iPhone Exchange woes

by Volker Weber

Two incidents:

Same root cause: a single iPhone causes trouble. Not good for Exchange, if that is even possible.


OK, I am not a big fan of Apple (not against them either - just neutral), but the first incident you mention seems to have been caused by a corrupted calendar entry. The writer posted the following update:

Update!!! What we found this to be is a corrupted recurring meeting and viewing this in Outlook 2007 or OWA, shows the same accordian type behavior as shown below, but oddly enough, through an Entourage client, it shows as a single meeting only. This explains why there was so many calendar items in this users mailbox, but no root cause as of yet as to why this has occurred and what sequence of events caused this meeting to get in to this state.

So this would have happened if it had been accessed by ANY mapi-based client, if I understand this correctly.

I usually don't blame the "foundation" software first when troubleshooting a problem, but it seems that this isn't a bad idea when dealing with MS Exchange.

(OK, that was a shot, but you get the idea... ;) )


Rocky Oliver, 2008-07-22

Saw this today - which seems related

Global data roaming costs sink iPhone 3G use for enterprises

The manufacturer's finance department has put a ban on company purchases of the iPhone 3G because the international data roaming plan for the phone's exclusive carrier in the U.S., AT&T Inc., is too expensive, he said. The company is in talks with AT&T to get a better price for the service.

"Until we have an international data rate plan that isn't extortion, we're holding off deployment of iPhone 3G," said the IT manager. "IPhone sucks down data like no tomorrow."

Full Article here -

Computerworld Article

Drew Ingersoll, 2008-07-23

Extortion is a good word for data roaming tariffs.

The iPhone is actually quite clever in its use of Wifi wherever it can. I have only moved 2 MB upstream and 8.2 MB downstream in one week of intense testing. If you move outside of your work/home space, things would look very different. It's fun using data intense applications on the iPhone, so you would ring up quite some traffic abroad.

You are safe with other phones. They suck so badly, that you are not going to surf the web anyway. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-07-23

So, now that Bruce has posted more about his problems with iPhone and Exchange, it seems that the problem is very similar to the other one.

As a result, it doesn't really matter where things go wrong, could be in Exchange/Oulook messing up a calendar entry, could be in the MAPI layer. Whatever it is, it means that currently the combination of Exchange & iPhone via ActiveSync is not ready for "Enterprise". Especially since it takes only one iPhone to seriously hurt the infrastructure.

Not sure if OWA has an iPhone compatible UI that could be used as a temporary workaround until the real Enterprise level solution is ready. Dang, haven't I heard that before?

Joerg Michael, 2008-07-23

Joerg - The problem here is, even though Microsoft's client is working, this is still a "bug" in the infrastructure that Apple has licensed from Microsoft. Let me be clear - unless you realize that Microsoft does not have this "fixed" at the ActiveSync layer, you WILL run into issues. That could include RIM (blackberries), for instance.

Just thought I'd pop in here and offer that up. It'll probably get patched by Apple really quickly, but as a general course of action - Apple has licensed the ActiveSync protocol from Microsoft here. As long as its written in the spec, you shouldn't see abnormalities from what Apple is doing, it should be "on-par" with any other ActiveSync product. This problem existed due to Microsoft basically patching their front-ends and allowing internal database corruption, essentially, to go on. That might make Apple + Exchange not "ready for primetime", but if Microsoft actually allows that instance to make its way into the data store ... well ... you might equally argue Exchange isn't ready for prime time ;)

Andrew Winder, 2008-07-24

It maybe is the lovely implementation of Exchange in Mail.app that left me witha dispute of 9.911 Euro after some days in Austria with my mobile operater who claims 4 GB have been moved. Not even the fastest UMTS cold manage that, I assume. So I am looking at a nice quarrel, I guess.

I had my MBP and a UMTS box connected to it running on the balcony in the freezing cold of the austrian maountains to check on company mail mainly. No huge downloads I know of, except something was going on in the background I didn´t notice.

For that kind of money I could actually buy a car oa luxury holiday for the whole family somewhere really nice. I do hope Mrs Reding does someting about his really quick.

Armin Roth, 2008-07-24

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