Using Mail, Address Book and iCal with Exchange 2007 and Active Directory


Once I had setup the OS X 10.6 VPN and had a working connection to my employers' network I wanted to use the native OS X 10.6 applications to access my email and calendar. I have a copy of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 which includes Entourage. Entourage is Microsoft attempt at providing an Outlook type experience on the Mac. While it works it does not work well (the software is as slow as molasses) and the user experience is not up to par with what a Mac user might expect. I only had one copy of Office 2008 for Mac and I wanted to be able to check my corporate email from any Mac on which I had an account.

Screen shot 2010-03-20 at 6.38.12 PM.PNG

Apple promised that Snow Leopard had native support to Exchange mail and calendar and I wanted to test their claims. Setup was much easier than I thought but you'll need to know the address of your Exchange server. You can get that from your Exchange server administrator. After connecting to the VPN, launch Mail and selected Mail->Preferences->Accounts. Click the + to create a new account and enter the email address and password for the account. Mail will attempt to scan for the mail server. If it does not find it, no problem - just select Exchange 2007 from the menu and enter the relevant information. At this point, I also selected the check boxes to set up iCal and Address Book. These can be done later but doing it now made things easy. Once this is done you should have an entry that looks like this.

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You do not have to use Mail to initiate the setup. You can also use any of the other apps, iCal or Address Book. I did encounter one issue that I have no been able to resolve. iCal is not able to connect to the Exchange server at all. I've Googled around and hung around Apple forums since Snow Leopard debuted looking for a solution to no avail.

Author:Khürt Williams

A human who works in information security and enjoys photography, Formula 1 and craft ale.

3 thoughts on “Using Mail, Address Book and iCal with Exchange 2007 and Active Directory”

  1. Hey Khürt,Have a Question that maybe you can help me with. My company does not "support mac"; so no friendly guys there; they did supply me with a server adress that I entered for exchange on my Ipad and Iphone and works fine. However, i can not gey it running on my air and desktop. If I enter the same info it does't work. I have a PC with me set up for the same account working fine. I have been browsing to see if I can find info (servers, ports, etc) but still can't get it running. ¿Any clues?

    1. Your Mac uses Exchange Web Services (EWS) to talk to the Exchange servers while the iPad and iPhone uses ActiveSync. The technologies are not the same. It seem like your Exchange admins have enable access via ActiveSync but not via EWS. The Mac Mail and Calendar client require Snow Leopard and only work with Exchange 2007 with SP1 Rollup 4.

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