Synchronica for Exchange Syncing

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Jul 5, 2007
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#1
Has any tried the Synchronica Mobile Gateway to sync with Exchange/Outlook email, calendar, contacts. It is suppost to use Outlook Web Access to do this, which makes sense, but I haven't heard of anyone actually using it.

Thanks.
 

spampy22

Member
Bronze
Jun 8, 2007
165
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16
45
Columbus, Ohio
#2
its up and it works

I signed up a month ago and their trial was just activated today. If anyone needs corporate email without ypur company turning imsp on than this is it.



Has any tried the Synchronica Mobile Gateway to sync with Exchange/Outlook email, calendar, contacts. It is suppost to use Outlook Web Access to do this, which makes sense, but I haven't heard of anyone actually using it.

Thanks.
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
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16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#4
Is anyone else using it yet? I just signed up today, and I'm having some issues...

All of my Exchange Mail folders appear on my iPhone. I can send mail, and it will appear on my Exchange Server when I check it in Outlook, but for some reason it doesn't want to download messages into my mail folders. It says, "Checking for Mail" at the bottom of the screen, and it just keeps going, and going and going and going...but never pulls any messages in.

I sent their helpdesk an e-mail, but I'm not expecting to hear anything any time soon (the last time I sent them an e-mail, I don't think I ever got a response).

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
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16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#5
How much is it after the 60 day trial?
I'm not sure. They seem to have pulled pricing off their website, but I remember seeing it up there only a few days ago.

If memory serves, they only sell the service in license bundles. The 5-license bundle was something like 1300 Euros, but I don't think there was any annual renewal fee.

HOWEVER...

The iPhone only gets IMAP e-mail. No contacts. No tasks. No calendars. I'd like to think that given the much more limited functionality, there may be some adjustment in price. Hopefully that's why they pulled the pricing from the web in order to offer separate pricing for the iPhone.

All my IT department has to do is flip the IMAP switch on our Exchange Server, and it renders this technology useless for me, but I can't seem to get them to do it yet (I think they were scared by the early iPhone security concerns). I could justify spending a few hundred bucks for this service (especially since there are a few of us at my office who have iPhones, and I'm sure they'd split it with me), but there's no way I'm shelling out $1500 just for e-mail.
 
Aug 2, 2007
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#6
Synchronica Works - Sort Of

The solution works. It definitely gets around the IT department and their restrictions on IMAP. It only gets e-mail, but for the next 60 days, that's a good start. It seems to have issues with attachments (not sure what the problem is).

But at the moment the folks over at sychronica seem to have massively underestimated demand. The service is slow and spotty. They just sent out this email:

"Dear Mobile Gateway User,
We are currently experiencing a huge demand for access to the Mobile Gateway free trail and are in the process of expanding our servers to address this.

During this time you may experience occasional problems with sending and receiving email and accessing the trial website.

Our servers will be updated as quickly as possible and we will let you know as soon as this has been completed.

Many Thanks

The Synchronica Mobile Gateway team"


So better to wait a day or two before signing up as it does not seem to be functioning very reliably at the moment (I was only able to synch once all day!)
 
Aug 11, 2007
5
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#7
The solution works. It definitely gets around the IT department and their restrictions on IMAP. It only gets e-mail, but for the next 60 days, that's a good start. It seems to have issues with attachments (not sure what the problem is).

But at the moment the folks over at sychronica seem to have massively underestimated demand. The service is slow and spotty. They just sent out this email:

"Dear Mobile Gateway User,
We are currently experiencing a huge demand for access to the Mobile Gateway free trail and are in the process of expanding our servers to address this.

During this time you may experience occasional problems with sending and receiving email and accessing the trial website.

Our servers will be updated as quickly as possible and we will let you know as soon as this has been completed.

Many Thanks

The Synchronica Mobile Gateway team"


So better to wait a day or two before signing up as it does not seem to be functioning very reliably at the moment (I was only able to synch once all day!)
The servers have been upgraded to a scalable UNIX system and should provide a decent service from now on.
 
Aug 11, 2007
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#9
Performance

If you refer to that it can take up to 10 minutes before Emails actually arrive in your in-box, that is a current setting of the system. Mobile Gateway needs to poll the Exchange mailboxes of a several thousand Exchange mailboxes - quite a task. Should not take much longer and our tests indicate that the 10 minute intervall is what most people get. There can be issues, however, with individual Exchange servers where there are connectivity problems from Mobile Gateway to the Exchange server, and of course there can be issues with the mobile connectivity of the iPhone - maybe this is an issue in your case?
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
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16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#10
If you refer to that it can take up to 10 minutes before Emails actually arrive in your in-box, that is a current setting of the system. Mobile Gateway needs to poll the Exchange mailboxes of a several thousand Exchange mailboxes - quite a task. Should not take much longer and our tests indicate that the 10 minute intervall is what most people get. There can be issues, however, with individual Exchange servers where there are connectivity problems from Mobile Gateway to the Exchange server, and of course there can be issues with the mobile connectivity of the iPhone - maybe this is an issue in your case?
I think it's good that your company is monitoring these forums, so I'll give you some feedback based on my experiences.

First, some kudos...

Your tech support has been very responsive. I expected to wait much longer for replies to my problems, but that hasn't been the case. When I have sent e-mails to your company explaining my problems, there haven't always been immediate solutions, but someone always lets me know that they're working on my problem. Given the fact that you're in the UK and there's a time difference, it's even more impressive.

If the solution worked properly, it would be a great answer for people like me who would rather find alternate methods for my work e-mail than nagging my IT department to enable IMAP support. If push came to shove, I could get it done, but I'd rather find my own solution.

Now the problems...

First of all, the connection is simply not reliable. Sometimes my iPhone won't connect to your server at all. Sometimes I get a weird "user name and password..." error. It has gotten to the point that I simply don't believe that my e-mail is current at any time, so I wind up checking my e-mail through Safari via Outlook Web Access...the very thing this solution was supposed to replace.

Second, my e-mail doesn't seem to sync at the 15 minute intervals I have set in my preferences. Often (but not always), it doesn't sync until I launch the e-mail application and open the Inbox. I can tolerate waiting 15 minutes before I know whether or not I have new e-mail, but I would prefer to be notified automatically at 15 minute intervals instead of having to always open the Inbox to be sure.

Third, the mail folders don't sync unless I open each one individually. I expected my 25 most current messages in each folder to load automatically, but it doesn't seem to happen that way. I have 32 folders, and I have to open each one individually and wait for the mail to load up into each. I guess I'm just surprised that all the folders don't sync together.

I realize this is a new application running on a brand new device, but when it comes to syncing e-mail, users like myself need to feel completely confident that it's doing the job accurately and reliably. Right now I don't feel that way. Trust me, if/when the technology works as it's supposed to, I will be an evangelist. If it doesn't I'll never even consider using it after the free trial expires.

Additionally, I'm very curious to see what the service will cost when the trial period is over. It doesn't sync contacts or tasks. It does e-mail, but unconventionally and not in real-time or using any push protocols. Even working properly and at full capacity, its functionality is very limited. I suspect that people who have taken the plunge and use their iPhones for work are a very small minority at their respective companies. If synchronica doesn't provide the option of individual users for their iPhone service (as opposed to a multi-license bundle like their other services), this iPhone offering will sink like a stone. I work for a company of ~185 people, and only two others have iPhones. Virtually everyone else with a mobile device uses Windows Mobile and syncs directly through Exchange. There's no chance in the world that we would have 5 people for this service, at least not in the foreseeable future.

I really want this technology to work, and once it does I really want to keep using it. My main hopes are that it becomes more reliable quickly, and that it's affordable enough that it makes sense. IMO, it's only a viable option if it meets both of those criteria.
 

dschur

New Member
Jul 13, 2007
13
0
0
#11
If you refer to that it can take up to 10 minutes before Emails actually arrive in your in-box, that is a current setting of the system. Mobile Gateway needs to poll the Exchange mailboxes of a several thousand Exchange mailboxes - quite a task. Should not take much longer and our tests indicate that the 10 minute intervall is what most people get. There can be issues, however, with individual Exchange servers where there are connectivity problems from Mobile Gateway to the Exchange server, and of course there can be issues with the mobile connectivity of the iPhone - maybe this is an issue in your case?
No, actually I was referring to the fact that simple inbox retrieval and switching between email messages is unbearably slow (compared to an ISP IMAP account) both on the iPhone and if configuring sycml.biz in outlook. It is important to note that the test server (www.trymobilegateway.com) was/is nowhere near as slow so the likely cause is the syncml.biz servers are overloaded/underprovisioned.
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
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16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#12
No, actually I was referring to the fact that simple inbox retrieval and switching between email messages is unbearably slow (compared to an ISP IMAP account) both on the iPhone and if configuring sycml.biz in outlook. It is important to note that the test server (www.trymobilegateway.com) was/is nowhere near as slow so the likely cause is the syncml.biz servers are overloaded/underprovisioned.
It is now 8:34 AM, and my Inbox was last updated at 7:28 AM. My attempts to sync the iPhone have failed to pull in the new messages on my mail server that I'm looking at right now in my Outlook Inbox on my desktop PC.

That's not a huge deal when my iPhone is sitting on the dock right beneath my monitor on my desk at work, but if I were on the road and wasn't able to retrieve my new e-mail at the beginning of the day, I'd be right back where I started...logging into Oulook Web Access through Safari instead of using the e-mail application on the iPhone.

This seems to be pretty typical, and is in direct contradiction to the earlier claim:

"If you refer to that it can take up to 10 minutes before Emails actually arrive in your in-box, that is a current setting of the system. Mobile Gateway needs to poll the Exchange mailboxes of a several thousand Exchange mailboxes - quite a task. Should not take much longer and our tests indicate that the 10 minute intervall is what most people get."
Very frustrating.
 

gnubix

New Member
Aug 16, 2007
1
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#13
I'm am having similar issues.

-Today I have been trying yo sync for the past few hours with no luck. The "History" tab on SyncML shows that I am syncing, but no email is exchanged.

-Occaisionally the outgoing mail server malfunctions and I have to re-enter the outgoing server info into the settings on the iPhone. It looks like the iPhone assigns a specific port to the SyncML smtp server. Then, the SyncML server rejects the iPhone using that specific port.

I want to re-iterate some of the comments made in previous posts. I applaud Synchronica for responding to an obvious need with a simple solution. The free trail is a great way to get feedack, like this, from early adopters like me. Hopefully you guys can address these issues quickly. If so, I will PROMISE you that each one of us will get at least 10 people to use your product. Just about everyone in my office wants to use the iPhone, but exchange syncing is too important to do without.

Thanks and good luck...us corporate types are counting on you!
 

jbaraga

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
270
0
16
Pittsburgh, PA
www.baraga.me
#14
Here's a new one...

The four most current e-mails in my Inbox are all timestamped 12:24 PM, and they all have (No Sender) and (No Subject), and guess what...when I open each of them, I'm greeted with "This message has no content."

And yet here I sit staring at the Outlook Inbox on my desktop PC, and I see SIX e-mails (which I'm assuming include the four mystery e-mails on my iPhone) that I can't see in my iPhone Inbox. I can't seem to sync (I've been watching the "Checking for Mail" circle for a couple minutes now), and I'm afraid to delete the messages off my iPhone in case they get deleted off the server, too.

While I agree with knubix that there's a good market out there for a reliable corporate e-mail solution for the iPhone, I don't echo his guarantee about rounding up 10 others for the service. In my company of ~185, there are 2 other iPhones, and between them, I think only one has any appetite for this technology. Maybe when there are more iPhones in circulation, but I think it's still a little early for the average user.
 

slarph

New Member
Aug 16, 2007
3
0
0
#15
I agree. I really WANT this to work, but as best I can tell, it is not there yet. Yesterday during the day, the service was perfect. I was getting emails every 15 minutes with no delay in delivery or in opening. I have not gotten an update to my email since midnight last night, and every time it trys to connect it either times out (I'm guessing thats what is happening), or is says "Loading 5 emails" and then times out, loading nothing. Basically, its inconsistent.

When I visit the website to configure the service, I get the same results. Sometimes I get in, sometimes it hangs. I realize you are getting SLAMMED with new demos, and I also understand that I am not paying for this service, so I get where I stand. But as I said, I really want this to be great, because it will help bot me and my firm's customers find enterprise success with this new device platform.
 

slarph

New Member
Aug 16, 2007
3
0
0
#16
The four most current e-mails in my Inbox are all timestamped 12:24 PM, and they all have (No Sender) and (No Subject), and guess what...when I open each of them, I'm greeted with "This message has no content."
Yup, I had that two. Four messages. But no real email.
 

gtnator

New Member
Aug 21, 2007
3
0
0
#19
Blackberry has it....

There is only a small window of opportunity for Synchrona to get this software to work and get users on board. I would think that because Blackberry devices all have Outlook Web Access (OWA) setup as an option (if your company does not use Blackberry/does not have a BB Enterprise license), Apple could eventually build something like this into the iPhone software. It's really quiet simple, as BB has mastered all things email, to use a software front end to access OWA in the backend.

Who knows what Apple will do....In the mean time, if one of these opportunistic companies builds reliable sofware around this...they can have the whole pie.
 

mwelsh

New Member
Aug 22, 2007
1
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#20
Synchronica servers faster today 8/22

I noticed this morning the slowness, until around 9 and then...I logged into the https://www.syncml.biz/sync/user/faces/jsp/work-perspective.jsf site and it was much faster and responsive and I could finally load and go.

The push to phone option is still grayed out I assume this option is not available yet or during the trial, but the speed of sync to and fro is much more acceptable right now. 9.22am eastern.

I think if they boost the performance enough to get through the trial I will subscribe if it is reasonable. Figure around what the BB service costs are and my company would pay it. (US$30-45.00 per month with Verizon or T-Mobile)

Anything beyond that and my company will laugh at me and I get a black pop-tart again with a crappy keyboard.