GroupWise: ActiveSync Device Support

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We are making great progress on the Gradenko and ActiveSync Connector technology. This last week we released BETA2 of Gradenko and expect to release BETA3 next week. We also expect to release an Alpha/BETA of ActiveSync before the December Holiday break. In our testing, we have successfully synchronized on all major mobile device platforms. Note: ActiveSync is an 'over-the-air' solution. Not a desktop sync solution.

So - Will your device be supported? We hope to provide you enough information to answer that question! Including a 'known' device support list and a known 'unsupported' list.

So let's walk through some of the logic....

Do you have a BlackBerry device? Then your device is supported using the BES solution from RIM. These devices are NOT a target for the ActiveSync solution.

Now onto ActiveSync....

The first question to ask is: Does your mobile device state that it 'supports connecting to Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2 or later?'

If your answer is YES, then your device is supported and will work with the new ActiveSync connector technology.

The more common answer will probably be "I DON'T KNOW"....

If this is your answer, then the next question will be: "Does your phone/device run on one of these mobile operating systems?"

- Apple OS 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 or later
- Symbian Series 60 3rd-5th Edition or later
- Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0, 6.1, 6.5 or later
- Palm OS with VersaMail or Exchange ActiveSync Update software
- Palm webOS
- Android 1.5 and 1.6 with additional software OR 2.0
- Maemo Internet Tablet OS 5.0

If the answer is YES, then your device is most likely supported.

We will 'certify' several devices including:

- Apple iTouch and iPhone
- Nokia e62, e71, N97
- MotoQ
- Samsung Intrepid
- HTC Pure
- Palm Centro and Pre
- T-Mobile G1
- Motorola Droid

These devices represent a cross-section of mobile device operating systems. We also have a list of 12 other devices that we also intend to 'certify', but the list above is the initial pass.

We believe that our testing and certification will validate the initial supportability of roughly 250 unique smart phones.

We will publish a Device Support Matrix and Flow Chart so that our customers will be able to easily tell if their device is supportable.

Even if your device is not supported using BES or ActiveSync, we will provide other email synchronization options that include POP/IMAP and WAP access to your GroupWise mail through your mobile device.

This information will also be available in a WIKI format that will allow easy updates and contributions from partners, customers and end-users to help communicate the best ways to get GroupWise email, calendar and contact data from GroupWise to your mobile device - no matter which device you currently own or which device you purchase.

We expect to publish all of this information when the ActiveSync solution goes to Public BETA or at least by the time we release the technology.

I hope this information is useful and look forward to your feedback and questions.

Dean

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Anonymous
  • I must be confused or maybe we are talking about different things.

    GMS has never provided cradle sync support for email, calendar and contacts. It has always been an over the air solution.

    There was only one product that Novell supported that worked through cradle sync and that was a product called PDAConnect.

    Now you could install an email client on your device using three methods....hit a web site, through a SMS message or through cradle sync. This was just to get the client installed on your mobile device.

    Did I understand or am I still confused?

    Dean
  • You must be referring to GMS3, because GMS2 was not exclusively an over the air solution. GMS2 (still supported by Novell) supports cradle sync.
  • Tom,

    This is a good comment and a good point of clarification. Novell is not providing or planning on providing a tethered solution. This mobility solution will be exclusively 'Over the Air'.

    As Tom says, there are lots of 'desktop synchronization' solutions that allow you to sync devices with a cable between your device and your PC or computer. This can be confusing because Microsoft overloads the product 'ActiveSync'. There are ActiveSync-based solutions that provide a desktop synchronization solution. As we have said before - this is not the 'Mobility Connector' Novell is providing. We are providing exclusively an 'Over the Air' solution....just like GMS.

    Dean
  • All of these devices should work fine regarding GroupWise but there are many vertical market applications requiring a wired sync (automotive, insurance, and moving companies are ones that I have run into). Many of those apps were designed for Blackberry, Palm OS, or Windows Mobile but are starting to appear on iPhones, and other new devices. Their technology advancement is slow along with their software development. In addition, their quality control is pretty dodgey.

    Wireless Activesync shouldn't interfere with the tethered sync but we need to make sure that we don't break something when deploying the new solution.

    Tom Stone
  • We are limited by the feature set of ActiveSync 2.5, which does not have a lot of device management features. However, it does support the concept of a 'kill pill'.

    All interaction with devices is OTA - including the kill pill. When later versions of ActiveSync are supported, we will add additional administrative features as they become available.

    The kill pill will be supported on all certified devices.

    Dean
  • We have not started BETA yet for the Mobility Pack. We will notify those who were selected as soon as we are ready. Please see Alex Evan's blog for more details on the selection process and where things are at.

    Dean
  • You mention it will function very much like BES...will ActiveSync allow a remote wipe of a device that is Syncing OTA? If so, will that feature be for all 'certified' devices?
  • Hi,

    I am currently an user for Notifylink, and it works flawlessly with the iPhone.
    But I do have to admit the whole process has it's drawbacks:
    1.- Slow Push response
    You have to sync the message to a server somewhere, then that server has to locate your device, which in turn has to download the message.
    It usually takes about 5-10 mins... Not much, but a heck of a lot slower than Blackberry.
    2.- Service Cost
    If you just have 1 or 2 users, it's fine. But when you want to have 10+ users, it'll almost cost u as much as the Novell license in the first place!!!, that is just not fair...
    3.- Administration
    I now have a separate control panel to monitor, administer, and configure, FOR EACH USER.
    It's jut to painful

    This is why I can tell you guys from Novell one thing:
    This implementation is sure to be VERY widely accepted.

    Since I am a current user on another solution, I would like to enroll on the testing for this.
    Where can I signup?

    cheers
  • We have had several users try different applications (paid and unpaid) to try to sync - including companionlink (which is supposed to be one of the best). None of them worked correctly. The best solution so far is to start using a gmail calendar and delegate appointments to gmail and then sync with the iphone. But of course this provides only one-way synchronization - so some users have stopped using the Groupwise calendar altogether and are only using gmail.
  • There are "ways" to sync the calendar, without the upcoming solution by Novell.

    Check out http://iphone.gwcheck.com and this blog post - www.gwcheck.com/.../

    Gert
    GWCheck.com
    Novell Knowledge Partner
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