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Thread: AstraSync Compatability

  1. #1
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    Default AstraSync Compatability

    There is a new product called AstraSync (ActiveSync for Blackberry) that recently launched. The product installs ActiveSync support directly on the BB eliminating the need for BES for $49/user/year. I was hoping that the software would be able to work with Zimbra mobile but unfortunately it doesn't right now (description below).

    I am posting this here to save others the time in researching as well as hopefully either the Zimbra mobile team and/or the AstraSync team will look at the configuration and determine it would be in best interest of both products to play nice together.


    If I try to set it up I get...

    Error: ActiveSync server does not support a compatible protocol version. For a full list of supported servers please go to AstraSync from MailSite - Connect a BlackBerry to a ActiveSync Exchange Server.

    The zimbra sync.log shows that a connection is made but only lists the following...

    2008-10-13 14:51:34,637 INFO [btpool0-336] [] sync - OPTIONS Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync?User=xxxxxxx&DeviceId=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx&DeviceType=BlackBerry&Cmd=GetOptions
    2008-10-13 14:51:34,640 INFO [btpool0-336] [] sync - HTTP/1.1 200 OK

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    Default NotifySync

    http://notifysync.notify.net

    Zimbra still in beta but I guess not for long anymore.
    Better over AstraSync as it interfaces to the native device apps (including email)

  3. #3
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    AstraSync speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2007" while Zimbra Mobile speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2003".

    Any idea about pricing and availability of NotifySync ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    AstraSync speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2007" while Zimbra Mobile speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2003".
    Suppose it's not going to work as Zimbra only simulates 2003 and AstraSync only supports 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    Any idea about pricing and availability of NotifySync ?
    I'm gonna send them an email. Just saw that they did add someting about NotifySync on their site (notifycorp.com)
    Notify Technology – On Premise and On Demand Mobility Solution

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    Default

    We "tried" to work with Notify and resell their suite (in order to provide Blackberry support)... The price tag is just amazing 8-(

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    Default NotifySync not the same as Notifylink

    I know. Notifylink is not what one can call inexpensive. But I guess that this new product will have a much lower pricetag.

    Notifylink is their premium behind the firewall product with lots of control and security built in very much comparable wit BES. And BES is even more expensive...

    With this new product (NotifySync) it seems that they wanna target that part of the SMB market that does't want to deploy a BES or NLES but still wanna use the Berry as a better business mobile device. With Notifysync they simply did put an ActiveSync connector on the Berry so you do not need a server in between and my guess is that they will license it way cheaper ...
    Last edited by marcop; 11-09-2008 at 04:28 AM. Reason: typos

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    Default AstraSync vs NotifyLink

    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    AstraSync speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2007" while Zimbra Mobile speaks "ActiveSync for Exchange 2003".
    Is there any plans by the Zimbra development team to improve the ActiveSync protocol that it supports to include the newer 2007 APIs? There are some known issues with Task sync in the Zimbra ActiveSync implementation so hopefully work will continue on the mobile interface and maybe someone will realize that supporting the 2007 APIs isn't that difficult.

    FYI: We have also tested the NotifyLink On Demand (i.e "Hosted" edition) which runs about $200 per mailbox per year. Unfortunately IMO the product language on the NotifyLink website is intentionally deceitful about its capabilities.

    NotifyLink has a technology called "Direct Push" which works basically the same way as ActiveSync or an IMAP IDLE command works - i.e. a passive open connection is opened and the server responds if a sync needs to be done. This appears to be only available if you buy the on site version of the product.

    The datasheet for the On Demand product states - "NotifyLink On-Demand provides "PUSH" notification" but the key here is that they call the scheduled sync option "Scheduled Push". It is nothing more than a typical Pull that runs on a schedule and it is definitely NOT a Push technology by any reasonable technical definition of the word. Additionally the hosted server only talks to the email server every 5 minutes so you have basically have to configure your Blackberry device to wake up every minute and do a sync to get an up to 6 minute delay in your email delivery.

    So for $200/year you get a product that deals with calendar and contacts but email support is really not much better than using an IMAP connection.

    So here is to hoping that Zimbra Mobile will eventually support the 2007 ActiveSync protocol.

  8. #8
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    AstraSync is now able to "speak" Exchange 2003 and ZCS: http://www.zimbra.com/forums/zimbra-...-1-14-out.html

    I also got some "public prices" for NotifySync in Europe.
    Code:
    First year :
     
    01 – 04 users = € 105 per user
    05 – 09 users = € 100 per user
    10 – 24 users = € 95 per user
    25 – 49 users = € 90 per user
    50 – 74 users = € 84 per user
    75 – 99 users = € 76 per user
     
    Secont year and thereafter:
     
    01 – 04 users = € 27 per user and year
    05 – 09 users = € 25 per user and year
    10 – 24 users = € 23.50 per user and year
    25 – 49 users = € 22 per user and year
    50 – 74 users = € 20.50 per user and year
    75 – 99 users = € 19 per user and year
    Last edited by Klug; 12-16-2008 at 09:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    AstraSync is now able to "speak" Exchange 2003 and ZCS: http://www.zimbra.com/forums/zimbra-...-1-14-out.html
    Thank you for the heads up, it had been a few months since I tried AstraSync - didn't realize they would actually attempt to work backward toward 2003 protocol. I installed a trial version of this and can confirm that it does in fact work with Zimbra now. The product seems to be evolving reasonably fast - although there are still several shortcomings that may result in it being a no go right now for my users...

    1) Only supports the INBOX - no ability to see other folders like Sent or the ability to Save As Draft. This seems like a particularly odd restriction given the protocol is identical for all folders so if they could support 1 folder, why not all of them?

    2) No ability to accept meeting requests via the device.

    3) Non-standard look and feel for Inbox - this is of course not a show stopper but odd that they would abandon the look and feel that BB users were already familiar with.

    NotifyLink Update

    NOTE: My previous post I was incorrect. NotifyLink Hosted Edition DOES allow you to configure the "Direct Push" protocol, although even the technician on the phone didn't realize that they hid the setting. It required changing the network from Blackberry(BIS) to TCP to get the radio button enabled. Although the 5 minute delay for the hosted server to retrieve the emails remains.

    Also interestingly - once the hosted edition has synced the email to your device it never will again. So when I reinstalled and reconfigured the device - no existing emails were retransferred to the device.


    So right now my user has to determine which product is lacking the least. NotifyLink feels slightly better integrated into the BB device but suffers from inability to get to older messages and the annoying 5 minute delay. AstraSync has immediate push delivery but the email client is clunkier than what the users are used to.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Im curious if people who are really attached to the BB mail client would choose to use the built in imap client for email, and astrasync for calendar and contacts.

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