Ticket #210 (closed enhancement: wontfix)

Opened 12 years ago

Last modified 10 years ago

Make Evolution work with Exchange

Reported by: jdreed Owned by:
Priority: low Milestone: The Distant Future
Component: -- Keywords:
Cc: Fixed in version:
Upstream bug:  http://tracker.openchange.org/issues/42

Description

Anders notes that Jaunty includes the following:

Package: evolution-mapi
Version: 0.26.0.1-0ubuntu2
Description: Evolution extension for MS Exchange 2007 servers
A provider for Evolution that can connect to Exchange 2007 servers and 
also to Exchange 2003, 2000 and 5.5.
Homepage: http://www.go-evolution.org/MAPIProvider

We should test this with the MIT Exchange server.

Change History

comment:1 follow-up: ↓ 2 Changed 12 years ago by andersk

  • Summary changed from Determine whether Evolution MAPI plugin works with our Exchange server to Make Evolution work with Exchange

The story so far seems to be that

  • The  evolution-exchange plugin that comes with Evolution uses Outlook Web Access for Exchange 2000 or 2003. exchange.mit.edu runs Exchange 2007, which evolution-exchange has not been updated to support. It theoretically could be, but nobody seems to be interested in doing this work.
  •  evolution-mapi is based on libmapi from the openchange project, which speaks MAPI/RPC over ncacn_ip_tcp. It is in Ubuntu as of Jaunty. ncacn_ip_tcp does not seem to be enabled on exchange.mit.edu. This protocol is also filtered at the MIT border routers, so if it were enabled, off-campus users would need to access it via the VPN.
  • MS Outlook is able to use MAPI/RPC over ncacn_http (“Outlook Anywhere”). We believe this is currently  supported on exchange.mit.edu. There is  slowly ongoing work by Jelmer Vernooij to implement ncacn_http in Samba, after which a trivial change in libmapi will allow it to support this protocol. It may be worth poking Jelmer and possibly trying to throw some development resources in that direction.
  •  evolution-brutus is a plugin that connects Evolution to an Exchange server, by using an intermediate proxy that runs on Windows using the MAPI API in the same way that Outlook does. This may be the quickest way to set this up today, if it works. It is not currently in Debian/Ubuntu?.

comment:2 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

Replying to andersk:

  •  evolution-mapi is based on libmapi from the openchange project, which speaks MAPI/RPC over ncacn_ip_tcp. It is in Ubuntu as of Jaunty. ncacn_ip_tcp does not seem to be enabled on exchange.mit.edu. This protocol is also filtered at the MIT border routers, so if it were enabled, off-campus users would need to access it via the VPN.

OK, I think this is what NIST was talking about when they said that MAPI wouldn't be enabled.

  •  evolution-brutus is a plugin that connects Evolution to an Exchange server, by using an intermediate proxy that runs on Windows using the MAPI API in the same way that Outlook does. This may be the quickest way to set this up today, if it works. It is not currently in Debian/Ubuntu?.

My first reaction is "Introducing dependencies on random services is bad", and this, combined with the fact that the plugin is not currently part of Debian/Ubuntu?, leads me to lean away from this option. It's also worth noting that if we turn this on without clear guidelines, it will quickly evolve into a critical service, so we should be aware of that before going this route.

It sounds like the order of preference is:

  • Encourage NIST to turn on ncacn_ip_tcp so we can just use the MAPI provider.
  • People with skills offer to make the ncacn_http thing work
  • Set up the proxy server

"Wait for Exchange 2010 with full OWA support" is probably in there somewhere too.

However, in order of feasibility before the June release, I think the last two items get reversed.

comment:3 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Owner set to jdreed
  • Status changed from new to accepted

I've asked Deb Bowser and the Exchange release team about enabling MAPI/RPC, and will post any updates here.

comment:4 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Milestone set to Fall Release

At the Helpdesk staff meeting today, we received some new information. The entire campus is going to be migrated to Exchange eventually. Incoming students are already getting Exchange accounts, and IS&T will begin its migration in May, with various other DLCs to follow. We do not have a timeline for completion of the migration, but the end result is that the Cyrus IMAP servers and TechTime? will go away.

Clarification received from NIST:

MAPI/RPC will not be enabled. The only supported methods of connecting to the Exchange server are IMAP or OWA (or the pseudo webdav-ish thing (ncacn_http) Outlook, Entourage, and mobile Exchange clients use).

Release team currently thinks that MAPI is not a high priority thing at the moment, so for the fall, we're planning on going ahead with IMAP access to Exchange. Oliver and I will inquire about getting GSSAPI enabled to preserve all the benefits of single sign-on.

If this proxy server thing ends up getting set up, that would be neat, but let's plan on it being an opt-in service offered by SIPB, and not fully supported component of Debathena.

comment:5 Changed 12 years ago by broder

sxw reported that Evolution+MAPI apparently still has some problems, even if it were enabled:

   shadow / mail / sxw@DEMENTIA.ORG  07:54  (Simon Wilkinson)
       We can, but it's not particularly mature yet. Depends on how much you like
       your data, it would seem. And you only get mail at the moment. Calendaring
       and to do list apparently don't work at all.
   shadow / mail / sxw@DEMENTIA.ORG  08:23  (Simon Wilkinson)
       MAPI should get you calendaring, its just that (according to the folk who are
       doing the testing here) Evolution isn't there yet.

comment:6 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Milestone changed from Fall Release to IAP 2010

Received clarification on the GSSAPI issue. Apparently cross-realm cannot be made to work, and they (NIST) have gone back and forth with Microsoft on this. Currently, it's believed that GSSAPI might be made to work once we transition from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008. There is not yet a timetable for that, but the campuswide Exchange transition for various DLCs will be going on throughout the summer and probably into the fall, so it's unlikely that a server upgrade would be feasible during that time, so I'm changing the milestone accordingly.

Still waiting to hear back on username.mail.mit.edu and Hesiod.

For now, I think we should focus our efforts on #246.

comment:7 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Status changed from accepted to closed
  • Resolution set to wontfix

comment:8 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Status changed from closed to reopened
  • Resolution wontfix deleted

Apparently there is still ongoing testing of brutus, so perhaps this should stay open.

comment:9 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Status changed from reopened to assigned
  • Owner jdreed deleted

comment:10 Changed 12 years ago by geofft

brutus is currently in XVM-wait, since my state is on a machine that's off in the prod cluster :-/

comment:11 Changed 12 years ago by jdreed

  • Priority changed from major to minor
  • Milestone changed from Karmic Deploy to The Distant Future

comment:12 Changed 10 years ago by jdreed

Is there a good reason to keep this ticket open? The default mail client is now pronounced "Thunderbird" as of Oneiric.

comment:13 Changed 10 years ago by jdreed

  • Status changed from assigned to closed
  • Resolution set to wontfix

comment:14 Changed 10 years ago by andersk

  • Upstream bug set to http://tracker.openchange.org/issues/42

Apparently someone posted  this ncacn_http patch to samba-technical last year. No replies.

Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.