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Saturday, March 27, 2010

iPhone: ActiveSync and Contacts

Microsoft's ActiveSync is one of the ways I am able to get some of my emails onto my iPhone. And generally speaking I have been overly surprised with the connectivity and integration with the iPhone. It is fairly impressive given the tempid history between Apple and Microsoft. While in the near futur I will post a more specific post on my experience with activesync, this particular one focuses on an odd behavior I saw earlier this week.

All of my activesync contacts mysteriously disappeared.




Even when checking my phone and caller id log, the numbers were there but the names and the contact information bad vanished. Seemingly into thin air.

In actuality what had happened is my iPhone had not been able to connect to the Microsoft Exchange server where all of my contacts were. For about 16 hours or so due to maintenance. Apparently after 12 hours or so, they just expired from the iPhone. Which seems really odd that they were not persisted.

Once the ActiveSync server came back online, everything was restored immediately. But, I still have not found the reason they disPpeared, even running searches.

Which means I am still looking for a reason and perhaps a solution other than MobileMe to make it work. Any ideas out there?


Phil said...

We see the same on our iPhones but we are not sure if this might be a feature. Not only the contacts, all the synchronized date has gone after a while (contacts, Email, Calender). We are using MS Exchange 2007 with activesync and if we block a device, the store will be invisable within certain time. I never checked out the exact time but it could be something beween 12-24 hours. That means is a handy feature for face out process with private iPhones. We just block the devices and all the company activesync data(Email, Calender and Contacts) is not visable anymore without a full wipe of the device. For people abroad with switched off roaming this is of course a nightmare but as soon as there is a connection to the Exchange server again (over WLAN or 3G, GPRS) all the data is visible again.
The open issue: is it bug or feature and what is the exact time till the store disapears?