2015/01/13

Thunderbird syncs with Gmail Contact

Thunderbird syncs with Gmail Contact

Thunderbird is one of the popular e-mail clients on the market. As the demand for collaboration arises, Thunderbird plug-in developers have written plug-ins for both contact (address book) and calendar that can be associated with a variety of contact and calendar services such as Gmail.

Associating Thunderbird with Google Contact is feasible but it requires lots of steps. You can follow steps below to do it:

  1. Install Thunderbird’s newest build from Mozilla website.
  2. Open Thunderbird and open Tools --> Add-ons.
  3. At Add-ons Manager page’s top-right, enter google contacts and search. You will get Google Contacts 0.7.xx in the search result. Click on Install.
  4. Restart Thunderbird afterwards.Now. go to Extensions tab to the left and click on Options next to Google Contacts.i
  5. Add your Gmail account by click on Add. Then go to Experimental tab and define a time interval in Auto reload to reload if you like to sync your address book more frequently. Then click on OK to exit window.

  6. Restart Thunderbird, you will be prompted to perform OAuth 2.0. Proceed with entering password.
  7. Click on Tools --> Address Book. You will see You will see an address book: Google-username@gmail.com.

As you see, importing and synchronizing between your Gmail Contacts and Thunderbird require lots of steps. However, synchronization of contacts does not occur explicitly. You may need to watch out for any content change. Yet, restarting Thunderbird will sync trigger the sync. In case you are using Outlook, you can try EVO Collaborator for Outlook which enables you to synchronize your Gmail Contacts bi-directionally.

Thunderbird syncs with Google Calendar

Thunderbird syncs with Googlel Calendar

Thunderbird is one of the popular e-mail clients on the market. As the demand for collaboration arises, Thunderbird plug-in developers have written plug-ins for both contact (address book) and calendar that can be associated with a variety of contact and calendar services such as Gmail.

Associating Thunderbird with Google Calendar is feasible but it requires lots of steps. You can follow steps below to do it:

  1. Install Thunderbird’s newest build from Mozilla website
  2. Open Thunderbird and open Tools Add-ons.
  3. Click on Lightning and click on Add to Thunderbird.


  4. Save the add-on to a folder for later use.Click on gear icon and click on Install Add-on From File. Browse to the folder where the .xpi file was saved and click on Open

  5. Click on Install Now to continue and restart Thunderbird.
  6. Once Thunderbird restarted, click on Extensions in Add-ons Manager page.
     
  7. Click on Options to the right and adjust your time zone.
  8. At Add-ons Manager page’s top-right, enter provider and search. You will get Provider for Google Calendar in the search result. Click on Install. Restart Thunderbird afterwards.

  9. Now. click on File -> New -> Calendar…. Select On the Network and click on Next >.

  10. Select Google Calendar and proceed with Next >. Then enter your Gmail account in the space provided and then Next >. Proceed with OAuth 2.0.


  11. Select calendar to synchronize and click on Finish on next window.

  12. You can change sync interval by selecting Manually next to Refresh Calendar:

    .
As you see, importing and synchronizing between your Gmail Calendar and Thunderbird require lots of steps. In case you are using Outlook, you can try EVO Collaborator for Outlook which enables you to synchronize your Gmail Calendar bi-directionally.

ownCloud Clients

ownCloud Clients for Windows

Self-hosting services merging out

As cost for storage and Internet access get lower and lower, end-users prefer installing their own NAS or small server at home or office. One of the major reasons is security and confidentiality. Files are no longer scattered around inside those cloud storages such as Dropbox, which we don’t even know where files are actually physically stored. Also, cost per MB is lower if we do-it-ourselves.
ownCloud comes in the play


owncloud clients


In speaking of servers or NAS, Windows- or Linux- based ownCloud has been one of the popular choices since the beginning of 2010. You may find more resources on
http://www.ownCloud.org/ or http://www.ownCloud.com/ .

Accessible resource sharing

What ownCloud WebDAV services can fulfil your daily running tasks? In case you are not yet familiar, here are reminders:
  1. Files storage,
  2. Calendar,
  3. Task,
  4. Address book,
  5. Music streaming,
  6. Sharing of content across groups or public,
  7. Bookmarking,,
  8. URL shortening,
  9. Photo gallery,
  10. Video viewer,
  11. PDF and ODF viewer,
  12. Connecting external storages
In other words, ownCloud basically provides information sharing of any sort.
ownCloud WebUI is powerful for your collaboration tasks


With ownCloud v7.0, lots of improvements have been made. You can sort large number of files more efficiently while users from other ownCloud server can virtually share files with you. You can edit documents with your local document editing applications such as Microsoft Word through a transparent layer while your colleagues are working on the same document at the same time. Resource sharing we mentioned above can all be done with ownCloud WebUI.

ownCloud clients

owncloud clients windows

If you would like to have your local files to stay synced with files on your ownCloud server, you can download and install ownCloud Desktop Client software for your operating system from https://ownCloud.com/products/desktop-clients/. Any copy/delete/modify to files will reflect almost in real-time so that other people with proper privileges can access the most updated version of files on server. Among all platform versions of ownCloud Desktop Client software, ownCloud Windows 7 Client is perhaps more popular. 

Example: ownCloud’s file sharing feature



With ownCloud Desktop Client software, it is easy to achieve file sharing through ownCloud’s network folder mapping. You can follow the steps in the Youtube tutorial link below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwF6vUyRe9Y

For more detailed usage, please refer to the on-line manual (http://doc.owncloud.org/desktop/1.7/).

Any other 3rd party Apps I can use to access ownCloud services?



There are hundreds of 3rd party vendor writing both Desktop and Mobile Apps for ownCloud and they range from Multimedia, PIM, Productivity, Games to Tools as we mentioned above. You can visit ownCloud’s Apps webpage that top 10 Apps are generally related to file sharing/management, calendar, task, and media streaming.

How do I retrieve ownCloud data on my mobile devices?

Accessing ownCloud address book, calendar and task from your mobiles devices can be handy if your are not in front of your desktop and laptop. Here are tips on each of mobile platforms on the market:

  1. iOS – iPhone and iPAD both natively support ownCloud server through CardDAV and CalDAV.
  2. Android – Try Contact-Sync and Calendar-Sync. For more detail, visit http://www.dmfs.org/
  3. Windows Phone – There is an App called ownCloudSync. For more detail, visit http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/owncloudsync/2fdb96e1-7472-4be7-accf-835785f5dd91
  4. Blackberry – Use BB’s built-in CardDAV and CalDAV support and read the following thread from ownCloud forum: https://forum.owncloud.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9187

ownCloud services being Integrated into 3rd party e-mail client software

Other than existing Mobile Apps, imagine how convenient it would be that users access their ownCloud personal contact, agenda and to-do list within e-mail software applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird in your desktop PCs with no hassle? 

How Outlook and Thunderbird retrieve data from ownCloud?







For the past few years, plug-ins or add-ins have been available for Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird. Such integrations turn out to evolve into alternatives to Microsoft Exchange Server or IBM Domino Server.


  1. For Thunderbird, plug-ins of soGO connector and Lightning can do the job but they require much more work configuring initially.
  2. For Microsoft Outlook, there is barely an add-in specifically written for Microsoft Outlook. iCAL4OL, Bynari and EVO Collaborator for Outlook are perhaps the ones that can do the job. I tried them all, but, as an end-user, Bynari and iCAL4OL are a bit too complicated to figure out how to configure. On the other hand, I installed, configured and used  EVO Collaborator for Outlook with no hassle.

When NAS and ownCloud work together…


Occasionally, when people buy a NAS appliance, they also would like to stuff in an ownCloud server at no extra cost. This is when a NAS with ownCloud-capability comes in.  There are NAS brands that come with built-in ownCloud features such as Thecus, Synology, and IONAS-server. There are also several NAS brands that require DIY implementation, such as D-Link, QNAP, and NETGEAR. You may google this solution for more detail. 

Why ownCloud cannot send e-mails?

So far, e-mail messaging is still occupying a large percentage of how people communicate each other across Internet. However, e-mail messaging is missing from ownCloud even though ownCloud  team has been working on its own mail server solution with no official release yet. For those of you who need an  e-mail server alternative, you may try EVO Mail Server along with EVO Collaborator for Outlook that sync your contacts, calendars and tasks between ownCloud and Outlook .

2015/01/12

How to sync android with iCloud calendar / contacts (or Zimbra contacts)

How to sync android with iCloud calendar / contacts (or Zimbra contacts)

Android phones occupy more than half of smartphone population worldwide. Many of the Samsung galaxy, Sony Xperia and HTC users are asking the following question:

How to sync Android with iCloud (or Zimbra)?

These Android phone owners just barely got their new phones or they decide to try out new generation of iPhones. They are spending lots of time migrating or moving between iPhone iOS and Android back and forth. Therefore, data syncing has become a common issue along the way.

We all know that Google phones, such as Nexus, are working fine with Gmail seamlessly. However, what about cloud services such as iCloud, Zimbra, OwnCloud and etc? What if we need to synchronize Android calendars and address books with iCloud (iPhone/iTunes)?

There are two APPs that can help you out: CardDAV-sync and CalDAV-sync. 


CardDAV-sync is available at Google Play store.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.carddav.Sync


It helps your Android phone to synchronize contacts with Apple iCloud or Zimbra or other generic CardDAV services.


CalDAV-sync is available at Google Play store.https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.dmfs.caldav.lib


This App makes it possible for your Google Smartphone to sync calendars with iCloud, OwnCloud or other generic CalDAV services such as EVO Mail Server Prime.

Why CardDAV-sync and CalDAV-sync are able to perform such tasks? The reason behind is that all the major cloud services are operating based on CardDAV and CalDAV protocols. You can check these APPs out on their website:
http://www.dmfs.org/ These two APPs cost you a few dollars but it is worth every of your penny.

The above solution is for users on Android platform. What about Outlook platform? What if you want to synchronize Gmail/iCloud contacts and calendars with Outlook?


You can try download EVO Collaborator for Outlook. This outlook add-in is very easy to setup and it can sync your Outlook with Gmail/iCloud account almost instantly. For any modern mobile users, CardDAV-sync, CalDAV-sync & EVO Collaborator for Outlook are 3 must-have for better productivity on the road.