Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2

Getting iPhones to connect and sync with Exchange servers can be tricky. Here's how to make it all work smoothly.

Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2.

Deploying the iPhone 3G for business, part 2.

Case sensitivity in e-mail addresses

Typically, usernames in e-mail addresses are not case sensitive, but they are case sensitive when configuring an Exchange account on the iPhone. As a result, if the e-mail address entered as part of an Exchange account has case differences from the way the address is entered in the Exchange Global Address List, users will receive calendar events as if they were event invitations to which they need to respond. This can be avoided by ensuring that the GAL entry and the e-mail address entered on the iPhone match in their use of upper/lowercase lettering.

The iPhone 2.1 update and Exchange

Apple's 2.1 firmware update for the iPhone -- released on Sept. 12 -- included a wide range of bug fixes, security updates, and improvements for overall performance and reliability with 3G networks. It has also generated its own series of ActiveSync issues for some users. The problems seem to occur only on iPhones running the earlier iPhone 2.0.x firmware that were configured and able to successfully communicate with Exchange before the update.

Following the update, some users reported being unable to access items on the Exchange server with a "connection to the server failed" error message being displayed when trying to access Exchange items stored on the server. Over-the-air syncing also may be affected. Detailed reports of problems can be found in a thread on Apple's discussion forums.

While the problems appear to affect a number of users, it's not universal and some of the posters to the forum reported no issues after the update. Although the exact cause isn't clear from the information available so far, there do seem to be a couple of consistent points. First, problems seem to occur when an iPhone with an existing Exchange configuration is updated. Restoring rather than upgrading the firmware may be one way to avoid the problem.

Even some of those experiencing a problem have found that performing a restore operation and activating the restored phone as a new iPhone in iTunes -- rather than restoring settings from a backup of the iPhone made prior to the restore -- resolves problems completely. Note that this will require configuring the Exchange account on the iPhone again. Some users have also suggested that a full restore may not always be required and that simply resetting the iPhone can be effective. To reset the iPhone, power it off by holding the sleep button down until the Slide to Power Off display appears, then restart it.

Another tip noted by several users is that adjusting the use of the domain in a username for an Exchange account (adding it if it wasn't there originally or removing it if was) may help resolve the situation. Why the update would have changed the iPhone's behavior in this area compared to previous firmware versions isn't clear, but multiple users have reported this as a workable solution.

Resources

The following are additional resources that you should review if you are planning to implement the iPhone in an Exchange environment or if you are trying to resolve problems with iPhone access to Exchange. Many of these resources are mobile device guidelines from Microsoft; also included are resources from Apple and relevant discussion threads from Apple's iPhone in the Enterprise forums.

As I noted earlier, a full understanding of and experience with Exchange will go a long way toward making the integration of the iPhone as seamless as possible, and I strongly suggest reviewing all these resources before beginning such an integration. Smaller organizations or less-experienced Exchange administrators may also want to consider hiring a consultant who specializes in Exchange to ensure optimal configuration.

Apple knowledge base articles:

Ryan Faas is a frequent Computerworld contributor specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. You can find more information about him at RyanFaas.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesIT managementiphone 3g

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ryan Faas

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?