Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Drop-In Replacement For Exchange Now Open Source 434

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
Fjan11 writes "Over 150 man-years of work were added to the Open Source community today when Zarafa decided to put their successful Exchange server replacement under GPLv3. This is not just the typical mail-server-that-works-with-Outlook, it is the whole package — including 100% MAPI, web access, tasks, iCal and Activesync. (The native syncing works great with my iPhone!) Binaries and source are available for all major Linux distros."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Drop-In Replacement For Exchange Now Open Source

Comments Filter:
  • Hell yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by cromar (1103585) on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:46PM (#25078687)
    That's right, Microsoft: open source software can gun for you too, motherfuckers!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LibertineR (591918)
      Sure you can, but Zarafa aint no gun.
    • Re:Hell yeah (Score:5, Informative)

      by darkpixel2k (623900) <aaron@heyaaron.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:20PM (#25079961) Homepage

      That's right, Microsoft: open source software can gun for you too, motherfuckers!

      I'm sure Microsoft is trembling.
      The site is so hammered I it took about 4 minutes to load, and the first thing I noticed? Two colums for downloading. The first one says "AGPL3 Only" and the second says "incl. 3 users Outlook support".

      Common--you know that that means. "We open sourced part of our software to try and suck you in--but you'll really find it limited until you fork over slightly less that you would have with Microsoft Exchange."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This looks like cripleware to me. The "open source" version is limited to 3 outlook clients. That doesn't sound very open!

      (posting as AC because karma system sux).

  • by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:46PM (#25078689) Homepage Journal
    I seem to remember ogo being a full replacement and that's been out for a while. Also, although you want to provide compatibility with Exchange, don't you want to provide additional capabilities so that Exchange systems are forced to upgrade to you, rather than the other way round? (Embrace-and-extend, but non-toxic.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gclef (96311)

      Citadel [citadel.org] also tries to be a full-featured e-mail/calendaring/task management/etc system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      don't you want to provide additional capabilities so that Exchange systems are forced to upgrade to you,

      Actually you want to provide additional capacities so that going back to Exchange is a true downgrade.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      Well, I imagine that an open source alternative to Exchange would not have Exchange's arbitrary limitations (e.g. maximum size of mailboxes) and would allow you to fix bugs and add features as you see fit. Those things _should_ make the switch worthwhile to many companies. I've heard complaints about arbitrary limitations and things just not working right in more than one company.

      • by fishbowl (7759) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:25PM (#25079267)

        >[A]n open source alternative to Exchange would not have Exchange's arbitrary limitations

        Oops... if it's not bug-for-bug compatible, it's going to be a problem with some PHB.

      • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:40PM (#25080197) Journal
        Jesus H. Fucking Christ. 99.9999999% of all companies just want to buy a tool that works. They don't want to build the fucking thing. They don't even want to fix it. That's why they buy the support license. This whole 'we can customize the code if we want' is a huge stinking load of specious crap. Companies of any size BUY their software because they don't want to customize software they don't have to. Like office software. Customizing a huge billing system is one thing (if you are a big enough company to warrant doing that), but why would an insurance company, or a local widget maker, or a medical clinic want to become an email server programming company???? Get a grip. They'll go out and buy exchange or lotus notes or whatever because they just want the frickin tool. And if it is buggy so what? It works for the most part and they don't have hire programmers or keep programmers around to fix bugs that said programmers introduced when they screwed around with the source code. It's cheaper to pay for the licence for a year than to pay for an unneeded programmer for a year.
        • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:42PM (#25080217) Journal
          OK ... I'm better now.
        • by mistermocha (670194) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:03PM (#25080467) Homepage
          Well, there are some of us who work at mom & pop software shops that do have a clatch of intelligent developers on site but don't have a huge budget to buy an email solution.... and we're a lot more than 0.0000001% of all companies.
          • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:34PM (#25080727)

            there are a lot more copmpanies out there that barely know what a PC is. Software houses are a tiny minority compared to retailers, to name one. Think how many back office staff exist to serve them compare to the number of programmers. Then go to the next class of business, repeat a thousand times.

            I'd say 0.0000001% is a bit of an exaggeration, 0.1% is more like it.

        • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 20, 2008 @01:39AM (#25083013) Homepage Journal

          ``Jesus H. Fucking Christ. 99.9999999% of all companies just want to buy a tool that works.''

          You are right about that (well, maybe not about the percentage, but the general point), but that doesn't contradict anything I said. They _would_ rather buy something that Just Works. They _would_ rather spend money on software licenses than spend more money on developing their own software. And all this makes perfect sense.

          ``They don't want to build the fucking thing. They don't even want to fix it. That's why they buy the support license. This whole 'we can customize the code if we want' is a huge stinking load of specious crap.''

          Now, I don't know where that comes from. Who said anything about having to "build the fucking thing"? Did you miss the part where Zarafa is called a "drop-in replacement for Exchange" and "binaries ... are available"? You don't have to build anything, and you don't have to fix anything. You seem to have confused what you _can_ do with what you _must_ do. Having to fix something is a Bad Thing. Being able to fix something is a Good Thing.

          The comparison is like this:

          On the one hand, you have Microsoft Exchange. There are various versions, each with their own bugs and limitations. If you need those bugs and limitations removed, you might be able to buy a different version, you might have to wait for a newer version to become available, or you might be simply out of luck. You pay for the software itself, and for client licenses - the more people use the software, the more you pay.

          On the other hand, there is Zarafa. There will be various versions, each with their own bugs and limitations. If you need those bugs and limitations removed, you might be able to obtain a different version, you could wait for a newer version to become available (possibly with a patch from some company in the same position as you), or you could remove the bugs and limitations yourself. You can get everything for free.

          Now, you tell me which seems to be the more attractive option.

          Finally, I would like to point out that open source software tends to get easy installation procedures and low maintenance cost once Linux distributions start packaging it. Also, if running a particular piece of software is too tedious for you, you can always get it hosted by someone else. There is Exchange server hosting, and I imagine there will be Zarafa server hosting, as well.

    • by jimicus (737525) on Saturday September 20, 2008 @05:20AM (#25083661)

      There are plenty, but most seem to miss the point of Exchange in some fashion.

      Point the First: Everything that you're likely to plug into Exchange must also work with whatever alternative or it isn't an Exchange alternative. That means things like Blackberries, other vendors' smartphones, seamless (yes seamless, not "install this plugin which sort-of works") Outlook integration, remote management of smartphones (including wiping them). Zimbra's pretty close here, but falls down on remote smartphone management and seamless Outlook integration.

      Point the Second (Scalix falls down here): Exchange is only a small proportion of the overall licensing costs. You've also got Active Directory (which implies a Windows Server infrastructure) and CALs for AD. There's not a lot of point in having AD without having your workstations on an AD domain, so you've got to factor in all the necessary licenses for this as well. If you demand I supply my own AD infrastructure and you price your product at [price for Exchange - 10%], I might as well just pay the extra 10% and eliminate the risk of being passed between vendors in a game of telephone tennis in the event of support issues.

      Point the Third: Whether you like it or not, the PHBs who like Exchange are often rather stuck in the Exchange way of thinking. I don't care how much better you think your solution is, if your argument is "it's cheaper but it's only better if you're prepared to accept a totally new way of thinking about groupware" then it's not better because the PHBs in question probably aren't. Citadel's a good example of this.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:47PM (#25078701) Homepage

    They better start hiring support personnel, because there will likely be profits to be had with service contracts. Maybe even a Redhat buyout/partnership

    Over the last few months, I've been forced to use Exchange/Outlook a lot, and for the life of me I don't get the big deal. But I know that people consider it a big deal, so I wish this company the best, and fair

    amount of profit.

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:15PM (#25079103) Homepage

      Over the last few months, I've been forced to use Exchange/Outlook a lot, and for the life of me I don't get the big deal.

      I don't think it is a very big deal. I've supported Exchange servers in companies of various size, and it's really not doing anything astoundingly complicated, and what it does it doesn't do all that well. But still it does a bunch of things that other solutions haven't done an even worse job at, and does them all together. Things like "I can send a meeting invitation to my boss and his assistant can check his mail, accept his invitation, and reply on his behalf without actually logging in as him."

      I know, it doesn't sound like that sort of thing would be all that important, and it's not even clear all the time that it makes a lot of sense, but there are companies that run on this sort of procedure. So there are a bunch of random things like shared calendars and push-email to phones that people don't want to live without, and unless you can provide a seamless replacement, you're stuck with Exchange.

      I, for one, am eager to see a suitable Exchange alternative. I have a real love/hate relationship with Exchange. There are some options out there, but none of the options I've tried have worked out.

      • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:32PM (#25079375)

        I know, it doesn't sound like that sort of thing would be all that important, and it's not even clear all the time that it makes a lot of sense, but there are companies that run on this sort of procedure.

        Hell, I read what you described and thought "damn, that's a really good idea, hope it's also a well thought out and implemented feature". The idea that I can easily give you permission to act on my behalf is probably the single best way to kill account promiscuity. Plus the example you gave is also a damned practical one too, and a good way to prove that this is a feature, and not a solution looking for a problem.

        So there are a bunch of random things like shared calendars and push-email to phones that people don't want to live without, and unless you can provide a seamless replacement, you're stuck with Exchange.

        In other news, when a piece of software is truly convenient, you use it, even if it's not perfect.

      • MORE than that (Score:5, Interesting)

        by way2trivial (601132) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:40PM (#25080195) Homepage Journal

        I can give a meeting room, or a projector, or any other resource-- it's own exchange account- and set it to !automatically accept! some peoples meeting request, and other people's requests will have to be approved.. and when I send a meeting request to my boss, and two co-workers, and conference room B-- then conference room B will automatically show that it is 'busy' for my meeting.. and if I need a projector later-- I can send an invite to the 'projector' and reserve it as well..

        I can de-invite individual attendees....

    • by noc007 (633443) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:13PM (#25079867)

      To answer your question, IMHO the big deal is collaboration, productivity, integration, and a lot of features "just work"*. I'd wager to say that the majority of medium to large companies use MS Office and MS Outlook as their productivity suite and e-mail client respectively of choice.

      Collaboration
      Setting up meeting requests are simple. I can easily see other people's calendars so I can pick the best time and I can even set a meeting location which will automatically reserve something like the meeting room for example. Meetings automatically get put on my calendar as tentative and I'll receive a notification in case I forget to accept the invitation. Updated meeting change my calendar as well without intervention.

      Productivity
      I can set reminders, flag e-mails for follow-ups, create folders to organize, create processing rules to eliminate common tasks. A lot of rules will run on the Exchange server without the need of a client running and I don't get unnecessary e-mails on my phone. Outlook maintains a constant connection with Exchange so e-mails are sent and received nearly instantly.

      Integration and crap just working
      Obviously most MS products can seamlessly integrate well with one another. In the latest version of Outlook I can preview a number of attachments within Outlook without actually opening them up in their designated app, thus a new window. I can set a folder to actually open up a webpage within Outlook to "Integrate" a webapp or just be sly on reading Slashdot.

      Phone integration really is a big one for me. Using a WM5, WM6, or iPhone with Exchange ActiveSync is almost the best thing since sliced bread. I remember the days of having a PDA and the PITA it was to do a hard-reset or get a new one. Even getting a new phone and having to manually enter in each contact sucked (I've been a CDMA whore for eight years). All my contacts are kept on Exchange and this allows me to reference and edit them via the phone or Outlook. Having to do a hard-reset or get a new WM phone is no big deal; a three minute sync with Exchange over the air gets me all my contacts back and access to my e-mail. The rare third party apps I use are kept on an SD card. Life is easy getting the execs and lusers up and running as well.

      Integration with Active Directory (LDAP) makes my life as an admin easier with GPOs and groups to divvy out permissions. And for some reason all this stuff works without much hassle.

      The bad
      Exchange and Outlook truly do have their faults. If I were to have my own company, I can't honestly say that I would run them. I wont get too far into the bad since I'm running out of time with the wife waiting on me. If I were to have my own company, I can't honestly say that I would run them. Exchange works great with communication within itself and other Exchange servers. It does a decent job at SMTP transmissions most of the time. The big headache I have right now stems from a tech at MS telling me that "the RFCs for the SMTP protocol are merely suggestions." It's not like SMTP is overly complex; there are only a handful of commands that are exchanged within SMTP communication and Exchange even F's that up. And don't get me started with how Outlook is written in VB.

      I'm glad to see some open source Exchange clones out there. I'll eventually run one of them for my server at home just so I can keep my contacts synced when I leave my current company.

      To put things into perspective, I'm not a MS fanboy, but I'm not a MS hater either. I know their products well and is a part of my profession. My real passion is UNIX; specifically FreeBSD and OpenBSD. I try to introduce them where possible and applicable. Not to mention there is some stuff I can get done easier and faster with UNIX than I could with MS Windows. Other products out there are just as buggy and bloated as MS's; they just get more attention since they're more widely used.

      I hope that Zarafa and others continue to innovate and make a nice profit. Competition is good for innovation and lowering prices; both of which benefits us consumers.

      * Setup can be a RPITA. When something doesn't work as expected it can be an easy fix or cause suicide.

      • by mikiN (75494) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:51PM (#25080315)

        iPhone...Activesync...in one sentence? Related? Actually...working together?

        I'm sorry guys, but my head is spinning...gonna get me a Tylenol...quickly.
        Isn't it so that 'iPhone' goes with 'Apple' and 'Activesync' goes with Microsoft?

        Next they're going to tell me that you can run Windows XP on a MacBook. Oh well...

  • Woohoo! (Score:3, Informative)

    by AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:53PM (#25078801)
    Well, that's certainly nice, push-mail, activesync, mapi, all the things people like about Exchange in an open source variant, why the hell not?

    I've been running OpenGroupware myself as a cheap replacement for Exchange (using funambol to replace ActiveSync) and it works nicely, but the more alternatives to Exchange the better!

    I've yet to try this one, i hope it's atleast as "easy" to manage as an Exchange server tho, if you need 10 Rocket Scientists to install it, then open sourcing it won't make it magicly defeat Exchange, and sometimes i get the impression people tend to forget other people use their applications too.

    In short, the more the merrier! Long live FOSS!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233)

      i hope it's atleast as "easy" to manage as an Exchange server tho

      I shouldn't have read that one while drinking coffee.

      Inexperienced admins think MS Exchange is easy because they don't have disaster recovery plans and they do not test them. The problem of needing another licence just to be able to effectively learn this is one thing that keeps them inexperienced, as is a lack of exposure to other systems that manage email effectively. Now MS Exchange does all kinds of other odd things as well as running em

  • Look at this... The topic was just posted and the site is already Slashdotted... WTG!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:53PM (#25078817)

    I've not looked at this software, but Exchange is one hell of a piece of machinery. Say what you want about MS, but I've seen an Exchange server with terabytes of email, gigabytes per day, keeping up fine. It's a pain in the ass sometimes to be sure, but I wouldn't trust my production network to this today anyway.

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:02PM (#25078957) Homepage Journal

      Say what you want about MS, but I've seen an Exchange server with terabytes of email, gigabytes per day, keeping up fine.

      BS. I've seen Exchange servers with gigabytes of mail and megabytes per day roll over and cry until we put a FreeBSD/Postfix/Amavis/ClamAV server in front to lighten the workload by 95%. If this is built on top of FOSS components, I don't doubt for a second that it'll run rings around Exchange.

      Exchange has traditionally had exactly one reason for its popularity: vendor lock-in. If this really is a drop-in replacement without annoying CALs, we'll be Microsoft-free on our servers by Monday.

    • by OrangeTide (124937) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:19PM (#25079153) Homepage Journal

      after working the storage industry I have come to the conclusion that exchange is not very effective at handling heavy email load or large message database. How many of us get annoying emails when we have more than a few hundred MB of messages in our mailbox? Did you know that Exchange performs like crap when you run low on local disk space to keep the data. CIFS won't save your ass either, you end up having to go to using SAN (which looks like local disk from Exchange's point of view).

      Some bullshit scripts with postfix, exim or qmail can spool and forward terabytes of email an hour. With the added advantage that you can cluster your IMAP services out to deal with the space and load in an incredibly simple yet scalable manner. You can use a SAN, but you can just as easily setup a new box for every 100 employees and still have a very usable system.

      Exchange is inflexible and can only scale if you use on particular (and very expensive) setup. Microsoft only focuses on the operating modes of Exchange server that they use at corporate HQ. The inferior modes are just there so they can sucker companies into buying it at the low end, when in a short while the company will have to invest an exponential rate of money to scale the system.

      The TCO of Exchange is very high. And Microsoft's way is not the only way to manage messages, events, meetings and users.

      • by LibertineR (591918) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:35PM (#25079411)
        Sorry, that is just bullshit.

        Exchange inflexible?

        What do you say to the Hundreds of Thousands of clients who get their Exchange via SBS (Small Business Server)? And that's just the 2003 version.

        How many Enterprise apps do you know of by ANY vendor that dont degrade with low disk space? Come on, dude, that aint fair and you know it.

        Exchange is one of those apps that can look bad if installed by an idiot. You would think a proper architect would have worked out space and usage requirements early on.

        How do you reach a low space condition ANYWAY, if you are making proper use of quotas? No product takes more abuse due to stupid administration than Exchange server.

        But please, inflexible? When you have dozens of 100K+ client installations of Exchange humming along at places like Chevron and others, while the very same product can keep 20 people happy on a $500 box, you cant call it inflexible. Thats just wrong, pal.

        • by OrangeTide (124937) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:56PM (#25080379) Homepage Journal

          You are limited in the amount of diskspace you can put in a server without switching to a SAN. There are only two useful configurations for Exchange in this respect (and they are identical in configuration, just different in cost). Quotas don't solve the problem if they are too small or you hire more people than you expected (merges for instance).

          Exim, postfix, qmail, sendmail, etc are capable of operating when you have low disk space because you can give it more diskspace by either moving parts of your mail server into a cluster (exchange does not do this in a way that is easy or transparent). or you can use an inexpensive NAS to provide the additional spool space without horrible performance issues. Exchange really can't use NAS in a useful way, you are stuck jumping directly to SAN.

          The lack of options for configuration is why I call it inflexible. It's a reasonable usage of the word "inflexible".

          Now you might use Exchange anyways because of the other features it offers that are not available in other products. And it might be flexible in ways other than scalability. Also, I'm not saying that anyone should use my evaluation as a complete coverage of all the issues used to make these sorts of decisions. I only want to point out that for cost and flexible scalability, Exchange is not the top dog.

          When you have dozens of 100K+ client installations of Exchange humming along at places like Chevron and others, while the very same product can keep 20 people happy on a $500 box, you cant call it inflexible

          That's essentially my point. Exchange offers no middle ground. You either have a crappy small office mail server on a spare Windows box, or you have an enterprise environment with SAN. Perhaps it's just evil to change your messaging infrastructure in mid-step, but companies grow.

          I think I would recommend that everyone just start with a standard SMTP/IMAP solution, hire a Unix admin if you have to. And hold off on switching over to Exchange until they can afford a SAN.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:56PM (#25078847)

    Last time I looked on the Zarafa website, it looked like the free community (GPL) edition had a limited number of MAPI clients. I guess this is still the case? If so, it's not really a practical replacement for Exchange unless you pay for the commercial edition.

  • Was kinda hoping that it was a desktop app. But I guess it's up to Thunderbird and KOffice/Kmail to get up to speed now.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I think you mis-understand. This isn't meant to replace Outlook, the Windows-only desktop mail/groupware client. This is meant to replace Exchange, the Windows-only mail/groupware SERVER that Outlook is built to connect to, complete with cloning the MAPI protocol Outlook speaks. We won't have a drop-in Outlook replacement until Evolution finishes their MAPI code (IIRC in the next release).

      Of course, this is all moot in a lot of businesses if it can't connect to BES, which you (currently) need a Windows b

  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Friday September 19, 2008 @04:58PM (#25078873)
    ..I'll DEFINATELY be installing this for our company's mail server. I currently have Zimbra setup, which is very nice, but the bosses don't like it because it doesn't integrate into Outlook very well (iCalendar, contacts, etc), without the outlook connector that you have to pay for. No hate on Zimbra though...I absolutely love it's capabilities and ease-of-use, but it's a deal-breaker w/the management types if won't support the 'advanced' features in Outlook.
  • Patent encumbered? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by timotten (5411) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:01PM (#25078937) Homepage

    I did a quick test with this product a few weeks ago, and it sync'd well with my phone. My only concern was that Microsoft appears to assert patent claims [microsoft.com] relating to ActiveSync. Anyone have thoughts or experiences on using this product in the US market?

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:02PM (#25078943)

    ...Zarafa decided to put their successful Exchange server replacement under GPLv3. This is not just the typical mail-server-that-works-with-Outlook, it is the whole package including 100% MAPI, web access, tasks, iCal and Activesync...

    While I hail this development, I wonder what "successful" means in this story. Here are questions I might want answered:

    Was it "successful" at sales? If so where are the figures? I would not really praise them that much if the original goal - to make money, could not be reached making these fellas to opensource everything...much like what Netscape did years ago.

    Was it "successful" at actually replacing Exchange with no [significant] trouble for Systems Administrators? I need to know. How come it is not that known in IT circles? What's going on?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shaitand (626655)

      'Was it "successful" at actually replacing Exchange with no [significant] trouble for Systems Administrators? I need to know. How come it is not that known in IT circles? What's going on?'

      Probably because there are six to a dozen functional drop in replacements for exchange on the market that work fine. None of them are free as in beer or free as in speech though. Or if they are, they require an 'outlook connector' that is not.

    • by Joe Enduser (527199) <joe.enduser@kiTE ... l minus caffeine> on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:51PM (#25079611) Homepage
      Let me enlighten you a bit on the "success" factor for the sysadmin. I implemented this at a very small organization. While it does integrate nicely with Outlook, and handles the calendar and contacts stuff very nicely, it is the first time I am trying to manage a mailserver which blatantly has dropped mail regularly and silently, at least in a previous version. In the current stable version, an imap client cannot delete a mail from any folder. This is fun when a client does not actually move mails between folders or the trash, but copies first and then deletes, such as Apple Mail. Also, an update of the server version to a new main version, i.e. from 5.xx to 6.xx does not only involve a new version of the Outlook plugin on the clients, but also mandates a new user profile in Outlook. That is a lot of work. I hope that opensourcing this stuff eventually makes it more maintainable, but I have not been able to find out about access to the actual source repositories which might enable actual collaboration on the product.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:04PM (#25078981)

    Office Depot, Office Max, and Staples reported a shortage of office chairs in the supply chain. When asked, representatives were unsure to the exact nature of the shortage.

    "According to our suppliers, someone in Redmond, Washington has decided to corner the market on office chairs," one company spokesman said.

    ----------BREAKING NEWS-----------

    This just in! According to NORAD, the nation's defense system went on alert after controllers detected a large number of unknown flying objects coming from the Pacific Northwest. While the status has not entered DEFCON 1, a spokesman for the Defense Department assured the public that this was a precautionary measure as the objects themselves do not appear to be very large and that they originated from the Northwest rules out an nuclear attack from either China or the former Soviet Union.

  • Also (Score:4, Funny)

    by Icarus1919 (802533) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:06PM (#25079007)
    can be measured to be 1050 dog-years of work.
  • I'll believe it when they recover from the slashdotting and I have the code on my servers. Last I knew, MAPI required licenses from Microsoft. Can anyone confirm that the GPL version support MAPI access such as Outlook 2003, 2007 and Outlook Anywhere access on PDA and phones?

  • they used to produce a PHP implementation of active sync I have not seen a MAPI (outlook compatible) version or anything other than a webmail....

    has anyone actually got any details on the technical side of things I can get to their website as drupal keeps buckling under slashdot effect

    can I simply hook up outlook to their server ?

    regards

    John Jones

  • Sounds Great for SMB (Score:2, Interesting)

    by joelleo (900926)

    Big things missing though - No public folders, which allow automated, customized workflow processes, no single instance store (each attachment is a separate file within the message store,) limited support (enterprise class support 24x7 is > 15,000 euros and their business hours aren't conducive to US business support - GMT+1) and it runs on linux instead of bsd *grin*

    With that being said, I can see where a LOT of businesses will be able to make extensive use of this. Best of luck to them!

  • by LibertineR (591918) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:24PM (#25079243)
    Quotas anyone? OWA?

    Drop in replacement, you say? Will MOSS or CRM play with it? Will it pick up AD rules and GPOs? What about BCM and Project Server?

    OR, is it just another glorified POP/IMAP box?

    I read the feature set from the web site.

    I know Exchange, I was in the original product group way back when. This AINT no DROP IN REPLACEMENT.

    That said, for what it does, good for them!

    But people should watch their words. Side by side against Exchange 2007, it would not be a fair fight.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by shaitand (626655)

      'OWA?

      Drop in replacement, you say? Will MOSS or CRM play with it? Will it pick up AD rules and GPOs? What about BCM and Project Server? '

      Can you say bloat, bloat, and more bloat?

  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:31PM (#25079349)

    From their FAQ:

    If I build Zarafa from source, can I still buy a license for Outlook access?

    Technically this is possible, but you always need to have the Zarafa-professional package for Outlook support. This package is available for the default supported distributions.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:37PM (#25079451) Journal

    Yet another open source exchange replacement that didn't open source everything required to interact with outlook.

    Without that, whats the point?

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Friday September 19, 2008 @05:44PM (#25079547)

    why enterprises run Windows?
    Does anybody have links to success stories of large(-ish) corporations converting to Zarafa?

  • by nsayer (86181) * <nsayer&kfu,com> on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:02PM (#25079741) Homepage

    Quick! I need a baby in a month! Find me 9 women!

  • by Qrlx (258924) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:04PM (#25079767) Homepage Journal

    What sort of misguided geek thinks it's a good idea to work on a project which facilitates the rest of us getting invited to meetings?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:05PM (#25079775)

    As a former MAPI programmer (don't worry - I've largely recovered) I have to point out that this is utterly irrelevant.

    The only compelling reason to use an Exchange compatible server is to support Outlook. The issue is that Zarafa charges for the Outlook connector. This is not a new business model, people, and truth be told its been a fairly common paradigm of 'Exchange-killers' for quite awhile now. Nothing is killed until the connector is free. Full stop.

    So why doesn't anyone offer a free connector? Because it is ridiculous amount of work to build and it is something corporations are willing to pay for. It's not that replicating the server functionality is difficult, it's that Microsoft twisted and violated open standards into something utterly unholy known as Exchange to ensure that nobody but Microsoft could communicate with it. MAPI is Microsoft's obfuscation of traditional messaging protocols and is infamously poorly documented.

    I wrote about this issue for Redmond magazine about 2 years ago and nothing's changed. The connector is still the kicker and, regardless of how nifty the back-end is, until an open-source Outlook connector appears Exchange will remain one of MS's top 5 products.

    Nothing but PR to see here. Move along...

  • by Linux_ho (205887) on Friday September 19, 2008 @06:55PM (#25080369) Homepage
    The community version doesn't support using Outlook if you need to use more than 3 clients, according to the installation document:

    The proven Zarafa groupware solution (ha) is now also available as an open source community version licensed under the Affero GPLv3. This version includes:

    AJAX based web access
    Mobile webaccess
    IMAP/POP3 gateway
    iCal gateway
    Z-Push - ActiveSync compatibility (licensed under GPLv2)

    Additionally you can use this version with the closed source Zarafa Outlook clients up to 3 Outlook users.
    Important: To use Outlook support in the community version, you need to run the zarafa-licensed daemon.

  • by VirtualSquid (311810) on Friday September 19, 2008 @07:49PM (#25080881) Homepage

    I'm happy for the server-side people if this is progress on replacing Exchange, but what about replacing Outlook itself?
    It's one of the 3-4 missing apps that prevent me from moving to Linux. I mean, how hard can it be, to implement an email client with integrated calendar and contacts? It doesn't need every single bell and whistle - just the few features i depend on (rich text in contact memo fields, savable contact searches). I'd happily buy such an app for Linux (at, say, the same price as Outlook.) Outlook's been around for what, 11 years? And in all that time, nobody's thought to make a viable Linux alternative?

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

Working...