Access Devices: Mobile

Collaboration Features on Mobile Devices

Now collaborate while at work, traveling, or holidaying!

Experience seamless sync between Connect Xf Server and your Mobile Device. Manage folders from any of the smart phones like Android, iPad/ iPhone and BlackBerry.

Connect Xf along with popular smart devices like Android, iPad/ iPhone, Blackberry is the ideal low-cost collaboration tool for decision makers. Connect Xf and its Collaboration features perfectly complement the great ease of use provided by these mobile devices.


Compatibility of the Connect Xf collaboration applications with the various mobile devices

Devices Email Calendar Contact Chat
Android   Access email account and Folders
  Access over secured channels
  Sync Calendar Events and meetings
  Access over secured channels
  Look up Shared Contacts
  Access over secured channels
  Import Contacts
  Send/receive text messages
  Access over secured channels
iPhone/iPad   Access email account and Folders
  Access over secured channels
  Sync Calendar Events and meetings
  Access over secured channels
  Look up Shared Contacts
  Access over secured channels
  Import Contacts
  Send/receive text messages
  Access over secured channels
BlackBerry   Access email account and Folders
  Access over secured channels
  Send/receive text messages
  Access over secured channels
Windows   Access email account and Folders
  Access over secured channels
  Send/receive text messages
  Access over secured channels

Working of Connect Xf with Basic Phones

Working of Connect Xf with Basic Phones

To reach users on these type of devices (basic phones), who would typically be field force, other users can use the email to sms feature to send them short alerts of the emails being sent to them. This will keep them updated on the messages even if they are unable to read their mail just yet.

Additionally these users can configure mail filter alerts on their account in Connect Xf to receive alerts, when their account receives mail from predefined email ids. Again this allows them to be aware of mail from critical people. Due to the inherent limitation of the SMS service, this can be used to send small messages only and without Attachments or rich formats.

Technical Resources:
SMS

Working of Connect Xf with Smart Phones over open standards

Working of Connect Xf with Smart Phones over open standards

Typically these are feature rich personal assistants, which include an office suite, email client, Calendar client, Chat client, LDAP based address books, browsers, and support for wifi and GPRS besides the standard cell phone features.

The native email client applications on the mobile devices are typically SMTP/POP/IMAP compliant, allowing the creation of email accounts, which can be connected to the mail servers over air.

The native Calendar application on the mobile devices would support the open standard CalDAV protocol, which then allows it to connect to any CalDAV compliant calendar server over air.

Similarly the native Address Book application (Contact manager) on the mobile devices supports the sourcing of contacts from an LDAP directory over the air.

Most of these phones come built in with native XMPP chat clients to support creating chat rosters, managing presense and communicating with your colleagues in your organisation by connecting to an XMPP server over the air.


Working of Email

Working of Email

The devices typically come pre installed with native email clients (you can download and install alternative email client applications as well), which need to be configured to connect to your account on the Connect Xf server. The process is similar to configuring a desktop email client like MS Outlook or Thunderbird. The information requested here would be the SMTP/POP/IMAP server and the necessary authentication information pertaining to the user’s mailbox on the Mithi Connect Xf.

To send a mail, the user would compose a mail using the email client and send. The email client would then connect to the specified SMTP server (the Connect Xf in your setup) over the air and send the mail.

To receive mail for the user, the email client would periodically poll the user’s account on the POP/IMAP server (the Connect xf in your setup) over the air for new messages. It would then download the messages and alert the user.

Using IMAP on all email clients (mobile and desktop), can provide the user with a uniform view of the mailbox from the mobile device, desktop client and Baya (web client). This means that any mail sent from the mobile client is also seen in the sent items of the desktop client or web client (since each of the clients is showing a view of and modifying the same mailbox on the server). Similar behavior is observed for deletion of mail, moving mail between folders, saving to drafts, and for reading/marking of mail.


Working of Calendar

Working of Calendar

Typically the native calendar application on these devices support connections to a CalDAV server (the Connect Xf in your setup), the open protocol for accessing calendar services. This implies that they update and sync calendar information from the Connect Xf server over the air. This presents a uniform view of the calendar data via any of the clients, i.e. any changes made on the calendar using the smart phone, or Baya (web client), or Thunderbird (desktop email client) are in sync.


Working of Contacts

Working of Contacts

Typically the native address book/contact applications support connections to an LDAP server (the Connect xf in your setup) over the air, which can sync contacts from the server over the LDAP protocol. This allows a one way sync of the global address book contacts for the company to the mobile device. This means that when employees are added, deleted or their information modified, the same is synced to the mobile device.


Working of Chat

Working of Chat

Several of these smart mobile phones have native chat client applications, which can connect to an open XMPP server (the Connect xf in your setup) over the air. This implies that users on these mobile devices can also chat with their colleagues while on the move. Again, since the roosters are provided by the XMPP server, the user will see a uniform view of the chat rooster and presense indicators when working with chat from different access points (Baya, desktop chat clients and mobile chat clients).

The device typically uses Wifi or GPRS to establish a connection to the server.

Note: Due to the polling nature of the email connection, there could be a delay in receiving mail to the device. This can be controlled by a parameter in the email client configuration to adjust the poll frequency (if the email client configuration supports it)


Working of connect xf with proprietary mobile devices (Blackberry)

You can use a Blackberry device with Connect Xf via the BIS (Blackberry Internet services) facilities of a service provider like Idea, Vodafone, Airtel etc. Once you subscribe to the BIS services, your device is now ready to connect to the internet over GPRS and also configure email accounts like gmail, yahoo and pop/imap accounts.

Once you sign up for a BIS account with your chosen service provider, you would get an account and also an email id which will be of the form userid@vodafone.blackberry.com.

There are two ways to configure your device to access email from Connect xf


Over POP/IMAP

Over POP/IMAP

To send a mail, the user would compose a mail using the native BB email client and send. The mail would be sent using the Blackberry SMTP servers of the service provider. The message would carry the original email id of the user as a Reply To email id.

To receive mail, the Blackberry Internet servers are continuously polling the POP/IMAP servers configured for the user. If a new mail is spotted, it is downloaded and pushed to the device using the blackberry technology.

Due to the polling nature of the connection, there could be a delay in receiving mail to the BB device. This is typically set to 15 minutes and cannot be controlled as per BB documentation link to BB forum topic.Please note that to have synchronisation of the server mailbox state viz deleted mail, marked mail, read mail, sent items etc, each client (desktop or blackberry) should connect to the server over IMAP.


By forwarding mail from the original account

By forwarding mail from the original account

To avoid the delays due to polling, instead of using the POP/IMAP servers, the setup is done by using ‘forwarding’ from the original email id to the blackberry email id of the user. This will ensure true tunneling where the mail reaches the device without any stops.

Here the device is doing minimum processing to receive the mail (no synchronization of the mailbox on the server and client) and hence may be a more efficient way to receive mail (as against the IMAP or POP connection)


Reconciliation between the mailbox and the BB device

The BB device uses IMAP to sync the mailbox to the device. There are two aspects of the reconciliation process, one from the BB device to the mailbox and the other from mailbox to the BB device. In other words, how does the BB device reflect the state of the mailbox when an operation is performed on the mailbox and vice versa.

It may be noted that reconciliation for changes done on the mailbox to the BB device is almost not supported at all, even for IMAP users. E.g. if I send a mail from my mailbox using a desktop or web client, the sent items will not sync back to the BB device to show the sent mail.