Using MS Entourage with an MS Exchange 2000/2003 Server

The issue:

I’ve got a friend who’s a network admin with an insurance company, and her folks are having trouble getting Entourage to get inbound (IMAP) mail from the local Exchange server — outbound mail and calendar sync work fine, its just the inbound that’s not working. They get an “error -3260″, about which Microsoft’s tech library says:

“To work around this problem, verify that the Exchange account settings are correct, that the network configuration is correct, and that the Exchange server is operating correctly with all the required services running.”

Super helpful. Anyhow, she’s interested in having someone who knows what they’re doing pay a house call (I gave her my best troubleshooting tips but to no avail) and get this poor sad Mac user fully on the email grid. FireHaus, is this one of your powers?

I had a few initial problems getting Macs using OS X and MS Entourage vX working properly with an Exchange 2000 Enterprise system but eventually I got it to work. A couple of things to double-check because they are obvious but not too obvious if you work mostly with Windows systems for a living:

Use fully qualified domain names for the Exchange server – when setting up Outlook in Windows you can call your server “mail”, but in Entourage spell it out as “mail.mydomain.com”. You also need to make sure the info is complete in the account settings (w/ Windows Outlook most of the info is retrieved automatically but w/ Mac Entourage you have to fill in the blanks yourself).

The LDAP server must be specified – this is under Tools -> Accounts -> (select your Exhange account) – > Edit Account -> Directory, again use a fully qualified domain name (for example “dc01.mydomain.com”).

Additionally, once it is working, don’t expect it to work like Outlook. It displays your Free/Busy info differently than in Outlook (as items rather than a true calendar). This is annoying but that’s the way it is in Mac Office vX. I haven’t spent very much time with Mac Office v2004 so I don’t know if they have improved this.

Here are some URLs for Entourage setups:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/272325

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/268322

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2003122322202329&query=entourage

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