Shared Contacts, Calendar, and Notes between iPad/Thunderbird Clients

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I have a client who would like a shared calendar/contacts/notes setup in their business. Clients in the office use Thunderbird for their email solution with external hosted email. Clients on the road are using the new iPad. I need to find a solution that is compatible so they can all share a calendar, contacts, and notes and they can all be synced up together.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking either using some sort of Thunderbird add-in or switch to an email service that supports Exchange and using that. Or even maybe a third party service that offers this that could incorporate into the setup we currently have.

Thanks!
Dan
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Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.

Commented:
If email is externally hosted then just switch everyone over to IMAP accounts and email is taken care of.

Calendaring is a different animal.   How are doing calendar services now?  Also, how big is the organization?

Author

Commented:
As far as I know they do not have anything set up for Calendar/Notes. But I assume they are using Thunderbird address book for contact management. So all contacts are managed by each individual. I need to merge these all together and share them centrally.

The organization is small (less than 10 employees)

Dan
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.

Commented:
If you have a small org, then absolutely migrate everyone to Google Apps for the Domain.  It's free for up to 10 users and gets you Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Contacts, and a ton more under your own domain name.   You would then be able able to use either Lightning to get calendar functions inside Thunderbird or there is a plugin that launches Google Calendar inside of a tab in Thunderbird which works just as well.  For contact management there are plugins for Thunderbird that will synch local address books with Google Contatcts.
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Author

Commented:
Does this include website hosting?

Do you recall the name of the app that syncs the address book in Thunderbird with Google Contacts?

Thanks,
Dan
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.

Commented:
Does this include website hosting?

Not really.  There is something called "Google Sites" bundled in that lets you define a "site" via a templating system but it's rather limited and I don't recommend you use it.  

Do you recall the name of the app that syncs the address book in Thunderbird with Google Contacts?

There are two of them that you will find if you search:  Google Contacts 0.6.40 and gContactSync 0.3.5.  Both work fine, I tend to prefer gContactSync for flexibility though.

And for tab embedding I use Google Calendar Tab 3.9

Author

Commented:
I can't migrate the domain name unless Google can also host the website I already have for them. I looked this up and it says you cannot upload files to the server so you could only create new pages from their templates.

Also, how does Google apps integrate into the iPad's email system? The contacts and calendar needs to be accessible from the mail app.

I have been looking into this more myself and it almost seems like the only reasonable solution is to migrate our registrar to one that has a "hosted exchange" package. I found one that gives you a free copy of Outlook 2010 for each user that signs, and this solution is also supported under the Apple iPad mail app.

What do you think?
Don't talk to me.
Commented:
I can't migrate the domain name unless Google can also host the website I already have for them

You mean you can't split the mail system from the web hosting using MX and CNAME records?  Yikes.  You need better hosting.

Also, how does Google apps integrate into the iPad's email system? The contacts and calendar needs to be accessible from the mail app.

When you create a Google account on an iPad or iPhone, it integrates with the native mail, calendar, and contact apps on the device.  But you will not get an all-in-one view on the device like you would with a desktop.

What do you think?

Same basic solution.  One is free, the other isn't.

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