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February 2, 2010 2:18 PM   Subscribe

How can I integrate my company's Microsoft Exchange 2003 calendar with Mail.app and iCal on Snow Leopard? I don't fully understand how Exchange and Outlook work on PCs but I need to make it happen on a Mac.

My company uses Exchange 2003 for company calendars on the network. How can I read and edit a calendar in iCal?

Also, when I receive meeting invitations in Mail.app, they show up as ordinary emails with an Outlook Web Access link at the very bottom. Often I don't see the link or realize they're invitations in need of a response. How can I easily determine that they are, accept them, and add them to my calendar (and to iCal)?

I'm willing to try crazy, outside-of-the-box workarounds to get Exchange to talk to Apple's software if necessary. I found John Maisey's You Are Invited, which seems to be a step in the right direction, but it's broken on Snow Leopard and has been discontinued.

Extra bonus points for you if your solution will also let me read and edit the calendar from my iPhone over the web, instead of via USB syncing.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Snow Leopard only supports Exchange 2007.

Your iPhone should be able to connect directly to the Exchange servers, however. Just add the account in Settings under Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
posted by jedicus at 2:28 PM on February 2, 2010


The Mac OS software to view invitations, calendars and address books on Exchange 2003 is Microsoft Entourage. It's a complete replacement for Mail.app, Address Book and iCal. Unfortunately, my experience with Entourage is that it can be rather slow or awkward to use if you have a large (>~2GB) mailbox.

As jedicus mentioned, Mail.app, Address Book, and iCal have native support for Exchange 2007. While your business may not be ready to upgrade to 2007, it's the better solution of the two.
posted by eschatfische at 2:35 PM on February 2, 2010


If you go with the Entourage solution, you will have to buy the full version of Office 2008 for Mac. The home and student edition's version of Entourage does not support connecting to an Exchange server (which makes it almost completely worthless but there it is). The next version of Office for Mac is supposed to return to including a proper version of Outlook, but you may not be able to wait that long (late this year).

Another possibility is a VMWare Fusion or Parallels-based installation of Windows and Office, but that's both expensive and a hassle.

Does your company offer the Outlook Web Access front end? That provides some basic functionality, though you need Internet Explorer to really get the full experience.
posted by jedicus at 2:37 PM on February 2, 2010


I'm willing to hack. Are there any other AppleScript solutions like YAI (linked above) that I could use to process incoming mail in Mail.app? Or is there a way to mirror an Exchange calendar in a CalDAV environment and then subscribe to that in iCal? Any other creative suggestions?

We do have the Outlook Web Access front end, and the invitation emails link to that. It's my last option if I can't integrate well with the Apple software but I want to explore every other possibility first.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:41 PM on February 2, 2010


Couldn't you somehow employ Google Sync? I remember using this with my work Blackberry.

Exchange <> Blackberry Calendar <> Google Calendar

You could probably get your Google Calendar to update iCal, right?
posted by KokuRyu at 2:47 PM on February 2, 2010


That's compelling. I'm not sure I'd know where to start, but I'll investigate it! Any more tips related to that idea would be very helpful.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:49 PM on February 2, 2010


Since your company offers Outlook Web Access, you could set up a DavMail gateway and connect to the Exchange server through it. You can run the gateway on the same Mac that you run iCal, Mail, and Address Book on.
posted by jedicus at 2:50 PM on February 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just checked it out myself and DavMail on Snow Leopard lets me sync iCal with an Exchange 2003 server. I think that may be the way to go.

Syncing with Mail is a little spottier, though it probably doesn't help that my Exchange inbox is kind of a mess (dozens of folders and thousands of messages spread throughout them).
posted by jedicus at 3:12 PM on February 2, 2010


Thanks! That looks very helpful, jedicus. I'll definitely be exploring that route. If anybody else has any other suggestions please post them, and I'll come through later on and mark the question answered. :-)
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:16 PM on February 2, 2010




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