Client Support for Address Book Server in Lion

Apple’s Mac and iOS devices have built-in support for Address book Server in Lion, which uses an open standard, CardDAV, to communicate. Like CalDAV for iCal Server, CardDAV is based on webDAV and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Because these are open standards, client software for Windows can take advantage of Address book Server.

Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch support

Mac OS X 10.6 clients and later come with several applications that support CardDAV and work with Address book Server. These apps include Address book 5, which comes with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Address book 6 in the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion client.

Mail 4.0 and iChat 5.0 (and later) can access the contacts supplied by Address book Server. In Mail 4 and 5, you configure Address book Server connections in the Mail Preferences Composing pane. iChat 5 and 6 can locate users and groups provided by Address book Server.

For iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches running iOS 4.0 and later, the Contacts app can display and add contacts located in Address book Server.

Windows clients for Address Book Server

CardDAV Windows clients that support Address book Server are not common, but can be found. Here are two solutions:

  • eM Client is commercial software for Windows Vista and Windows 7, an all-in-one mail, contacts, and calendar application.

  • SOGo Connector for Thunderbird is free, open source software for Windows and Linux. It’s a plug-in for Thunderbird, the open source e-mail and news client from Mozilla Foundation. SOGo Connector enables Thunderbird to access CardDAV servers. Although the main piece of software you’ll see at the SOGo website is the SOGo groupware server, you don’t need the SOGo server to get Thunderbird to work with Address book Server.

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