certainly third rate compared to Outlook for Windows, and the new 2010 Outlook for Mac will not support all the features of Exchange either. But Apple's delivery of even 80% of the functionality customers are looking for, for FREE, will certainly prevent a large number of Mac Exchange users from going out of their way to use Outlook, and with other options, there will be those who decide to use Google/MobileMe/SL Server.

What makes you think that sheer numbers of technical features will prevent sales of alternatives, particularly options that are significantly cheaper? The top selling game console is the Wii, not the PS3. There are phones fancier and more featured than the iPhone. There are MP3 players with features the iPod never had. There are IE features that Safari and Firefox don't provide.

Daniel, I thought you were over sock puppeting? At least invent some new names.
post #25 of 28
Is there any ACTUAL review of the matter on topic with SPECIFIC ups and downs, rather than all this DRIVEL?
post #26 of 28
Oh look the influx of posts pointing out how the article that was supposed to clear up all the misunderstanding and misrepresentations didn't mention any of the Exchange features that are not supported and the fact that it doesn't offer the same integration that Outlook does.

What a surprise, shame most people tend to read the comments when there posted...
post #27 of 28
"With iWork and the built in Exchange client support in Snow Leopard, many users will have no need to even consider Microsoft's Mac client offerings. It will be very difficult for Microsoft to convince Mac users that they need Office after those users discover suitable alternatives that cost significantly less."

Unless of course the client support in Mail.app, iCal and AddressBook (the support is not in the OS but in the apps) does NOT work. I've found quite a number of people (including Exchange 2007 Server admins) for whom iCal simply does not work with Exchange 2007. So .. I'll be back to using Entourage in the meantime while I wait for Outlook for the Mac.
post #28 of 28
Wow, these Inside Snow Leopard articles have garnered more criticism about the presentation than about the facts contained in that presentation. I won't generalize and characterize all the criticism either good or bad since there are certainly examples of both.

My take is that Dilger has an obvious preference for Mac OS but that the bias would be acceptable to most readers if the articles were more factual and technical.

Not that I could do any better. Nor are these articles unique in how they stray heavily onto the commentary side of the coin. The cable "news" networks have very little actual "news" nowadays either. They're almost complete commentary at this point. They should be called cable commentary channels instead, Fox Commentary and CCN (Cable Commentary Network). This trend toward ubiquitous commentary is visible throughout all forms of media. It seems as though Dilger is bearing the brunt of the backlash in our neck of the woods.
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