Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Using DavMail Gateway To Allow Thunderbird To Access Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 & Earlier

Your employer uses Microsoft Exchange and allows you to access your e-mail, calendar and contacts via Outlook installed on employer-issued computers. You want to access your e-mails, calendar and contacts on your own computer using a client such as Mozilla Thunderbird. Your employer refuses to enable IMAP access, citing security risks. Microsoft Exchange uses proprietary MAPI protocols, which are incompatible with the open protocols that Thunderbird and other clients use.

With IMAP disabled by your employer, you are forced to use the clunky web-based Outlook Web Access. What do you do?

Enter DavMail Gateway.

DavMail Gateway is an open-source POP/IMAP/SMTP/Caldav/LDAP exchange gateway that enables users to use any mail/calendar client (e.g. Thunderbird with Lightning or Apple iCal) with any Microsoft Exchange server.

DavMail Gateway's mechanism is deceptively simple yet elegant: it uses Outlook Web Access to retrieve your e-mail, calendar and contacts from your employer's Exchange server and then retransmit them to your local client using open standard compliant protocols (e.g., LDAP, SMTP, IMAP, Caldav, POP).

DavMail Gateway is compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2007 and earlier. It is written in Java and officially tested on Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS X platforms.

Here is a visual schematic of how DavMail Gateway works:


I have tested the latest version of DavMail Gateway with Thunderbird 3 on my home computers running Windows XP and Ubuntu 9.10 to access my employer's Microsoft Exchange 2007 server at work and I am pleased to say that DavMail Gateway works like a charm, allowing the Thunderbird installed on my Windows XP and Ubuntu 9.10 systems to access my employer's Exchange 2007 server without any problems.

No more clunky Outlook Web Access for me.

DavMail is hosted on sourceforge.net.

Visit DavMail Gateway's official site -- http://davmail.sourceforge.net -- for detailed setup instructions, latest versions for downloading, etc.


SETUP INSTRUCTIONS:

NB: This method does not apply if you are accessing your e-mail through Outlook.com. You can still use Thunderbird to access your Outlook.com e-mail. For detailed instructions, see my blog post: Accessing Your Outlook WebMail Using Thunderbird.

12 comments:

  1. Hey since you have successfully configured davmail with thunderbird would you be kind enough to help me with mine?

    thanks,
    denise

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  2. I've added the links to the instructions for the setup/configuration of DavMail and Thunderbird in the post.

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  3. Yes, but the screenshots on these instructions a) look completely different than what I see in Thunderbird, and b) are in french. :-(

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  4. I also had no luck with exchange and Thunderbird, calendar sync worked, but could not write any events, but with the latest Thunderbird and Exchange data provider plugins, everything works 100%, just takes some time for the initial configuration, davmail also not needed anymore. see more here:

    http://tinyurl.com/6cf5mx8

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  5. I've made my TB work with Davmail just fine, I even configured LDAP. now I have another problem, I got an email in another company as external consultat, so I need to setup another ms exchange account? how to pull that off? run two davmails? but how to remember two diferent configurations? I can give other ports dor accounts so they wont interfere. Thanks

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  6. Here's how I got it working with GMail. Should be even easier with Thunderbird. http://purereasoning.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-use-gmail-with-microsoft.html

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  7. Nice guide, DavMail is a good solution in combination with thunderbird.

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  8. I succesfully installed Davmail via IMAP with a Exchange 2000 server, but it works only with the inbox, and not with other folders. Any workaround?

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  9. I succesfully installed Davmail via IMAP with a Exchange 2000 server, but it works only with the inbox, and not with other folders. Any workaround?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I succesfully installed Davmail via IMAP with a Exchange 2000 server, but it works only with the inbox, and not with other folders. Any workaround?

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  11. it's awesome tutorial sir. very nice work.
    keep it up
    http://bit.ly/2oJKaPj

    ReplyDelete