Shared resources synchronization for ActiveSync new in Zimbra Collaboration 8.8

Hello, Everyone. Zimbra Collaboration 8.8 has unveiled a set of NG Modules to enhance the Enterprise Capabilities for Email Administrators. In this blog post, I will present the ability to synchronize shared resources in the Zimbra Web Client using ActiveSync, which can then be shared to any device, on any platform. For this particular post, I will show this feature using an iPhone and iOS, but it works with Android, Microsoft Outlook or any other device that is compatible with ActiveSync.


This blog post is a bit long, here is a quick menu to facilitate your navigation:

How to Configure a Zimbra Account in iOS using ActiveSync

Let’s start by configuring a new mail profile for iOS. Go to your Control Panel, and select Mail. zimbra-mobile-ng-003
Click on Accounts.  zimbra-mobile-ng-004
Select Add Account. zimbra-mobile-ng-005
Select “Exchange” from the next list. zimbra-mobile-ng-006
Enter your email and a description. zimbra-mobile-ng-007
If AutoDiscover fails, it will prompt you for the Server name, Domain, username and Password. Click Next when ready. zimbra-mobile-ng-008
If the information is correct, you will be prompted to select the information you want to sync between your mobile device and your Zimbra account. zimbra-mobile-ng-009
After a few seconds (or minutes, depending of the size of your mailbox), you will see all the synced folders and their contents. zimbra-mobile-ng-010
For example, this is my inbox view. zimbra-mobile-ng-011
This is a message with an embedded image. At the top you can see how the process has synced another 322 non-read emails. zimbra-mobile-ng-012

Quick View of Zimbra Mobile NG in the Admin Console

Zimbra Mobile NG is integrated 100% into the Admin Console, so administrators have centralized administration for each feature and capability. You can see a comprehensive device report under the Home > Network Modules NG> Mobile tab, where you will see:

  • Last synchronization of the devices
  • The account that is syncing using Zimbra Mobile Plus
  • The device that is actually connected
  • An unique ID per device
  • The status of the device
  • The EAS (Exchange ActiveSync) version
  • And the server to which it is connected, which is especially useful for multi-server deployments and troubleshooting

Apart from that, admins have the usual options for ActiveSync, such as wiping the device in case it’s stolen, stop or remove the device, etc.

zimbra-mobile-ng-001Zimbra Mobile NG includes a detailed view of each device, where the Admin can see number of synchronized items, ping timeout, etc.


How to Work with iOS and Shared Resources

Shared resources should be assigned Manager privileges, which means read and write permissions. If a resource is shared as read-only, it will not be possible to sync that item with ActiveSync.

Until Zimbra Collaboration 8.8, it was not possible for a Network Edition Customer to sync shared resources on iOS or ActiveSync compatible devices. However, with the new Zimbra Mobile NG, you can sync your resources on any device with two clicks. Imagine all the new possibilities!

Once you open your Mail app in iOS for the first time after the sync, all the items on the Web Client appear in the Device without exception.

zimbra-mobile-ng-009If we go to the Web Client, under Preferences > Mobile Devices we can see a list of the devices connected using ActiveSync with a few basic actions like Wipe, Suspend, Remove, etc.


How to Sync Shared Email Folders

Let’s sync the email folder Ann has shared with another user: ZSP alerts. To sync this shared folder on all the ActiveSync devices, right-click and select Folder Sync Settings.

zimbra-mobile-ng-014Check the option called Enable synchronization for this folder.

zimbra-mobile-ng-015If you return to the Mail app in your iOS Device and execute the action to refresh by scrolling from the top on the email folders, the shared folder and all of its contents appear as if it was any other folder.

zimbra-mobile-ng-016Here you can see the contents of the email folder, which is a shared email folder from another user.

zimbra-mobile-ng-017This method work as well with shared Calendars, Contact Lists and Task Lists, allowing your Users to have all the Zimbra shared experience on their Mobile Devices as well.


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8 Responses to Shared resources synchronization for ActiveSync new in Zimbra Collaboration 8.8

  1. Rio Prayoga December 19, 2017 at 4:35 AM #

    Great :-)

  2. David December 20, 2017 at 1:48 PM #

    Does it mean we still cannot sync the GAL to mobile devices ? I mean have the complete GAL displayed in the Contacts app on the phone ?

    • Jorge de la Cruz December 20, 2017 at 2:30 PM #

      Hello David,
      you can go to your Contacts tab and search for shared address books, click find shares and you will see the GAL from the galsync account, then follow the sharing procedure described here. However, most of the Mobile devices don´t sync multiple address books, it’s not a Zimbra limitation, neither Zombra NG Mobile limitation but how iOS and Android works. You will be able to see it, for example, Microsoft Outlook using Mobile NG.

      Best regards

  3. John February 15, 2018 at 6:08 PM #

    Fantastic article.

    Please write another post on using Outlook desktop mail client using ActiveSync from the Mobile NG module.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. ivan February 15, 2018 at 7:22 PM #

    How do i migrate an existing email account in 8.8.8 to use active sync. The account was migrated in from Zimbra 8.6

    I use zpush today and want to get to Zimbra NG tools.

    • Gayle Billat March 27, 2018 at 4:08 PM #

      Hi – Please check the Zimbra forums for info on migration, or open a Zimbra Support case. Thanks!

  5. Konsta February 20, 2018 at 9:14 AM #

    Hi everybody!

    I may be mistake, but since the very first installation of Zimbra, I have been able to see other account’s shared folder in my account. For example, I’ve always set up to see the shared Zimbra admin’s Inbox in my active account. Can anybody explain me what is the novelty of the latest feature update?

    May be, it means new patch allows to see this shared folder on mobile devices via EAS? If yes, I would better request to make the search folders visible on iOS/Android stock mail apps via EAS. Mobile apps for EAS are not very convinient for using with Zimbra at all, I still use web mobile client.

    • Gayle Billat March 27, 2018 at 4:11 PM #

      Hi – If you have admin access, you have different share permissions than regular Zimbra users … so your visibility into other accounts is different. Please check the Zimbra forums for more technical info about how the shares work in 8.8. Thanks!

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