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Exchange/ActiveSync 2003 Device Reporting Accuracy

Hi Experts,

I'm looking for information on the accuracy of the device reporting for Exchange/ActiveSync 2003.  We're using the Log Parser tool to help create reports of ActiveSync users, and I heard something about the devices that IIS logs may not be accurate.

Would this be true?  To what extent would it not be accurate?  Just the OS version, but the hardware is accurate, or would even the hardware not be reported accurately?

Any insight that can be provided on this would be much appreciated as we have a client that is insisting on being able to know which ActiveSync users are using Windows Mobile vs. iPhone/Android.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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HelpfulAdvisor
Asked:
HelpfulAdvisor
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e_aravindCommented:
Atleast for E2k3, IIS logs is the only known way to identify the device statistics
IMO, this IIS logs will depend on the HTTP Headers of the device OS
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HelpfulAdvisorAuthor Commented:
Hi e_aravind,

Thank you for attempting to answer my question.  I agree that IIS log parsing is the only way to obtain this information.  The heart of the question is how accurate is the device reporting?   If it is not accurate, to what extent would it not be accurate? Would just the OS version be inaccurate, but the hardware is accurate, or would even the hardware not be reported accurately?

Thanks for your help.

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e_aravindCommented:
The accuracy depends on what the mobile-device is advertising back to the IIS server.

For the Exchange 2003 servers, i can see the
DeviceID:
DeviceType:PocketPC
User-Agent:MSFT-PPC/5.2.5001

we could concentrate on the User-Agent header

The User-Agent header contains a line of text that can be used to identify a user agent and client device. Most of the time, we can find the device model and manufacturer from the User-Agent header. It may also contain information such as the client device's OS version, browser version, Java capabilities, etc.

http://www.developershome.com/wap/detection/detection.asp?page=userAgentHeader
http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/mobile_ids.html

>> use the above URLs to confirm and test few of the mobile device versions...then you can be sure about the number of devices used in the Org.
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HelpfulAdvisorAuthor Commented:
Hi e_aravind,

That is very good information to know.  That is helping me to understand this better.  When we are analyzing the User-Agent headers, we are finding that some users are being reported multiple times with different devices because their OS version is showing slightly different each of those times.  The hardware appears to be the same, but the OS is different, so it appears to us like some users are checking in with ActiveSync on multiple devices - or, the User-Agent headers are mis-reporting.

This is what prompted my question about the accuracy.  So, to narrow this down further, if we are analyzing the data from the User-Agent headers, what is the accuracy of that reporting?  Would it be mis-reporting, or would we have users that are using multiple devices because the accuracy of the reporting is spot-on?

Our client is really wanting to know this, and since it's ActiveSync 2003, we are asked to give them some idea of the accuracy of the data we are providing them.  Would you be able to shed more light on this?
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e_aravindCommented:
that some users are being reported multiple times with different devices because their OS version is showing slightly different each of those times.  The hardware appears to be the same, but the OS is different

>> IMO identify those devices, collect some of them, connect them to the E2k3 servers...they should give some constant details.
One device should have only one user-agent, until he upgrades or changes his mobile OS...in that case check for the device-ID if that is matching.

>> In a little manual work you should be having the correct set of User-Agents accessing your E2k3 servers.

>>Accuracy:
E2k3 and IIS6.0 will just log what-ever it receives from the mobile devices.
So for any discrepency and confusions...we need to blame on the mobile-devices not the server-side components.
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