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ActiveSync support!

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
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I am relatively new as a Blackberry (BB) user, and must say that I am a convert.  I can easily say that my productivity has increased tremendously, and others in my company have noticed as well.  That being said, the only show stopper as far as others in my company are concerned is the lack of ActiveSync support.  From the looks of the forum threads, it appears that this is a hot topic filled with all sorts of work-arounds and kludges. 
I work for a small company that has an exchange server but has no desire (nor ability) to add BES support (even the free version).  We don't have an IT department, and rely upon an outside consultant to manage the Exchange for us whenever something goes wrong, which is very seldom.  I can sync my inbox via OWA, but not my sent mail, so when I’m away from the office I can’t refer to my sent mail at all.  If someone adds an appointment to my calendar at work, I don’t know about it until I get back to the office and sync my BB to the Desktop Manager running on my PC with a cable. 
 So what is a user like me supposed to do?  If you look at the forums on various BB sites such as Crackberry.com, there are a myriad of suggestions including getting third party software such as AstraSync and BBerrySync which cost approximately $50/year (because they use a server to provide the syncing) – and many have reported issues, etc. with these products.  Or I can subscribe to an external BES provider and pay a monthly fee to them and pay AT&T another $15/month extra for BES service – no thanks.  Or I can download several Google products and sync away to my heart’s content – but then you have Outlook syncing to Gmail and then the BB syncing to Gmail which is once again putting a third party (albeit a free third party) in the middle, but it sure seems like a lot of extra steps.  Plus, that only addresses the contacts and calendar and not the sent mail issue or tasks. 
 Why go through all of this when ActiveSync can solve the problem?  Before I became a BB convert, I had a WinMo device and really didn’t think that BB wouldn’t have this capability since other manufacturers had ActiveSync and BB had OWA access to mail via BIS.  Not all of us can work for larger companies that have deployed BES.  Some have made the comment that support of ActiveSync would be against BB’s philosophy and potentially reduce BES sales.  I really don’t understand that, since BB is now moving to a more consumer oriented focus in order to expand their base, there is a significant chunk of the marketplace that would benefit from having ActiveSync capabilities.  I would say that those companies that have bought into the BES philosophy (remote wipe, security, provisioning, control, etc.) would still use BES.  But those companies, such as the one I work for, that do not have the need for the same level of security would benefit from having their employees have more access to their Outlook Exchange data (mail, calendar, & contacts) without having to be burdened with the cost and support of BES.  Just using my company as an example, I am the only person in the company that has this issue since all of the other users are WinMo, Nokia, or iPhone users. [Side note here – the arch enemy iPhone can do this but not cut & paste, but really, isn’t ActiveSync more important.]  Like it or not, there are more users of Exchange without BES than with BES, and RIM would not be making a philosophical concessions by having an ActiveSync client available to those users that wanted it, or are willing to pay for the application. 
 Well, that’s my two cents worth….. Thanks for listening ……  And I am open to any and all comments and suggestions.

The Best Answer

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Hi
Well I'm currently testing the new (beta) version of NotifySync which now does include HTML ;-)
I use NotifySync for my main company mailbox and BIS messages for my other (personal) accounts. The beauty of NotifySync is the true folder mirroring that you get against your company ActiveSync server. I dont mind my personal accounts in another program icon. I can keep them separate.
Also I assign the left hand convenience button (normally used for Voice Command) to NotifySync and move the NotifySync icon to the top left hand corner which means it will always appear in the short desktop mode.
You are right about year 1 pricing but year 2 is half of what you stated. Year 2 plus pricing is to cover support and maintenance releases.
Hope this helps
Best Wishes
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