Mesquilla is releasing a Calendar EWS Provider addon compatible with ExQuilla

By | September 26, 2013

Recently we learned that the “Exchange 2007/2010/2013 Provider” addon is no longer being developed, and the final version did not fully support Thunderbird 24 and Exchange Server 2013 & Office365. While eventually we intend to fully integrate Calendar and Task support into ExQuilla, at the moment that support is incomplete and experimental, so many of our customers had relied on the now-abandoned addon. So as a convenience to our customers, we have forked and updated that addon to provide a version that works with current Thunderbird and Microsoft Exchange, as well as includes better compatibility with ExQuilla. We call this new fork the “Calendar EWS Provider”. Since the original addon is released GPL, so is this one, with code on Bitbucket here.

This addon is currently considered to be beta quality (version 3.2.0-Beta47 as of today, continuing the versioning of the predecessor addon), but you may download the current version from this link:

http://mesquilla.net/ewscalendar-currentrelease.xpi

Calendars configured using the previous addon will not work with this fork, so if you are a current user of the Exchange Provider addon, you should remove any calendars from that and uninstall it before installing the “Calendar Ews Provider” addon (also called ewscalendar for short).

Calendar EWS Provider differs from its predecessor in the following ways:

  1. Because ExQuilla already includes Contacts and GAL support, that was removed.
  2. The storage of passwords has been made compatible with ExQuilla, so if you use ExQuilla on the same account the password is only stored once.
  3. Naming has been changed to remove support links to the previous developer, and replace them with current links.
  4. Various issues and bugs that we have uncovered have been fixed, including issues of compatibility with Office365 and Thunderbird 24. The new xpi file claims compatibility with both Thunderbird 17 and Thunderbird 24.
  5. Because this is a fork with changed capabilities and not a continuation of the existing addon, we felt that internal identifiers needed to be changed to reduce the possibility of conflict with the original addon, though we still do not recommend that you attempt to run both at once.
  6. When creating new calendar entries, the EWS server parameters are copied from the equivalent ExQuilla values if an ExQuilla email is selected. So you should not have to do autodiscover again or manually enter server parameters when adding calendars to existing ExQuilla accounts.
  7. Addon updates now follow the standard Mozilla addon UI (while the previous addon had a custom solution), with updates coming automatically from the mesquilla.net site if you download from there.

Although it would be convenient if the Calendar EWS Provider addon was distributed directly with ExQuilla, the GPL license prevents that, so users must do a separate download and installation. But at the same time, ExQuilla is not required for its operation, so you are free to use this addon for Calendaring without using ExQuilla.

We would appreciate testing of this addon by potential users and reporting of experiences. However, this is new code for us, and considered to be a temporary solution (where “temporary” is approximately 1 year), so we may not be able to immediately attend to all reported issues. Please use the new “Calendar EWS Provider” forum here for any comments or support requests.