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How do I synchronize 3g iphone to exchange server 2003

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I have a user who purchased an iphone and wants to synchronize with exchange server 2003. I have seen a few posts on this and tried what they suggested without any success. I use a cisco asa for  firewall and I think I opened the correct port, 143. I cannot authenticate with the phone. I have been able to connect through the imap client in outlook express. Does anyone have a proceedure for this?
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Question by:tmalmond
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Expert Comment

by:DiabloPubs
ID: 24417144
The iPhone 3G supports Exchange ActiveSync out of the box, if I'm not mistaken.  First things first, make sure the iPhone has the latest updates from Apple via iTunes.  Exchange ActiveSync uses ports 80 and 443 (for SSL) to communicate between the handheld and your server.  Once the iPhone is updated and your router is configured, please follow these steps:

1. On the iPhone, go into Settings
2. Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars
3. Select Add Account...
4. Choose Microsoft ActiveSync from the list of available options
5. Enter in the URL for your mail server along with the rest of your account information
6. Choose if you want to have the Contacts and Calendars from the Exchange server synchronized via ActiveSync. If you choose "Yes", the contacts and calendars on the iPhone will be wiped and replaced with the data from the Exchange server.  If you choose "No", you can go back into Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars at a later date if you change your mind and want to have that information synchronized.
7. Your account should now be working.

FYI, you can go into Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> "Exchange Email Account" and configure how many days worth of email you want to have sync'd with the server at any one time.  I think the default is 3 days.

Hope this helps,

Alex
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by:sykojester
ID: 24417400
Since you'll be syncing with ActiveSync you will also need a valid (purchased) SSL certificate for your mail server.  If you're not sure if one is already set up (and also to verify OWA is working) go to https://yourdomain.com/exchange or possibly www. or mail.yourdomain.com/exchange.  Do not forget the HTTPS.  You also must have port 443 forwarded to the exchange server.

If you have a valid SSL certificate then you should be presented with a nice logon screen for OWA.
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Expert Comment

by:DiabloPubs
ID: 24417427
You do NOT need a purchased SSL certificate to work with the iPhone's Exchange ActiveSync feature.  If you have your own CA internally, you can use the certificates that it generates and the iPhone will alert of you of the unknown authority at the time that you configure the account.
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Expert Comment

by:schmedroe
ID: 24422527
Verify the iphone has the correct data plan allowing exchange connection,when inputting settings to iphone -->server setting ignore https://  ex. webmail.myserver.com, enter domain ,username and password. Turn on ssl you should be ok. Lets verify this..
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Author Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 24422798
There is no option for active-sync, only exchange server. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what ports to open on the firewall. Some say 143, other say 993. Any comments?
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Expert Comment

by:sykojester
ID: 24423355
The exchange server option is for port 443 (HTTPS / SSL).  Once this is forwarded to the Exchange server it can be verified by going to https://yourdomain.com/exchange & you should see an Outlook Web Access (OWA) logon screen.
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Expert Comment

by:DiabloPubs
ID: 24423457
tmalmond,

Please forgive me as I was reciting the steps from memory.  In the steps that I previously provided, please replace ActiveSync with Exchange in step 4.

Alex
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Author Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 24424392
I go through all the steps to set up the account. I get the message that the account information is verified. I go to the inbox for the account and get the message "Cannot get mail. Connection to the server failed". I can connect through the browser to OWA. I have tried all different forms of username/password/domain without any positive results. I don't know what else to try.
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Expert Comment

by:hexogram
ID: 24424504
i do not think iphones support active synch in terms of direct push. you can access your exchange mailbox via OWA, but you need a windows mobile device to receive push emails to an outlook on a mobile device.

no expert but i think without a windows mobile device that support push and has the outlook application, you will not be able to do this.

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Expert Comment

by:DiabloPubs
ID: 24424624
Sorry hexogram, but that's not correct.  Apple licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft and, for the most part, the iPhone functions just as any other WinMo device.

tmalmond, I have three questions for you:

1. Which OS version is the iPhone running? (Settings, General, About, Version on the iPhone)
2. How many messages does the user have in their Inbox?
3. Did you change the setting for "Mail days to sync" from the default of 3 days?
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Author Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 24424729
To answer your questions:

1. Version 2.2.1 (5H11)
2. The user has 82 messages.
3. No, I kept the default value.

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Accepted Solution

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DiabloPubs earned 2000 total points
ID: 24424858
I was looking over the Apple Support Forums and saw this discussion: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1771264

Does that solution pertain to your situation?
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Author Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 24424963
Yes, it probably does. I have a single exchange server 2003 sp2. Looks like a fun procedure! Not.
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Author Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 24426810
I went through the procedure described above and I got the Iphone to sync. Then the battery got low. Of course, I don't have the charger. Will try again tomorrow with a full charge.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tmalmond
ID: 31582801
This procedure did the trick. The solution was actually much easier than all the stuff you read on the blogs. If you are already using OWA and have a firewall, all the needed ports are already open. You just need to create the new virtual directory for OMA and away you go.
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Expert Comment

by:teddro
ID: 24661187
Just went thru setting up an iPhone to ActiveSync with my Exchange server for the second time. This one was the 3G and I had actually forgotten how to install our root certificate on one. One would think that Apple would have improved the function of installing the public keys of root certificate authorities. But since Apple is Apple where everything is proprietary, I guess they think root CAs are not valid unless they are on their list.

Funny how everyone in the computer industry that now plays second fiddle to Microsoft screams that Microsoft doesn't adhere to the "standards", but 15 yrs. ago the same companies all stated that the market place determined "the standards." I can quote that emphasized philosophy right out of my old Novell CNE manuals if anyone likes. But I digress.

Turns out that if you repeatedly tell the iPhone to continue when it says the security certificate is "not valid", that it eventually accepts it and starts working. Does that mean it adds your public key to its store of trusted root CAs?? Have no idea.

BTW, if at all possible, get your Exchange mobile access working with Windows mobile devices before attempting to use iPhones. If you have Windows mobile devices working with Exchange using SSL then every problem you encounter trying to get an iPhone to work is configuration on the iPhone, not a problem on your Exchange server, firewall, or any of that nonsense.

Setting up a Windows mobile device takes 5 minutes and Microsoft has tons of documentation to guide you through any configuration issues. Unless you already have a good understanding of how ActiveSync works then the Apple documentation will have you pulling your hair out.
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