Microsoft Exchange Support in Mail App Is it required?

Dear all, as you are aware Mail app , our fork of K9mail doesn’t support Microsoft Exchange servers well.

We studied the effort to make this possible, and it’s a significant development effort, without real guarantee of success.

Therefore I’m trying to figure out how this feature is important for you, considering that there are some Microsoft mail clients that can be installed to access to exchange servers.

Comments/ Suggestions welcome!

Is there somewhere a list of trackers that the Outlook app uses?

Just look in the /e/ app installer…

Exchange support is needed because all outlook clients are full of trackers as you have shown before

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Fully agree with my German neighbour, Harvey. Currently installed BlueMail, but also full of trackers (Amazon, Google). My only “bad” app which I have still installed.

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What’s interesting is that it’s probably easier and less costly to add a feature in /e/ that would intercept and stop trackers from many apps, and those in particular, rather than adding Exchange support.
We tested the outlook app and it seems to work well, including mail, calendar, and contacts.
So probably we will postpone this feature for now.

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Or we do a feature bounty and see it the community can handle this development.

I guess with afwall+ I should be able to block the IP addresses. I will look into that option then. Thanks for the update.

+1 for exchange support.

Also using BlueMail, though sadly not the only “bad” app I have installed. While I would prefer native Outlook for syncing with calendar, I am definitely interested in a native tracker intercept feature as a short-term goal. While less efficient (I assume), it could also presumably be used more broadly.
Out of curiosity, in brief, what is the main difficulty with Exchange support? General Microsoft opacity?

Perhaps the MAPI proprietary protocol? I’m really asking since I’ve never used it and cut off Microsoft out of my life some 15 years ago :slight_smile:

I agree with @harvey186, exchange support really makes sense, but if this muddles up the time schedule, postpone it to post v1.0. Just make it transparent with a notification within the email app to possible Exchange users that this feature is scheduled for later.

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Formally, I agree with doing this (reading my last post, I can see my position was ambiguous)

Consensus looks like putting in the fix in Mail to handle Exchange as well.
Would be good if a user with good development skills would be willing to take up Gaël 's offer to work on this for a bounty :slight_smile:
Else as @ralxx said we will have to put a timeline to take this up post v1 in Feb 2020.

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So my conclusion is: low interest for individuals, higher interest for corporate users.
We will do this development only if we can get it financed by a corporate user or similar.
For others, solutions exist, like using Microsoft clients, or adding a specific gateway to the Exchange infrastructure.
Regarding the tracker issues in MS client apps, users can probaly use Blockada or similar to cut those trackers, and we have a tracker blocker in the development pipe for 2020.
Thanks to all for the interesting feedback!

@rhunault FYI

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I have found a way to have Exchange email and calendar support without having to use an app with trackers, and wanted to post here becaues it’s probably of interest to the folks on this thread.
First off, I have never been able to get my employer’s Exchange-based email to work on the stock /e/ mail app using imap protocol (which I prefer). I had been using Bluemail because of this reason, but did not like the trackers. However, I recently found that Purism’s Librem Mail app (available on F-droid) does work with my Exchange email, so I switched to it (I haven’t tried stock K-9, so I don’t know if that works).
Just recently, I realized that I could get Exchange calendar syncing using CalDAVsynchronizer, a plugin for Outlook on my work PC that allows you to push-pull calendar events to-from a CalDAV server. I created a calendar on my /e/ account through NextCloud, and synced my Outlook to that calendar. Then, using the DAVx5 app (on F-droid), I was able to sync the Outlook calendar on my /e/ account to my phone’s /e/ Calendar app. Everything used here was FLOSS! Also, although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m fairly certain you can sync contacts in the same way using the CardDAV protocol. To some, doing this may be obvious, but I was happy to figure it out. Hopefully someone else on here will find it useful!

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Also, you should know that there is a promising app in the works for this, called TrackerControl. It is early days, though. You may have seen the thread:

Hi guys, please keep in mind that if a company is using Office365, they usually will use the Microsoft MDM (Company Portal) to be somehow GDPR-compliant. But this you cannot install as well at the moment (at least on my Pixel 1 - even if you want to use Microsoft Outlook).

If they want be GDPR complient they should give you a compaby phone or writing an app which uses a ‘work profile’ with their company IT aporoved apps.
That’s what a SOX complient company is doing. I was working in IT for such a company for 35 years

I personally need Exchange or ActiveSync (but only for Calendar synchronisation). So, no external app is going to help me with that I guess…

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