Discovering Autodiscover for Mobile Device Management
With the advent of advanced mobile technology, emails are no longer only accessible when we’re in front of a computer; instead, we have the ability to stay connected whenever and wherever. However, it can be challenging for users to remember all the relevant information required for them to connect their mobile devices to their mailboxes, and different models of mobile devices often mean different user interfaces, which does not help make things easier.
Do not despair! Since the release of hosted Exchange 2007, Microsoft figured out a way to simplify the process to connect an email client, be it Microsoft Outlook 2011, iPhone, or Android phone. All you need is to add an Autodiscover record to your email domain. Say your domain name is yourdomainname.com. Without an Autodiscover record, your user, firstname.lastname@example.org, will need to input his email address, Exchange server, domain name, and username, which is usually johndoe_accountname, in order to connect his ActiveSync device to his mailbox. But once you create an Autodiscover record for your domain: autodiscover.yourdomainname.com, all he needs to do is put in his email address and mailbox password, his phone will use the information found via Autodiscover record and configure the connection.
That’s not all! Here at Intermedia, we offer a great tool you can run to configure Windows Outlook profile for Mac users: Outlook Profile Helper. Users who use Outlook 2011 usually have to go through a set of instructions to configure it. With the Autodiscover record, Mac users only need to put in their email addresses and passwords, all the server configuration will be filled in automatically.
Wait, there’s more! An Autodiscover record also allows Outlook users to synchronize offline address books, view other users’ free/busy information, and configure Out of Office replies as well.
In some cases, we do need to do a tiny bit more work if your company migrates from an in-house Exchange server. An Autodiscover record might have already existed in your internal network pointing to your in-house server. If that’s the case, simply creating an external Autodiscover record for your domain will not help users who are connecting from your internal network. First, we’ll need to make sure there’s no DNS record for autodiscover.yourdomainname.com in your internal network. If for some reason you need to retain the record, you can modify the host file on user’s computer, and create a record: autodiscover.yourdomainname.com points to the public IP address of your autodiscover record. Open command prompt on the user computer, and run ipconfig /flushdns
Now, you can fully enjoy the benefit and convenience Autodiscovery brings!