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Getting Your GroupWise Calendar on an iPod Touch (a penny-pincher’s solution)

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A couple of months ago we posted about accessing GroupWise email on an iPhone or iPod Touch. At that time we did not know of a way to sync GroupWise calendars with these devices as well.  Since then we’ve found one method to do that and, though not perfect, it might be of interest to you.  It should be noted that this is just a tip we’ve discovered and might be of use to some of you and should be attempted at your own risk. This is not to be considered a support document. Let us know if you know of any other tips we should include on the blog for these devices.  Thanks! – Ed.

I depend upon my WVU GroupWise account to keep track of my appointments and tasks, but I’m not always at my PC.  Until recently, however, my only recourse for a portable calendar was to use PDA Connect to synchronize my PalmPilot with GroupWise.

My latest device, an iPod Touch, appeared to support many PDA-like functions.  However, I quickly discovered that getting my GroupWise calendar onto the Touch was going to be expensive, vis-à-vis Apple’s MobileMe or CompanionLink.  What’s a penny-pincher to do?

CompanionLink Software used to have a free product called gMigrate, which allowed me to port my GroupWise calendar data over to Google Calendar.  This is not a dynamic process:  I have to run gMigrate every time that I want to pass my GroupWise calendar over to Google calendar.

The “Eureka!” moment came when Google announced Google Sync (Beta) for the iPhone.  This tool lets you synchronize the built-in calendar and contacts on an iPhone (and iPod Touch) with your Google account.  So, you can go from GroupWise to Google with gMigrate, and you can then go from Google to an iPod Touch with Google Sync.  Although this sounds rather complex, you can manage the entire process in just a few clicks – after the initial configuration, of course.

Ingredients:

  • iPhone or iPod Touch
  • GroupWise account
  • Google account
  • Google Sync
  • gMigrate
  • WiFi access

Getting gMigrate

Although gMigrate is no longer available directly from CompanionLink Software, you can still download it from a number of software repositories, such as Cnet’s download.com or Softpedia.

Install gMigrate by running the executable setup launcher.  When you run gMigrate, configure it as follows:

image001

  1. In the Email field, type in your Gmail username.
  2. In the Password field, type in your Gmail password.
  3. In the From field, click the selection arrow and select GroupWise 6.5.
  4. Click on the Advanced button, which should display a GroupWise Login dialog:
    image002-gmigrate

    1. Type in your GroupWise UserID and password
    2. Click OK.
  5. Click on the Migrate button.  A CompanionLink Process dialog will indicate your progress.

image003

Successful completion is indicated by a dialog that looks like this:

image004Google calendar should now be populated with calendar items from your GroupWise account.  Remember that you will have to run gMigrate each time that you want any changes in your GroupWise calendar to appear in Google Calendar (i.e., start gMigrate and click on the Migrate button).

Getting Google Sync for iPhone

Google Sync for iPhone uses the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol to synchronize the data on your iPod Touch with your Google Calendar.  It will support synchronization with up to five calendars and the contacts in your My Contacts group.

Setting up Google Sync is a fairly straightforward process, but you should be aware that Sync is a beta product.  In addition, the Sync setup will delete the existing contacts and calendar information on your iPhone or Touch.  Backup your data first!

It is not necessary for me to reproduce Google’s instructions here.  Just point your browser to Sync: Set Up Your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Once you’ve set up Google Sync, the synchronization should begin automatically if you have Push enabled on your device.