Setting up Activesync
What is Activesync? It is a method of synchronising mobile phones with a desktop PC or a server. Setting it up is fairly simple. The best way is to link the phones to a Microsoft Exchange Server.
Activesync is the best, and I rely on it. Using Activesync is especially useful if you run a small business. You can get your email, calendar and tasks synchronising where ever you go.
Others in your company can update your calendar and your phone will change. If you change your calendar on your phone, the office can see your changes. Activesync uses a push/pull system, so your phone only connects when it needs to.
By default Activesync will download just the first few kilobytes of your message - you can opt to pull the whole message down if you need. This makes it very low cost to run.
What you need:
Exchange Server 2003 or 2007, or
Small Business Server 2003 or 2008
Windows Mobile Phone (eg. HTC or HP iPaq)
Mini USB Lead
Client PC running XP or Vista
Download of Active Sync 4.5 (or current Activesync version)
Fixed or static registered IP address for your internet connection.
remote.<domain>.co.uk resolving to the IP address
The fixed IP address is given to you by your ISP (the company who supplies your broadband). The remote.domain.co.uk is setup by your hosting company. This is the hardest two bits to setup as they involve other people!
How to Setup Activesync:
1. Make sure you open http and https on your firewall and direct them to your SBS or Exchange Server.
2. Test the connection from another site using "remote.domain.co.uk/exchange". This will allow you to access Outlook Web Access (OWA). Accept the certificate and login into your email.
3. Run the "connect to the internet" wizard from the server console and create a new certificate. In this screen, enter "remote.clever-idea.co.uk"
4. Locate the ".cer" file on your server and save it where your users can all access it.
5. Install the newest version of Activesync onto your PC, and plug the phone into the PC using the USB lead. Transfer the ".cer" file to the phone and install it.
I would then recommend using the Activesync main screen on your PC to enter the information for your Exchange Server. It needs "remote.domain.co.uk" entered into the wizard, plus your domain username and password.
If you have followed all those steps, it will work.
Since SBS 2003 R2 came out, we have had no issues with setting this up. Prior to that version, it was a bit hit and miss. So if you have issues, please make sure you are running the newest service packs and updates.