ActiveSync – Exchange 2010

In simple language Exchange ActiveSync is a protocol used to access mailbox with the help of HTTP/XML on a server having exchange installed

Exchange ActiveSync has features like viewing html messages, meeting attendee information, exchange search, PIN reset and so on….

We can manage ActiveSync by enabling/disabling the feature, applying mailbox policies as listed by the orgs. gather reports, wiping remotely the device and so on….

Below are some main funtions which one should know:

Autodiscover with Exchange ActiveSync:

  • The user enters their e-mail address and password on the mobile phone.
  • The mobile phone connects to a root DNS server to retrieve the URL for the Autodiscover service and the IP address for the user’s domain.
  • The mobile phone uses a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection to connect through the firewall to the Autodiscover service virtual directory. The Autodiscover service assembles the XML response based on the server synchronization settings.
  • The Autodiscover service sends the XML response through the firewall over SSL. This XML response is interpreted by the mobile phone, and synchronization settings are configured automatically on the mobile phone.

Note : Not all mobile phone operating systems that support synchronization with Exchange 2010 support Autodiscover

Exchange ActiveSync Direct Push :

Direct Push operates in the following way:

A mobile phone that’s configured to synchronize with an Exchange 2010 server issues an HTTPS request to the server. This request is known as a PING. The request tells the server to notify the device if any items change in any folder that’s configured to synchronize in the next 15 minutes. Otherwise, the server should return an HTTP 200 OK message. The mobile phone then stands by. The 15-minute time span is known as a heartbeat interval.

If no items change in 15 minutes, the server returns a response of HTTP 200 OK. The mobile phone receives this response, resumes activity (known as waking up), and issues its request again. This restarts the process.

If any items change or new items are received within the 15-minute heartbeat interval, the server sends a response that informs the mobile phone that there’s a new or changed item and provides the name of the folder in which the new or changed item resides. After the mobile phone receives this response, it issues a synchronization request for the folder that has the new or changed items. When synchronization is complete, the mobile phone issues a new PING request and the whole process starts over.

Direct Push is a feature that’s built into Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Direct Push keeps a mobile phone current over a cellular network connection. It provides notification to the mobile phone when new content is ready to be synchronized to the mobile phone

Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policies :

Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policies let you apply a common set of policy or security settings to a user or group of users. There are several policies like managing camera, storage, managing consumer emails, managing desktop syncs, remote desktops, internet sharing, WIFI and so on….

Exchange ActiveSync reporting services :

Reporting in Exchange ActiveSync for Exchange 2010 is a Windows PowerShell task that compiles a set of Internet Information Services (IIS) logs and processes to create a series of output files.

To generate report you should have :

  • Read access to IIS Logs
  • Exchange Server Administrator or Exchange Organization Role

I have list down some element names with defination which i liked in the below table and have interest to track/gather information from the device as an admin.

Exchange ActiveSync Mobile Device Management :

As an administrator, you can create allow lists, block lists, and quarantine lists specifying which mobile devices are allowed to access your Exchange mailboxes. A quarantine list lets you allow only a user’s assigned device to connect to the Exchange server.

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