Providing E-mail Access

The number one, top-tier application most users identify as being necessary to do their job is e-mail. Without it, many users cannot function, and e-mail must be available on every device used during the day. When I get up in the morning, it is the alarm clock on my phone that wakes me, and I quickly check whether I have any new e-mail messages. I also want to see my e-mail on my iPad, on my home machine, and obviously on my corporate laptop. Keep in mind that when I say e-mail, I am also referring to my calendar, my contacts, and my tasks, all of which are integrated with my e-mail system—and to which I want “anywhere access.”

Providing e-mail access through many devices is a fairly simple process thanks to widespread adoption of ActiveSync, a method for accessing Exchange-based services over the HTTPS protocol, which is available from most locations because it’s used for any secure access to a website, such as when shopping on Amazon or viewing your bank account information. It is relatively easy for organizations to set up ActiveSync support on their Exchange implementation, and once it is configured, users can access their work e-mail from any device with ActiveSync support by just entering their e-mail address and password—thanks to the Autodiscover service in Exchange.

Think of a port as a channel of communication that must be open at the firewall, which typically blocks traffic by default. HTTPS uses port 443, which is normally open to allow access ...

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