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Thread: Does the use of z-push request an ActiveSync license by Microsoft?

  1. #1
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    Does the use of z-push request an ActiveSync license by Microsoft?

    Hi,

    I am not a tec expert but a project manager doing some general research into contact management software.

    A small company of friends would like to start an address management tool for hobby sport clubs. And they look into different ways to sync the addresses of the team into all the team members mobile address books.

    Now we came across z-push. But we can't figure out if we need a license for ActiveSync by Microsoft on top of z-push on our (server) side. Or does z-push work if ActiveSync only runs on the mobile devices?

    Thanks for help!
    David

  2. #2
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    Z-push doesn't require an activesync license as it's Zarafas own technology. You can use it on as many devices as you want, I'm not aware that MS ActiveSync on exchange required a license anyway, I thought you only needed an exchange CAL?
    IT Engineer,
    ClearOS 5.2, Zarafa 7.1.x
    ClearOS 6.5, Zarafa 7.1.10-7.2.x

  3. #3
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    Hi David,

    only MS can respond for sure if you need to pay for the ActiveSync license.

    Z-Push itself is an open source project under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3.


    Quote Originally Posted by David_Hamburg View Post
    Hi,
    Or does z-push work if ActiveSync only runs on the mobile devices?
    Sorry, I didn't understand your question. What do you mean? ActiveSync is a protocol, mobile devices' apps use it to communicate with an ActiveSync capable server.

    Manfred
    Please do not PM me asking for support. Use the forum instead. Thank you.
    I usually check the mobility thread at the end of the day, so please have some patience if there's no immediate response. Asking to look at certain thread per PM won't result in a faster answer.

  4. #4
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    Hi Manfred,
    Hi Chomes,

    thanks a lot for your answers!

    @Manfred: Sorry for confusing you. I know that ActiveSync is a protocol. My question is about the server we need to set up.

    Does our server need a license by Microsoft to make use of the protocol? Or does the server only need z-push to sync with the mobile devices?

    Yours,
    David

  5. #5
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    I called Microsoft to ask about ActiveSync licenses. And it seems to be as described by chomes: ActiveSync is not sold by itself. But to make use of it you need a CAL and the license for ActiveSync is included in the CAL.

    @Manfred: Does this make sense to you with your broad experience into this topic?

  6. #6
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    Hi David,

    what server do you have? If it's a Windows server, then it probably makes sense. Or if you creating a commercial product which will use ActiveSync protocol. But I'm not familiar with the details of MS licensing, so don't rely on my opinion.

    If you're just using Z-Push or extending it, you shouldn't need a license. But that's a question for MS and/or lawyers.

    Manfred
    Please do not PM me asking for support. Use the forum instead. Thank you.
    I usually check the mobility thread at the end of the day, so please have some patience if there's no immediate response. Asking to look at certain thread per PM won't result in a faster answer.

  7. #7
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    See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchan...Sync#Licensing (and especially the links and references).
    I install, configure, customize, integrate and maintain Zarafa setups in different environments since 2007. If you want my full attention, please send me a private message and ask for paid support.

  8. #8
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by chomes View Post
    Z-push doesn't require an activesync license as it's Zarafas own technology.
    The problem of licensing MS technology needs to be discussed and not ignored, imho. There are a few open questions and I could not find answer to them in the internet.

    As I found, MS likes companies to first sign a non disclosure agreement (NDA). Then the company is being asked to make a non refundable prepaid deposit of 10000$. The prices then are
    • EAS server license - 1.5$ per user per year
    • Android (includes EAS as client) - 5$ per device


    It is not clear what is covered by those fees, since the Samba team is writing on their homepage https://www.samba.org/samba/ms_license.html that while using the smb technology of Microsoft, their approach is different and hence not covered by any MS patents.

    Further the Samba team writes, that Microsoft does not license their patents to be used in GNU GPL licensed products. The story of patents is complicated, as LG Mannheim (Germany) http://dejure.org/dienste/vernetzung...20O%20229%2F11 prohibited Apple to use push emails. The patent was later revoked http://www.rechtsprechung-im-interne...e=0.0&doc.hl=1 but it shows that we are dealing with a highly sensitive matter.

    Last but not least https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/web...c-development/ writes that MS doesn't license version before EAS 12.x.

    First, any clarification regarding what version of EAS z-push is compatible to, would be nice. Further does Zarafa pay Microsoft when customers use their paid services? If not, how do they counter Microsoft's patent claims? Thanks

  9. #9
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    Hello heise,

    if there would be a nda we would not be allowed to talk about it ;-)

    In general Z-push provides up until ActiveSync 14.0 and we (as in the Z-Push developers, not Zarafa or Kopano) want to implement support for 14.1, 16.0 and 16.1 with the 2.4 release (see https://wiki.z-hub.io/display/ZP/Roadmap). Technically Z-Push is an independent open source project, that can be used free of charge and is not sold or covered by the Subscription that can be obtained from Zarafa/Kopano. From our perspective that makes us, and everyone downloading and installing Z-Push, safe from any potential patent claims.

    But if you take Z-Push and build it into your own product, that case may be different.
    Last edited by fbartels; 09-08-2016 at 04:45 PM.
    Regards Felix

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  10. #10
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    Hi Felix,
    as I understand Microsoft has made a commitment not to sue people developing open source. That commitment does not include the usage of open source products, hence you can see in the balance sheet of Microsoft every year millions of dollars of earning just from license fees from Android, the 5$ mentioned above.

    So if I install z-push on my server running Zarafa, why do you think I would be on the safe side? I can only guess that to obtain support for pre 14.1 you were consulting Microsoft's documentation to EAS. Did you implement different (patent free) methods to the described one's similar to what the Samba team wrote about SMB ( https://www.samba.org/samba/ms_license.html )?

    Some people have incorrectly assumed that Samba must implement the methods described in these patents. In fact, the methods described in these patents are quite inappropriate for a Unix/POSIX CIFS implementation such as Samba. It would not even be possible to implement the methods described in these patents in a portable POSIX application. Instead, Samba treats the SMBreadbraw and SMBwritebraw protocol elements in the same way as all other elements of the CIFS/SMB protocol. This means that as far as we are aware Samba is completely unaffected by the existence of these patents.
    Thanks

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