EAS email offline sync time options within Outlook 2013 and 2016
Question asked by Mike Ingram - August 15, 2016 at 3:56 PM
Unanswered
Hello. I am trying to set the offline email choices within outlook 2013 and 2016 to only sync for a period of time.. ie 3 or 6 months. If I set up an email account with imap, I have the choice to sync 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months or ALL.
 
HOWEVER, if I set the same account up as Active Sync, there are only TWO choices 1 month and ALL ???
 
If I add a hosted exchange account, I get all the months choices as well.. So, after testing I only get two choices of offline setting with EAS - 1 month or ALL.
 
Can anyone help with this? I need more options - would like 6 months of email with EAS.
 
Thank you very much!!!

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Mike Ingram Replied
Follow up  - As a test I installed outlook.com email via Acitve Sync to outlook 2016. The same thing happens where I can only set the amount of time for an EAS account sync to one (1) month of emails or ALL emails. So this must be something with outlook and EAS. Hosted exchange and Imap allow many options and months/years to sync.
 
So the big question - I have been very frustrated with smartermail and outlook which most of my clients use. I get it that SmarterTools folks want clients to use webmail but lets be honest, most corporate clients are gonna use outlook.. they have it and that is what they want to use. Maybe some day this will shift, but right now it is a fact.... how the heck do I get large mailbox sizes, 5, 10 or even 20gb mailbox size to work properly?? This is VERY common these days.
 
I was reading the forums and people were saying to add an account for Imap to do the full email box, and then an activesync account to do calendar, contacts etc... well the problem is if I can only sync one month worth of emails and calendars through outlook 2013/16 with activesync, then most customers will not be happy. How can I tell them to use the activesync account for calendar and only one month of emails and then the imap account for older emails. In fact it is pretty bad solutions in this day and age. I can see if I could do one year or maybe 6 months, which is what I was hoping for.. but how does everyone else handle this??? I have many customers on hosted exchange and many have mailboxes in the 20 - 30gb size, just normal these days...
 
EAS - one month sync or ALL sync - REALLY???  I made the mistake of assuming it would handle the same offline options as imap and hosted exchange and Smartermail does not handle over 2GB according to their support people.. or it may have sync problems over 2Gb
IMAP - sync all email but won't sync calendars and other stuff
 
How the heck is everyone doing this to make the customers using Outlook ok with it if they have mailboxes over 2GB???
 
Thank you very much for your help!
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Mike Ingram Replied
This is for Outlook users with larger mailboxes in the corporate environment thinking about Smartermail.
 
So the official response is that this is the normal behavior for EAS and outlook which is what I saw with any EAS connection. You can only EAS sync 1 month or ALL.
 
The bottom line - If you want to sell your Smartermail email service to an enterprise company using OUTLOOK DO NOT WASTE your time. Plus, it will make you look bad if you implement this and do not let them know that your product will NOT work like exchange did. Asking an enterprise/corporate clients to go to webmail is a hard sell and yes it is shifting to this (I am pushing clients for this).. in fact, using Webmail is the only way you can call Smartermail an enterprise product... this is NOT an exchange replacement if you use Outlook and larger mailboxes (Smarter tools says over 2GB)... and let’s be honest, in today's world 5 - 20GB inboxes is pretty common in the corporate world.
 
Asking a user to use imap, caldav and cardav to access calendar and contacts is clunky on this platform at best, not to mention when you accept meeting invites it throws errors for some functions saying the calendar is not local. Even old Exchange 2003/10 is better than this if you use Outlook - AGAIN if you have large mailboxes which Smartertools says is over 2GB. If you can convince your clients to use webmail it works great. I know v16 looks way better (not sure about features yet) and that may help but right now, this is not an enterprise product in an Outlook environment. DO NOT WASTE your time with Outlook and this product. (larger mailboxes). I have some customers using this without any problems that have outlook mailboxes up to 4 or 5GB, but trying to move larger customers using exchange to this platform that have large mailboxes is a nightmare.
 
As an alternative, try re-selling hosted exchange in those situations, it actually works with outlook and can have mailboxes over 50GB. I know, I know.. it costs more money per mailbox, but the time wasted trying to make this work with outlook, again if you have large mailboxes, makes it worth every penny.
 
I like Smartermail and I have an enterprise copy, and it works great if your clients want to use Webmail or smaller size outlook boxes with EAS. Basically for the mom and pop business under 10 employees (or under 2GB mailox sizes) this is probably a good option. Just do not try to push a square peg into a round hole with this product! Make sure you ask tons of questions from the client when you think about moving them to this platform. If even one client has a huge mailbox and they start to complain, you might look like a fool in the long run.
 
I would be more than happy to beta the new version 16 of smartermail and test is out, but right now I am entertaining other mail server software (that has its own mail client and outlook plug-in - not going to mention names here) and of course I resell hosted exchange all day long.... These solutions are more money and we as the re-seller do not make much money but they just work in the corporate environment with outlook (which they all have and use.) Better to make some money than lose a client because they think you are incompetent. 
 
Smartertools - I really like your product, just need a product that is actually useful in the corporate world with outlook, heck even a paid for plug-in like some of your competitors’ use would work. Maybe some day outlook will not be the dominant email client in the corporate world but right now it is. Develop a strong product for the 20 - 200 user enterprise market that actually works well with outlook and has the exchange features that supports larger mailboxes and you will sell tons of this server product.
 
If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears!
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Paul Blank Replied
Mike, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful report. ST's well-intentioned addition of new features in SM will be welcome to some. However, to remain competitive, especially in the enterprise, ST must give full attention to details such as reliable operation with Outlook, including mailboxes over 2GB, which is becoming more the norm these days. I have lost SM customers, and know of others who have as well, due to the many issues with Outlook integration.
0
Agree.

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