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Exchange 2003 Direct Push to iPhone 4

Posted on 2012-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-09
We are in the process of taking over a new site, they are running a single SBS 2003 server with Exchange 2003 SP2, and have iPhones connected to their mailbox.  Internally and Externally Direct Push is not working, so the client will have to manually check for new mail on their phone, which works fine and downloads.

This should be pretty straight forward I presume, Web Access and manual downloading of messages works fine, just not direct push.

They only thing I can see which is odd, is in IIS, there is Default Website with all the usual Exchange directories, there is also a mail.server.com website with Exchange directories too.

Any assistance appreciated
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Question by:lemonville
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Expert Comment

by:raeldri
ID: 37726656
take a look at alan's list of common issues with activesync

Also ensure the accounts are setup on the iphones as exchange accounts and not POP or something else.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/A_1798-Exchange-2003-Activesync-Connection-Problems-FAQ.html
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37726792
Monitoring.

(Thanks for posting my article raeldri :D ).

Alan
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Author Comment

by:lemonville
ID: 37740628
Alan, raeldri

Thanks for the suggestions, I have confirmed the following;

1. The server is running Exchange 2003 SP2
2. 443 is open to the server, tested by accessing OWA which works fine
3. Local Area Connection is at the top of the list
4. All settings are identical to these (apart from being on a different web site)
5. ASP.NET was running v2 so I changed them to 1.1, but no change
6. Keep alives are set to 900 seconds
7. Virtual Directory does not exist
8. Port 80 and 443 are ported to mail.server.com
9. SSL etc all setup correctly as OWA works

I notice you mentioned "Also make sure that you are not using any Host Headers on the Default Website because this can also break Activesync", can you please elaborate on this, as we there is a host header on the mail.server.com website of the same name.

As I mentioned before, we have taken over this halfway through so I'm not sure what the previous person has tried,  I did find this article (one of many) which points to why the new website was created; http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817379.  

OMA was having issues which we cleared up, not sure if its related.  There aren't any error logs to look into which is odd I thought.

Just to confirm, locally and externally, emails come through straight away in OWA, but are not pushed to the devices, if I do a manual check on the iPhone it comes in fine.

Looking forward to more suggestions.
Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37741055
Host headers break Activesync - so if on your default website you have any - please delete them.  They are not necessary.

Have you run the Activesync test on the test site (without autodiscover anything)?  If you have - what were the results?
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Author Comment

by:lemonville
ID: 37741823
testexchangeconnectivity.com gives all green ticks apart from a warning
"The certificate is only trusted on Windows Mobile 6.0 and later versions. Devices running Windows Mobile 5.0 and 5.0 with the Messaging and Security Feature Pack won't be able to sync. Root = CN=GeoTrust Global CA, O=GeoTrust Inc., C=US."

We are going to take a virtual snapshot so we can do more brutal testing, I see you have recommended recreating the virtual directories in IIS in your Wordpress article.  Following KB883380 do you have any tips for this, is this a last resort type fix?
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37741849
Well if the test site is happy - that's encouraging!  The cert error can be ignored unless you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 phone - but hopefully not.

Are the devices set to push or pull?

At this point - I wouldn't consider KB883380 as an option as everything is working (as far as the test site is concerned).

The way Push Mail works is as follows:

The device contacts the server and makes a connection over HTTPS (or HTTP if you don't like security!) and that connection is kept open.  When a new message arrives on the server, it tells the phone to perform a synchronisation and then phone does, downloads the new item (email / contact / calendar entry etc) and then notifies the user (if it is an email) and repeats ad nauseam.

If there is something preventing the server / device from keeping an open connection, then this process will fail.

Have you checked the default website timeout period?  It is usually quite low and I recommend something like 480 (as per my article / blog).
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Author Comment

by:lemonville
ID: 37751137
Devices are set to push.  HTTP and HTTPS are both open on the server, internally and externally.

I have converted the server to VM, using VMware Converter and have it running in our test environment so I can do some more brutal testing etc.

Blackberry Professional Services is installed, but they no longer use Blackberry's so I am going to uninstall it
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 37751367
Wwhat about the default website timeout?  What firewall do you have?
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Accepted Solution

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lemonville earned 0 total points
ID: 37932051
This has now been resolved. It was a very odd fix. I duplicated the default website and it added the host header as the primary domain we are using and it started to work.

We went to uncanny lengths and this was the solution!
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Author Closing Comment

by:lemonville
ID: 37946033
The solution listed is the correct solution.
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