Entourage for Exchange EWS

A couple of days ago, Microsoft posted on their site an announcement about the availability of a new beta for Entourage.
This new version allows Exchange 2007 users to access their e-mails through Exchange Web Services (EWS for short). This has serious advantages over the previous method (using WebDAV).

  • Much faster
  • You can now sync categories, tasks notes, etc,

Now be careful. This update is not for everybody.

  • It cannot connect to an exchange server through WebDAV, so if you have an account on Exchange 2003, don’t even think about installing it. If you have more than one Exchange account, one on 2003 and the other on 2007, it’s a no-go there too.
  • It requires Exchange 2007 SR1 on both the front-end server (usually OWA) and the mailbox server (back-end). MS also mentions that the minimal requirement would be SR1 with rollup 4 (the latest update as of today is rollup 6). Apparently these updates corrected a lot of WebServices-related issues. You can usually figure out what’s installed on your server by connecting through OWA: On the top right part of your Page click on Options. On the Option page, select About (bottom of the left-side panel). The presulting page usually lists the version installed on OWA and the mailbox server. Figuring out which rollup you have is not always easy. Mine says 8.1.336.0, which means:
    8: Exchange 2007
    1: SR1
    336.0: that’s the build number and this one corresponds to Rollup 5.
    At this point, I’m not sure what version corresponds to Rollup 4…

How to get it:
Go to the blog post I indicated, read everything then click on the link on the bottom of the page.
This leads to Connect, Microsoft beta-testing reporting platform. You can create an account there and apply for the beta. It takes them a couple of days to review the applications and give you access to the download link and reporting forms (for the bugs).

With all that in mind, it looks like a great beta to me. I hope people will install it and report tons of bugs that MS will be able to fix quickly for a nice and stable release.