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Hans Kristiansen
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ActiveSync (wirelessly) contact subfolders

Environment:
Exchange 2007 (fully updated)
Various phone OSes (iPhone, Android, Nokia, whatever)

Hi,

Is it possible to (wirelessly) ActiveSync contact subfolders?

Background: My company wants every employee to have contact information (on their cell phone) for all other employees, preferably with pictures of the employees as well. The employees should also be categorized into groups, indicating which department they are working in.

We know ActiveSync does not support syncing the GAL, nor Public Folders, but were fairly sure that it was possible to sync subfolders in your own mailbox. So our plan was to create and keep updated a public “Employees” contact folder, which each employee then regularly could just “drag and drop” copy over to their own Contacts folder (in Outlook 2010), where it would sit as a subfolder. This, in turn, should then be able to be sync’ed out.

However, this subfolder is not showing up on my test phone (an HTC Desire Z A7272 running Android (version 2.3.3, it says)), and so I anticipate others having the same issue.

Is there a surefire way to do this?

Thanks in advance for any help + insights.
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Hans Kristiansen

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
Simon Butler (Sembee)

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Hans Kristiansen

ASKER
Hi Simon,

Thank you for your reply.

Regarding your concern about keeping the information up-to-date, I agree. The plan was to keep just the public folder updated (by a designated employee), and then the individual employees would just drag-and-drop that always-updated public folder to their own mailbox (where it would become a subfolder under their "main" contact folder) whenever they felt that their own (previously copied) version was too outdated.

Regarding solutions, 1) E-mail subfolders do appear to be supported, in that I can get those to sync successfully. So I tried adding a contact folder under my main e-mail folder (Inbox), but that did not sync either. 2) Does Add2Exchange just merely sync the contents of a public folder into your "main" contacts folder? I'm not sure we want the information in their main contacts folder...

Br,
Hans
SOLUTION
Alan Hardisty

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Hans Kristiansen

ASKER
Hi Alan,

Thank you for your reply.

It's nice to know that some phones do support this, thank you for this info. However, it is not feasable for us to dictate to all employees which specific models of phone they should have (and especially not iPhones!). What I'm looking for is a solution that would work on pretty much all modern smartphones.

Br,
Hans
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Alan Hardisty

Totally understand - then you are looking at a 3rd party solution I'm afraid and the one Simon has suggested is about the only one that I know of too.

Alan
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rwheeler23
Neal58

You can only sync the users folder(s), some phones will let you add multiple exchange accounts, BES for blackberry wont allow multiple exchange accounts, android can have multiple and iphone can have multiple exchange accounts.

I think your company is being a bit silly in how they want to do this. It is not standard practice anywhere I have supported to have all users to have all access to all accounts all the time!

the best thing would be to use rules, groups and forwarding options in exchange to automatically move and organise emails from one box to another.

i.e. user a recieves an email from external 1, rule auto forwards it to a group containing all the relevent users and each users mailbox has a rule to sort it into the correct folder
Hans Kristiansen

ASKER
@ Neal58,

Thanks for your reply.

Perhaps I did not explain the desired outcome correctly, because I don't see how it could be considered "silly" to give employées an easy way to be able to make a phone call to (and see other contact information for, including pictures of) other employees in the same company...? We don't want to sync "accounts" nor file information - just contact information on how to reach other employees and what they look like. This is silly?

At the same time, I very much appreciate your suggestion of an alternate way for us to accomplish our objective -- any and all these suggestions are very welcome :)

@Apachertr:
Thank you very much for that reference. It's nice (and, more importantly, valuable) to hear certain things straight from the horse's mouth!

/hans
Neal58

aah sorry I misread and thought you wanted all the users mail accounts to be synced to all users phones!!
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Hans Kristiansen

ASKER
Thanks guys. I'll consider just giving the users the option to copy the actual individual contacts (as opposed to the whole public folder) over into their own Contact folder.

/hans