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helping

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We've got Kerio 6.2.2 and are using all Apple client software. CALDAV in iCal for syncing calendars and To Do items, Exchange for syncing Address Book, and set up the Directory Utility using the "Auto-Configure iCal" script. We are having problems across the board and have been frustrated by the answers from support. It seems a lot of the problems are known and accepted, and others aren't understood to be problems. I'll list out what's not working from most important to lesser, and I would love to get information from people that have any of those features working better than we do.

Here's a simple iCal scenario: I invite someone to an event, they check "accept", I hit "ok" and the event should be set, with green check marks for both of us on both of our calendars, as well as the resource calendar for a conference room, if that was included. Right now, what I actually see is the correct view on the inviter's calendar, and grey question marks for both myself and the resource on the invitee's calendar.

When you add more users, it gets worse/inconsistent. It will instantly give a red "no" symbol to some users, green checks on some, and grey question marks on others. If one of the invitees that is grayed out goes to the event and changes their response to "maybe", then reselects "accept", their response changes to "accept" on my calendar, but the other user that was green changes to a grey question mark. This is needed to be working for all of our users.

In iCal, if you go to the preferences and click the "add a default alarm to all new events and invitations", this creates an audible alarm as well as a popup window with your alarm. Once you add an iPhone syncing wirelessly with Exchange, the server syncs to the iPhone, then syncs again with the server, and the sound gets stripped out, making it just a pop up alarm.

Also in iCal when syncing wirelessly through Exchange on the iPhone, if you have one of those alarms pop up on your computer's display and you click the button to postpone/snooze the event by 5 minutes, the alarm disappears completely (no alarm at all after doing this) the next time the iPhone syncs the event. Both this and the previous feature are used extensively by a couple of our users.

To Do items get moved to the main "calendar" calendar. There doesn't appear to be a way to organize To Do items on the server or have To Do items for different clients/home purposes/whatever else.

The Address Book doesn't sync Notes, Contact photos, or Groups. Apparently Notes and Contact Photos do not sync over Exchange. Sounds like Groups is being dealt with in 6.7, but do we have to use the Sync Connector? Does anyone recommend a setup for these? When adding an iPhone to the mix, it syncs wirelessly over Exchange. Doesn't that mean that the iPhone doesn't get Contact Photos or Notes?

No way to view all of a user's calendars in one view on the server that I can find. This makes the web interface useless. No way I can click through ten calendars to see if I have something happening at 4pm.

Maybe I'm not the best at communicating these issues with Kerio support, but it seems that we shouldn't be having all of these issues. Any help, settings, confirmation, or even "we have this working with Apple's apps" would be great.

Other background, we aren't using Kerio for email, but I did leave those services running, as it's unclear if they are needed in order to send event information back and forth.

Thanks very much, Ian
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Pavel Dobry (Kerio)

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Perhaps the question is not "which Kerio features work with Apple ecosystem" but more likely "which Apple features are compatible with outside world". That seems to be main source of issues. Apple applications often use unique functions which are great for the user but impossible to convert to the real world applications. Kerio MailServer is designed to provide best available compatibility with all major groupware clients in the world.

v8media wrote on Thu, 09 April 2009 01:20


Here's a simple iCal scenario: I invite someone to an event, they check "accept", I hit "ok" and the event should be set, with green check marks for both of us on both of our calendars, as well as the resource calendar for a conference room, if that was included. Right now, what I actually see is the correct view on the inviter's calendar, and grey question marks for both myself and the resource on the invitee's calendar.


Classic example of compatibility issue between iCal (CalDAV) and all other clients.
Have two users in your company - one is using iCal other one Outlook.
1. iCal user creates an invitation via CalDAV.
2. The invitation is delivered to Outlook user via e-mail (which is btw unique Kerio feature - pure CalDAV server can't do this).
3. Outlook user accepts the invitation.
4. iCal user gets back response from Outlook user and updates the event with green flag.
5. iCal tries to send an update to Outlook user so both users have same info about invitee status. And here comes the problem. No other client except iCal with CalDAV is supporting this. All other clients interprets the update as a real update and show invitation again so the user must accept is again. This is very confusing for the users. Therefore Kerio Mailserver can't send this update to invitees because they will beat the organizer asking what has changed since he is sending the update.
Sad, but when it comes to real compatibility and functionality for all clients, there could be some issues with unique functions not compatible with outside world.

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When you add more users, it gets worse/inconsistent. It will instantly give a red "no" symbol to some users, green checks on some, and grey question marks on others. If one of the invitees that is grayed out goes to the event and changes their response to "maybe", then reselects "accept", their response changes to "accept" on my calendar, but the other user that was green changes to a grey question mark. This is needed to be working for all of our users.


This is strange. I use Apple iCal with CalDAV and have so such issue. Do you use another client except the iCal to view responses from invitees?
Quote:


In iCal, if you go to the preferences and click the "add a default alarm to all new events and invitations", this creates an audible alarm as well as a popup window with your alarm. Once you add an iPhone syncing wirelessly with Exchange, the server syncs to the iPhone, then syncs again with the server, and the sound gets stripped out, making it just a pop up alarm.


Neither iPhone nor ActiveSync protocol can use custom alarms. Therefore it is possible when the device changes any alarm property it overwrites all alarms defined for the event. This is something we would like to solve but believe me it is not easy.
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Also in iCal when syncing wirelessly through Exchange on the iPhone, if you have one of those alarms pop up on your computer's display and you click the button to postpone/snooze the event by 5 minutes, the alarm disappears completely (no alarm at all after doing this) the next time the iPhone syncs the event. Both this and the previous feature are used extensively by a couple of our users.


I would like to know more details, eg. what client is used for delaying the alarm.
Please note there are known limitations of all applications. For example, iCal does not sync "snooze" time to the server at all. Right know I cannot tell if this is a limitation of applications (iCal, iPhone) or Kerio issue.
Quote:


To Do items get moved to the main "calendar" calendar. There doesn't appear to be a way to organize To Do items on the server or have To Do items for different clients/home purposes/whatever else.


This can happen only when some client with no support for CalDAV categories download and re-add the task (Sunbird, Lightning etc.) (or some files are deleted from the message store which I believe is not this case). I would like to know more details if possible. I'm using iCal and WebMail with no issues. We've tested all supported clients and found no issue like this.
Quote:


The Address Book doesn't sync Notes, Contact photos, or Groups. Apparently Notes and Contact Photos do not sync over Exchange. Sounds like Groups is being dealt with in 6.7, but do we have to use the Sync Connector? Does anyone recommend a setup for these? When adding an iPhone to the mix, it syncs wirelessly over Exchange. Doesn't that mean that the iPhone doesn't get Contact Photos or Notes?


Exchange synchronization in AddressBook has limitations and is not able to sync many contact attributes (like photo, groups or notes). That's why we developed Kerio Sync Connector for Mac which is providing more functionality than basic synchronization in AddressBook.
iPhone synchronization is completely different from AddressBook, it uses ActiveSync. iPhone can sync both photos and notes from the server. The only issue is that AddressBook is not able to upload them to any server. That's why you need to use Kerio Sync Connector for Mac for this.
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No way to view all of a user's calendars in one view on the server that I can find. This makes the web interface useless. No way I can click through ten calendars to see if I have something happening at 4pm.


Well,this is how WebMail currently works. It is using "Outlook-like" interface which is more familiar for majority of users.
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Other background, we aren't using Kerio for email, but I did leave those services running, as it's unclear if they are needed in order to send event information back and forth.
Thanks very much, Ian

This surprises me. I thought main strength of groupware solution is combination of emails and other groupware data. For example, when synchronizing iPhone it is more comfortable to use one account for all instead of creating multiple accounts for email and calendars. I have to admit this scenario sound unusual to me.
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helping

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Well, I wouldn't have to be figuring this out if there was a document somewhere that said: Features that work with all clients:, features that work in ical:, features that work in entourage:. features that don't work . . . I'm having to learn by trial and error. I've asked sales and service for this, and it seems to either not exist, or be policy not to release it. I'm sure I'm not the only person trying to figure out how to get a straight Apple office working with Kerio. And like it or not, but iCal is on every Apple machine, making it one of the major calendar clients.

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5. iCal tries to send an update to Outlook user so both users have same info about invitee status. And here comes the problem. No other client except iCal with CalDAV is supporting this. All other clients interprets the update as a real update and show invitation again so the user must accept is again. This is very confusing for the users. Therefore Kerio Mailserver can't send this update to invitees because they will beat the organizer asking what has changed since he is sending the update.


I don't care about compatibility with the outside world, we want a calendar for our office. All users are using iCal and maybe an iPhone, none are using Outlook or Entourage. iCal and the iPhone are listed as supported, so it seems like most everything should be working with both.

Aaah! That makes total sense though why it wouldn't be working though with that description! Again, if this was listed on the Kerio site, I wouldn't have wasted lots of my time, as well as hiring a Kerio reseller and support person out to our office. We might even understand why you had chosen to program the software this way. On our end though, this is the killer feature of a networked calendar: to know when you can make an appointment with other people, and to know if they are going to the meeting with you after you invite them. I guess I'll try Entourage, but older versions have always been pretty horrible, in my experience, and it sounds like it's still not great.

Also, if Outlook doesn't have this feature, then Entourage probably won't either. You're saying that using Outlook and Exchange, you don't know if somebody is coming to your meeting? Is it possible that Outlook only sends a reply if the person responds with a no or maybe? Maybe only the "yes" response is assumed?

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This is strange. I use Apple iCal with CalDAV and have so such issue. Do you use another client except the iCal to view responses from invitees?


Just iCal and the iPhone.

Quote:

I would like to know more details, eg. what client is used for delaying the alarm.
Please note there are known limitations of all applications. For example, iCal does not sync "snooze" time to the server at all. Right know I cannot tell if this is a limitation of applications (iCal, iPhone) or Kerio issue.


iCal. This works perfectly until we add in iPhone syncing. It's the sync back to the iCal client after the iPhone has seen the event that erases the information in the iCal event with what the server has. So it's either a problem in the Kerio server, deciding to sync back something that hadn't really changed, or Exchange doing something similar. This could likely be fixed for events that are only viewed on the iPhone (the server could compare and realize nothing was really changed before syncing iCal again), but if you change something on the iPhone, I think you're stuck with getting your event overwritten without the alarm.

Quote:

This can happen only when some client with no support for CalDAV categories download and re-add the task (Sunbird, Lightning etc.) (or some files are deleted from the message store which I believe is not this case). I would like to know more details if possible. I'm using iCal and WebMail with no issues. We've tested all supported clients and found no issue like this.


iCal and iPhone. Create three calendars (or any number two or over), create a to do item on each one. Make all user's calendars editable by all users on the network. View the first person's calendar with anyone else's calendar, make sure it refreshes. Go back to the first person's calendar, refresh. Tada! Your to do items are all on the primary calendar. I think we might turn off the editing, but I'll have to see if that breaks anyone's process first.

Quote:

That's why we developed Kerio Sync Connector for Mac which is providing more functionality than basic synchronization in AddressBook.
iPhone synchronization is completely different from AddressBook, it uses ActiveSync. iPhone can sync both photos and notes from the server. The only issue is that AddressBook is not able to upload them to any server. That's why you need to use Kerio Sync Connector for Mac for this.


The way it sounds from the user's guide, if we have Leopard, we should use the Leopard features. It's now clear that that message was only talking about the calendar, not the address book. You might have the person in charge of the documentation explicitly state which features work for which methods and tell which method you recommend. I had not tried the Sync Connector until last week, as I thought it was for 10.4 and previous. I tried using it for calendar, and that doesn't appear to work, but it sounds like that's moot as we're supposed to use iCal and CALDAV for that piece.

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Well,this is how WebMail currently works. It is using "Outlook-like" interface which is more familiar for majority of users.


Well, this one is really just a feature request, but adding an "All" calendar in the web interface would make it useable for us, and still useable for anyone used to the current way it works, as they could click on each separate calendar. And keep in mind, just because a ton of people use Outlook and are used to it, that doesn't mean they would not like to be able to do things more easily or have choices in the way they do things.

Quote:

This surprises me. I thought main strength of groupware solution is combination of emails and other groupware data. For example, when synchronizing iPhone it is more comfortable to use one account for all instead of creating multiple accounts for email and calendars. I have to admit this scenario sound unusual to me.


We weren't looking for "Groupware", we want a networked calendar. There is either iCal Server, or a couple open source projects when it comes to "just a calendar", so we went looking through our other options. In my opinion, groupware should be designed so it works well together, for sure, but it should also be designed so that nothing breaks when somebody only needs one feature. One size does not fit everyone, everywhere.

Thanks very much for all of this helpful information. It is much less frustrating for me to have to sift through information than to think/know I just don't know the full story. Please push to have a document on the Kerio site that tells what works and what doesn't. At the very least, recommend which client software to use and give a few examples of features that work well on the one client and don't on the other. We've spent over the amount of Kerio now trying to get this to work.

Again, thank you for the information, Ian
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Pavel Dobry (Kerio)

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I wish we could have such document but it is quite difficult to create it and keep it updated. The features in every client are changing with every single release or update. Moreover, there is no document provided by the client vendors about features in their products (except MS Entourage which has a list of working/non-working features).

Regarding attendee status update in meetings: This is designed to work for the meeting organizer only. He is the only one who gets accept/decline response from all attendees. Attendee cannot see the status of other attendees. But the organizer can (as long as the event is in his private calendar) - he knows the status of all invited people or resources.

I can confirm an issue with tasks in shared (delegated) calendars with R/W access for other users. We are working on a solution.

Kerio Sync Connector for Mac is recommended for Tiger users to sync their calendars and contacts. Leopard users can use CalDAV in iCal for calendar synchronization and KSC only for contacts (or for both - depends on their preferences).

"All" calendar for web interface would be a great feature. I agree. It is on our list already.
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helping

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Well, in previous tech jobs I've had, updating this type of document was part of the requirements for finishing up an update to something. How you can you be sure you didn't just break all support for some particular feature or client if you haven't fully tested through your list of features before releasing your product? You just list which client versions the features were tested with, and then people know that if iCal is .1 higher than your testing, something unknown might be broken or fixed until you guys update your software again, but at least they get a good idea what should be working.

Is there a trick to getting Entourage to talk to Kerio? I've been trying variations on the settings that work with our iPhones and I can't get anything yet. Sounds like once I get it talking, Entourage doesn't even sync to do items at this point so it might be moot (until they finish the version of Entourage that's in Beta right now).
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My IT Indy

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There's no trick to getting Entourage to talk to Kerio, the problem is that Entourage sucks. No task syncing, no categories, no server-side groups, just to get started. It sucks with Exchange too.

Theoretically with support for EWS built into Entourage it should be better, but who knows if Kerio will be able to leverage those features into KMS. Knowing MS, the EWS will only work with Exchange 2007 and there won't be a method to hook into Entourage with a plugin like Outlook has.

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