Outlook 2011 – SBS 2003

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Outlook 2011 on Mac and Exchange 2003

Unfortunately, Microsoft excluded support for Exchange 2003 in its major upgrade of Office 2011 for Mac. Official reason is that Exchange 2003 is too old, which is of course a weak justification considering that even the latest iOS 4.2 for iPhone/iPod and iPad do support Exchange 2003. But then again, also Apple excluded direct Exchange 2003 support in Mail and iCal on OS/X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

There is a way around this though, using a freely downloadable and open source software called DavMail. Just Google “DavMail Mac binary download” to find the nearest/latest available download location.

  1. Download and install DavMail for Mac OS/X on your Mac.
  2. Start DavMail
  3. In DavMail settings, under Main>Gateway>OWA URL, enter the URL you would normally use for Web Access to your Exchange 2003 account. This should be something like https://servername.yourcompanyname.com/exchange. Ask your IT administrator or look into your Outlook settings under Windows for the exact URL in your particular case.
  4. In Outlook 2011,enter Outlook>Preferences and go to the Accounts section. Create a new IMAP (not Exchange!) account.
  5. Enter your personal data: yourname@yourcompanyname.com as e-mail address, yourdomainname\yourusername as username and  your password.
  6. As incoming server, enter “localhost”. Under incoming server, tick “override default port” and enter 1143 as port number (see DavMail settings).
  7. As outgoing server, enter “localhost”. Under outgoing server, tick “override default port” and enter 1025 as port number (see DavMail settings).
  8. Untick “Use SSL to connect” under both incoming and outgoing server.
  9. Connect to your company network, directly or using VPN.
  10. Start DavMail if you already stopped it.
  11. Start Outlook 2011.
  12. You should now be able to see your mail folders, and to send and retrieve mail.

Calendar support is not possible in Outlook 2011, since it does not support CalDav yet (what a shame!).

LDAP support is foreseen, but too buggy to be useful. I have configured it for my case, which can be done as follows:

  1. Under Outlook>Preferences, add a new LDAP account
  2. As LDAP server, use “localhost”
  3. Tick “Override default port number” and enter port number 1389
  4. Untick “Use SSL to connect”
  5. As authentication method, select “User name and password”
  6. Enter yourdomainname\yourusername as User name
  7. Enter password under Password

This should do the job, but there is a bug leading to the following error message each time you connect to the Exchange LDAP server: “DavMail encountered error: ASN-1 received tag -121 (expected tag 4).

What you can do however is use Apple’s iCal to connect to the Exchange calendar through DavMail, and Apple’s Address book to connect to Exchange LDAP through DavMail.

Now you could rightfully argue that then you might just as well also use Apple’s Mail using IMAP access to your Exchange mail through DavMail, which works perfectly as well. But if you spent the money on Office 2011 anyway, there is one advantage to separating them. I use Apple Mail only for MobileMe and other internet accessible mails, and Outlook for Exchange which is only accessible through intranet. Besides avoiding some hassle, it gives you a better feeling about having spent too much money on another half working Microsoft software package…

One other tip:

With Outlook 2011, you can now directly import .pst files from Windows, without using Emailchemy. Do make sure however that everything you want to enter is in a subfolder of the .pst file. All mails directly under the root of the .pst file will not be imported. This was not a problem with Emailchemy, but it is a bug in Outlook 2011. Again, half working…

Hope this can save you some time finding everything out yourself…


Instrukties van Guy Con’s Weblog
Outlook 2011 on Mac and Exchange 2003