Syncing the iPhone addressbook with Horde

Since I’d had my iPhone I’ve wanted to be able to sync my contacts with my Horde Webmail install.  This post is about setting up the Funambol application in order to do so.

Firstly, you need something on the phone which will support SyncML, the standard that allows different devices to exchange data.  To sync, install the iPhone Funambol application (iTunes store link) which is currently free and works really well.

The Funambol application itself is very simple, adding an account is easy:

  • set the “Server” field to something like http://example.com/horde/rpc.php (replace the location appropriately)
  • set the “Username” and “Password” fields to the same ones you use to login normally
  • in the “Contacts” section of the setup, the “Remote Name” should be set to card

The “Sync Direction” can be set whichever way you prefer. A cavaet: I only do one way synchronisation.  That is, I sync my contacts from iPhone to server, but not the other way. Whilst it does work both ways, I haven’t tested it extensively. It is possible that rabid zombies will eat your firstborn if you change something on the server and try to update the iPhone.

Once these settings are updated, you can go back to the main screen and hit the big “Sync Contacts” button. If it succeeds, you will see your contacts appear on the Horde server. If not, you can always view the log from the settings menu to work out what went wrong.

One of the coolest (but most useless) features is that any photos associated with contacts will also be uploaded to the server.

Note that some fields aren’t automatically used by Horde, such as the “Home Email” and “Work Email”. This is very easy to fix, but you’ll need to ask your system administrator to have a look at this post on my blog.

Feel free to leave me a comment if you get stuck and I will endeavour to help you fix it.

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David Cannings
Cyber Security Geek

My interests include computer security, digital electronics and writing tools to help analysis of cyber attacks.

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