Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Setting up email activesync using SAGE


I was asked to lend a hand with an IT project a friend had.  They were having some trouble getting email syncing to work the way the client wanted.  They are younger and had started their own IT business to I thought I'd lend a hand and help them thought this one small job.  To be completely fair their client wasn't exactly forth right with their setup.

The client insisted that they were running everything off office 365 and they had configured their sage email to pull from O365 along with outlook.com, their iPhones and outlook desktop client; and were having sync issues.  This was not the case.

They had signed up for Office 365, but were using sage as their email server.    They had configured their mx record on their domain to be the sage email servers much like I had setup for a client when they setup their shopify site; they had setup a DNS alias on their domain host and had their MX records pointing to SAGE.  Since they were on the non-premium tier they had a limited amount of email space (compared with O365) with only 5GB


The web based outlook accounts were setup to be personal email accounts and would have to be dealt with or transfered to use the O365, but only once the mx records were changed to be O365.  The DNS TTL is set to 60 minutes so that should be updated before the DNS change so that any update that is done happens quickly such as 600 and changed back after the migration.  I recommend that happen after the email syncing got sorted out.

The easiest thing to do was to The first thing that was done was to make sure email was working on the email clients.  Email clients on the web, phones and desktop outlook were configured to be POP3 with the phone and web client configured to leave messages on the server.  My friend had already tried to change the emails over to imap by SAGE's own email documentation and was unsuccessful.  The email would not refresh in acceptable period of time or did not sync at all which is why he asked for  my help.  After checking and trying the imap accounts again and verifying there was something causing it not to sync or be accessed.

Since imap was not an option, on the web or email clients, we moved the client over to activesync which did work but the client no longer had web email for a time.  I recommended that they setup a time to do the email migration to O365 after they had updated the TTL for the domain to 600 seconds.  

I explained that to avoid email interruption it would probably be best to setup another email account for this users and alias the accounts to the new O365 emails.  Since the TTL would be set to a low time when the DNS record got changed there would be a 5 minute window where email could "be lost" but was unlikely if it is done in an "off hours time".  

I also recommended setting up new email inboxes and aliasing the current emails to the new 365 accounts, that way email forwarding could be setup on the SAGE servers and if some providers were caching the DNS record it would then catch the email in two places and send the email over to the new email address and then decommission the sage email after about a week.

The activesync setup for iOS and Desktop client were working perfectly.  We left the email for the web client (outlook.com) configured for POP3 but it did not appear to be working.  It also didn't help that the accounts for outlook.com were all setup as personal accounts but would be fixed when the email migration to 365 was complete.

Additional Information for SAGE Integration with Exchange Server

https://support.na.sage.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=23758&sliceId=1

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