Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?

Dear all,

many of our customers depend on Outlook. For reasons as diverse as the animal kingdom, they cannot be convinced to leave their favourite eMail client in the dust (where it belongs, as far as I am concerned).

With the advent of Office 2016+, we are more and more depending on the KOE to retain compatibility for many of the use cases that our customers have - and while there are some where it simply is not feasible to use ActiveSync due to folder sizes and / or numbers, many are quite happy with the way we still can connect their Outlook to their kopano backend.

But there is a critical problem, and that problem is the ability to move eMails from one account into another, something that ActiveSync just isn’t capable of.

Many of our customers (SMBs mostly) use a main eMail adress (like “info@company.tld”) and create folders for projects / clients etc. They then sort their eMail from different users into the folders of the “info@company.tld” account.

Recently, I created an abomination that I want to talk about here: I added the personal email and the company email (user@ and info@) as both ActiveSync and IMAP accounts to outlook and advised the customer to simply use the IMAP accounts for all things eMail - contacts and calendar data are still shared over ActiveSync, but he can use the (much faster) IMAP interface for eMails.

PROS:

  • much much faster than ActiveSync
  • can copy eMails from accounts into other accounts
  • still has all groupware functionality with the ActiveSync accounts

CONS:

  • cluttering the Outlook account pane with both imap and activesync accounts, possibly confusing
  • ?

Now, for my questions:

  • Are there any unforseen pitfalls in this approach, something that I do not readily see?

  • I know I can select what I want to synchronize over ActiveSync in my mobile phones (only email, only calendar, etc). Is there a - however remote - possibility we could implement that in KOE, so that we can use the more stable / fast IMAP interface for email, and synchronize the rest over ActiveSync?

I’d appreciate any input.

@8gm-dk

as a con you might consider:

https://documentation.kopano.io/kopanocore_administrator_manual/user_management.html

"8.7. Kopano Feature management
Some features within KC can be disabled. By default, all features are disabled. Enabling can be done globally or on a per-user basis. When a feature has been globally disabled, you may enable the feature in a per-user basis too. Currently the only features that can be controlled are ‘imap’, ‘pop3’ and ‘mobile’.

If the ‘pop3’ feature is disabled, users won’t be able to login using the POP3 protocol. The same goes for the ‘imap’ feature, but this has an extra effect aswell. When a user receives email when the ‘imap’ feature is enabled, the original email and some other imap optimized data will also be saved in the Kopano database and attachment directory. This will make the IMAP services provided by the kopano-gateway more reliable. ***On the other hand, it will also use more diskspace. Disabling the ‘imap’ feature will thus save diskspace.***"

@xthbx

Thank you for the input. Indeed, the diskspace requirements for the mail accounts will be bigger with IMAP enabled.

This is not as big of an concern to us tho, for several reasons (on-premise diskspace is plenty, and IMAP is enabled anyways since we run a Mailstore backend to do archiving that needs IMAP so turning it off is no option).

I still think that using IMAP for everything eMail related in Outlook / KOE is an intriguing idea. The question is, do I shoot myself in the foot by doing that in ways I can’t see at the moment?

Because to me it looks like using IMAP in Outlook vs. using ActiveSync is

  • faster
  • more reliable (no sync Problems)
  • instantly available
  • has the ability to do cross-account moving of eMails

If all I have to pay for that is an increased diskspace requirement (which isn’t even there for me since we have IMAP enabled anyways), I’ll gladly pay that price.

Furthermore, I am interested in ways we could possibly tell the KOE to not sync eMails at all - maybe even uncluttering the outlook account pane - and only sync calendars and groups. Obviously I can’t do that on the Z-Push side of things (mobile phones still need active sync), but in Outlook / KOE, IMHO, IMAP is better in every concievable way.

Hi 8GM-DK,

@8gm-dk said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

But there is a critical problem, and that problem is the ability to move eMails from one account into another, something that ActiveSync just isn’t capable of.
Many of our customers (SMBs mostly) use a main eMail adress (like “info@company.tld”) and create folders for projects / clients etc. They then sort their eMail from different users into the folders of the “info@company.tld” account.

With KOE it’s possible to achieve this by using shared folders: https://kb.kopano.io/display/WIKI/Setting+up+the+Kopano+OL+Extension#SettinguptheKopanoOLExtension-Openingandclosingsharedfolders(suchascalendars)

  • I know I can select what I want to synchronize over ActiveSync in my mobile phones (only email, only calendar, etc). Is there a - however remote - possibility we could implement that in KOE, so that we can use the more stable / fast IMAP interface for email, and synchronize the rest over ActiveSync?

Did I understand correctly that it would be one Outlook profile which uses IMAP (like setting Outlook as IMAP client) for email and syncs the rest over ActiveSync?
I don’t think it’s possible because when Outlook setups a profile it requires a certain type. However I am not an Outlook expert and maybe that’s somehow possible (but that would surprise me a lot).
KOE retrieves additional data via Z-Push webservices, but it wouldn’t be possible to add IMAP interface for email.

I guess it would be somehow possible to force Outlook not to sync emails with Z-Push/KOE, but I’m not sure if you wouldn’t run into any issues as Outlook is quite peculiar client.

Manfred

@manfred said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

  • I know I can select what I want to synchronize over ActiveSync in my mobile phones (only email, only calendar, etc). Is there a - however remote - possibility we could implement that in KOE, so that we can use the more stable / fast IMAP interface for email, and synchronize the rest over ActiveSync?

Did I understand correctly that it would be one Outlook profile which uses IMAP (like setting Outlook as IMAP client) for email and syncs the rest over ActiveSync?

Yes, that is what I had in mind.

I don’t think it’s possible because when Outlook setups a profile it requires a certain type. However I am not an Outlook expert and maybe that’s somehow possible (but that would surprise me a lot).
KOE retrieves additional data via Z-Push webservices, but it wouldn’t be possible to add IMAP interface for email.

I guess it would be somehow possible to force Outlook not to sync emails with Z-Push/KOE, but I’m not sure if you wouldn’t run into any issues as Outlook is quite peculiar client.

I wholeheartedly agree. Nevertheless, since every mobile client out there is implementing a corresponding feature (sync enabled for (x) email (x) calendar (x) contacts with the option to tick any of them off), shouldn’t we be able to do that in the KOE? Simply allowing me to choose not to sync eMail, but everything else?

If I still have a double entry in the outlook account pane, so be it - as long as I can disable the horribly slow sync of monstrous eMail folders over ActiveSync, all would be swell.

Yours,

DK

Hi 8GM-DK,

@8gm-dk said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

@manfred said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

I don’t think it’s possible because when Outlook setups a profile it requires a certain type. However I am not an Outlook expert and maybe that’s somehow possible (but that would surprise me a lot).
KOE retrieves additional data via Z-Push webservices, but it wouldn’t be possible to add IMAP interface for email.

I guess it would be somehow possible to force Outlook not to sync emails with Z-Push/KOE, but I’m not sure if you wouldn’t run into any issues as Outlook is quite peculiar client.

I wholeheartedly agree. Nevertheless, since every mobile client out there is implementing a corresponding feature (sync enabled for (x) email (x) calendar (x) contacts with the option to tick any of them off), shouldn’t we be able to do that in the KOE? Simply allowing me to choose not to sync eMail, but everything else?

Outlook is not exactly a mobile client and not allowing it to sync emails might cause issues. Also it’s not something easy to implement.

Manfred

@manfred said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

Outlook is not exactly a mobile client and not allowing it to sync emails might cause issues. Also it’s not something easy to implement.

Okay. I thought we could maybe just tell Outlook via the KOE “no new emails” if I choose to set a toggle [no eMail ActiveSync] or something like that - apparently that is more complicated.

Another question still remains:

Will I run into other problems that I do not readily see at the moment if I do the “dual stack” accounts in Outlook (IMAP and ActiveSync for all accounts, telling the customer to just use IMAP for eMail)?

Thank you for your time!

DK

Hi DK,

@8gm-dk said in Using IMAP as the eMail interface in KOE - an alternative?:

Another question still remains:

Will I run into other problems that I do not readily see at the moment if I do the “dual stack” accounts in Outlook (IMAP and ActiveSync for all accounts, telling the customer to just use IMAP for eMail)?

Probably not even the Outlook developers would be able to answer this question. Maybe it will work “forever” without any issues. Maybe some Outlook update will change something regarding IMAP or ActiveSync handling and it will break. It’s just not possible to give you any guarantees.

Manfred