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SuSE Businesses

Yet Another Exchange Killer? 333

Posted by michael
from the optimism-springs-eternal dept.
jmertic writes "SuSE Linux now has the latest Exchange killer, but this time for Exchange Server. Openexchange Server is designed to be a drop in replacement for Exchange 5.5 users who don't want to pay the MS tax of going to Exchange 2000. They say it will be available mid November."
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Yet Another Exchange Killer?

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  • by mindstrm (20013) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:29PM (#4533860)
    with POP3 functionality.

    Everything else will be "Planned for the future" and they will be recruiting programmers.
    • by zurab (188064) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:25PM (#4534223)
      with POP3 functionality.

      Everything else will be "Planned for the future" and they will be recruiting programmers.


      C'mon now! They even state on the features page that The preferred protocol is IMAP.
      Why predict when you can read and find out?
      Features [suse.com] page says it will come with SMTP, Webmail, IMAP, LDAP, spam filter, Samba PDC, and DHCP. The features include E-mail (of course), scheduler, document management, project management, addressbooks, forums, knowledgebase, etc., etc., etc..

      Not that you can't piece these software packages yourself, but this sounds like it will be an integrated solution for mail server like Exchange or Groupwise servers, integrated IMAP and web interface; basically they want people to have OpenExchange server interoperate with MS Exchange server (migrating period), and after you're sure everything is set up correctly as you want it then ditch [suse.com] the MS Exchange completely. All this will be configurable through YaST too.

      To me it sounds very nice as an alternative and way cheaper too.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:00PM (#4534735)
        it doesn't look any cheaper than keeping our Exchange 5.5, really, since client licenses are about the same price and OpenExchange Server is really an untested unknown. I don't know ANYbody running it, and Suse is almost unheard of here (BC, Canada) because of its un-redistributable licensing. To be honest, I think the only real advantage here is that the OpenExchange isn't Microsoft.
        Why should my company (50 users) migrate? No new features, dubious availability of support (on the other hand MCSE are a dime a dozen here) and inclusion of proprietary software from a relative unknown aren't exactly compelling.
  • I get customers who have '5.0', it is an open relay by default and can not be secured, who get hijacked by spammers. The only way for them to secure their server is to buy '5.5'. The subject line has my question. Anyone know?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Of course so far it aint happening but like President Bush has tought the nation just repeat
    your lies long enough and some people believe that they are the truth.

    Its a drop in replacement, with groupware featured supplied by a different third party
    seperate from email.

    So far I have not seen any mention in this product of automatic migrating of all user content?

    Im my opinion a 'drop in' replacement would have the ability to migrate all user content from existing infrastructure into the new infrastructure.

    What this is a dang expensive hodge podge of
    technology, whos features, can somewhat match what Exchange has but not with the same integration and user interface tools .

    In the article I read earlier they basically even admit that yes you can probably cobble together this stuff yourself a lot cheaper.

    So instead of going with Exhcange, and not have to have a painfull transistion, retraining your thousands of users, etc, you go out pay half or a bit more than for upgrading Exchange, sell your soul to a version 1.0, dont know if we will survive solution, which will probably not feature any migration possiblities, if in fact there is no version 2.0

    Either go full opensource, or just choose one of the established players in this field, at least if you have a sizeable number of users.
    • Im my opinion a 'drop in' replacement would have the ability to migrate all user content from existing infrastructure into the new infrastructure.

      Why did someone moderate the above as a troll? Admittedly, his message is harsh but for a large customer that is currently using Exchange he is correct.

      The SuSE solution is not a drop-in replacement. A drop-in replacement would be able to migrate users and data stores (email, calendars, address books, etc) from the Exchange servers to the replacements and would not require any configuration changes on the clients.

      I'm sure the SuSE solution provides somewhat equivalent functionality, but it will be a large job to migrate a company that is using Exchange today to SuSE. In the long run you might even save money, but the migration cost (both in time, management, client reconfiguration and user training) will be noticable.

      God try, and keep up the good work, SuSE. But please don't market this as a drop-in replacement.
  • Not. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Telastyn (206146) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:36PM (#4533904)
    This is *not* a drop in replacement for an exchange server. This does look like a nicely packaged set of servers to replace the functionality, with optional arm&leg support contracts.

    woo.hoo.

    I mean, yeah professional support is a great thing that will get a little bit into companies, but seriously, nobody is going to rip out an exchange server, dispite its distatefulness; then reconfigure every client to use smtp-auth/imap/ldap not to mention *loose* outlook's calendaring feature, just for clientside flexibility that they never wanted in the first place?
    • Re:Not. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BrookHarty (9119)
      This type of drop in replacement is the equivalent of dropping in a v8 hemi engine in my VW Bug.

      A real drop in replacement, the end user wouldnt even know about back end changes.
    • Re:Not. (Score:5, Informative)

      by alsta (9424) on Friday October 25, 2002 @08:01PM (#4534446)
      I detest MS Exchange for many reasons, but foremost because of MAPI. This package does not have MAPI specified, in which case it is correct of Telastyn to claim that it isn't a drop in replacement package.

      MAPI is Outlook's native protocol which encapsulates calls to the Exchange server to retrieve/modify calendars, mailboxes and other objects.

      This will probably be a nice mailserver-in-a-box deal and it's nice to see Linux vendors do these things. But to call it a drop in replacement sounds like a lot of hot air. PLEASE do not assume that I am in any way saying that Exchange is better. I am not. I am saying however, that vendors should take care in advertising more correctly. Otherwise they're proving to Exchange users that Exchange is the real deal and whatever is offered by SuSE is a joke.
      • Re:Not. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ZoneGray (168419)
        True enough, but MAPI is just a protocol. All the Calendar functionality comes from the client and the server. And Outlook retains most of it's functionality (and gets a huge boost in perfomrance) when run in Internet mode.

        There's no reason the essential Exchange functionality couldn't be duplicated. Some of the Calendar info is already available in that icalendar format, and the rest could be encapsulated in POP/IMAP. Add some server enhancvements and maybe an Outlook plugin, and you could be pretty close.

        And of course, you could distribute the Outlook plugin to the whole enterprise just by sending one attachment to the VP of Marketing.
        • Re:Not. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by alsta (9424)
          MAPI is a transport mechanism that Outlook and Exchange both use. Exchange functionality could be duplicated but I am not so sure the way you suggest is the best way of doing it.

          First of all, Outlook talks MAPI. Period. You need to understand MAPI to talk to Outlook. Then about half of your troubles are solved. Outlook and Exchange do not use the iCalendar protocol for calendaring. Just because that's a protocol defined in an RFC doesn't mean Outlook uses it. Think about it. Why in the world would Microsoft do that? They would lose money to whoever writes the better Exchange server. No, what's needed here is a samba-type approach. If one really needs iCalendar, one would have to write fudge layer between iCalendar and whatever Exchange and Outlook speak.

          POP is out of the question. IMAP retains much of the functionality that Outlook has when managing mailboxes, but IMAP doesn't use MAPI. In which case there would be a need for a kludgy layer between IMAP and MAPI to make it all work.

          I think it would be easier to try to replicate that which Exchange does with Outlook and vice versa. The issue here though is that we're so far astrayed from standards that they're not even applicable anymore. What is the goal? To maintain an open standard or try to play catchup with Microsoft? Both?

          Also, what kind of enhancements were you talking about?
  • Source code license? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pope nihil (85414) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:37PM (#4533909) Journal
    I notice that you can get the source code, but under what license?

    SuSE Linux Openexchange Server 4


    Base license with ten groupware clients and an unlimited number of external e-mail clients (POP3/IMAP)

    Order no.: 2118-1INT

    US $ 1,249.00

    Software
    SuSE Linux Openexchange Server 4 (based on SLES 8), source code (4 CDs)
    • by bogie (31020) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:26PM (#4534235) Journal
      Interesting question, but I'd rather see them do something about Yast. That one piece of software spoils the distro for me. I mean most of the other distros GPL their tools, why can't Suse?

      Because of Yast I don't support Suse and never will.

      I know I be modded as Troll for this, but I know many other people feel the same way I do. I mean for a company that claims to be so into opensource why have this "gotcha" built into their distro? Could you imagine if Redhat had done the same thing with RPM? Or Debian had did this with Apt?

      Suse did invent the tool so they do get to pick the license, but what would happen if the 99% of software written by others which they are repackaging all did the same thing?
      • by root_42 (103434) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @03:40AM (#4535863) Homepage
        I don't understand what the fuzz is all about. Yast is not that great a tool that I would say everyone has to use it. The source code for Yast is there, and you are allowed to modify it as you wish -- with one condition: you have to label this version as a modified Yast-version. So no big deal! Try to focus on what SuSE has done for the OpenSource-community: They fund a lot of the ALSA-project development (Jaroslav Kysela), they heavily pushed the development of XFree86 including writing of drivers for until then unsupported cards, porting Linux to the s390 and much more. They also employ a couple of the KDE core developers (Waldo Bastian et al.).
        • by Ed Avis (5917)
          The restriction on YaST is that you cannot sell 'data carriers' containing the software. So for example you cannot sell CDs with a Linux distribution that contains YaST (SuSE Linux or otherwise). This seems a bit unreasonable from a company that makes its money selling CDs of software mostly written by others.

          Still SuSE's policy is that patches to other programs are released under the same licence as the programs themselves, so they do good work in the rest of their distribution. But since YaST is a proprietary SuSE program, I can't really see the point in learning it (since it ties you to SuSE Linux and can never be used by the other distributions under the current licence). Better to support a distribution like Linux-Mandrake which makes sure its admin tools are released as free software.

          YMMV, but at least you can appreciate the reasons why some users prefer to stay away from SuSE.
  • I've got to spend 30 million dollars in 30 days so I can inheirit 300 million! I can't give any away to charity, and I can't tell anyone why I'm doing it! (shhh.)

    MS Exchange is perfect for my needs! I can pick up a 1000 seat licence and a couple of XP Advanced Servers and blow my wad right there! Plus, I can hire a bunch of IT guys to keep up with bugs and patches - ooooh, don't kill Exchange!

    Signed, Brewster
    (a.k.a Richard Prior)

  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:37PM (#4533913)
    Wouldnt it be awesome if this was integrated with Evolution to give the open-source market a firm footing in the messaging arena
  • by Jonny Ringo (444580) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:38PM (#4533918)
    Why is the root name copied in all open source software of the proprietary version in which it competes? Its unimaginative, it often cause problems legally, it sounds like a runner up solution instead of something possibly better.

    Thoughts?
    • Linux/BSD != Windows
      Nautilus/Konqueror != Explorer
      Mozilla/Galeon/Phoenix != IE
      Evolution != Outlook
      Gnumeric != Excel
      Blender != Maya
      Apache != IIS

      The list goes on and on. While some opensource products have names similar to proprietary ones (Abiword, OpenOffice, Lindows), the vast majority don't. For that matter, many proprietary products have names similar to others (WordPerfect Office). Open source projects are not disproportionally guilty of name theft.

    • I agree with your basic point, though I think you're stating it a bit strongly.
      It's a question of brand and market positioning. SuSE is taking the groupware market as the one defined by Microsoft. As such, there's really only one, perhaps two brands in the market (Exchange, and Lotus Notes). If you're a relatively small company, it doesn't pay to take the time and money to build a brand from scratch in this market. The trick is to erode Microsoft's market share by selling a very similar product (read knock-off) and at the same time developing a brand that makes the product seem like its own thing. We'll see whether SuSE, and OSS in general can manage that.
      I'd say I'm guardedly optimistic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:40PM (#4533933)
    Would that this were an Exchange killer. It is not. The SuSe material says you can 'sync' your Outlook with it, just like your PDA. Ooooo!

    Calendar, Task Requests, Free/Busy? I wish.

    Like it or not, Outlook users in corporate mode use a lot of exchange _server_ features. Outlook (and Express) users that use it in POP/IMAP mode exclusively could care less. Maybe this is an Exchange killer for POP/IMAP users, but so is Cyrus.

    This is no 'drop in' replacement; its not any kind of a replacement in unless a lot of drugs are added.

    Am I saying its no good? No; we haven't seen it yet. It's not an Exchange replacement. It looks like Bynari.
    • Some alternatives... (Score:5, Informative)

      by jeroenb (125404) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:03PM (#4534092) Homepage
      Am I saying its no good? No; we haven't seen it yet. It's not an Exchange replacement. It looks like Bynari.

      Bynari however, does produce an actual replacement for Exchange, especially when coupled with the InsightConnector for Outlook [bynari.net].

      Also, the former HP OpenMail now owned by Samsung and called Samsung Contact [samsungcontact.com] appears to support MAPI as well, so that could integrate with Outlook and have all those groupware/calendaring features.

      And last, a Dutch company called ConnecTUX [connectux.com] has created a Linux-based server application called Team-Link [team-link.com] that integrates completely with Outlook and mimics all Exchange features. (Both sites in Dutch unfortunately.)

      So plenty of alternatives. But I agree, this OpenExchange, is not one of them.
      • OpenMail and I would believe that Samsung Contact, use MAPI as a transport protocol. It's really kludgy. While Outlook and Exchange talk and exchange information on various objects with MAPI, the OpenMail variant is to use the client to populate OpenMail objects. To make this work, one needs HP's special little client layer with Outlook.

        Nevertheless, it does work very well when properly configured. Delegation of principals works also.

        OpenMail is however not at all a server that can natively drive Outlook. Think of a local calendar, shared on the server as a file object rather than a master calendar updated by objects.
  • by rgmoore (133276) <glandauer@charter.net> on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:41PM (#4533939) Homepage

    Unfortunately, it doesn't sound as though the "Open" in "Openexchange" means that it's going to be open-source. SUSE mentions that they have a much friendlier licensing policy than MS, only paying for people who are actually connected to the server instead of per seat that can connect. That's nice, but it just means that you're getting hooked into a proprietary system that's likely to be less well developed and possibly even less reliable than Exchange, without any of the advantages of Free/Open Source software. Very disappointing.

    • by bo-eric (263735) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:55PM (#4534045)
      Taking a look at the "Features" page (of the "Article"), we see that the components Openexchange Server consists of are the following:

      • Operating system: SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for ia32, Kernel 2.4.19
      • Installation: graphical installation with YaST2
      • SMTP mail server, mail transfer agent: Postfix 1.1.11
      • IMAP mail delivery agent: Cyrus IMAP 2.1.9
      • Web server: Apache 1.3.26
      • LDAP server: OpenLDAP 2.1.4
      • Integrated spam filter
      • Samba PDC
      • DHCP


      Admittedly, the "Integrated spam filter" and "DHCP" parts are not specified and might be closed source, but that seems quite unlikely, IMHO. Every other component seems to be both open sourced and free. Am I missing the reason you concluded it was closed-source?
      • Interesting point. I'm wondering why companies would bother paying $1200 for packages you can get off the shelf for free, many of which are already installed by default for server configurations on several distros.

        Since they've got all that other stuff on there, they should throw in IMP as well.

        I wonder if the spam filter is SpamAssassin?

    • Sounds like a good way to get you ass sued by microsoft!
  • by silhouette (160305) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:41PM (#4533942)
    I don't understand why people are always talking about the latest and greatest exchange killer.

    There was already an exchange killer. It was called Nimda.

  • MAPI support? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheBracket (307388) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:46PM (#4533974) Homepage
    I looked through the site, and could see no sign of native MAPI support - rather, you have the usual collection of IMAP, POP3, SMTP, etc. protocols. Many sites I look after would love to switch to a free Exchange replacement when they phase out their current 5.5 deployments - but if it doesn't support MAPI and seamlessly integrate with Outlook, they won't be interested.

    It also seems to be missing a few of Exchange's better features: single instance message storage, (relatively) easy multi-site replication, deleted item retention, just to name a few.

    Finally, who on Earth wants to put their Exchange server on their PDC? If this product doesn't integrate well with existing domains, I don't think that I have a single client who could actually use it!
    • by Kunta Kinte (323399) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:12PM (#4534158) Journal
      I looked through the site, and could see no sign of native MAPI support - rather, you have the usual collection of IMAP, POP3, SMTP, etc. protocols.

      Yeah, those useless IETF standards!

    • MAPI is a client API, not a server one. MAPI compatibility is a way to send/receive email etc. from a client to any given server. It abstracts out the calls to the server for any given client to attach to. A mail client will install a mapi.dll onto the system. If you write another application that wants to send an email, you use the MAPI interface to send an email through that system's default server using that server's protocol. This has nothing to do with the compatibility SuSE's product may or may not have with Outlook. As a drop in replacement it needs to support the communications protocol and command set (basically an extended IMAP, try browsing the server with an IMAP client... kinda fun) that Outlook supports. Again, nothing to do with MAPI. If this product works with Outlook Express (read: POP3 or IMAP) then it has MAPI compatibility as Outlook Express is a MAPI compliant client. I have written many MAPI mail projects. It sucks. I like piping a file through sendmail on any *nix. So bloody easy. It doesn't give me the ability to pick up an email, but I've only done that once in all the times I've used MAPI.

      About the other items I don't have a clue except your PDC would be much more stable running on Linux than on Windows.

      • MAPI is used by Exchange and Outlook in a bi-directional fashion. Exchange drives Outlook. Hence it is as much a server API as a client one. The fact that Outlook uses MAPI to talk to other services is a different story.

        Your assessment is largely correct, except that Exchange DOES use MAPI. I would have to agree that MAPI is vile though.
      • Re:MAPI support? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Helen O'Boyle (324127)
        Whatever Fits,

        It depends which MAPI you're talking about. Most apps folks know about the client-side functionality in Simple MAPI.

        There is another version, called Extended MAPI. This does indeed support many server-side functions, for the creation of "message store providers" and "transport providers" and other such things that are part of the underlying plumbing of Exchange. It's definitely not a client-side-only technology.
        --
        * Helen *
  • by Rik van Riel (4968) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:48PM (#4533989) Homepage
    ... so, who's going to print the shirts ? ;)
  • by nvrrobx (71970) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:49PM (#4533999) Homepage
    If it doesn't support Outlook and the way it handles calendaring and such as smoothly as Exchange does, it will never be an Exchange Server killer!

    I know I'm not the first, nor will I be the last person to make this observation.
  • Wait a minute. (Score:5, Informative)

    by SlashChick (544252) <erica@@@erica...biz> on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:50PM (#4534002) Homepage Journal
    This is being touted as an Exchange killer, yet it costs $1249 for 10 licenses?

    I just looked up Exchange 2000 Server pricing. Assuming you're upgrading from Exchange 5.5, the base package for Exchange 2000 Server is $639 and the additional 5 licenses need to bring your server up to 10 licenses are $499, bringing your total to $1138.

    You save $111 in license fees by upgrading to Exchange 2000 instead of buying this solution.

    Here is where I got my prices for Exchange. [freesoftwareshipping.com] Note that I have no affiliation with this company and have never bought software there; I found them on a Google search.

    So, if cost isn't the advantage here, what is? Exchange 2000 is pretty much guaranteed to have more features and support. I can't see why anyone would want to buy this product.
    • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:2, Informative)

      by jas79 (196511)
      that isn't right.

      a)You are comparing a full version of a product with the upgrade version.
      b) you need an OS to run exchange on.

      taking the price of a full version of exchange and a full version of windows 2000. $644+$1200 =$1844

    • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:5, Informative)

      by MyHair (589485) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:23PM (#4534214) Journal
      From reading the other comments, Openexchange appears to have a 10 concurrent user license where Microsoft is per seat licensed.

      So if you have 200 users but only 10 are connected to the server at any given time you'd need a 10-user Openexchange license or a 200-user MS Exchange license.

      Plus MS server OSes require client licensing, too. Suse doesn't.

      At work a group was all sold on using terminal services, so we have Win2k terminal servers running Citrix and administered through Novell DeFrame. There are 5 licenses (Windows server, Citrix, Novell user, Novell DeFrame and application) required for every user/application. Yikes! And some licenses are per seat and some are per concurrent user. I guess you could call it six licenses if you throw in the MS Windows client. Why not?
    • Re:Wait a minute. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ProfDumb (67790) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:26PM (#4534227)
      This is being touted as an Exchange killer, yet it costs $1249 for 10 licenses?

      You are comparing, I think, a discounted web price for an Exchange upgrade with a list price for Suse. Suse will also discount, everybody does. Also, others have posted that Suse is charging per connected user, rather than the total number of users who ever connect (if I understand the other posts.) This will make a difference. Further, if you need to upgrade other software (MS OS, Office) and the only thing holding you up from going to Linux / OpenOffice is Exchange, then Suse's OpenExchange prices might not have to be far below the MS price.

      However, if Suse really undercuts pricing, MS could always increase its discounts until SuSe's commercial offering goes away. This is a big advantage of true open source -- it can't be priced out of the market.

  • Drop-in: NOT (Score:5, Informative)

    by jlv (5619) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:54PM (#4534038) Homepage
    From the linked page:
    The migration from MS Exchange 5.5 is possible without any difficulties.
    But, if you go and read their detailed migration plan [suse.com] you'll see this is anything but drop-in. At least they come on-site to assist you in the process (you gotta get something for the extra $1K).
  • kdepim has a filter you can attach to kmail so it captures iCal/vCal attachments. I thought that this would be a great plan until I tried it.

    Outlook 2000 running against Exchange Server 5.5 doesn't send iCal/vCal requests -- all it does is send this:

    When: Friday, October 13, 2001
    Place: Conference Room\nDuration: 2 hours

    ~~~[stupid lameness filter]~~~
    This is a test meeting

    wtf good is that?! I really want to use something that'll imitate that. Greaaaaat.

  • by tulare (244053) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:56PM (#4534048) Journal
    Just my luck - I'm in the middle of downloading SuSe from one of the mirrors, and it goes and gets slashdotted. What are the odds?
  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bamf (212) on Friday October 25, 2002 @06:58PM (#4534066)
    It's not a "drop-in" replacement for Exchange, it's a "pay us $999 plus expenses if you have an old setup, otherwise ask us for a quote" replacement for Exchange.

    It's not even cheap. I know I can get good pricing from Microsoft due the area in which I work (Healthcare), but this is considerably more expensive, probably twice the cost for just the base server application.

    I think I'll give it a miss :-)
  • Not likely. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amokk (465630) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:04PM (#4534106)
    Yet Another Exchange Killer?

    This implies that there has already been an exchange killer. As should be blatantly obvious to everyone involved, this is hardly the case.
  • by Unnamed Source (612437) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:13PM (#4534164)
    when it would cost me just as much as Exchange and doesn't provide all the functionality.
  • kroupware (Score:5, Informative)

    by fava (513118) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:23PM (#4534212)
    The kroupware project [kroupware.org] and [slashdot.org] and [slashdot.org] is supposed to be exchange compatible as well as open source and free of those pesky licencing fees.

    Scheduled completion by the end of the year.
  • for "Open"Exchange...?
  • Easy now.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by kikensei (518689) <joshua@nOSPaM.ingaugemedia.com> on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:25PM (#4534222) Homepage
    Wow. SuSE doesn't have many supporters at /., eh? I've used SuSE mail servers 2 and 3 at a few consulting clients and find them to be well designed, solid products. THe price on Version 2 was a paltry $399 or some such, but SuSE learned that people don't buy a good thing unless its expensive, so they ratcheted the price of v.3 to $999. To install the SuSE server, you boot off the CD, accept all defaults and wait about 15 minutes. SuSE linux is installed jointly with the mail server, so from bare drive to fully functional takes about 20 minutes. Previous versions work well with IMAP or POP (i use IMAP) and come bundled with a a custom version of Arkeia backup software so you can slap on a tape drive and back up the server every night. Server has a great web mail client (much better in the Open Exchange version) and allows users to easily change their vacatin, auto-reply, forwarding prefs from a web config screen. Using outlook, Mozilla, Netscape or any LDAP compliant email client, you can pull all your user addresses off the server with a link to the server based LDAP directory, no server based config needed. I love this client for small business clients, and I will certainly give the latest a shot. Just 'cause the slashdot headline uses the term "exchange killer" doesn't mean you have to jump on SuSE like lemmings off a cliff. SuSE often touts "exchange-like groupware" functionality, only to reveal that its soley available via the web based client scheduler. That aside, they make good products. If you don't have time to configure your own, its worth a shot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:26PM (#4534226)
    But i'm seeing a lot of people complain that SuSE is charging for this "Exchange killer". It's taken MS litterally hundres of thousands of man hours to develop Exchange. I'm sure the developers at SuSE have put in at least some effort into developing their clone. Do you really expect either of them to give it away for free?!? When I go to buy TV I don't consider what I pay the Sony tax. And When I buy a car I don't consider the price of that the Honda tax. I want to use something people have worked very hard to create. I'm buying a product. This costs money. Deal with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:26PM (#4534229)
    Active Directory, despite its complexities, is really what makes Exchange a necessity for your MS power users and executives.

    Until Exchange 2000, and open source Exchange "killer", OutlookXP, Linux exchange clients can coexist within the same Active Directory infrastructure, there won't be a true Exchange "killer". I think we'll just have to wait until the Samba team can assist us with that.

    And I hate to be pessemistic, but Microsoft seems to be staying ahead in this game with their new "Titanium" Exchange.
  • Sure i can understand that there are needs for interopability with MS software but still. Why not develop an open standard and then work from that? With all the brilliant developers currently working on various linux projects all that is needed to work in the same direction would be an open standard for calendars and syncing. Its not brain surgery so it should be fairly easy to whip up a standard for it.

    We are now inline with MS and has the chance to run away from them. To embrace their technology is to justify it when we could cevelop better things than they can.

    My C++ book is in the mail and im going to start making a difference too. I know i shouldnt be voicing about theese things when i dont do anything by myself so i decided to learn programming and do someting about it. See ya!
  • No Need (Score:5, Funny)

    by BurritoWarrior (90481) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:33PM (#4534268)
    I already have an Exchange replacement.

    Try and keep it hush hush, OK?

    It's called Lotus Notes. Shhhhh.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:34PM (#4534275)
    Okay, so we create this open-sourced exchange server replacement.
    We also have our own free versions of something similar to Outlook Express.
    We have a GUI similar to Windows, and Debian recently announced a fully-graphical install interface. Wow.

    Looks like Microsoft are setting the standards these days, allright. :(

    And I always thought of *nix as something different, why is everything pointing towards Microsoft?
    • Hey, learn from the best. First embrace the existing standard (Microsoft)... then extend it.

      -Thomas

    • by krmt (91422) <therefrmhere@yahoo . c om> on Friday October 25, 2002 @10:32PM (#4535062) Homepage
      You're being very selective with your "everything" description.

      Does Windows have a net-based install that only requires a couple of floppies to get going? Does Windows have a unified scheme where you can pull down whole libraries of software from either a command line, text-based, or full GUI interface? Does Windows have the ability to customize its kernel? Does Windows have tab-based [cs.tut.fi], minimal [sourceforge.net], and even mouseless [sourceforge.net] GUIs?

      Linux offers choice. People are choosing to make programs that are similarly functional to those offered by Microsoft, but that doesn't mean that Windows is setting the standard for everything.

      Besides that, there's a lot of crossover. A lot of programs run on both Windows and Linux. Emacs. Vim. Mozilla. Perl. Python. Ruby. Nethack. Windows doesn't set these standards either.

      If you still don't believe that Linux is different than Windows, try doing a LFS [linuxfromscratch.org] or Gentoo [gentoo.org] install. Then come back here and tell me that Windows is setting the standards for everything.
  • I smell a lawsuit!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:36PM (#4534289) Homepage
    Do I recall correctly when there was a problem with the name "KIllustrator"? Do I not see some strikingly similar problems with the name "Openexchange"?

    Nah... just my imagination running away with me again.
  • Exchange Killer?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by timerider (14785) <lemmy.megatokyo@de> on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:44PM (#4534338) Homepage Journal
    The BSI has commisioned this GPL'ed exchange killer app... [kroupware.org]

    so why would I pay a metric shitload of cash when I can have basically the same (without the migration of an existing exchange server) for free?

  • program that functions perfectly with this. then you can run OO which is simmilar enough to Office as to not need retraining, then you plunk this sucker down and wamo...total solution for a crossplatform Office suite.
  • Openmail/Contact (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kagato (116051) on Friday October 25, 2002 @07:53PM (#4534391)
    HP Openmail now samsung contact has been doing this for years, and it's still very very tricky. There are two layers between the client and the servers. That's the application to driver layer (MAPI) and then the MAPI driver to server layer. HP/Samsung support Outlook by creating their own MAPI driver. It's hellish because MS changes things in every version.

    Back when Exchange first came out MS touted MAPI has the great interopability driver. You could make non MS apps talk to exchange, and make MS apps talk to non MS servers. MS actuall had a book you could buy defining all specs for MAPI 1.0.

    But then, they stopped publishing the book. And outlook started using undocumented calls.

    Having said that I actually have looked at outlook to exchange traffic from a protocol caputure rig. (Kind'a neat, it had routers and CSU-DSU's on it, so we could simulate lower speed WAN conditions.) Oh my god, I could believe how much of a kludge is was. We'd watch the Client request all the heads from the inbox on start-up...and then watch in disbelief as it requested them AGAIN. The program wasted so much bandwidth. Later versions you'd see where MS started caching things. But then we'd notice sync issues.

    Honestly, I don't know why companies like the outlook/exchange combo. It's not stable. It's message based calandering instead of Client-Server.

    I guess they can try to emulate it via the server side, but really, it'a a lot work for a target that can move with every MAPI driver point release.

    Make a better client, and .pst transfer utility.
  • by davehaas (410072) on Friday October 25, 2002 @08:11PM (#4534511) Homepage
    First of all, will somebody let me in on what the *first* Exchange killer is/was? So far, I haven't seen one. I've heard lots of stories about vaporware, the Kroupware project sounding the most promising of the bunch, but nothing real so far.

    Second, this isn't an Exchange killer. An Exchange killer will be an open source software that:

    -- includes at least the features of Exchange Server 5.5;
    -- interoperates with the e-mail, contact, calendar, task, and note features in Outlook and Evolution clients;
    -- has source code available for download that is warranty-free, license-free, royalty-free, and price-free;
    -- makes money for its author(s) by charging for the installation, setup, configuration, and on-going support.
  • by krokodil (110356) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:33PM (#4534874) Homepage
    I've heard about exchange students, but exchange killers!?
  • Where's the MAPI? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by otis wildflower (4889)
    A real exchange "killer" needs to emulate MAPI enough to work with Outlook for shared calendars and tasks.

    Anyone got a pointer to solid MAPI documentation? It's amazing that a samba-like project for it hasn't sprouted up..
  • While the client license is abit different in that it uses simultaneous logins as the basis, the initial cost is not much lower for the server OS. The original article I saw a week ago gave a $1295 price tag. A base Exchange 5.5 price tag runs about $1495. Based on that, and the fact that there is still a price-per-client license (albeit different in structure), I don't see this as a MS killer unless you factor in that most Exchange sites are being hit with upgrades to Exchange2K. >
  • Can someone who has implemented Bynari's solution (Linux server apps, DLL for Outlook to allow use of a generic IMAP server instead of Exchange) please comment on how well it works, and how it compares to Exchange?

    Specifically, what features of Exchange are missing or weak when using the Bynari products, and how robust is Outlook with the Bynari DLL (relative to an unmodified Outlook)?

    Even though there are some payware components, if it really allows me to dump Exchange, it's worth doing.
  • by Lord Sauron (551055) on Saturday October 26, 2002 @12:55AM (#4535543)
    As if the shootings in DC were not enough.

Live within your income, even if you have to borrow to do so. -- Josh Billings

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