Messing around with ActiveSync and Outlook Live

I spent yesterday evening messing around with the various things we support as far as Outlook Live and the ActiveSync protocol is concerned.  This was prompted by a question that came up on the Live@edu Community Group about what kind of reporting we can do against our service related to users of ActiveSync enabled devices.  I had not even set up such a device with Outlook Live before, so I decided to investigate some more… what follows is a random list of stuff I did… while watching Jack Bauer save civilization from an imminent threat for a 7th time.

Set up a Windows Mobile 6.0 Emulator on my desktop

Not a lot of folks know this (outside the developer community perhaps), but we offer a range of Emulator Images that you can install on your machine for testing purposes…  I installed a US English version… unfortunately we do not supply a Northern Irish one.  I set it up to use my local internet connection to access the web, and then set up the mail client to use my Outlook Live account.  We provide directions for a number of different service providers and models of phone.  I then ran a sync over my ‘GPRS’ network.  Below is what it looked like…. cool!

Explored how an end user can monitor and manage the partnership

If a user logs in to OWA, they can do the following (described here):

  • see the details of the partnership in Mail Options
  • pull back some sync data
  • request that a log of the sync data is sent to their phone
  • Delete a sync partnership
  • Remotely wipe a device – say if it is lost or stolen

  

Explored the kinds of things an Administrator can do with PowerShell

So this is the thing I had not really looked at until yesterday, but I was happy to find that there is support for a lot of useful things… here are some examples that I tried:

Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics

Pulls back an array of info containing things like: FirstSyncTime, LastSyncAttemptTime, LastSuccessSync, DevicePhoneNumber, DeviceModel, etc…

Get-ActiveSyncDevice

retrieves a list of devices in your organization that have active Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync partnerships.

get-ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy

Shows the current policy that is set for mobile devices.

Set-ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy

Modifies the settings… just for giggles, I made a policy change that disallowed the use of the camera feature.

 

Anyway there are loads, and someone that is proficient in the art of scripting could easily pipe some of these cmdlets together to build some useful reports… kudos to my friend in the CESI Group, France for supplying a nice cmdlet that generates a useful HTML report of all connected devices using ActiveSync:

Get-ActiveSyncDevice | Select User,DisplayName,DeviceType,DeviceModel,DeviceOS,OSLanguage,Imei,FirstSyncTime,LastUpdateTime | sort-object LastUpdateTime | ConvertTo-HTML | Out-File "c:\DevicePhone.html"

Don’t forget, you can also submit these one-liners to our Community Scripts Centre.

Bye for now!

Jonny

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