Push Email Support for Cell Phones

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Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:31 pm

As of April 19, 2012 we have deployed an early release of an ActiveSync compatible open source push server. Since it is based on open source software we will not be charging for this ActiveSync option, but we reserve the right to limit it on lower level accounts depending on its server side resource usage (it's a PHP script that holds one Apache process per connection).

This is an experimental service. Although not officially supported it is reported to work for almost all cases. To configure it on your mobile device set the ActiveSync server to "activesync.rollernet.us" with your mail box login name and password. Please post feedback here or email it to support. I decided to release this in an early stage I'd dropped the ball on this feature request for too long. It currently lacks the normal hooks I'd put into the control center for a released feature; they will be added over time.

Known limitations and issues:
* Does not support HTML email (yet). HTML should be supported since z-push 2.0.6
* Deleting a message on Android may fail.

We will not be offering Blackberry push, only ActiveSync via an open source tool. There wasn't any interest from our customer base in paying extra to support the licensing costs for BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
Seth Mattinen, Roller Network LLC
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby jxself » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:56 am

Seth wrote:I've created this poll to see if there's any interest in push mail for cell phones. Please let us know if there is any interest in support for these technologies so that we may evaluate whether or not they would be a useful addition for our customers.

If the intent is to determine interest level, shouldn't there be a third option, then, that says we're not interested? As it is right now, we must vote in favor of one or the other.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:58 am

jxself wrote:
Seth wrote:I've created this poll to see if there's any interest in push mail for cell phones. Please let us know if there is any interest in support for these technologies so that we may evaluate whether or not they would be a useful addition for our customers.

If the intent is to determine interest level, shouldn't there be a third option, then, that says we're not interested? As it is right now, we must vote in favor of one or the other.


Added a third option.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:01 am

Apparently adding that third option reset the vote counts to zero, so if you already voted please re-submit your vote.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby ki6gxm » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:14 am

I Vote for Exchange and Blackberry
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby darrenings » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:50 am

I'd be interested in MS push for my iPhone but not at the prices you mentioned.
Thanks.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:24 am

darrenings wrote:I'd be interested in MS push for my iPhone but not at the prices you mentioned.
Thanks.


What would you be willing to pay? Unfortunately we can't offer it for free.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby jammapic » Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:48 am

I'm so interested in this, Activesync for my iPhone; that I would be willing to pay a fee to get it up and running as well as a monthly subscription.

It would be great to be able to use outlook on my PC to connect to an exchange server, do calender and keep contact or whatever - and THEN hook my iPhone up and share all that same info.

I use IMAP at the moment, which is good - but no-where as good as exchange :-)

JP
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby triplett » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:34 pm

Not interested, personally. I can wait 5 minutes for my client to pull. I do understand the costs incurred by licensing, though, so I can't fault Rollernet for passing on the cost.

FWIW, on android, the K-9 mail client supports IMAP IDLE, so there's an alternative to costly licensed protocols. If the Rollernet servers support this, or if support for IMAP IDLE can be added without great additional cost, I might be interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAP_IDLE
http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:48 pm

triplett wrote:Not interested, personally. I can wait 5 minutes for my client to pull. I do understand the costs incurred by licensing, though, so I can't fault Rollernet for passing on the cost.

FWIW, on android, the K-9 mail client supports IMAP IDLE, so there's an alternative to costly licensed protocols. If the Rollernet servers support this, or if support for IMAP IDLE can be added without great additional cost, I might be interested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMAP_IDLE
http://code.google.com/p/k9mail/


Absolutely, we've always supported IMAP IDLE. Here's what an IDLE session looks like:

Code: Select all
Connected to mailbox.rollernet.us.
Escape character is '^]'.
* OK Dovecot ready.
? CAPABILITY
* CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 SASL-IR SORT THREAD=REFERENCES MULTIAPPEND UNSELECT LITERAL+ IDLE CHILDREN NAMESPACE LOGIN-REFERRALS UIDPLUS LIST-EXTENDED I18NLEVEL=1 QUOTA STARTTLS AUTH=PLAIN
? OK Capability completed.
? LOGIN xxx@rollernet.us xxx
? OK Logged in.
? SELECT INBOX
* FLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen \Draft nonjunk $Forwarded $Label1 Junk $MDNSent $label2 $NotJunk $Junk)
* OK [PERMANENTFLAGS (\Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen \Draft nonjunk $Forwarded $Label1 Junk $MDNSent $label2 $NotJunk $Junk \*)] Flags permitted.
* 1854 EXISTS
* 0 RECENT
* OK [UNSEEN 1853] First unseen.
* OK [UIDVALIDITY 1189055822] UIDs valid
* OK [UIDNEXT 71318] Predicted next UID
? OK [READ-WRITE] Select completed.
? IDLE
+ idling
* 1855 EXISTS
* 1 RECENT
DONE
? OK Idle completed.
? LOGOUT
* BYE Logging out
? OK Logout completed.
Connection closed by foreign host.


Anytime a new message arrives after issuing IDLE, the EXISTS and RECENT lines are sent immediately. At that point it's up to the client to FETCH the new message, but in the example above I just issued DONE and logged out.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby jammapic » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:55 am

the problem with IDLE, certainly on my iphone; is that it only works when the phone is on (more specifically if the mail client is open). As soon as it goes into standby, IDLE doesn't work. Whereas microsoft ActveSync stays connected all the time, plus with the come the benefits of syncing contacts/calenders etc...
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:19 pm

If anyone is feeling adventurous I've set up a preliminary ActiveSync service based on Z-Push 2.0 beta.

Server Name: activesync.rollernet.us
Domain: leave blank

Use your IMAP mail box login name and password.
Seth Mattinen, Roller Network LLC
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby cbrace » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:50 pm

Testing this with K-9 mailer on an Android phone. Can't connect with the server, either on port 143 or 993. IDLE works fine, maybe not needed?
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:01 pm

cbrace wrote:Testing this with K-9 mailer on an Android phone. Can't connect with the server, either on port 143 or 993. Any ideas?


It's not IMAP, it's Exchange ActiveSync via HTTPS. You'd configure it like an Exchange server. I don't know if K-9 supports ActiveSync. The regular Mail app does and I tested it on my EVO successfully.
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Re: Push Email Support for Cell Phones

Postby Seth » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:32 pm

I should probably reiterate that this is an experimental service; it hasn't been tested much more beyond verifying that it works. Please post feedback here or email it to support. I decided to push it out early like this because I'd dropped the ball on this feature request for too long, and so it lacks any of the normal hooks I'd put into the control center for a released feature. I know there are who prefer push mail ActiveSync style over IMAP IDLE style (some mobile IMAP clients can IDLE well and some don't), so by offering ActiveSync it just broadens our options.

At this time it only works with "mail" sync, not contacts or events. One benefit ActiveSync can have over IMAP IDLE is the ability to store things like contacts on our server so if your mobile device is ever lost/destroyed/stolen then you wouldn't lose your contacts.
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