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Need alternative to Outlook to connect to Exchange server


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michelangelo

 
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My employer provides me with a mobile Windows PC with Outlook 2003 on it, and a Blackberry for calendar, address book and email. Consequently, all my private calendar information and addresses are locked on the office network. Should I buy a Windows PC, I could configure it to connect through my Airport base station (and VPN access) to the enterprise's Exchange server. Then, I could sync my data away from this home PC computer. Others do it. Problem: I don't want to own, use and maintain a Windows PC . How can I connect a Mac to the same Exchange server by the same VPN (without telling it to IT)? Does Outlook exist for the Mac, is Entourage an option ? TIA

-- Michelangelo
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wirelessmacuser

 
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I'm in the same position you are exactly. After doing hours of research, I've found there's nothing like Outlook, that one can run on the Mac OS X. Entourage is unlike Outlook, and will not do the job. This gives us but two choices.
1) Run Windows on the Mac for the purpose of using Outlook & the BlackBerry desktop manager.
The drawback that I've learned about here and elsewhere is the problem a Mac has running windows without overheating.
2) Wait until the end of the year when Microsoft will be including Outlook in the newest version of Office for the Mac.

In my case I always have several laptops, so I _added_ my new MacBook Pro to the mix. Thus I'm not bound by just one choice. For all my personal work I really prefer the Mac.
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stewabr

 
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I have no idea why the second poster says you cannot do this. I run Entourage 2008 and without telling a soul I have connected to both our Exchange 2003 server and now, after an upgrade, our Exchange 2007 server. I also have Outlook configured to work in Parallels running both XP and Windows 7 Ultimate and they both work fine. I have Parallels running 10+ hours/day without issue or overheating. If you have questions about how I set it up please let me know.
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S.SubZero

 
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Entourage is the closest thing to Outlook. I've always found the Entourage experience to be "quirky" but functional for connecting to Exchange.

If your company uses Exchange Server 2007 with updates there is this:
IT Pros - Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition | Mactopia

When I worked for a company with Exchange 2007 I used this and the experience was a bit more predictable than using the older Exchange.
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Davanw

 
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I have the Mac built in Mail app working with our company Exchange server... Am I mis-reading the question here?
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wirelessmacuser

 
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Let me clarify my post. Yes, everyone is correct in their posts. What I left out of mine, was to ask what you use Outlook for. In my case I do _not_ use it for mail. I was using another windows mail client. When I got my Mac I set it up with OS X's built in mail via exchange. So as stated by the poster above that works fine.
.
I use Outlook for contact management, calendar, notes, tasks, journal, lots of plug-ins for vertical market specific tasks, unique to my industry. With 3,500 contacts and ten years of business in it, if I cannot move the .pst file into Entourage (which cannot be done) then there's no way to get all my mission critical work info over to the Mac platform, to use in one application like Outlook. Which again is not a deal breaker for me, as I use a ThinkPad for work running Windows 7 and its great. Like I mentioned earlier, the MBP I just bought at the beginning of the year, is for my personal enjoyment.
.
That said what I may do, is to install the new version of Office for Mac w/Outlook as it becomes available at years end or whenever. It would be handy to have all my data on board for those week days when I'm off, but might need to access something in Outlook.
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Jaygray

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirelessmacuser View Post
With 3,500 contacts and ten years of business in it, if I cannot move the .pst file into Entourage (which cannot be done) then there's no way to get all my mission critical work info over to the Mac platform, to use in one application like Outlook.
I heavily rely on Entourage (and Outlook before) for business use. When I initially switched over to Mac, I used Little Machines Outlook 2 Mac to transfer 10GB (yes, that's right--10GB) of emails and contacts from Outlook to Entourage. It's the best $10 I ever spent.
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wirelessmacuser

 
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Yeah, that's a great solution. My best friend and I both bought new Macs and he was able to use that because he doesn't have all the plug-ins and customizations my company uses. If I only had to deal with the contacts, calendar, and mail I would do it. I even went so far as to buy Office for Mac the same time I got my new MBP from the Apple store. The problem is I forgot how customized our version of Outlook is and their are no equivalents for Entourage. Thought I was going to wear out Google searching...ha...ha... Oh well I'm looking forward to the new Office for Mac anyway. With Outlook I will get all the third party plug-ins no problem.
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stewabr

 
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I'm not sure that Outlook for Mac will be any more helpful to you than Entourage is as per the Mac Office blog this is not a port of Outlook but rather a brand new application. This application is being build from the ground up using Cocoa and therefore I would find it very unlikely that your plug-ins will be supported. From everything I've read it is so different that they might as well call it Entourage 2011 with PST import.

I do find Entourage Web Services Edition to be usable but that's as far as I'm willing to take it. It is very weak compared to Outlook in usability. Not as bad as Mac Excel vs real Excel but still pretty bad.
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michelangelo

 
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Thanks wirelessmacuser.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wirelessmacuser View Post
1) Run Windows on the Mac for the purpose of using Outlook & the BlackBerry desktop manager.
The drawback that I've learned about here and elsewhere is the problem a Mac has running windows without overheating.
2) Wait until the end of the year when Microsoft will be including Outlook in the newest version of Office for the Mac.
I guess you described the two main choices I really have. Then I would have the separate issue of bringing new address book entries into the iBook address book and business calendar items into iCal. Thanks

-- Michelangelo
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michelangelo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davanw View Post
I have the Mac built in Mail app working with our company Exchange server... Am I mis-reading the question here?
Sorry about that: my original question was uncomplete. I did not consider in my initial post the possibility that Mail could connect to Exchange for two reasons: (1) for mail connections, I have explored with IT the possibility that they allow IMAP mail connections (to allow Mail to connect to Exchange). The reply fas a straight "NO, we will never do IMAP, to risky for security" [but IT has allowed a redirection of messages addressed to me to a private address, which permits me to receive mail on the iBook fine and to do perfect replies using a redirection (a "mailhop") with DYNDns], (2) what is of interest to me is to recover access to my calendar items and business (and private as well) contacts. Mail is of no use to me for that

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michelangelo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewabr View Post
I have no idea why the second poster says you cannot do this. I run Entourage 2008 and without telling a soul I have connected to both our Exchange 2003 server and now, after an upgrade, our Exchange 2007 server. I also have Outlook configured to work in Parallels running both XP and Windows 7 Ultimate and they both work fine. I have Parallels running 10+ hours/day without issue or overheating. If you have questions about how I set it up please let me know.
Stewabr, as much as I hate to say that, I am *also ready to believe that, for what I want to do (recover on an ongoing basis, also without telling a soul, my differential personal calendar and agenda items from the claws of my company's locked-in Exchange server which was recently upgraded from 2003 to 2007, back into iCal and my address book on the iBook), there is no effective alternative to Outlook (either on the mac or worse on a windows PC).

However, I would much prefer the Entourage option to work out for me as it does for you. My own three reasons are: (1) I switched from Claris Emailer to Mail only a year ago and understand Entourage (a jud Spencer creation) is the closest application on earth to Emailer (same jud Spencer) (2) Entourage (part of Office 2004) is installed (and not used) on my home mac at company's sole cost as I only need Office (Word, PPT, XLS) files for work-related purposes and (3) Entourage contains its own Address book and calendar separate from Address Book and iCal. So ...

Back to the office on monday, I will peek into the connection specs of Outlook on my office computer (those that (1) have demonstrated to be effective when I carry home my IT-issued portable windows PC, and (2) I have been told are also effective when simply duplicated on any open windows PC with Outlook 2003 on it) and post a non-confidential version of their summary here for comments on compatibility with Entourage 2004 (or more recent)

-- Michelangelo
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michelangelo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewabr View Post
I have no idea why the second poster says you cannot do this. I run Entourage 2008 and without telling a soul I have connected to both our Exchange 2003 server and now, after an upgrade, our Exchange 2007 server. I also have Outlook configured to work in Parallels running both XP and Windows 7 Ultimate and they both work fine. I have Parallels running 10+ hours/day without issue or overheating. If you have questions about how I set it up please let me know.
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.SubZero View Post
Entourage is the closest thing to Outlook. I've always found the Entourage experience to be "quirky" but functional for connecting to Exchange.

If your company uses Exchange Server 2007 with updates there is this:
IT Pros - Entourage 2008, Web Services Edition | Mactopia

When I worked for a company with Exchange 2007 I used this and the experience was a bit more predictable than using the older Exchange.
OK. This upgrade of Entourage, which I can procure at company's cost if I need it above Office-mac 2004 which I am presently licensed to use, is compatible with mac OS 10.4.11 (limit of my old iBook). Thank you for the useful info. Hope the Entourage route can work. Will see that later next week after I post the Outlook-to-Exchange connection specs as I said my my immediately earlier post

-- Michelangelo
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stewabr

 
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Funny you should mention Jud. A truly class guy BTW. I've ripped Entourage for a couple of things I hate at a board where he participates but I didn't realize that it was Jud that had primary development responsibility. The things that I don't like about Entourage are things that make sense on a Mac, e.g., forced dialog on address selection. There are a couple of other things that I don't like as well but I think I don't like them mostly because of 15 years of Windows usage more than that they are bad. The one thing that Microsoft should absolutely be shredded on though is lack of transparency in how to get Entourage to work with Exchange (any version). This failing is a shortcoming of the website rather than Entourage. Overall it is a pretty good program even if it isn't Outlook.

BTW, people talk about Outlook like it is this great solution but there are a lot things I don't like about it. I've never had connection issues with Entourage and still have those regularly on my XP/Outlook machine on the same network.
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stewabr

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewabr View Post
I'm not sure that Outlook for Mac will be any more helpful to you than Entourage is as per the Mac Office blog this is not a port of Outlook but rather a brand new application. This application is being built from the ground up using Cocoa and therefore I would find it very unlikely that your plug-ins will be supported. From everything I've read it is so different that they might as well call it Entourage 2011 with PST import.

I do find Entourage Web Services Edition to be usable but that's as far as I'm willing to take it. It is very weak compared to Outlook in usability. Not as bad as Mac Excel vs real Excel but still pretty bad.
This post comes off wrong when I go back and read it. The weak in usability comment was driven by my calendar being screwed up after changing my time zone back when returning to the US. I'm commonly in the Mountain, Eastern and Malaysian Time Zones and switching my time zone requires a lot more handholding with Entourage than Outlook (no issue, it just works). I have since discovered the changes I need to make and the order I need to make them in order to make things work.

For pure email I find it to be pretty good. Different but just fine. If you don't have the crazy time zone changes I do then you're probably going to be just fine.
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