New PHP Class project for Microsoft ActiveSync
Started a new proof for the Alice Framework to integrate Microsoft ActiveSync into my application.
This is something I've been thinking on for longer time. I just wanted to add a broader functionality to the Technical area management application of us than just a POP3 connector that downloads the messages and attaches those to the trouble ticket or Customer's chart. We still do use intensively Microsoft Outlook, Blackberries, i-anything stuff, and more will come soon. The common element? Microsoft Exchange. But it could be Outlook 365, who knows. We have Blackberry Enterprise Server, and I don't want to have duplicate information sources. One is enough.
After longer time I have worked out an idea: building the application on a Microsoft Windows Server (still PHP) could allow me to use the same method used by the BES server, which is the CDO MAPI component object. I got the book, started the study, and it's apparently not bad, though, limited to be used only on a Windows platform and roughly adaptable for the use over the Internet or Cloud based environments.
Meanwhile I have worked a bit more with some other mail services and found out that Kerio Connect uses an ActiveSync implementation for mobile devices. So... this is the plan. I'd love to have a class that allows me to connect to an ActiveSync-based mail server and interact with:
- Address Book
Mainly the proof concept behind all is: native. I don't want to play with iCal attachments, or anything else that needs a human intervention. Just because the system is being integrated widely in the corporate infrastructure, I'd like the system to be able to
- create contact cards as needed in the user's addres book: this will make the data available seamlessly (and immediately!) on their desktops, phones and tablets;
- create events in the calendar, for example, when a technical activity has been scheduled on the trouble ticketing system, and again, it will be available real-time on the user's device (with alerts and everything related)
- parsing service mailboxes, retreive information, and mark the messages with appropriate categories based on our business structure which will give a double advantage (described below).
The E-Mail part is crucial now. My first goal will be to:
- Establish a connection to the Exchange server;
- Get all unread messages in the Tech Support mailbox;
- Mark messages as read if "worked" by the applicetion;
- [WISHLIST] Mark the message with a specific category (ex. "Ticket opened", "Archived", "To be answered") for further user intervention;
- [WISHLIST] Do it real-time (with the push function) - this will require a service-like part to be handled, but shouldn't be a problem.
So far, I am basing my analysis and development on the Microsoft Open Specifications (which are public) and was able to connect to the Exchange Server (which makes point 1 achieved)... will try to work hard on the rest and publish the class online (indeed, PHPclasses denied my listing for this class...)