Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Virtual Direct Push Setup (VDPS part 2)

The Virtual Direct Push Setup (VDPS part 2)!

Be sure to check out VDPS part 1 first :)

Well, the virtual domain environment is up and running, now for the funny part.

On "DC" create a new user account called "mobile" and be sure to create a mailbox for the user also - make the password something relatively easy for testing purpose, like "Start123" (must be uppercase + lowercase + numbers by default). From now on just minimize the "DC" VM to save on performance - the rest of the time all we need it love... No, the Exchange server of course - Doh! If nothing else is stated, please use the "EXCH" VM from now on (maybe even in Full Screen mode for better performance.

On "EXCH": From the OWA (http://localhost/exchange - logged in as Administrator) send a test email to "mobile". Hopefully no error messages will return :)

Open Exchange System Manager (ESM) on "EXCH" - expand "Global Settings" > Right click "Mobile Services" and select Properties. On the "General" tab select "Enable user initiated synchronization" AND "Enable Direct Push over HTTP(s)". For now we will not set up any "Device Security" options - but we will test this out later on! For now just select "OK" and close down ESM. Exchange is now ready to handle Direct Push... See picture.

Now we get to the "Virtual Machine Network Driver for Microsoft Device Emulator". Copy the "netsvwrap.msi" file to "EXCH" (use the "drag and drop" feature in VPC) and execute the file (next, next, next etc.).

Now we need the "Standalone Device Emulator 1.0 with Windows Mobile OS Images"... First copy the downloaded Device Emulator files to "EXCH" - then extract the downloaded "" file, and run: "standalone_emulator_V1.exe" (next, next, next etc.). Next execute the "efp.msi" file (next, next, next etc.). Now you are all set :)

Go to "Start" > "All programs" > "Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 MSFP Emulator Images" > click "PocketPC - Coldboot"... This is what you should see after some time (typically a few minutes).

- Note: MSFP (Messaging and Security Feature Pack) is required on the Windows Mobile 5.0 device - we are "lucky" that Microsoft provided a Mobile OS image with this Feature Pack on it. This image is a great part in making the VDPS possible...!

Now - within the "WM 5.0 MSFP" mobile device click "Start" > "Programs" > open "ActiveSync". In ActiveSync click "Menu" > "Add Server source", in the field "Server address" specify the (static) IP address of you virtual Exchange server and uncheck the "This server requires an encrypted (SSL) connection" checkbox. Say "OK" to the "Security Warning" that pops up - IRL you should of course use SSL, but this is just a first glance at Direct Push, so no need to get too complicated at this point. You should now see this.

Click "Next" - on the "Edit Server Settings" page specify "User name" (mobile), "Password" (Start123) and Domain (whatever you named your AD domain). Remember to enable/check the checkbox "Save password (required for automatic sync)". This is what you should see now. Let's just ignore the "Advanced" button for now and click "Next". Please also ignore the "Settings" button at the next screen and click "Finish". The mobile device will try to synchronize with our Exchange server - but fails...

It fails because no network connection have been established yet on the mobile device - so don't worry too much yet. The network driver we installed earlier sets up some functionality that I'm going to cover in detail later on (VDPS part 3)- but the most important thing to know right now is, that it creates the "Fake Network" which is used to communicate with the virtual Exchange server.

To establish the needed network connection, click the "antenna" icon at the top of the screen (still within the virtual mobile device). You will see a dialog like this. The dialog states "This network card connects me to: The Internet (or work via VPN)" (default choice) - let's just click "Connect"!

Next click "Sync" to manually initialize the first synchronization from the mobile device - hopefully your device will successfully contact the Exchange server and perform the sync nicely - like you see here - and when finished you should see something similar to this.

As you may claim, we haven't really performed a Direct Push of mail yet - but now it's time for the big test... On the mobile device close the "ActiveSync" application, the "Programs" folder and you should see the default startup view.

Now, on "EXCH" log on to OWA and send "mobile" another test email. A short moment after you click "Send" you should see the sync process starting on the mobile device. And after a few seconds a popup should be displayed (the "New E-mail Messages" popup). Click "Dismiss" and you should be "back where we started" - only now we have 2 unread e-mails!

Well - all for now - CYA!

Check out the VDPS part 3