Microsoft Exchange without using Outlook

luca 06/03/2017 0

If you have a mailbox hosted on a Microsoft Exchange server, you’re probably using Outlook (or its web variant) as mail client. Thanks to a suggestion by a colleague, I’ve just discovered a way to access your Exchange mailbox (including calendar and contacts) using any mail clients.

You only need to install on your PC an opensource software, DavMail Gateway

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DavMail indeed acts as a “translator”: on a side it communicates with the Exchange server using the language (protocol) normally spoken by Outlook (WebDav, EWS – Exchange Web Services), while on the other side it offers the standard mail protocols: POP/IMAP (for incoming emails) and SMTP (for outgoing emails):

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Let’s see how to use it; as mail client I chose Thunderbird, in its portable version (which doesn’t require installation) but as I said you can use the mail client you prefer.

First download the latest version of DavMail. DavMail is available on different platforms, I chose the Windows version, again the one that doesn’t require installation:

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Once unzipped the archive in a new folder, run the program with a double clink on davmail.exe (you can also run the program in console mode or install it as a Windows service):

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The program shows its icon in the systray, in the right-bottom corner of your screen, next to the clock. You can configure it choosing Settings… from the menu (right-click the icon to display it):

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Type the address of the webmail (OWA) of your Exchange server. Depending on how the server is configured, you may need to choose a particular protocol; most of the time the default setting (Auto) is ok. Note the port numbers of the different services (for example IMAP on port 1143…): you’ll need them later to configure your mail client.

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When DavMail is configured and running, you can move to your mail client. When configuring a new account, type localhost both for incoming and outgoing server and enter the correct port number for the different protocols:

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If everything was configured correctly, you can now manage your Exchange mailbox using your preferred mail program!

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