I try to make it a point to never discuss work on my personal Blog, but today I have to mix the two a little bit. Since I switched over to Entourage last week I have been happy with it. One thing I have never been able to try, since we were still on Exchange 5.5 at work, was the new OWA integration from the internet.
This is not just web based email anymore, this interface now provides seamless access with handhelds and allows you to access your corporate email from a local client across the internet. Securely. I’m not positive if this is their RPC over HTTPs implementation, but I have to admit it works pretty well.
Why just pretty well instead of extremely well? Well, I guess you have to take in to account that I have a HUGE mailbox at work. It was close to 700MB and had tons of messages in it. After setting up Entourage to connect with our corporate OWA server I gave it hours to sync up. Many, many, many hours. It was still only about 25% of the way done. So I took the easy way out and logged in via Citrix and used the full Outlook2003 client to archive off all of my email that was more than 1 month old. Our Exchange Admin should be thrilled since that took over 500MB of email off his live mail system.
Once I did that Entourage performed much better and I used it most of the day today while working from home. It doesn’t really seem to be a true live connection, but it seems like more of a sync that happens every minute or so, depending on how you have your client setup to operate. My Outlook Calendar came down as an Exchange Calendar in Entourage and all of my meetings and reminders worked perfectly today.
I would say the only thing I have left to figure out is the address book. I want to use the Global Address Book from the Exchange server from my Entourage client but we do not publish out LDAP info externally and I have not found any other way to do it yet. I can use the person’s full email address to send new messages and can reply to email just fine, but I’d still like to be able to browse or select people from the GAB without needing to know if they use a middle initial in their smtp address or what that initial may be.
I’ll update more as I learn more but I have to give Microsoft credit where credit is due since I give them such a hard time on just about everything else. Nice job guys. I don’t know if this is all from the MacBU or a combination of people but I am very impressed with how effortless this was to get working. Now if I can just get that address book figured out!