Now the folks at Apple, Google, and other ISVs who develop Exchange ActiveSync clients no longer have excuses for bugs and misfeatures in their clients. Why? Because Katarzyna Puchala of Microsoft (already one of my favorite Microsofties thanks to her work as part of the Exchange unified messaging team) has posted three very detailed articles on how clients should behave when synchronizing with Exchange servers:
That means, third parties, that there are no longer any credible excuses for why your clients do things like randomly delete meeting requests, or fail to work with EAS autodiscover. Sadly these articles come after the release of OS X Lion, and past the point at which EAS bugs are likely to meet the release bar for iOS 5… but I can always hope that the first service release for each of those operating systems will include fixes to make their EAS implementations act right.
Ethan McConnell has a long post on the Exchange team blog covering how to set up the Windows Mobile emulators for testing various Exchange features. Early last month he snuck in an update: a link to the Windows Mobile 6.5 emulator images. If you’re interested in the differences between WM 6.1 and 6.5, this is probably the best way to satisfy your curiosity for the time being; I don’t think there are any actual WM 6.5 devices shipping yet.
So Devin posted about Z-Push, the cool-sound open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol. Here’s the problem: the Z-Push folks kinda forgot to buy a license for EAS, and I have a problem with that. After years of complaints that Microsoft wasn’t being open and sharing its protocols, they started to document the behavior of their protocols and offer some of them for licensing, EAS included. That’s good, right? It’s good enough for Apple, Google, and the many other companies that licensed EAS, anyway. However, apparently Zarafa wanted the benefit of Microsoft’s labors without being willing to pay for it, so they built their own implementation. I don’t think that’s fair, and I don’t think the technical coolness of Z-Push should obscure the fact that Zarafa is stealing something that isn’t theirs.
This is what I said in 2002:
Hey, Linux guys: if you want to beat Microsoft, do it by making something better, not by copying their investment.
What happened to Lemonade? How about Funambol? It’s not as though the FOSS world lacks for sync protocols; they just decided that Microsoft’s commercially successful, fully licensable protocol would better suit their needs, so they took it. It boggles the mind. It would be one thing if the protocol were fully open to all implementers, but it’s not. If you don’t like the licensing terms, build your own protocol– that’s not hard to understand, is it?