Microsoft Exchange 365 Integration in /e/ (mail, calendar, tasks, address book)
- /e/ version: current (0.9-202005...)
- Device model: all
- Reproducible with the last /e/ version: yes
- Reproducible with LineageOS: no
Would be great to see an out of the box integration of Micro$oft Exchange 365 in /e/, not just mail, but also calendar, tasks and address book.
This improvement concerns
What is the current behavior?
IMHO /e/ could do better with the integration of Microsoft Exchange 365. LineageOS offers a "one-stop-shop" to connect with Exchange 365 under its AccountManager, while I am still looking for something similar in /e/. I am following the discussions in the Forum (https://community.e.foundation/t/microsoft-exchange-support-in-mail-app-is-it-required/8888 and https://community.e.foundation/t/how-to-connect-e-to-exchange365-server/4463) and apparently mail works, but so far haven't seen a straight forward solution for the other components of Exchange (calendar, tasks, address book). For example, organisations using Exchange 365 seem to be able to disable the sharing of .ics (as in my case), so I am somewhat stuck (it fortunately works in LineageOS out of the box), because routing calendars etc. via a separate service like NextCloud is not allowed... I am aware that I could still install the Outlook app, but that's full of trackers and a more granular access to Exchange might be better (see below).
(note: there used to be a ticket on this: https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/apps/AccountManager/issues/33, but that link now is broken, not sure where it moved to, sorry if this here is thus a duplicate)
What is the improved behavior?
What I would like to see is either something similar to LineageOS (one Exchange entry in the AccountManager taking care of everything and allowing what to subsequently sync) or a simple separate setup offered in the Account Manager for Exchange Email, Exchange Calendars, Exchange Address Book and Exchange Tasks (without having to go via NextCloud, other apps or jumping through other hoops). While I'd already be very happy about the former, I think the latter might be even better given the various discussions I have read. Just to give one example: exchange is the default solution in many companies, but I guess most people use /e/ on their personal phone. Being given the option to not have their work email on their personal phones, but still having their work calendar handy would often be more than just convenient for planning life outside of work.
What does it bring?
MS Exchange 365 is, together with google (which is supported by /e/), one of the main mail/calendar/etc providers and pretty ubiquitous (whether that's good or bad is another question...). I'm pretty sure that making the setup of a connection to Exchange 365 on /e/ available out of the box would help to make /e/ more attractive to a wider user base. For me it's the main reason why I haven't moved to /e/ and can't recommend it to any of my colleagues, I'm afraid. Sounds like I am not alone, as I can count several people from the above mentioned forum discussions who'd be very happy with a solution to this issue, as well:-).
If implemented, users would be able to sync their /e/ phone with all email/calendar/tasks/address book (or an arbitrary subset of this) on a Microsoft/Exchange server without spending hours online trying to find a solution (and not finding one as in my case).
Good question... I would suggest as starting points the following, but there are probably more use cases. Please add if you can think of more/better examples:
- working with the standard microsoft/life/hotmail account everyone can register
- working in a company setting using Exchange 365 and their own sing-in infrastructure (seems to work for me in LineageOS)
- (I leave this empty, as that's apparently already been resolved and said to work with /e/'s fork of K9mail)
- simple setup and integration with the calendar app on the /e/ phone
- full access to own calendar online and sync to phone
- being able to work on Exchange calendar local copy on the phone even if offline, with successful syncing once going online again
- access to all shared calendars one has access to with one's account with the corresponding access rights (this is particularly important for me)
- simple setup and integration with the address book app on the /e/ phone
- full access to own address book online and sync to phone
- being able to work on Exchange address book local copy on the phone even if offline, with successful syncing once going online again
- access to shared address book (should be possible to disable it) with the corresponding access rights
- access to the GAL offered by company exchange servers (should be possible to disable it)
- simple setup and integration with the task app on the /e/ phone
- full access to own task list online and sync to phone
- being able to work on Exchange task list local copy on the phone even if offline, with successful syncing once going online again