I first learned about Apptix when I set up a hosted Microsoft Sharepoint site a year ago. I enjoyed working with them and their customer support was excellent. Also, the price point was compelling for a small business owner. I learned that Apptix acquired Mi8 about 3 years ago. Mi8 was a well known hosted Exchange provider prior to the acquisition. I needed to move my terryinc.com domain to a Hosted Exchange platform so that I could sync email, contact and calendar traffic with my iPhone.
The steps for converting from a simple POP3 email account at my web hosting company (http://www.crystaltech.com/) to a full-blown hosted Exchange account were straight forward.
At the end of the day, I will be paying less than $200/year for a full blown hosted Exchange account that synchs email, contacts and calendar items with my iPhone:
1) Set up an account with Apptix. Specify that your domain is hosted elsewhere and that you will be forwarding mail traffic to Apptix by updating your domain’s MX records through DNS. (Typically your DNS is managed by your domain registrar or your web hosting company. I prefer EasyDNS that gives you email spooling as well for $20/year)
2) Create your Exchange mailbox and enable OWA, ActiveSync, and the other protocals once the mailbox has been provisioned.
3) Export your current email, contacts and calendar items to a .PST file.
4) Download the free copy of Outlook 2007 that Apptix provides.
5) Follow their instructions to connect Outlook 2007 on your machine to the new hosted Exchange account
6) Import your .PST file that you created in step #3 above. (This takes a while as the information is sent via RPC over HTTP, but should take less than 30 minutes)
At this point, you are set up with Hosted Exchange, and all that is left is the optional step of synching with your PDA enabled phone (if you have one)
7) Follow the Apptix instructions for connecting your iPhone to the hosted Exchange account. Those instructions can be found here. They are easy to follow. The nice thing is that the new hosted Exchange accounts at AppTix are Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, so autodiscovery is enabled. You don’t have to download an SSL certificate manually. All you have to do is be sure to make the appropriate changes to DNS (specifically, the CNAME entry listed below, the same info you get when you create your Apptix account) and the iPhone does the rest for you. It was a breeze!
Supplemental AppTix Setup Info for the technical crowd:
The information that you will need to modify your DNS records is listed below.
1. MX Records:
server1.inboundmx.com pref 10
server2.inboundmx.com pref 20
2. CNAME Record:
Create a new CNAME record for Autodiscover.DOMAIN.COM and point the record to autodiscoverredirect.collaborationhost.net
*Substitute “yourdomain.com” with your actual domain, i.e. Apptix.com
3. TXT Record:
v=spf1 ptr:mxlogic.net ptr:collaborationhost.net ip4:22.214.171.124/24 include:mxlogix.net ~all
NOTE: I received an anonymous comment that Apptix does not have a capital ‘T’ in it so I have updated this blog post. Also, there was a negative comment regarding the Apptix infrastructure. In my research, I found positive reviews and kudos for the reliability and stability for Apptix found here as well as other sites, just Google for more info. Feedback is always welcome! The lesson for me was to double check my posts for accuracy, and I appreciated the challenges to Apptix service so that I could dig deeper. I still recommend the service highly. :)