How to setup corporate email on Android using MailDroid

If your employer uses web-based email and you have an Android device, then no doubt are you wanting to access your work email on your Android smartphone or tablet. MailDroid is a great app that will allow you do so, and I’m going to show you how to set it up. Be aware that there is a Pro version of MailDroid that costs $17.99, but the free version will work fine for now.

This solution shouldn’t violate your company’s IT access rules, since you will be using a service that is most likely available from your IT group.

Note: Please keep in mind that the instructions here are given as is and if you decide to follow them, you will be doing so at your own risk.  I am not responsible for lost information of any sort or any damage to content.

Once you have downloaded and installed the app, start it up and a dialog will open asking you to enter the following fields:

  • Email: This is where you enter your email as it is given to others (john.doe@doecorp.com).
  • Username: Domain\login,  Be careful filling out this field.  This is the same info you enter on your webmail interface (domain\firstnamelastname).
  • Password: This is case sensitive.
  • Server: This is the same as your web-based interface. If there are other words after the .com or .net or .org field you do not need to enter them here.
  • Secure connection (TLS/SSL): Leave this field alone. If you run into issues you may have to change this later (or check with your IT department).
  • Port: Leave at the default 443.
  • Exchange server: This is where I had to guess. If you are not sure what your server is, you may have to try one or the other or talk to your IT department.

Next, the program will try connecting, and if it works it will start downloading your corporate email.  Keep in mind that this is not an Exchange server client, but if you delete any emails here they will be lost from your inbox as well. Once you have everything setup and start seeing some email, there are some additional options you can fill in, such as inserting a signature field and enabling confirmation prompts before you delete or send an email.

One last thing about security: I recently changed my corporate email password and did not see any activity on my phone, since I forgot to update the password on the phone itself. MailDroid must be intelligent enough not to keep trying to access your account, so it locks up instead thanks to your IT department. The downfall is that the app will not give you a warning when the password is not valid or login fails.

Sadly, the app does not utilize push notifications, but it refreshes your inbox every 15 minutes or so.  Do not expect the content to be live, but it will be on your device within 15-20 minutes. That alone is a huge advantage.

Microsoft Small Business Server 2011: A Techie’s First Impressions

Microsoft’s Small Business Server features prominently in my life as an IT consultant. Its combination of Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint at a low price-point makes it a compelling proposition for smaller firms.

Dislike of Windows Vista has resulted in many of my clients continuing to maintain systems running SBS 2003 and Windows XP. Now these products are approaching the end of their support lifecycle, many of them are migrating to SBS 2011 and Windows 7. Now that I have completed the first of these migrations, I am in a position to present my first impressions.

First Impressions of Small Business Server 2011

As with previous incarnations of Small Business Server, SBS 2011 is designed to appear easy to use. In many ways it is, with wizards designed to make frequent tasks such as adding users, configuring software updates and sharing printers simple and intuitive.

As with earlier versions, however, these wizards are running on top of Microsoft’s complex and sophisticated Windows Server and Exchange technologies. While much of the server configuration can be done using the wizards (accessed via the SBS 2011 Administration Console), some essential tasks throw admins way into the server configuration deep-end.

Small Business Server 2011
Small Business Server 2011

As an example, I encountered a complicated feature when I increased the maximum incoming email size from the default. This landed me at the Exchange 2010 command line interface – daunting enough for someone raised on SBS 2003 – and I imagine utterly impenetrable for a non-technical person!

New Features for Admins

The Administration Console provides access to all the key server features and maintains an ongoing “traffic light” style alert system which informs admins of any issues with software updates, security and backups. These alerts link in with daily emails sent to the people in charge of the system to provide quick notification of problems.

I particularly like the fact that SBS 2011 appears to place emphasis on any significant errors listed in the Windows event logs, which encourages administrators to proactively investigate all problems in the continuing quest to obtain green “OK” statuses across the board!

Adding new PCs to the SBS 2011 network is a slick process with better integration than previous versions. For example, if an administrator grants a user delegate access to a mailbox, Outlook picks this up and adds the mailbox to their Outlook folder tree with no client configuration required.

New Features for Users

From a user’s perspective, there is a fair amount of new functionality in this incarnation of Small Business Server. How much users will notice, however, depends on how much of the old functionality they were making use of.

The new remote access portal now provides access to shared files via the Web browser – a valuable enhancement in the “Dropbox age,” and is a compliment to the existing options of remote controlling an office PC, or accessing email via Web-based Outlook. The richly featured Exchange 2010 Outlook Web App now provides this.

At the desktop level, less has changed. Essentially, users access shared files and interface with Exchange via Outlook. SharePoint looks shinier than before, but in my experience, few small businesses actually make much use of it.

Conclusion

In a world where many small businesses are considering a move to the cloud, there’s still a place for Microsoft Small Business Server. It is hugely configurable and delivers enterprise-level IT services at a reasonably competitive price. Businesses just need to make sure they have someone reliable to look after it – there’s still a lot of complexity hidden behind that shiny admin console.