2018/01/05

Sync Google calendar with Outlook

Synchronize Gmail Contacts and Calendars with Outlook 

Someone has recently asked me about "how to sync Google calendar and contacts to Outlook?" Of course, you can do it!

Since Gmail is a cloud service provided by Google, we therefore should be looking if Google’s Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook provides such feature? However, there is still some limitation for Google’s gadgets to work with Outlook for such integration:

Google only provides Google Apps Sync for its Google Apps customers rather than its regular free gmail accounts. 

What if you would like to sync Outlook with Google Calendar and contacts, which is a very simple and straight piece of mind? Nevertheless, to both Google and Microsoft, this is where the money lies. How can they let you do it so easily and not making any profit off you?

Let's look at a solution from third-party. EVO Collaborator for Outlook is an outlook plugin for CardDAV and CalDAV.
Let’s look at ECO’s size, which is only 7.3MB. Amazingly, when Outlook and ECO work together, Outlook can break the barrier of both MS and Google to sync both contacts and calendars with Google’s CardDAV and CalDAV bi-directionally.

What are CardDAV and CalDAV?



CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF's RFC for contacts and calendars. Google is using those APIs at the backend to service they customers' needs for such information retrieval.

How do I Sync Google calendar with Outlook

It is easier than a breeze with ECO:
  1. Download ECO from ECO's download page. (when you install it, please run it as administrator)
  2. Open Outlook and click on EVO's ribbon at the top banner.

  3. Click on Configure profile(s)and select Profile #6 with filling in your Gmail account in space below Full e-mail address or username. Then click on TEST at the bottom.

  4. Because GMail uses OAUTH 2.0, you'll see an OAUTH authentication window during the account detection, just authorize it and continue.

  5. When finished, click on Apply and Quit. Then, any newly added contacts, calendar under Gmail folder will be syncing in a bi-directional fashion. Any items that were added on your Android phone will be synced into Outlook.


Besides what we just talked about, as you know that CardDAV and CalDAV are written according to industrial standards, therefore you can expect they work with any other CardDAV/CalDAV services for the same tasks..

There is also a video tutorial which can be found here: Sync Google calendar with Outlook

Build your own Cloud service!

Gmail is a great tool for individuals, but it may not be suitable when it comes down to a company-size environment where lots of information and users are involved. Thus, why not build one for your company itself?


EVO Mail Server plugin
One of the easiest way is your download and install EVO Mail Server along with CardDAV and CalDAV addon (EVO Collboration Add-on). Once we have our own cloud environment ready, all Outlook's contacts, calendars and tasks can be stored on cloud and shared with others. The solution and software I have just mentioned is not a bad choice to choose from.

2018.01.05

2018/01/04

How does Synology sync Outlook Calendar and Contact?

How does Synology sync Outlook Calendar and Contact?

Recently, more and more of my friends have been discussing that if it is possiblle to synchronize Synology DSM server’s CalDAV service with Outlook? It seems like this type of NAS box/router is somehow popular in small- and medium-size companies where no IT crews are always around. Why? I guess it is because Google Calendar Sync service was terminated and these users have to find an alternative.

synology calendar sync outlook



Again, I took this issue to my developer friend in EVO software production because their EVO Collaborator for Outlook does the Outlook sync thing for living. After some sync tests, he managed to sync it. Here is what I am allowed to share with you guys if you like to do the same task.

Before we start, there are two points for your reference:
  1. For Synology instruction of setting up webdav, please refer to the following link:
  2. For CardDAV, it is by default not available in the current version of Synology DSM.
  3. For installing and configuring a third-party CardDAV solution for Synology DSM, please refer to the following link:

Steps to access Synology DSM server’s default CalDAV service with Outlook:
  1. Configure properly in Synology DSM server according to the instruction link shown previoiusly..
  2. Download EVO Collaborator for Outlook from EVO’s Official Site and Install it.
  3. Run Microsoft Outlook and open Configure Profile(s) at top left within Outlook.
  4. Choose a vacant profile starting with Profile 10 – not configured.



  5. To the top right, leave Hostname (CardDAV/CalDAV) or webcal:// URL blank.
  6. Fill in only Contact and Calendar URL.(URL syntaxes are explained below)
  7. Fill in Full e-mail address or Username and Password.
  8. Click TEST and Apply at the bottom.
  9. Exit the Configure Profile(s) and synchronization will take place in a few seconds.
How to obtain contact and calendar URL from Synology server (based on DSM 5.2 or above) ?

  • For contact URL, the URL syntax goes as below: (default port is 8443)
    https://<server_name>:port/addressbooks/users/<username>/addressbook/

    Example:

    https://server.domain.com:8443/addressbooks/users/tim.cash/addressbook/
  • For calendar URL, the URL syntax goes as below: (default port is 5006)
    https://<server_name>:port/web/calendar/<folder_name>/
    Example:
    https://server.domain.com:5006/web/calendar/work/

Implementing a server backup strategy

One last thing and the most important task about running a server of any sort is the backup scheme that you use. A backup service that is specifically designed for Synology DSM server is hardly found. Using IDrive.com - Synology backup to IDrive cloud saves you a lot of time to customize yourself to gain cost-effectiveness, security and high performance. Yet, you can schedule automatic backup and restore tasks or do them manually. Notification on completion of scheduled backup operation informs you when the job is done along with log details.You can try it by first creating an IDrive account to get started.


2018/01/03

How to sync Windows Live Hotmail (Outlook.com) with Outlook?

How to sync Windows Live Hotmail (Outlook.com) with Outlook?

Google has Gmail and what does Microsoft have?


To many of you, Hotmail has been an old friend for decades since 1995. After Microsoft merged it back in 1997, it was renamed to MSN Hotmail with several attempts of merging this service under Windows infrastructure. Later in 2005, facing competitive Gmail services from Google, MSN Hotmail turned into Windows Live Hotmail and offered faster, easier and more secured services. As of 2012, Outlook.com came out and it will gradually replace Windows Live Hotmail by 2013. Starting mid of this year (2015), Microsoft will unify all former accounts including Hotmail, MSN Hotmail, Windows Live Hotmail and Outlook.com into Office 365 services.

What is Outlook.com API or Live Connect API?


Lots of people are trying to access their Hotmail or Outlook.com contacts and calendars within Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013. Only Outlook 2016 does the job enabling users to join their Outlook.com accounts via MAPI, a native Microsoft protocol deployed by Exchange server services. What about Outlook 2007 and 2010? 

According to research and experiment on Internet, Outlook 2007 and 2010 have issues accessing Hotmail or Outlook.com data though Microsoft says Outlook 2007 sp3 and 2010 sp2 fix the issues. Yet, Microsoft has already stopped providing mainstream support of Outlook 2007 on 10/9/2012 and will also stop providing mainstream support of Outlook 2010 on 10/13/2015.

Consequently, users are looking for a real-working replacement or alternative like the Hotmail connector or Outlook.com connector for Outlook 2007 and 2010. Luckily, third-party hotmail connector software applications such as EVO Collaborator for Outlook come in rescue by implementing Outlook.com API. With this Outlook.com connector API also aka Live Connect API, we are able to sync our Outlook.com contacts and calendars with limitation due to the API itself.

How to sync Hotmail or Outlook.com with Outlook?


Let us try EVO Collaborator for Outlook to see if synchronization works?


  1. Download EVO Collaborator for Outlook and install it
  2. Click on Configure profiles

  3. Select Profile called outlook.com – not configured

  4. Click TEST button at the bottom to proceed entering Outlook e-mail and password in popup window
  5. A list of permissions acknowledgement pops up and click on YES to grant ECO

  6. Click off the window popup to continue
  7. Click on OK in Success box and then Apply to save configuration settings
  8. For existing local items before ECO installation, click on Browse local above CardDAV action for contacts and CalDAV action for calendars and perform O2C action

What are the Outlook.com sync limitations?


The Live Connect API has various limitations upon synchronization. Limitations are as the following:

  1. Outlook.com contact:

    a. Two-way sync of Name, Address, E-mail address and phone number is possible

    b. Add/Changes/Delete within Outlook.com contacts can be synchronized to Outlook.

    c. 
    Add can be synchronized from Outlook to Outlook.com
  2. Outlook.com calendar:

    a. Two-way sync of calendar Add/Modify/Delete is possible.

    b. 
    For recurring items, it only syncs one-way from Outlook.com to Outlook

    c. 
    For sync range in term of number of days, 90 days before or after the current date.

From Live Connect API to Office 365 API

As we mentioned previously, Office 365 will take over all Outlook.com services and all existing Outlook.com accounts will be using Office 365 services instead. This is good news. Why? Office 365 API enable third-party software developers to sync a complete set of fields between Outlook and Office 365 services.

2018.01.05

2018/01/01

Sync Mac OS X Server with Outlook Contact and Calendar

Sync Mac OS X Server with Outlook Contact and Calendar

It's about the time to share some new IT stuffs with you guys

Someone has recently asked me about "How do I sync Outlook Contacts and Calendars with my studio's Mac mini with OS X Server?"




Of course, you can do it!

It would be a happy ending if everyone is using Mac OS X. However, life is not as perfect as you think.

Let say your friend is running a Mac OS X Server and gives you access to the carddav and caldav services his server provides. But, you only have a Microsoft Outlook 2010,2013 or 2016. What can you do about it?

To be honest, I have not found any solution until a few days ago when I was browsing EVO Collaboratorfor Outlook webpage. It adds a new feature of supporting Mac OS X Server's webdav services.



From the introduction of ECO of my previous blog about syncing Gmail's contacts and calendars with Outlook, it was quite easy to add a CardDAV/CalDAV profile. For adding Mac OS X Server profile, an extra step you need to do is keying in HTTPS and service port number, such as example below:


https://<servername>:8443/

or

https://<ip address>:8443/


Once it is tested and a successful message pops up, it works the same as other profiles within ECO. Now you can sync your outlook’s contacts and appointments with Mac OS X Server, note that in ECO it will accept your self-signed certificates.

What is CardDAV and what is CalDAV?

CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF’s RFC for syncing contacts and calendars. Google and Apple are using contacts API and calendar API to take care of contacts and calendars at the backend to service their customers’ needs on such information.

Hosting your own calendar and contact server with PC

Mac OS X Server is great for hosting your on-premise server. However, what if you do not have a Mac server? Nevertheless, you can still host your DAV server under Windows OS. For example, EVO Mail Server is another good option that it is easy to set up and configure.

2018.01.05

2017/12/15

How do I sync Baïkal Server with Outlook?

Outlook with CardDAV sync Baïkal? with CalDAV sync Baïkal?


A German dude from my company was chatting about discontinued Google Calendar Synchronization service. He then migrated to a open-source Baikal CardDAV/CalDAV server (now this project is maintained by sabre.io). He is doing fine on his iPhone but he worried more about what to use for his Outlook?



It sounds interesting that everyone is searching for an alternative to Google Calendar Synchronization service. The following is a testdrive to see if EVO Collaborator for Outlook can handle Baïkal Server?
  1. Within ECO, I simply input the following Baikal CardDAV url or Baikal CalDAV url and it went through Baikal autodiscovery.
    https://<domain or ip>:<port>/baikal/
  2. After entering username and password, I can now access Baikal CardDAV/CalDAV services.
I then passed this URL to my colleague and told him to try it with his own hand. The result came out fine as expected! That is really cool!

2017/12/14

Sync Android Contacts and Calendars with Outlook

Synchronize Android Calendar with Outlook


Someone has recently asked me about “how can he sync his Android contacts and calendars with Outlook?” Of course, you can do it!
To use an Android phone like samsung or huawei, you most likely have a Gmail account that is natively supported by Google’s CardDAV/CalDAV services. Now, we need a tool that performs similar tasks as Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar Sync.
What is going on now?
Since this 8/1/2014, Google’s has terminated a free sync service and reserved this sync utility for its Google Apps customers rather than regular free Gmail account. 

ECO is an outlook plugin for CardDAV and CalDAV

EVO Collaborator for Outlook and Outlook work together to perform a two-way sync between your Gmail account and Outlook. Any sync result to your Gmail account will also sync’d with your Android phone.

What are CardDAV and CalDAV?


CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF’s RFC for contacts and calendars. Google is using contacts api and calendar api to take care of contacts and calendars at the backend to service their customers’ needs on such information.

How do I do it?
It is easier than a breeze with ECO. Simply:
  1. Download ECO from EVO Official Site and install it with admin’s privilege on your Outlook.
  2. Open Outlook and click on EVO ribbon at the top banner, click on Configure profile
  3. Select Profile #6. Fill in your Gmail account under Full e-mail address or Username and click on TEST to proceed Google's OAuth 2.0
  4. Upon sync completion, your Android smartphone and Outlook are sync’d.

Build your own Cloud!

Gmail is a great tool for individuals, but it may not be suitable when it comes down to a company-size scale where lots of information scatters around. Why not build one for your company itself?


Download and install EVO Mail Server along with CardDAV and CalDAV addon (ECA). Once ready, all Outlook’s contacts, calendars and tasks can all go sync’d. Again, this solution I just mentioned is not a bad choice to choose from.

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 .