Starting in v98, cPanel & WHM added support for Android-based mobile devices to interact with calendars and contacts via ActiveSync.
What is ActiveSync?
Microsoft® originally developed the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol—commonly known as ActiveSync—for use by mobile devices in combination with its Exchange Server. The protocol uses a lightweight version of XML called WBXML to optimize traffic for the frequently slow and unreliable connections that may be encountered on cellular networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots.
In cPanel & WHM, ActiveSync support is provided by Z-Push, a piece of open-source software that we distribute in combination with Calendar and Contact Server (CCS) to provide ActiveSync support alongside CalDAV and CardDAV.
Why would I want to use ActiveSync?
Prior to the inclusion of ActiveSync support, owners of Android-based mobile phones and tablets had limited choices for connecting to their cPanel calendars because Android lacks native CalDAV support. The best solution available was to install a third-party app which would serve as an intermediate “connector” between the device’s local calendar and a CalDAV server. The disadvantage to this approach is that it requires each end-user to install and configure the app.
In contrast, with ActiveSync, you can configure and synchronize your account without the use of any third-party app on the mobile device.
OK! Let’s get started.
Before you can use ActiveSync, the server administrator needs to install Z-Push. If that’s you, then you can start using Z-Push right now by following the steps below. Otherwise, you may need to reach out to your hosting provider to inquire about their plans for making Z-Push available.
Installing Z-Push (for Server Administrators)
Navigate to Manage Plugins in the cPanel section of the WHM menu, and check whether CCS is installed.
I don’t have Calendar and Contacts Server yet…
Click Install “Calendar and Contacts Server”. Doing this will now also install Z-Push! (If you decide later that you don’t need ActiveSync support anymore, you can uninstall Z-Push while leaving CCS installed.)
I already have Calendar and Contacts Server…
Z-Push will show up as a separately available plugin. In this case, click Install “Z-Push – ActiveSync Support,” and you’re good to go!
Configuring your Android-based phone or tablet
Each device manufacturer customizes the Android operating system for their specific needs, so the exact setting names may vary from device to device. For more detailed setup information, read our ActiveSync documentation.
Navigate to the account setup screen:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select the Accounts or Accounts and backup section. If there is a further subsection called Accounts, select this subsection.
- Tap on Add account.
- From here, select the appropriate account type. If you have both Exchange and Exchange ActiveSync, make sure to select Exchange ActiveSync. If the only available type is Exchange, then use this one.
Fill in your account details:
- Enter the same email address that you already use for IMAP or Webmail.
- Tap Set up manually.
- Enter your email account password in the Password field.
- Leave the Domain\Username field unchanged.
- Leave the Server field unchanged.
- For the Port, enter 2091 — If you make other changes before proceeding, the port might reset back to 443, and you will need to correct it.
- Leave the Security type field unchanged.
Tap on Next when you’ve finished entering your account information.
Enable push updates (optional):
- Return to the account list within the Settings app.
- Tap on the newly added account.
- Tap on Account settings.
- If prompted to select the account again, tap on the same account.
- Tap on Sync frequency, and change the setting to Automatic (Push).
And that’s it! You can now use your ActiveSync account for calendars, contacts, and email.
Protip: When creating calendar events, make sure to select the desired calendar, as the default choice might be another account you already configured previously.
We also want to mention that we’d very much appreciate any feedback you can provide us about ActiveSync once you’ve had a chance to utilize it. The survey is available at https://go.cpanel.net/device-setup-survey
Common Questions & Answers
What are the system requirements for Z-Push?
As a server administrator, you should be aware of how this new service fits into your server. Z-Push is not a standalone daemon, but rather a PHP application launched via cpdavd—the same daemon that handles WebDAV connections. This means that there is no immediate added resource cost for enabling ActiveSync support if you were already running cpdavd, but your server’s load and memory usage will increase in proportion to the number of simultaneous connections.
While cPanel & WHM itself has modest minimum system requirements of 1 – 2 GB of RAM, realistically you will need more than this if you want to handle ActiveSync connections smoothly. We recommend at least 8 GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores for every 25 simultaneous ActiveSync users you intend to host. Your individual results may differ, and it is crucial that you monitor you server’s memory usage and load on a regular basis.
I’m having trouble getting ActiveSync to work with my phone or tablet.
See our Troubleshooting guide for ActiveSync.
How can I uninstall Z-Push?
Navigate to Manage Plugins in the cPanel section of the WHM menu.
Click Uninstall “Z-Push – ActiveSync Support”.
This will leave Calendar and Contacts Server installed. You may uninstall it separately from the same interface if necessary.
What if I have an iPhone?
For iPhone users, there aren’t any advantages to using ActiveSync since CalDAV/CardDAV/IMAP on CCS does data synchronizing for iPhones already, and works great! iPhone users can still use ActiveSync, and it will work, but we recommend just sticking with CalDAV/CardDAV/IMAP for iPhones.
As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please let us know. We are here to help in the best ways we can. You’ll find us on Discord, the cPanel forums, and Reddit. Be sure to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.