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Exchange Web Services, WebDAV & MAPI

Posted on 2010-09-03
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Hi

I have been reading up on Exchange 2010 and the new Exchange Web Services, but there seems to be a lot of confusion.

According to Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Exchange_Server )

"Exchange Web Services (EWS), an alternative to the MAPI protocol, is a documented SOAP based protocol introduced with Exchange Server 2007 which significantly reduces synchronization time between the server vs. WebDAV, which is used by Exchange Server 2003"

On one hand it is saying that EWS is the replacement to MAPI, on the other it is implying that EWS is the successor to WebDav.

Can anyone expand? What is the primary point of EWS -

a) As some sort of long term replacement to MAPI?
b) A replacement for WebDav
c) A method for non-MS products to connect to Exchange mailboxes

Would be grateful if someone could clear this up! If, indeed, it is a long term replacement for MAPI, does that indicate that MS will move Outlook (fat client) away from MAPI and towards EWS in the future?
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Question by:tomd1976
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endital1097 earned 250 total points
ID: 33601250
a) ews is not the replacement of mapi. the rpc client access service that runs on the cas server takes the mapi connections away from the mailbox server

b) ews is the replacement for webdav

c) yes, it allows developers to write custom applications to interface with exchange (access to user mailboxes, calendars, etc)
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by:tomd1976
ID: 33602842
Thanks endital1097, so EWS does not have the full functionality of MAPI yet?

Do you know what it's missing, I have searched the web for what seems like an eternity and can't find something that outlines the differences.
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by:endital1097
ID: 33602866
It isn't a protocol like mapi
Ewa is just an interface into exchange
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by:tomd1976
ID: 33603074
Sure, but what's the difference in real terms? MAPI will always be around and can co-exist with EWS?
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by:endital1097
ID: 33603114
i wouldn't be surprised to see MAPI be replaced by EWS, but i have not heard any roadmap
until then they will coexist
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by:sunnyc7
sunnyc7 earned 250 total points
ID: 33603172
tom
My $0.02 apart from what endital has already added.

MAPI is a hold-over from the DLL generation. MAPI uses providers, which are DLL's doing a specific work.  Any client software which uses MAPI to communicate with exchange can be called a MAPI client. All Outlook versions are MAPI clients.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2005/04/08/403512.aspx

EWS is more web-services and SOAP based
Before EWS was released, exchange services were all strung together with different technologies, web-dav, Exchange SDK etc. Exchange EWS provides one uniform layer to access all services of exchange. You can write your code in any language, and call exchange components anywhere using SOAP/WSDL communication with EWS.

Here's a list of features that you access through EWS
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd633678(EXCHG.80).aspx

To answer your question
a) EWS as a replacement to MAPI?
>> No. I dont think so. MAPI will rule the world in Outlook client side, EWS will rule on web + integrating with various apps. The whole world is invested in MAPI way too much to move away from it

b) A replacement for WebDav
>> Yes. EWS will definitely replace webdav.

c) A method for non-MS products to connect to Exchange mailboxesion:
>> Exactly. using EWS you can can do that.

An example here
http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/TheChannel9Team/Joe-Stegman-Building-Outlook-UI-in-100-lines-of-code-with-Winforms/

--
Here's a similar discussion at EE
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_26238437.html

thanks
 
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