Snow Leopard and Exchange 2007 Integration Notes

Some notes on my experience so far with Apple’s 10.6 Snow Leopard OS and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007:

Setup

  • It’s brain-dead. It uses Autodiscover, so e-mail and password is all you need. You get prompted if you’d like it to also configure iCal and your address book.

  • I haven’t tried from home yet, but the external server path is not filled out. Internal picks up EWS/Exchange.asmx URL just fine, but external is blank. I double-checked our Exchange server and this parameter isn’t filled out so that makes sense. The difference here is Outlook assumes the external is the same as internal if this value is blank, but it appears Apple Mail will not. Be sure to set your –ExternalURL parameters on the virtual directories appropriately.

Mail

  • Responses to meetings come across as an .ics attachment, no special functionality here. This is especially bad if someone proposes a new time.

  • The Exchange RSS Feeds folder does not integrate with the RSS feeds section in Mail. This would have been nice.

  • Name suggestions are offered from the GAL and your contacts.

  • Rules do not sync.

  • UM voice mails have a built in media control. My codec is set to G.711 and I see embedded QuickTime controls in the message for playback.

  • The actually listing of your notes is displayed in the Marker Felt font. It’s horrendous and tough to read.

  • No out of office assistant.

  • You can add multiple Exchange accounts.

iCal

  • You can schedule meetings and invite attendees.

  • You can view free/busy details for attendees.

  • iCal does not differentiate between people and resources as attendees.

  • You can view responses for meetings. Accepted, tentative, declined or unknown.

  • Tasks sync to iCal “To-Dos”. The default view shows all completed items. Hit the iCal preferences to change this view.

  • You can view Delegate calendars and grant access to your calendars and tasks.

  • Name suggestions are offered from the GAL and your contacts.

Address Book

  • My contacts came across just fine.

  • I can’t see the GAL for some reason. The URL in the account settings looks correct, but the GAL is empty. Really strange considering I get GAL-suggestions when typing names in other applications.

I’m sure there are more to come, but despite some of the caveats this is still a huge improvement over Entourage. I’m looking forward to the Outlook for Mac client coming next year, but until then I’ll be using the native applications.