How to configure ActiveSync and manage mobile devices in Exchange 2007

Find out how to configure ActiveSync in Exchange Server 2007, set up mailbox policies and partner with mobile devices to determine their status and health.

In Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, mobile device management can be performed directly through the Exchange Management

Console. This tip outlines how to configure the ActiveSync protocol, set up mailbox policies, and partner with mobile devices to determine their status and health via the Exchange Management Console interface in Exchange 2007.

Enabling Exchange ActiveSync

The Exchange Management Console is used to manage ActiveSync, which lets mobile users access information from a server while they're offline. Exchange ActiveSync must be enabled for a particular mailbox to view most settings related to mailbox-level mobile messaging. To enable the ActiveSync protocol in Exchange 2007:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Navigate through the console tree to Recipient Configuration -> Mailbox.

  3. Right click on the mailbox that you want to enable, and select Properties.

  4. Select Mailbox Features from the properties sheet.

  5. Choose Exchange ActiveSync, as shown in Figure A.

  6. Click Enable.

  7. Click OK.

Enabling the ActiveSync protocol on Exchange Server 2007
Figure A. Select the Exchange ActiveSync option to enable this feature.

Directly manage partnered mobile devices

New to Exchange Server 2007, you can directly manage your users' mobile devices via the Exchange Management Console. When users initially synchronize their mobile devices with their mailboxes using Exchange ActiveSync, Exchange 2007 creates a partnership with that device. Once this partnership has been established, additional options are added to the Exchange Management Console. To access these options:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Navigate through the console tree to Recipient Configuration -> Mailbox.

  3. Right click on the mailbox for which you want to manage the mobile device partnership.

  4. Choose Manage Mobile Device from the menu. The top portion of this screen lists each mobile device that is partnered with the mailbox. Multiple mobile devices can be partnered with one mailbox.

Once you select a device from the list, the screen displays various device statistics. Some information provided includes:

  • First synchronization time
  • Device-wipe sent time
  • Device-wipe acknowledge time
  • Last policy update time
  • Last ping heartbeat (seconds)
  • Recovery password
  • Perform a remote-wipe of the device
  • Remove a device partnership

Associate an ActiveSync mailbox policy with a mobile device

More mobile device management resources:
Tip: Use Exchange 2007 ActiveSync logs to track mobile device activity

Crash Course: Exchange ActiveSync tips and tutorials

Step-by-Step Guide: How to secure mobile devices in Exchange Server 2007

Learning Guide: Exchange Server mobile device management

The Exchange Management Console can create an Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy, and then associate that policy with various mailboxes. An Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy regulates the types of mobile devices that can be used, types of passwords that can be used and resources that can be accessed using mobile devices. To create an Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy:

  1. Open the Exchange System Manager.

  2. Navigate through the console tree to Organization Configuration -> Client Access.

  3. Click the New Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy link found in the Actions pane to view the New Exchange ActiveSync Policy screen (Figure B).

Setting up a new Exchange 2007 ActiveSync mailbox Figure B. The New Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy dialog box lets you create ActiveSync mailbox policies.

  1. Enter a name for the ActiveSync policy that you're creating, and then decide if you want to allow non-provisionable devices. A non-provisionable device is a mobile device to which the Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy cannot be applied.

    Located below the option to allow non-provisionable devices is an option to control whether or not you will allow email attachments to be downloaded to the mobile device. Remaining options on this screen are password-related.

  2. After populating various fields, click New to create the policy. You then will see the policy listed in the Organization Configuration -> Client Access container.

    There are some elements of the Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox policy that Exchange Server 2007 won't let you to define until after a policy has been created.

  3. Right click on the policy that you just created and select Properties from the menu. You will see a screen similar that in Figure C.

Configuring options on the ActiveSync Mailbox Policy properties sheet
Figure C. The ActiveSync mailbox policy's properties sheet contains additional options that weren't previously available.

One available configuration option is the ability to specify the maximum size of an email attachment that can be downloaded. You can also use the properties sheet to grant access to Windows file shares and SharePoint services.

Associate a policy with a mailbox

After creating an Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy, you must link the policy to any applicable Exchange 2007 mailboxes. To do so:

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.

  2. Navigate through the console tree to Recipient Configuration -> Mailbox.

  3. Right click on the mailbox that you want the policy to enable, and choose Properties from the menu.

  4. Select the Mailbox Features tab.

  5. Select the Exchange ActiveSync option.

  6. Click on Properties.

  7. Select the Apply an Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox Policy checkbox.

  8. Use Browse to locate the policy that you want to link to the Exchange Server 2007 mailbox (Figure D), and then click OK twice.

Linking an ActiveSync policy to an Exchange Server 2007 mailbox
Figure D. Use Browse to locate the ActiveSync policy that you want to link to an Exchange 2007 mailbox.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at www.brienposey.com.

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This was first published in December 2007

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