Connect Bridge – Synchronize the Exchange Mailboxes

If  you have more Exchange mailboxes  with Multiple servers in different sites , or  you have a hybrid setup in your organization we would always like to keep these mailboxes synchronized without any delay.

This article will describe one solution that brings synchronization of mailboxes to reality with a product named  CB Exchange Server Sync.

The CB Exchange Server Sync Tool is an application dedicated to synchronize Microsoft Exchange user folders. Users and folders can be located either on the same version and instance of Exchange Server or they can be located on multiple instances and different versions.

The tool is a Windows service that performs synchronization of selected mailbox folders pairs based on periodical run. You can specify the synchronization pairs via Manager Tool (UI for configuration of CB Exchange Server Sync), which is distributed within the installation package.

Supported Exchange versions:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Office 365

Below are the key features identified in the product:

  • Synchronize email folders
  • Synchronize contacts
  • Synchronize tasks
  • Synchronize calendar
  • Synchronization between different Exchange versions
  • Easy to install and to maintain
  • Separate Custom configuration for each synchronized user
  • Provides run-time information about the executed sync operations
  • Multiple tenants
  • One-way and two-way synchronization

Components involved in the Functionalities:

The synchronization tool consists of:

The synchronization service looks for the changes in the synchronization pairs and process the synchronization with help of Connect Bridge. The synchronization pair is the ‘structure’ of the two users and folders which will be synchronized (e.g.: user1@a.com user2@b.com Inbox folder).

 

1. Connect Bridge

Connect Bridge is used for internal communication with Microsoft Exchange. Connect Bridge is a powerful integration platform that allows you to connect to the target system through ODBC, JDBC driver and Web Service with 31 connectors. So basically, you can connect at least 31 target systems such as Exchange, Google, Microsoft CRM, SharePoint and many other LOB’s simultaneously in different environment (on prem., cloud, hybrid) and with a bidirectional communication. There is no need for you, as a developer, to study documentation and know the language of the target system. You can simply use SQL statements to communicate with the target system. To get a general overview about the architecture of the tool there is a bunch of useful videos and online documentation.

2. Sync Process Description

Most profound explanation is through a short showcase description. Let’s talk about synchronization of two Exchange accounts one on premise (2010) while the second is hosted on cloud (2013). Setting a connection strings as “Master” and as a “Slave” are just for an easy recognition, Connect Bridge handles both systems equally.

Below string example for MASTER & SLAVE connection

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The process is quite simple and straight forward. The application seeks for inserted, updated and deleted items within both synchronized mailboxes. This is done within Exchange quite simply. The Exchange provides possibility to obtain changes since some ‘time stamp’.

Below is the example of how the sync works without any delay

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After the application obtains information what was inserted, deleted or updated, the logic of the CB Sync has to decide which action needs to be done to perform corresponding operations correctly.

In case items are inserted on the “Slave side” the logic needs to import those inserted items to the “Master side” of synchronization and remember the item pairs internally because it is needed for next possible operations (update, delete). In other cases if update or delete occurs the logic needs to find internally the pair of the item and make corresponding operation.

Below video is a real time example of how the synchronization works

 

Final Conclusion:

CB Exchange Server Sync brings benefits to  example lawyers , Auditors who work for different companies, university teachers who teach on more universities, chairman of the board and basically to all people who need to arrange all their tasks, meetings and duties ordered perfectly in one Exchange app instead of logging on and off in multiple accounts which can lead to duplicate meetings, bad user experience, unnecessary business mistakes etc.

Worth mentioning is a feature which can cover privacy of Exchange users. Let’s say you have a department in your company with high security clearance using their own Exchange server and other departments which don’t have security clearance have their own Exchange server.

Problem arises when employee of Marketing Department needs to schedule a meeting for employees with high security clearance. They need to know exactly when is their schedule free without breaching security model of the company (access details of already set appointments).

CB Exchange Server Sync can reveal needed information to set up a meeting while still be able to protect security model of the company. This is one of the many scenarios you can cover with CB Exchange Server Sync.

In the near feature they are about to create the Software as a Service (SaaS) product out of it so it  could come closer to customers and simplify the whole process to “ready to use in one-click”.

Thanks 

Sathish Veerapandian

MVP – Office Servers and Services

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