3rd Party Love for gSyncit – Integrate Exchange data with Non-MS Friendly Tools

Today I decided to give some love to one of the cross platform sync apps that makes my life better. I’m passionate about how awesome Office 365 has become and I’m never switching back, but I also love making my live better through automation and delegation. There are tons of great services out there that use that tap into my calendar, contacts or tasks but they aren’t all natively compatible with Exchange or Exchange Online.

To list a few:

FancyHands – A virtual concierge service, from waiting on hold with Comcast for me, scheduling doctors appointments, to buying flowers at an out of state boutique to be delivered to my Mother’s place of work. They create appointments for me, but only use Google calendars. They also scan my upcoming appointments and emails for recommendations on things they can either automate or help me with.

IFTTT (If This Then That) – Synchronization engine to monitor triggers and initiate events via a large list of web APIs. This allows me to do things like text message me the evening before it snows, turn on my AC as I’m driving home, automatically post my blog summary to Twitter, add intelligence to my SmartThings home automation, automatically log all of my vehicle mileage in a spreadsheet for work and so on.

Zapier – Similar to IFTTT with different APIs that it can sync with and trigger from.

All of these services are firmly planted at synchronizing with Google and have no integration into Exchange delegation or sharing, so what’s a Microsoft entrenched fan boy to do?

Why, leverage a dummy Google Account for all of those services to talk to and just use gSyncit of course! I can set up one direction sync, customize privacy settings, visibility of details, only sync certain categories of data or anything else I need to do to keep my corporate data safe while making the most of the 3rd party services. Sure, the data is being mined, but in my circumstances, it doesn’t matter. I use Azure RMS on sensitive data, limit my sync details to protect my contacts and since it’s a dummy account I’ll will never log in to see the ads.

image

Installation and configuration takes a little less than 5 minutes, and once complete gSyncit will be running in the background while Outlook is open, silently synchronizing all of your Exchange data with Google and any other services like Evernote that you’d like it to do so. Once in place, simply target all of your 3rd party tools to this dummy Google account. As a heads up Outlook often doesn’t like to shut down gracefully while gSyncit is running even with the shutdown agent helper, so I’ve set mine up in a VM with auto login and auto start of Outlook so it’s up 24×7 so I don’t have to install the software anywhere else to keep my data up to date.

As a awesome perk, you can go from Exchange to Google to another Exchange account, allowing for seamless synchronization of Exchange data for folks like me who have a personal Office 365 account in addition to a work Exchange account and even includes a duplicate entry tool. It makes transferring contacts or meeting invites a thing of the past. That alone was well worth the $20.

Happy Automating!