Announcement: Owl: Exchange support for Thunderbird

Ben Bucksch ben.bucksch at beonex.com
Thu Oct 11 15:30:38 UTC 2018


If you would like to read your email on a Microsoft Exchange server 
account using Thunderbird, there are a currently 2 main possibilities:

  * If the Exchange server has IMAP enabled, you can connect via IMAP,
    after manually setting up the account
  * ExQuilla, a Thunderbird addon, uses the EWS propietary protocol of
    Exchange.

However, for a large number of corporate Exchange servers of large 
companies, these 2 protocols are not enabled towards the Internet. 
Oftentimes, only Outlook Web Access (OWA), the webmail frontend of 
Exchange, is enabled. This rules out both options above and leaves you 
without access in Thunderbird.

There are some other protocols that Exchange supports, e.g. the native 
Microsoft Outlook application protocol, or ActiveSync, but none of these 
have an implementation in Thunderbird.

So, with my company, we have been developing a Thunderbird addon that 
uses the OWA protocol to connect to Exchange servers. This should allow 
to read and write email in Thunderbird with your Exchange account that 
has OWA enabled. The name of the new extension is Owl.

We are currently in the early alpha stages, where we test internally and 
fix bugs. We should be going into beta soon. We are currently fixing 
bugs and other roadblocks in Thunderbid to make this happen and working 
with Thunderbird developers to integrate these patches.

Ben Bucksch
Beonex

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