Lotus Traveler - it's complicated

by Volker Weber

At Lotusphere 09 IBM announced that Lotus Traveler would get Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support, which has the potential to open Domino up to the many mobile devices that come with an EAS client. This was a smart move, but it was also the only move left, after IBM failed to establish their own protocol with device vendors.

There is some duplication of effort, since IBM also has Traveler clients for Nokia S60 and for Windows Mobile. And as Alan pointed out, the new Nokia E72 will ship with the Traveler client, which gets installed when you setup a Domino account.

Although I know that there are many versions of S60, I was mildly surprised by Thomas McErlean's comment:

The Lotus Traveler 8.5 email editor application does not have Touch UI support, IBM development are working on adding 5th edition Touch support and officially supporting in the near future.

With the Nokia N97 and 5800XM devices you cannot compose a new mail and if you reply, the cursor will be in the email body automatically and you can type, but cannot move between fields.

The 5800XM is probably not an issue, but the N97 flagship most likely will be. Well, at first I thought that one could solve this by forgoing the Traveler client, and instead use EAS. Unfortunately Traveler only supports the iPhone and the iPod touch over EAS, but not Mail for Exchange, which is being used by the Nokia phone. What happens if you try any of the other EAS devices, like the new Palm Pre?

Comments

Traveler 8.5.1 via EAS (at least the beta version currently running on Greenhouse) on the Pre is a fail. You can set up the account, but the device fails to recognize any mail folders. let alone sync. Contact, calendar, and task sync isn't even configured.

Gregg Ginsberg, 2009-06-16

Traveler uses client configuration files for setup. This makes it easier for the user on supported platforms and it also lets them hide the fact that they are setting up the Domino server as Exchange on the device. I am pretty sure that IBM lobbied to get the Notes icon on the iPhone screen. :-)

Greenhouse creates the configuration file here. If you look in that file, you can see the target for the EAS client:

<key>Host</key>
<string>traveler.lotus.com/servlet/traveler</string>


/servlet/traveler is not exactly where an EAS client would expect the server to answer. Typically it is /Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync. Maybe that is the issue why it does not work initially.

Volker Weber, 2009-06-16

No, I don't believe that's the issue as we've fed the device the correct URL. According to a contact at IBM, the iPhone uses an older version (2.5) of the ActiveSync protocol. Newer devices are running more recent protocol versions that use additional protocol elements that are not supported by Traveler.

Gregg Ginsberg, 2009-06-17

@Gregg , thats even worse that could mean everytime activesync gets updated it breaks the traveler integration.

it was my understanding that the protocol allowed for never versions like 12.1 as used in mobile6.1 devices to gently degrade to what ever features the servers supported aka will work on everything might miss the shiny features

Flemming Riis, 2009-06-17

Gregg, are you sure they are only supporting 2.5 as in WM5? 12.0 shipped with Exchange 2003 and 12.1 with 2007.

Volker Weber, 2009-06-17

Exchange servers, versions 2003 and 2007, must support protocol 2.5 or later for iPhone and iPod touch devices to access Exchange services via Exchange ActiveSync.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2099?viewlocale=en_US

Thomas Radigewski, 2009-06-17

@Vowe

MS-ASProtocolVersions: 2.0,2.1,2.5,12.0,12.1,14.0

Versions took a big leap from 2003Sp2 to 2007 but still it should be to fall back

Flemming Riis, 2009-06-17

Thomas, the must also do that for WM5 devices.

Flemming, yes, they took big leaps. If IBM is on 2.5 they have a lot of homework to do. Just in case Apple decides they want to move up to newer versions.

Volker Weber, 2009-06-17

Great news....Palm just release a WebOS 1.1 today and it appears to play fairly well with the latest release of Traveler 8.5.1 on Lotus Greenhouse.

Their policy correctly forces an unlock PIN
Mail syncs correctly
Calendar syncs correctly
Tasks do not sync (appears to be a Pre limitation)
Journal/Notebook do not sync (appears to be a Pre limitation)

Gregg Ginsberg, 2009-07-24

Originally posted by a marketing manager from Sweden who can't figure out how to enter his full name:

S60 5th edition is now unofficially supported

Volker Weber, 2009-08-05

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