CoreyH Founder and CTO: RecordSetter. Dad to 6yr old boy, 3yr girl. Husband to @ewphoto

11Jan/060

sprint 6700 exchange integration

My dad just bought the (Audiovox?) 6700 from Sprint. It is a Windows Mobile 5 device with all the fixin’s. There is a large, comfortable slide out keyboard as well as a stylus hidden in the antenna part. It can use Sprint’s high speed cell network and Wi-Fi. On and on, a high powered device.

Since I host his email domain, I wanted to get it up and running with Exchange integration. This turned out to be quite a challenge.

<Tech section>

My phone, the Audiovox SMT5600 could be set to skip strict checking of certificates on my self-created Exchange cert using a little tool from Microsoft. I tried the same method on the 6700 and it doesn’t work. I followed some instructions I found to try and edit the registry to the same effect, but I still came up short.

I then attempted to get a free third party certificate from StartCom, which I was able to do and install, but the phone didn’t accept the root certificate authority. If I was doing this again, I would have then installed it on the phone at this stage. But I didn’t know that at the time and managed to spend $30 and another six hours buying a certificate from the cheapest SSL provider I could find. This one had a root certificate authority ready to go in Windows XP, but not apparently on Windows Mobile. After some serious yak shaving, I managed to export the root authority to a file and onto the device where after a very long time of struggling it finally worked.

The shortcut answer to the solution (man I wish someone had said this to me) is you should use the pocket PC browser to point to your exchange server (https://yourdomain.com/exchange) and keep trying until you get no popup message with the yellow triangle warnings that something is wrong. Unfortunately the ActiveSync diagnostics are just totally incomplete and the browser is the best troubleshooting method.

</tech section>

Okay, so on to the next step. In order to really take advantage of Exchange Integration, you want to have your calendar, contacts, tasks as well as email all up on the server. He had been running locally and using POP3 to download email from Exchange. But in order to run Outlook in Exchange integrated mode, I either needed to turn on RPC over HTTP, which seems like a whole lot of work or set up some kind of VPN.

Fortunately I had just seen a plug for hamachi on Download Squad. It is a new VPN app that enables really quick and easy VPN setups. It even does NAT to NAT transversals, which covers most configurations now a days. I had set up quite a few VPNs in my day and this was by FAR the easiest ever.

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