Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Fix an Out of Sync iPhone Address Book

By Vern Weitzman

iOS Contacts not Synching with Exchange Server

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to support smartphone users reporting problems with iPhone contact syncing.  If you choose this difficult assignment, memorize this page and destroy the message from your screen.

The CEO’s Executive Assistant (EA), Eadith Allister has called you to report that her bosses iPhone is missing critical contact information. She has called you directly and did not report this issue to the help desk. If she did, the balance of power and support would lock down all of Information Services. Analysis paralysis would ensue. Lunch would be cancelled (for at least a month). You must run a covert operation to fix the CEO’s iPhone contact sync issues before the CIO, or any manager gets wind of it.  

You need high quality intelligence before you can act. Are the problems only on the CEO’s iPhone address book? Maybe the iPhone is just a decoy and the problem truly exists in Outlook and the Exchange Server.  You must first gather enough clues to reveal the true nature of the breech in synchronization.

Your best operative is EA, Agent Allister. It is as if she had a cybernetic implant telepathically connecting her with the CEO’s calendar and address book. Even the Borg would envy such perfection -- so ask her to check for contacts that have been comprised. She quickly responds and you have another clue -- the CEO’s contacts in Outlook are perfect.
It turns out the CEO has complete contact information for everyone in the company and also key customers from the CRM system. Additionally core supplier contacts are pushed from the ERP system. Syncing this information is the job of the Unified Contact Manager.  In the event that information in Outlook wasn’t perfect, you could contact itrezzo technical support so they can check SQL queries for the CRM and ERP systems. They might also validate that the 1500 contacts from the Employee staff public folder is perfectly in sync with each of 1200 smartphone users ... and especially the CEO.

Now what ?  What do you do when the Outlook contacts are perfect but iPhone contacts are out of sync?  You might discover any of the following conditions:
  • Contacts appear in Outlook but are missing from iOS.
  • Contacts are orphaned on the iPhone. They were deleted from Outlook and should have also been deleted from the iPhone.
  • Phone numbers or other details are different on the iPhone.
  • Contacts are duplicated on the iPhone.
If these symptoms are familiar, sync transactions got lost between the phone and Microsoft Exchange.  This is pretty rare but it does occasionally happen.  ActiveSync has somehow come off the rails and it’s now your mission to fix the problem.  If you know what to do, this is easily corrected.

Here are the steps you can follow to accomplish this:

1) Open the Settings application on the iPhone
 

2) Once the settings appear, scroll down to “Mail, Contacts and Calendar”

3) In this screen, temporally turn off contact synchronization.  Yes -- you need to choose “Delete from my iPhone”.  It will only clear the Exchange address book, not any other address books. The contacts we desire are backed up in the users mailbox contacts.



4) Wait about a minute

5) Now turn back on contact synchronization. After a few minutes, everything from the Exchange Server address book (Outlook Contacts) will be restored to the iPhone with a perfect sync.