I'm a long term MS Entourage user. I've railed against the single "database"
file structure forever (but I've heard that it probably will go away in the
next release).

I don't use calendar notifications because the Office Database Daemon screws
up my desktop<->laptop synchronization routine, which works only if the
files don't change on the computer not in active use at the moment (every
event alarm changes the "database" file).

Recently I've started using an iPhone 3G. I synchronize my contacts and
calendars on it with Entourage. Usually that works, but occasionally all the
events on the iPhone get duplicated in Entourage (I suspect the daylight
savings time change may have triggered the latest instance of that).

I also use some applications that depend on Apple's Address Book; e.g., Dymo
Label. So, on my Mac Pro, I use Sync Services to keep Address Book and iCal
in Sync with Entourage's Book and Calendar. That also gives me event
notifications, which come from iCal.

Apple's programs don't support "categories" the way Entourage does. In order
to differentiate personal from work appointments by color, for example, in
iCal I'd need to use multiple calendars, but Sync Services dumps all
Entourage events into one "Entourage" calendar so I can't do that.

Having to prune my calendar by hand after the recent duplication of hundreds
of items caused by an iPhone sync made me revisit the question of just
dumping Entourage completely yet again. However, there still seem to be
limitations in iCal that make me hold off. For example:

1. In iCal, an event that spans several days but ends at a specific time on
the last days isn't displayed as a banner spanning its entire duration; its
calendar display is confined to the day it starts.

2. In iCal, timed event don't show their start time on the "Month" view;
just a bullet before their title.

People with needs such as mine have discussed using BusySync and Google
Calendar as the intermediary for keeping calendars in Sync. If I gave up on
Entourage, I think I could sync multiple calendars simultaneously to solve
at least SOME of my display issues in the month view.

I've read recently that synchronization using the iPhone and Entourage
should be much better now because of the iPhone's support for Exchange
Server. I'm about to put a Windows Server 2008 Small Business Edition Server
in my office, and since I'll be the administrator of that I can carve out
the ability to do my personal Personal Info Manager synchronization on that
platform if it's the ideal solution.

So, does anyone have opinions?

Thanks so much,

Jim Robertson

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