Last updated on: December 17, 2020
Do you use several email accounts, each with their calendars, contacts, notes and tasks? It can be hard to stay on track when you have more than one account. That’s why we'll look into how you can integrate accounts within the most business-popular service, Microsoft Exchange Server.
Exchange Server is behind the most popular email clients such as Outlook and Office 365. Whether you want to sync two Office 365 calendars, or sync two Outlook calendars… what happens behind the scenes is that you sync two Exchange calendars, if your account is an Exchange account. The same happens if you want to sync something else like the contacts or tasks.
In short, if you are an Exchange account user, read on!
Exchange server synchronization
Here are the four ways of handling Exchange Server synchronization we will cover in this article:
Imagine this situation: you’re working for company A but also for company B, both have their own Exchange servers leaving your email folders, contacts, calendars and notes separated into 2 accounts. This is the case of many consultants, external employees and even university professors who struggle to manage their multiple email accounts.
Which leads to some questions we get a lot: “Is there any way of simply synchronizing two Exchange accounts?" or "How can I sync my two Exchange calendars?” If you think about it, you only have to synchronize, somehow, two separate accounts from the same provider. Piece of cake, right? Well, not really, as you may already know.
At Connecting Software, we decided to solve this issue ourselves. I will show you how in a minute. But first, let’s look at other options. Let's start with one option that allows you to synchronize your Exchange accounts mainly used when you have Exchange in combination with Outlook.
1. One-way migration
This is ideal if you no longer want to use one of your Exchange accounts (or if you will use it seldomly). You can simply set your A account to forward all emails to your B account using the Rules Wizard . That can include meeting requests, so you can have your calendar updated as well.
Specify account A:
Indicate account B:
You can use this for one-way sync of the inbox folder, but this option doesn’t allow for syncing any other folders, like sent items or drafts. This is a good solution for one-way syncing of an old exchange account to a new one, but really nothing more.
2. Outlook synchronization
From Outlook 2010 onward, you have the option of signing in for up to 10 Exchange accounts simultaneously within one Outlook. That means you will have access to all your emails, calendars, notes, etc., without the need for continuously signing in and out among several accounts, as in previous versions.
Still, unless you use 2 accounts on a single domain, your properties will remain separated. It is not that you synchronize outlook, but rather that you can view the information of the several exchange accounts more closely. That means you will need to click through your accounts to see their appointments, contacts, tasks, etc., which is not very convenient.
That is a lot of trouble for you, but not only. External viewers who want to check your availability on a calendar will have to go through the same ordeal. You might have free time in one calendar, but an event in another, making it very hard to assign tasks or find time for a meeting.
3. Synchronizing properties on mobile devices via Exchange ActiveSync
Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) is a protocol used to sync emails, contacts, calendars and tasks on mobile devices - in a way that it is available also offline. However, all of these are only synced on your device, not the Exchange server itself.
Please note that, by default, Exchange ActiveSync is enabled when you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2019, but can disable it (or enable it back on) by following these instructions.
Important: Exchange ActiveSync is quite useful to keep track of things on your mobile device, but this synchronization only works on your mobile. It cannot be used in Outlook Online, Hotmail or desktop versions of Outlook, Thunderbird or Mail OS X.
4. Synchronizing contacts, calendars, emails etc. via multiple domains and Exchange servers
For some people, these options can be a solution… However, for those who want to have full control and flexibility, and save time while they are at it, we’ve created a powerful tool - CB Exchange Server Sync.
CB Exchange Server Sync enables you to do:
- Email synchronization,
- Folder synchronization - you are not limited to synchronizing the Inbox folder, you can sync Sent items, Drafts, subfolders… everything!
- Calendars synchronization - including tags, reminders and even for recurring events
- Contacts synchronization,
- Tasks synchronization
- Notes synchronization.
After CB Exchange Server Sync is setup and the sync pairs defined, everything is automatic. Entering, for example, a new appointment in account A, will make the same appointment appear for account B and even the smallest details about it (like the category) will be identical.
All of that within multiple Exchange accounts, domains or servers, and also in different Exchange server versions.
Yes, this means we are not limited to answering "How do I synchronize exchange calendars?". This is finally the answer to "How do I sync two Exchange calendars with different domains?". The same goes for if you want to sync multiple calendars (there is no limit on the number of accounts) and also for all the other data like email messages, folders, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes.
Learn more about how to sync Calendars:
You can visualize all your data in an email client of your choice, for instance, Outlook, Outlook for mobile, Exchange Online, Mail OS X. Do you know why the type of email client doesn't matter? It is because the data is automatically synchronized on the server, not in the client's device.
Where else can I use CB Exchange Server Sync?
An excellent example of another kind of application for this synchronization are mergers and acquisitions when the different entities certainly have separate Exchange servers, and probably even different versions.
Still, all you have to do is simply to choose which accounts you want to synchronize and that is it. The rest is done for you.
If you're not satisfied with the possibilities of Microsoft´s default options, you can always let the synchronization be done by an external application that will do the work for you.
CB Exchange Server Sync provides fully customizable, automated, safe, synchronization of data from your multiple accounts, no matter where they are hosted and on whatever device you use. This versatile and flexible Exchange sync solution provides you with permanent awareness of all your information and commitments, allowing you to focus on productivity knowing all your information is always up to date.
Article last updated on: December 17, 2020
Technical advisor at Connecting Software
I have been a software engineer since 1997, with a more recent love for writing and public speaking. Do you have any questions or comments about this post or about Connect Bridge? I would love to have your feedback!
Contributor: Milan Tibensky