2016/10/17

Configure Gmail account in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Configure Gmail account in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Applies to: Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Task

For various reasons, we like to integrate Gmail accounts into Outlook rather than using Gmail on web browsers. At this point, we use free Gmail account as an example to demonstrate on how to create a Gmail account inside Outlook using IMAP and SMTP protocols.
 


Adding Gmail account

Setting up Gmail account in Outlook can be as simple as a few steps below:

1. Click on [File] at top-left




2. Click on [+ Add Account]


3. Click on [E-mail Account] radial and 
fill in your name, E-mail Address and password. Then, click on [Next >] at lower-right


4. After 10 to 15 seconds of auto-discovery, your Gmail IMAP is successfully configured and click on [Finish] to exit [Add Account] window




5. At Navigation Pane to the left, you will see folders for your Gmail account



Unlike some on-premises mail server that requires us to fill in server host name and supporting ports, Outlook is able to auto-detect Gmail configuration settings.

Managing subscribed folders

You can and you should take a look at the list of subscribed folders in your Gmail account, because you do not necessarily need to subscribe them all. For example, subscription to [Gmail]/All Mail folder can be omitted so that you can save a lot of time and bandwidth.


Streamline your Google experience in Outlook

For Outlook users who stick with Gmail accounts, it would be nice to also integrate their Google contacts, calendars and tasks from their Google accounts on Outlook. I personally recommend sync through Outlook add-ins. Since contacts, calendars and tasks are always changing all over the places, life is easier if things are synchronized throughout all your devices.



Surprisingly, it’s the year of 2016 and Gmail still doesn’t provide Push Mail Notification to Gmail account configured under Outlook. After observation for some time, the only way for me to be notified of new incoming mails for IMAP is if I leave the INBOX of my IMAP account selected.



Sync tools on the market

There are about a dozen of Outlook sync tools on the market, such as gSyncit, Companionlink, OggSync, Sync2, SyncMyCal and EVO Collaborator for Outlook. What if we want an all-in-one solution that synchronizes Google contacts and tasks while providing both real-time calendar sync and Gmail Push Mail to Outlook? EVO collaborator for outlook may be the only answer. I’d recommend Gmail users using Outlook as their default desktop mail client to try this add-in.



2016/10/08

Sync Google Calendar and Gmail with Outlook in real-time Push Notification

Sync Google Calendar and Gmail with Outlook in real-time Push Notification

It has been 2 years since I last wrote the article about “How to synchronize Google Calendar with Outlook”. Lots of things have changed since then. Now, many of you already know how to sync Google Calendar and address book with Office 365, Outlook 2016/2010/2013/2007. Today, I am going to update this article and elaborate on how to also sync Google Task with Outlook, how to sync Google Calendar in real-time, and how to sync Gmail’s INBOX under Outlook in real-time using IMAP and Push Notification technology.





To refresh our memories:


Google Calendar Sync: Error syncing your calendar.Error code: 2016.Please see our Help Center for more information.






The above error message started to pop up back in 8/1/2014 when you were trying to use Google’s free Google Calendar Sync for Outlook. The reason was that Google terminated access of this free application to its synchronization services. Instead of providing free services, users must pay to continue using the successor called GASMO (Google App Sync for Microsoft Outlook) while Microsoft still has not yet implemented a way to sync with Google’s contact/calendar/task in its most recent Outlook 2016. Free Gmail users have been looking for an alternative to GASMO on their Outlook even until now.



Push Technology


Other than GASMO matter, I believe that many of you are using Android smart phones. When your Gmail account has e-mails coming in, your smartphone will notify you. Perhaps you are getting so used to it and you do not realize that it is the Gmail Push Email feature doing the job. With this push notification scheme, you can receive emails in real-time. However, when you use Outlook, it is still only designed to check for emails every few minutes. Is there any way for Outlook to also achieve such real-time Gmail INBOX sync?


What is real-time Google calendar sync with Outlook?

Calendar entries you created elsewhere (for example on an android smartphone) are pushed to your other devices or software immediately.  As far as I know, almost all other sync tools still rely on manual or sync-counter to pull new entries from Google Calendar. 


What is Gmail Push Notification?

Gmail’s new email arrivals can be pushed via Gmail Push Notification. When new mails arrived at your Gmail INBOX, Google will send a notification to your device or software. Then, you will hear an alert sound and automatically initiate a quick mail sync for the Gmail INBOX.

Is it possible for us to sync both Gmail emails and Gmail Calendar with Microsoft Outlook in real-time as mentioned above?


Of course, you can! EVO Collaborator for Outlook is handling the jobs for you. Other than synchronizing Gmail contacts and tasks with Outlook, you will experience the advantage of real-time sync upgrade from timer-sync over Gmail Calendar and your existing Gmail IMAP INBOX.


Technology behind EVO Collaborator for Outlook


EVO collaborator for Outlook uses many different Google API, including Google Contacts API, Google Calendar API, Gmail API, Google Tasks API so that Outlook can talk to Google services. Meanwhile, CardDAV and CalDAV are also implemented to make synchronizations with popular CardDAV and CalDAV services possible, such as iCloud, Synology, Yahoo!, GMX, ownCloud and etc. 


Recap of ECO sync with Google contacts, calendars and tasks

1. Download and install EVO Collaborator for Outlook with Run as administrator

2. Open Outlook 2007/2010/2013/2016 and click on EVO ribbon



3. Click on Configure profile and select Profile #6 



4. Enter your Gmail account (if you have Gmail configured in Outlook, your Gmail account is auto-detected and listed in the email space) and click on TEST to proceed Google OAuth 



5. Once authenticated, click on Apply and Quit to leave Confgiure profile window. Synchronization will take place. Be sure to click on Calendar/People/Tasks section at lower-left within Outlook and you will find your contact/calendar/task entries inside Gmail contacts/Gmail calendar/Gmail task respectively.




An ultimate and complete Gmail companion for outlook is finally here.

With ECO’s Google contacts/calendar/tasks sync as well as Google Calendar Push Notification and Gmail Push Notification on Outlook, now Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Gmail are now finally like a family.



2016/08/04

Error: Your browser is no longer supported . Upgrade and Install new...

Error: Your browser is no longer supported . Upgrade and Install new...


On 8/3/2016, I was playing my nVidia Shield and trying to log in my Google+ account. Then, I encountered an error message showing on GeForce Experience:



"Your browser is no longer supported . Upgrade and Install new one"

"이후 이상 지원되지 않는 브라우저 입니다. 최신 버전으로 업데이트 하세요 라는 문구가 뜨면서 인증을 계속 진행할 없는 상황입니다. "


I Googled this error message but found nothing about it. 

On the very same day, I was configuring EVO Collaborator for Outlook on my Outlook to sync my google contact, calendar and task with Microsoft Outlook. I met the same error message.



Your browser is not supported anymore.
 

Then, I contacted EVO staff regarding this matter. After a few hours, they replied me with a solution of a newer release along with an explanation:


Many PC software applications are written in Microsoft .Net Framework which is still using IE6 web browser control core. Under this environment, Google’s OAuth will think my IE browser is too old even though I am already on a Windows 10 with IE 8, 9, 10 or 11. Now, we came up with a solution to emulate the IE environment to persuade Google OAuth that it is already running a newer IE version.


After I downloaded the newer version, EVO Collaborator for Outlook is working properly with Google OAuth. Yet, EVO staff also told me that I can in fact use the .reg files included in the ECO package on other applications with the same issue by simply changing “outlook.exe” with executable file of applications that have the same issue. 


I was asking EVO staff if I can apply the same registry tweak on my GeForce case? They said, “Of course! Why not?” Then, I stuffed GeForce’s executable file called “GFExperience.EXE” in place of “Outlook.exe”. Amazingly, it works for my nVidia Shield. Thank you! EVO staff! You are wonderful!


By the way, here are what these two registries files look like: (one for XP and one for Windows 7-10):



  • Windows 7-10:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION]"GFExperience.EXE"=dword:0000270f


  • Windows XP:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION]"GFExperience.EXE"=dword:000022b8

2016/05/31

How to sync Axigen Mail Server contacts in Outlook without Outlook connector via CardDAV?

How to sync Axigen contacts in Outlook without Outlook connector via CardDAV?

If you are in IT industry for some time, you have probably heard of Axigen Mail Server. Its powerful features and scalability are proven to provide a decent alternative to Microsoft Exchange Server.





On the other day, when I saw EVO Collaborator for Outlook v2.0.33 was released and it supports synchronization with Axigen Mail Server's contacts or address book, I decided to try it out.




How to sync Axigen Mail Server contacts with Outlook using CardDAV protocol?


Once I got my trial installation of Axigen Mail Server done, all I did was opening my Outlook 2016 and manually entering contact URL in the following syntax:

https://<servername>/Contacts/



Then, I enter my full e-mail address and password. The next thing is clicking on TEST button, Apply button and Quit button.

As a result, the synchronization went successfully:






However, I notice that domain and public contacts are not yet to be synchronized through CardDAV.

I googled a little bit and found requests of implementing CalDAV and CardDAV support were brought up years back:

https://www.axigen.com/forum/forum/support-discussion-lists/feature-requests/3792-caldav-support

On Axigen's Google+ page, support for CardDAV was mentioned and made available back in Q2 2015.

https://plus.google.com/communities/102973968071431941505

Then, I found a good news on Axigen's Product Community update that CalDAV may be available in Q4 2016:

https://axigen.uservoice.com/forums/294255-general/suggestions/13322535-caldav-support

Many thanks to Axigen's R&D staffs on their effort making things possible. This is really awesome that users from Outlook 2016, 2010, 2013 and 2007 will benefit from it! 


2016/04/28

PHP extension CURL missing error during Roundcube CardDAV initialization

PHP extension CURL missing error during Roundcube CardDAV initialization

php extension curl is missing from your system

I was setting up CardDAV plugin (Roundcube CardDAV 0.5.1) for my own Roundcube webmail v1.1.4 on my Wintel machine the other day. There was an error of 
The PHP extension CURL is not installed! Please install CURL to use the CardDAV plugin.
occurring. I checked that php-curl.dll and its dependency .dll files are actually located in the Apache folder but it keeps on throwing me this kind of “php_curl.dll missing” error messages. 

Then, I googled it and only found a few resulting links. One of them mentioned about the path to these files might not be included within Windows’ Environment Variables. So, I added the path to Path line and restarted the computer. Amazingly, it works.
php curl windows install

Let me recap the whole steps to add the path to Environment Variables below:
  1. Right-click on Computer and select Properties
  2. Click on Advanced System Settings at lower-left
  3. Under Advanced tab, click on Environment Variables
  4. Then, under System variables, scroll down to Path and double-click on it
  5. To the right of Variable value, scroll to the end of space and add the actual path where Apache\bin can be located
  6. Restart Windows to be safe that this system variable change will take place
  7. Now, Apache will start smoothly as usual

How to sync Outlook calendar with ownCloud v9.0?

How to sync Outlook calendar with ownCloud v9.0?

In Mar,2016, ownCloud v9.0 was released. Some feedbacks from existing ownCloud v8.2.3 upgrading to ownCloud v9.0 are good while some are bad. Anyway, out of curiosity, I did a test drive to check if EVO Collaborator for Outlook is compatible with it. It seems out of luck that ECO did not connect to ownCloud v9.0. I was a little disappointed because this Outlook add-in has been working for owncloud from v5.0 to v8.x. 



Later, I was trying to find some clue on ownCloud’s on-line user manual about the server URL that we need to enter on iOS devices:

The URLs look like this:
  1. CalDAV URL: ADDRESS/remote.php/caldav/principals/username
  2. CardDAV URL: ADDRESS/remote.php/carddav/principals/username
I think it is too long to remember and enter during configuration. 

Then, I contacted EVO staff about this. They said they were working on it and needed a few more days to wrap it up. A few days later, I received an e-mail from them telling me it is compatible with ownCloud v9.0 now. 

I went ahead to try it. This time, EVO staff impressed me as usual. All I need to enter is the owncloud server hostname is the following format:

https://<servername_or_server_ip>/remote.php/

Unlike ownCloud’s user manual, EVO Collaborator for Outlook’s auto-detection only took a few seconds to detect all my CardDAV and CalDAV URL. However, only the default contact (address book), calendar and task folders can be detected unlike iCloud or Gmail. Then I did a few sync rounds back and forth between ownCloud’s web-UI and Outlook. Synchronization went smoothly. 



All I could say is that EVO Collaborator for Outlook is responding to new release of server or service on the market fast making sure Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 users can synchronize with it while improving itself toward perfection with fixes and updates. They deserve the credit of putting efforts and dedication.

2016/04/27

How to verify SMTP server TLS version

How to verify SMTP server TLS version

For the past two decades, Internet population has exploded exponentially. SSL and TLS protocol have been doing their best to protect users during Internet communication underlying different types of Internet applications such as web browsing and mail delivery.

SSL v3, TLS v1.0, and TLS v1.1 were once to be flawless. After many exploits, such as Heartbeat, Beast, Poodle, and Crime, were attacking these old SSL / TLS encryption schemes, protection became almost useless. That is why SSL becomes obsolete and TLS has evolved to TLS  v1.2.  


If you are running your own on-premises mail server, then you need to be aware of whether or not the data encryption security level of your mail server is up to date? The most updated TLS protocol version is v1.2. For a better understanding of both SSL and TLS, please refer to Wikipedia on Transport Layer Security 


There are several websites that are able to verify both SSL and TLS security level of your mail server such as:


http://www.checktls.com/index.html
https://ssl-tools.net/mailservers


These tests are important because they give you information about whether your mail server is robust enough on all TCP ports that are used during inbound and outbound SSL/TLS mail delivery, including TCP 993, 995, 587 and 465.   

Besides SSL and TLS, there are several protocols you need to make sure your mail server also supports and/or prevents attacks: 
  1. PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy),
  2. Heartbleed
  3. BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) 
  4. POODLE
  5. CRIME (Compression Ratio Info-leak Made Easy)
  6. Weak ciphers. For optimal cipher protection, you may use the following string:

    "ALL:!ECDHE-RSA-RC4-SHA:!ADH:!LOW:!EXP:!MD5:!RC4-SHA:@STRENGTH"
  7. SHA256 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SHA-2)
As a summary, a mail server equipped with TLS v1.2, PFS, Heartbleed-free, strong ciphers are considered to be optimally safeguarded against hacker attacks. It is difficult to configure a mail server to have all these criteria. Here is a mail server option called EVO Mail Server that is natively having all the above built-in. By the way, a backward compatibility with SSL v3, TLS v1.0 and TLS v1.1 is somehow needed in a real-world environment because some mail clients applications may not yet be updated to support TLS v1.2.