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Exchange 2010 Samsung Tablets

Posted on 2013-05-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
Hello all,

Got a big problem with a hosted Exchange 2010 account and our company Samsung tablets.  Two weeks ago we bought a hosted Exchange 2010 plan from Rackspace.  We did this instead of replacing our onsite 2003 Exchange server.

The migration went fine except some of our mobile users are having problems.  On most of the Android devices the exchange email accounts will frequently lose it's connection to the exchange server.  A yellow bar will pop up and say "can't connect to server".  This happens whether we are on cell service or our office wi-fi.

I've spent many hours on the phone with Rackspace and they can't explain what's happening even though they they re-created it on a test tablet.  We're to the point that we've decided our model of tablets are not compatible with Exchange 2010.

We are using Samsung model sch-1800 with firmware version 2.3.5.

I can't get a straight answer from the internet or Rackspace about whether or not this version of Android has problems with Exchange 2010.  We NEVER had this problem with our in-house Exchange 2003 server.

Can anyone offer any advice, help, or definitive information?  Surely I'm not the only IT guy with these model of tablets and Exchange 2010.

I have also tested this on a brand new Samsung Galaxy SIII phone and didn't see the message.  It's hard to sit there and stare at my phone waiting for a message to randomly pop up though.

vne
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Question by:VNE
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6 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 39191845
If you can spare one of the tablets for a test you might try rooting it and upgrading it to ICS or Jellybean.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPXCTzChhSc
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Author Comment

by:VNE
ID: 39191919
I thought of rooting it but I've never done that and some of the tablets are still under a contract with Verizon.  Also, I would be responsible if anything went wrong.  I've got enough to do without worrying about "hacked" tablets running around that are under my care.

If they were my tablets I would do it.  I can't do that to customer's property though.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 39192795
After googling around I found that a lot of people are using a program called Touchdown with exchange 2010 that seems to solve your problem.  Its not free.

http://nitrodesk.com/touchdown/android/
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Author Comment

by:VNE
ID: 39193280
Thanks Johnny,

I tried Touchdown and wasn't too impressed.  I had to read the directions just to find out how to compose an email.  Compared to the native Android email program it is very hard to use.  I'm sure someone else will disagree as thats just my opinion. I couldn't imagine trying to train users how to use it.

Touchdown also showed the connection message.  While the message was displayed I was able to surf the internet so I know it's not a wifi or cellular connection problem.  

Is there anyone out there using a Samsung Tab first generation sch-i800 with Exchange 2010?  There's got to be someone.........
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Accepted Solution

by:
VNE earned 0 total points
ID: 39225859
Below is a quote a tech from Rackspace and I found on their website:


Microsoft ActiveSync Issue

At this time, a small portion of our customers utilizing Microsoft Activesync to connect to our Exchange 2010 environment from mobile devices could be impacted by a software bug in the Activesync code which was recently discovered by our engineers. Symptoms include intermittent ability logging in as well as sending/receiving email from mobile devices using the Activesync protocol. We have taken measures internally which provide a temporary workaround to limit the extent of the impact, but affected users still may experience the symptoms described above. We are working closely with Microsoft while they develop the fix for this software bug, which we’re being told is in progress now. We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you, and as a workaround you can still login to the webmail system from your mobile device to send and receive mail while we await the permanent solution from Microsoft.


The "bug" is so bad for us that our Samsung tablets are useless most of time.  We have people that send an email on their tablet and it will sit in their outbox for 12 hours before the tablet can sync.

Are there any 2010 Exchange admins out there that can verify that there is a problem with the latest version of Activesync?  So far we have had it happen on 3 different models of devices.  What exactly is the problem?  Does anyone know anything about this?  I have been searching for weeks and can't find a single thing about it.

I find it impossible to believe that this affects every single one of our Android tablets but yet it's so sporadic that other people are having no problem at all.
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Author Closing Comment

by:VNE
ID: 39728766
Accepting my own comment just to close the question.  The problem eventually cleared up on its own.
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