Status update for EAS in SM17
Question asked by Ionel Aurelian Rau - December 10, 2018 at 8:08 AM
Answered
Hello to all SM17 users!

What is the status of EAS in SmarterMail 17? Is it at least as decent as in 16?

I understand that SM v17.x is now out (of BETA; not sure when that happened), but since MAPI is not out yet and there is now official ETA for it, we need stable EAS before updating. Are there more or less issues with EAS on SM17? I`m asking especially when synchronizing MS Outlook 2016/2019.

If anyone can share their experience with EAS on SM 17, that would be extremely helpful.

Thank you!

37 Replies

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echoDreamz Replied
EAS is fine if the account is small, but if you have a large account, stay far far far far away from EAS with Outlook. We have a large customer who migrated from O365 to us, hates us right now because of the constant EAS issues. Outlook he will mark 10 emails as read, 2 of them still show in webmail as unread, 1 completely different one on his iPhone is still showing unread, iPhones show 1 unread message even though there is no unread messages or the folder is empty. A lot of syncing issues with it, which I believe M$ knows which is why they said oh no, we are done with this.

Christopher

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echoDreamz Replied
I'd stay right where you are for the moment. We are having some major issues with SM 17 right now. Catchalls not working, accounts rejecting previously happy passwords, IDS page isnt working properly, indexing errors, stuck account(s), Calendar events are not sending, we have over 300 tickets open in the past 36 hours. Stick with SM 16.

Christopher

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Paul Blank Replied
15
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Posting about SmarterMail 15 into 3 separate threads isn't going to make it suddenly reappear Paul, this isn't Betelgeuse.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Paul Blank Replied
Hey Matt,

Happily, I'm not looking for v15 to reappear, as I already have it. My installations are very stable, have been since first installing it, and it does everything I need for the time being, so thanks for that!

That said, I'm looking forward to the final stable release of v15, and expect to keep that running for some time. It's needed almost no support besides the usual user configuration changes and daily backups, and all of that is just fine with me.




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echoDreamz Replied
Paul,

Regardless, we have had the devs working overtime today and over the weekend, so big ups to them. We have some builds to test to get this all ironed out :).

Christopher

1
viv burrows Replied
Paul 
We all know you are going to have written the same, everytime we see your name listed.
For those of us who want to see the product move forward your constant messages about how you have stuck with V15 don't let any of your customers use Outlook and how you wish the Company would wind the clock back are nothing short of incredibly irritating. 
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viv burrows Replied
Re the question that arose over the EAS in SM17 I'm less confident, V16 had settled down to a reasonable degree and we weren't getting many issues. I'm not sure if it was directly related to the update process or a subsequent issue but we have had a couple of corrupt user accounts and other  bits and bobs that now require sorting. Once we get back on track and stable I am really looking forward to using MAPI instead
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echoDreamz Replied
I too, do not get the point of posting "15" to a thread not even related to SM 15 knowing full well the user is on 16 and wont/can't roll back to 15 or maybe it is a brand new install... Like going to Microsoft's forums and posting "XP" or "7" knowing those are gone and done.

Nothing constructive to add to the thread other than trolling and not giving anything constructive to the OP's question.

Christopher

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Oh, come on all :) You discussion on Paul`s writing "15" caused more spam than his initial comment. 

Thanks echoDreamz for your reply; then we`ll try to stick to v16 for now. Honestly, I am satisfied of it in almost every aspect, except when throwing EAS and Outlook in the mix. I know Microsoft gave up on it, but our users do not want to let Outlook go and there is simply now other simple way of syncing calendar/tasks/contacts/mails between SmarterMail and Outlook, except EAS. And we can live with the random issues of some mails not marking as read on the server if marked in Outlook, but right now Outlook is randomly refusing to sync for random users. Restarting the SM and IIS services solves this for a while, so I guess it`s problem on the server and the ActiveSync logs are not helping. And this is causing harm to the business and I`m getting a lot of heat for it.. 
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echoDreamz Replied
The biggest we had next to the weird differences in syncing was after say a week or so of running, Outlook would be heavily delayed in updating to new emails. An iisreset would usually fix this.  Hoping v17 fixes this. Also note that ST got me a custom build today that knocked out the major issues we were having. 

Christopher

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So you got an updated build for SM16.x that fixed some EAS/ Outlook syncing issues? 

Is there any possibility we can also get a hold of that build? Are you experiencing any other issues with that one?

Fixing EAS / Outlook synchronization would be the biggest improvement I could make here with regards to email..

MAPI just cannot come any sooner.. I hate the silence about it.. 
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Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
Hey all, I just want to chime in on this thread.  We did make some changes to EAS in the latest SmarterMail version (what most of you refer to as 17), however, we need to keep in mind that EAS was built to be a mobile syncing protocol.  One of the things we learned after visiting with Microsoft back in June of this year was that EAS is not supported by Outlook even though you can sync between the two.  So when you combine large email accounts, EAS, and Outlook then you're bound to see some issues.
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
viv burrows Replied
Unfortunately we were sold EAS on the basis of synching to Outlook, if we were informed that users should not update their sites until MAPI becomes available we would have stayed on 16, we can't roll back

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Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
As I stated it syncs to Outlook but it's not supported by Microsoft and it never was supported to work with Outlook, strictly mobile.  This would be the case regardless if you were on the latest SmarterMail, or on 16, 15, etc.
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
2
We know and understand all of this. But in the latest SM16 builds (right now we`re on v16.3.6897), things have gotten worse for syncing Outlook via EAS: now it will randomly stop syncing for a user and stay that way until we reboot IIS and SM services or the whole server. 

We`ve been living with the "minor" issues of mismatches, odd missing mail or very slow initial mailbox sync via EAS, but now people find that someone sent them an email half a day ago and they did not know of it because Outlook stopped syncing and they saw it by chance on the phone. It`s causing all kinds of stressful situations here, even loss of projects and revenue. 

People do not care of the protocol issues or anything else - things were running relatively OK until a few weeks ago and now we`re full of problems. I hear "Why are we not using MS Exchange?" more and more often now (as in DAILY).. I personally believe it would be a massive waste of money and resources and keep putting everyone off: "SM 17 with MAPI is coming very soon and the issues will be gone" I keep saying for a few months, but at this point nobody believes me anymore.

For some users I can provide work-arounds (e.g. set up the same account twice in Outlook: once with EAS and syncing for 1 month which seems to work flawlessly [for contacts, tasks, calendar] and again with IMAP [for reliable {except for when there were IMAP issues with SM} for syncing all email]) or just convince them to not use the expensive Outlook program but instead use the WebMail interface (very decent, in my opinion) - but this is not an option for all users, especially not for the higher-ups.

People just want to be able to use Outlook for their Calendar, Mail, Contacts, Tasks, easily and I cannot put them off much longer. Tonight we`re scheduled to update to the latest SM 16 minor build - maybe this will solve the random Outlook not syncing issues. But if not, I fear that management simply will lose all patience for waiting for the elusive MAPI implementation in SM 17 and I will need to provide another solution, or I`m out. So what should I choose? How long should I stretch the line further?

This is why I`ve been asking about the status of EAS in SM 17 - maybe at least it will work as it did before, where even with mismatches, at least it would not stop syncing.

Thanks for listening :)
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
It's tough to say if you'll for sure see better EAS behavior on SM 17, however we have made many changes to most of our protocols in the new SmarterMail as we changed how we store and access data. This could mean better behavior but it could mean there are new bugs as well, however, Tim and others at the office have been using EAS pretty heavily and all protocol issues get immediate treatment usually. So before I ramble too much, I guess I'm beating around the bush, I do personally think you'll get a better experience on SM 17, but It's hard to guarantee. However, with SM 17 if you do have issues you can now create tickets for free, and we have been trying to knock as many issues out as we can. Maybe try it in a test environment, make a copy of your heaviest users/domains and maybe run a couple tests?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
For now we`ll update to the latest SM16 and see how that goes. My feeling is since SM 17 (or just SM as you call it now) was stealthily released out of beta and was not announced with great fanfare, you are not confident enough for it to be used in production, so we`ll postpone upgrading just now. 

I`d personally love to test it out, but we`re too busy at the moment.
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echoDreamz Replied
Honestly, we are seeing better performance with Outlook EAS in SM17. I will need to have the IIS worker process run for a few days straight before I can be 100% sure though.

Christopher

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Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
That is strictly your opinion and does not reflect how we feel about EAS in production with our latest release.  We've ran numerous tests provided by Microsoft against EAS and EWS that helped make changes to our server implementation on these protocols.  There are many of us at SmarterTools who use EAS via our mobile phones without issues and as I've stated before EAS in particular was never supported to work with Outlook.  We already know there are issues with Outlook, especially when dealing with larger accounts.

I understand that you are busy but the only way to know if things are better would be to install the latest on a test server and compare your experience against SmarterMail16.
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
Ionel, every major release has been done exactly the same.  We release the product and notify customers a week or two later.  Every company does this with their products / services to control the amount of calls and tickets that come into a customer service department so SLA's can be maintained.  

SmarterMail has been in BETA for 8+ months.  We notified customers via Blogs and emails about the release dates of the products and business policy changes.  The only thing we didn't do is follow-up all those emails and notifications with... its NOW out.  Again, we wait a week or two do that.

There is no massive conspiracy or lack of faith in our products..  I think you have been reading and listening to a few of the complainers in the community.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
echoDreamz Replied
Lonel, I'd wait until they get the indexing errors / issues we are experiencing ironed out. We are seeing loads of errors and stuck accounts. Once they get that ironed out though I would say give it a go :)

Christopher

1
Thanks echoDreamz - I`m planning to wait just a bit longer. I did not want to upgrade at all until the SM 17 version with MAPI is out, but in case that will take much longer and I feel confident that SM 17 ironed out major issues, we`ll jump on it..

@Tim Uzzanti: thanks for chiming in; indeed I understand, but we get frustrated and vent somewhere. Believe me, since we discovered SmarterMail, I`ve been constantly advocating it and despite user complaints in some aspects (Outlook always was the biggest problem), we always tried to calm them and provide work-arounds. It`s just that issues with Outlook have been constantly escalating and I have my higher-ups constantly asking that we move away to a more "trouble-free" solution, while I still say: let`s wait for SM 17, let`s wait for MAPI. Precisely these 8+ months of waiting and promising it on a weekly basis has gathered up some frustration.

Anyway, please keep up the good work and try to get that SM 17 "build" with MAPI out as soon as possible. Honestly, we as IT administrators have a lot of systems to maintain, and none was as troublesome as mail this past year for example. I`d really like to have less issues with it and be able to focus on other areas too.

For now we`re holding off on upgrading to SM 17 until we see a few more fixes and the feedback from those. 
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Chris, yesterday's build should resolve errors you're seeing with indexing.  Actually most of the fixes in yesterday's build seem to be things you also had reported via tickets.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
echoDreamz Replied
Tim,

The build did not resolve the indexing errors. Still having accounts rejecting previously good passwords too. 

Christopher

0
At this point we have no more options but to try and update to v17, so we`ll be doing that. EAS issues are ongoing and we have to at least show that we are trying. People are reporting v17 to be snappier, so maybe that will help with EAS issues too. We would have waited for MAPI but there is no ETA. Maybe this will at least make updating to the version with MAPI easier.

With regards to indexing: do you think it`s a good idea to delete all the Index folders before updating to SM 17? I mean, with SM 16, stop SM service, delete all Index folders for all users, then upgrade to SM 17.

Would there be any issues for the update procedure this way? I understand that in this case all mailboxes will have to be re-indexed with the new index format, but that will happen anyway.
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
No need to do anything on indexing.  All will be good.

We will give more details on MAPI near end of week or early next week.

We spent some time at Microsoft's campus during the BETA discussing all protocols.  From this, we were able to introduce some  functionality in the new SmarterMail which helps EAS in Microsoft Outlook.  These are kind of workarounds because Microsoft won't be updating EAS anymore in Microsoft Outlook and forcing everyone down the MAPI path.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Thank you very much for the information. Then I will be deleting the old indexes and will update to SM 17. Hopefully the performance of EAS would be enough to buy more time.

Then when MAPI comes along, maybe it will be an easy transition.
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viv burrows Replied
Ionel the improvements to EAS in 17 seem to be moving on at quite a pace, the latest development build seems to have sorted the issues we were encountering. 

My mood has lifted somewhat

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Yes, I have to admit I am relatively impressed that the upgrade went without issues. I`ve had no complaints today so far (usually they start at noon), but let`s give it a few days and see.
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Adam Replied
Hey guys,
Has anyone had the bright idea in your organisation to restrict only mobile devices to use EAS?
In that way you would have far less support issues, because you are not having to discuss something that you say Microsoft never intended to support.
Then you could give the EAS solution to Outlook in another way that works.
How does that sound? sounds simple to me....dont know why years and years go past without a solution though.... I cannot believe we are at end of 2018 and still a stable solution doesnt present itself with ST software....i keep wasting EAS renewals it seems so far...
1
Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Adam have you tried the latest SM? Please attempt an upgrade before randomly bashing on this thread, which has to do with the latest SmarterMail. I'm looking at your license and your running on SmarterMail 16, a version from 4+ months ago no less. Please, upgrade your environment before complaining about what we've managed to accomplish these past couple months. 
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
And I still haven`t received any complaints from Outlook users since the update :) These are happy times.
1
viv burrows Replied
Happy days for me too with EAS on 17

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Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
Adam, if we only allow EAS for mobile then we lock out those who are using it with Outlook, which isn't a good idea.  As a few have already stated in this thread, EAS seems to be working much better for them.  Also, we technically will be reimplementing a new code base for Outlook users in the form of MAPI, which is in no way an easy solution.

In regards to version 17, well it's not 17 and it's just referred to as SmarterMail where you can reference build numbers.

Lastly, please keep it professional in these threads.  When you start bashing ST employees because they're "not getting enough sleep" that's totally uncalled for.  
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Adam Replied
Great, thanks for your professional reply Larry. My last reply was based on Matt's tone - the reason why I was upset as I was simply providing feedback before that and was never "bashing" anyone - lol.
So it would be great if you could announce this new version being the version that every part of your recent blogs are pointing to as "v17", as I was very confused and not upgrading simply because of waiting for 17.
The rest sounds great! Looking forward to MAPI
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echoDreamz Replied
And for the record. Matt probably isnt getting enough sleep. I know he's been working his ass off for us...

Christopher

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