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  1.    #1  
    Hello there,

    You are behind a firewall, all ports blocked, and want to read (and reply) to your email almost transparently ? Well, keep reading.

    I think I've tried every solution out there. Researched for redirector, software, freeware and otherware. Found nothing that quite worked the way I wanted. Here was my (simple) wishlist:

    - Receive an email in my Exchange account, I wanted it to appear on my Treo. Fast, something similar to a Blackberry. I wanted to respond to it simply by hitting reply. Sounds simple ? Well, not when you are behind a firwall with most ports blocked, and ActiveSynch not enabled. Can't use OWA connectors, as not enabled or requires a VPN. Can't use Outlook redirection, blocked. Forwarding to an external account is permitted, but pain in the **** to reply and sort your emails( since they all seem to come from you). This is a setup found in most corporation. And oh yeah, be able to do all the above without the IT department involvment.

    So, what was the solution ? A bit complex, but here it is;

    - Since you are behind a firewall and all SMTP and IMAP ports are blocked, we have to work around that. For me, the solution was the creation of an IMAP account on Fastmail.fm. Why them ? Well they provide a proxy wich listens on many ports, including port 80 (http). So I am able to access an IMAP box outside the company using my outlook client. Just created an IMAP account in my Outlook client, using port 80. The beauty of it is that I can now create rules within Outlook to copy a message from my Inbox to my IMAP account. Since it is done from within the outlook client, there is no redirection involved per say. And since Outlook supports the IDLE command, things are fairly fast. Be creative on the rule side and you can filter your email. (Any email provider that have ports not blocked by your firewall is fair game.) The tough part is now behind you.

    On the Treo side, choices are multiple. You can use the included Versamail client, or possibly SnapperMail, ChatterEmail and a score of others. As long as IMAP is supported, you're home free. I've selected Chatter because it works for me (mostly, that is. Problems with accented letters but I'm confident Mark will resolve it).

    One problem though. If you simply "copy" an email from your regular Exchange Inbox to your IMAP account, you will lose part of the email address. Whatever is after the @ sign is lost, since Outlook shows you only the Active Directory name. To get around that, simply create a second IMAP account within your Outlook client that points to your Exchange server and apply your "copy" rule from there. That way, you will get fully qualified names, and you'll be able to respond simply by hitting "reply" on your Treo.

    Another advantage of this setup is that you can set auto-archiving settings on your IMAP account within Outlook to for example, delete messages older than 7 days, and it will get replicated on your Fastmail (for me) account and your Treo.

    That is it gang, just wanted to share an almost simple solution to a problem that frustrated the heck out of me. I've searched for a long time and read left and right to find something like this. If someone did it before, I wish I could have found about it earlier

    Regards,

    Francois
  2. #2  
    So with this solution, do I need to leave my corporate laptop on and connected through VPN with outlook open at all times?
  3. mtndew's Avatar
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    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by FLangdeau
    Hello there,

    You are behind a firewall, all ports blocked, and want to read (and reply) to your email almost transparently ? Well, keep reading.

    I think I've tried every solution out there. Researched for redirector, software, freeware and otherware. Found nothing that quite worked the way I wanted. Here was my (simple) wishlist:

    - Receive an email in my Exchange account, I wanted it to appear on my Treo. Fast, something similar to a Blackberry. I wanted to respond to it simply by hitting reply. Sounds simple ? Well, not when you are behind a firwall with most ports blocked, and ActiveSynch not enabled. Can't use OWA connectors, as not enabled or requires a VPN. Can't use Outlook redirection, blocked. Forwarding to an external account is permitted, but pain in the **** to reply and sort your emails( since they all seem to come from you). This is a setup found in most corporation. And oh yeah, be able to do all the above without the IT department involvment.

    So, what was the solution ? A bit complex, but here it is;

    - Since you are behind a firewall and all SMTP and IMAP ports are blocked, we have to work around that. For me, the solution was the creation of an IMAP account on Fastmail.fm. Why them ? Well they provide a proxy wich listens on many ports, including port 80 (http). So I am able to access an IMAP box outside the company using my outlook client. Just created an IMAP account in my Outlook client, using port 80. The beauty of it is that I can now create rules within Outlook to copy a message from my Inbox to my IMAP account. Since it is done from within the outlook client, there is no redirection involved per say. And since Outlook supports the IDLE command, things are fairly fast. Be creative on the rule side and you can filter your email. (Any email provider that have ports not blocked by your firewall is fair game.) The tough part is now behind you.

    On the Treo side, choices are multiple. You can use the included Versamail client, or possibly SnapperMail, ChatterEmail and a score of others. As long as IMAP is supported, you're home free. I've selected Chatter because it works for me (mostly, that is. Problems with accented letters but I'm confident Mark will resolve it).

    One problem though. If you simply "copy" an email from your regular Exchange Inbox to your IMAP account, you will lose part of the email address. Whatever is after the @ sign is lost, since Outlook shows you only the Active Directory name. To get around that, simply create a second IMAP account within your Outlook client that points to your Exchange server and apply your "copy" rule from there. That way, you will get fully qualified names, and you'll be able to respond simply by hitting "reply" on your Treo.

    Another advantage of this setup is that you can set auto-archiving settings on your IMAP account within Outlook to for example, delete messages older than 7 days, and it will get replicated on your Fastmail (for me) account and your Treo.

    That is it gang, just wanted to share an almost simple solution to a problem that frustrated the heck out of me. I've searched for a long time and read left and right to find something like this. If someone did it before, I wish I could have found about it earlier

    Regards,

    Francois

    Or get Chatter.
  4. #4  
    How will Chatter help solve this problem. Currently the only option I have is BES, I have tried BBC for Treo but cannot get it to work. It does not really solve the problem if I need to leave my laptop connected and on.
  5. #5  
    If you can use OWA, you can almost certainly you Chatter with the EX plugin.

    Marc
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by gillum
    So with this solution, do I need to leave my corporate laptop on and connected through VPN with outlook open at all times?
    Indeed, with this solution you must have your Outlook client running. Either on your pc at the office, or as you implied, your laptop/VPN.

    Personally, my office desktop remains running.

    Francois
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by mtndew
    Or get Chatter.
    mtndew

    Chatter has nothing to do with it. Mind you, I'm using Chatter, but it will not by itself resolve the fact taht many of us are operating behind closed ports on a firewall.

    The key for me was finding an IMAP provider working off proxy ports. The rest was fairly simple.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Chatter
    If you can use OWA, you can almost certainly you Chatter with the EX plugin.

    Marc
    Marc is right on this one. But for what I've seen, OWA is most often used in conjunction with either a VPN client or certificates. And that is another set of problems all by itself.
  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by david482
    How will Chatter help solve this problem. Currently the only option I have is BES, I have tried BBC for Treo but cannot get it to work. It does not really solve the problem if I need to leave my laptop connected and on.
    David,

    One almost working solution that you may want to try. If you can create a rule within your Outlook client were you can do a redirect to an external IMAP client you are in business. Once that rule is created, it is a server based rule and your client does not need to be on. But sometimes the redirect option is not enabled on the server side.

    Another option that I used was to create an auto-forward rule to an external account. That did work, is serve based (no need to keep your Outlook session going). The only problem is the fact that all email will be coming from yourslef, ie you will loose the original sender. When you do a reply, you will reply to yourself. So a bit of cut and paste is required, but it is a working and simple solution.
  10. #10  
    That is pretty much what I have tried as well. We do not have re-direction enabled. I have tried the forwarding and it works wih the ,imitations you mentioned. I think I am going to keep trying to get the BBC working.

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