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Linux Business GNU is Not Unix

SUSE Openexchange Under GPL 248

Gustavo writes "'Netline Internet Service announced today that it would contribute its OPEN-XCHANGE Server, the core technology underlying the industry's top-selling Linux-based groupware, collaboration, and messaging application, under the GNU General Public License (GPL).' How does it compare to OpenGroupware.org which was open sourced a year ago?"
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SUSE Openexchange Under GPL

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:12PM (#9872106)
    What is this, a linux site?
    • Yes. Your scheduled rebooting of windows will now resume.
      • by damien_kane ( 519267 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:21PM (#9872210)
        Scheduled? Ha!

        Why, in my day, Windows rebooted often and randomly, and that's the way we likes it...
        Stability? bah, who needs it?
        • "Why, in my day, Windows rebooted often and randomly, and that's the way we likes it..."

          You mean like Slashdot these days...

          Seriously, whats up with that...are they trying to see if they can get the code working on Longhorn Server or did Taco's venture capitol money run out and OSDN (what ever they are called these days) sell it back to him for 2 ham sandwiches and a piece of turkey with dressing and now he's running it on a donated Transmeta laptop running 98SE?

          Damn...my first true troll post...that I'm
          • If you enable the "Slashdot Stats" slashbox, you would see the following information:

            time: 22:37:59
            uptime: 35 days, 16:35, 0 users,
            load average: 0.08, 0.24, 0.26
            processes: 78
            totalhits: 1875194641

            That uptime looks pretty good to me...
            • Then what are up with all these 503 errors? Something ain't right.

              How about a uptime since last 503? Percentage of page views that work...
              • A 503 Error doesn't mean the server is down. I means that /. has a server to tell you that the service isn't available at the moment. I'm willing to bet the server never went down over the past week of 503's, but rather they're still working on smaller upgrades since their major one a couple weeks ago (remember that friday night at 9pm est people went nuts over?).

                Probably just that.
    • Weellll, sort of. 90% of people "say" they use linux here...
  • What a day! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cytoman ( 792326 )
    Is there something special about Aug 3?? First it was Real with Helix going GPL, and now this! :-D.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:15PM (#9872138)
    #diff -r opengroupware openexchange

    • by spacecowboy420 ( 450426 ) * <rcasteenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:24PM (#9872253)
      OpenGroupware sucks, eGroupware has many more features. I have had a difficult time with angel mail (egroupware mail component) handling courier imap CORRECTLY though. The integration of the fud forum, and ticketing agent is especially nice. Opengroupware would be nice, but if you compare other open groupware offerings it is lacking (i.e. phpGroupware/ eGroupware). Opengroupware also depends on the postgreSQl db backend, if you already have mysql running, tough. Although Opengroupware handles courier IMAP better, it seems to muck up the dates so sorting your mail sucks. Opengroupware also has limited functionality. It does like 5 things well. To be honest, openexchange will be a welcome suite to evaluate.
      • This is the first I've heard of eGroupware. As far as such platforms go, are there any others (commercial or not) besides eGroupware, Exchange, GroupWise, Openexchange, and OpenGroupware? Have any serious comparisons been done across all of them?
      • by Cylix ( 55374 )
        The whole advantage to opengroupware is the web client works and is in sync with your local client (via ximian connector for evolution, or exchange connector... or one of the many other things it supports).

        You are right, it has a limited scope of functionality, but that is all some of us want.

        moregroupware does a semi-decent job of doing everything, but the project is still in the early stages.

        What I would love to see... is some collaboration between all these group ware folks. We have so much talent, go
  • Conspiracy? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StateOfTheUnion ( 762194 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:16PM (#9872161) Homepage
    IBMs Java Database and now this . . . if I didnt know better, Id say that theres something of an open source release conspiracy going on. . .
    • Re:Conspiracy? (Score:2, Interesting)

      Remember IBM got Novell to buy SuSE. And IBM is battling SCO.

      A little anti-FUD never hurts.

      • IBM didn't 'get' Novell to buy SuSE. Novell bought SuSE because it was good business. And IBM has supported Novell.. because it was good business. (IBM backs RedHat too)

        Now sure, both companies are probably real happy about the added bonus of stickin' it to SCO with regards to their Linux 'licensing' program, but if you think that that was the main reason behind those deals, then you're seriously over-estimating the importance of SCO.
    • IBMs Java Database and now this . . . if I didnt know better, Id say that theres something of an open source release conspiracy going on. . .

      Damn. Wellll.....seeming how open source supports terrorists, and there seems to be an open source release conspiracy.... perhaps we should raise the terror alert level!


    • Re:Conspiracy? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by v1x ( 528604 )
      Its called co-operation. It has often been argued as being a better model then competition, and especially when it involves lots of smaller entities up against a giant like MS, it would probably work out to the best for everyone in the long run. If this is a sign of things to come in the industry, we have a lot of good things to look forward to.
    • Re:Conspiracy? (Score:3, Informative)

      open source release conspiracy going on.

      The Linuxworld Expo is taking place in San Francisco this week.

      IBM and Novell probably just wanted to time their news releases with Linuxworld.
  • by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:18PM (#9872180)
    Now Sun won't have to buy them, they can just fork them :)
  • Browser? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hypermike ( 680396 )
    Because the web-based interface of OPEN-XCHANGE(TM) runs on all major browsers, employees can use its services regardless of the client operating. They can access the entire functionality of OPEN-XCHANGE(TM) with any computer connected to the Internet and any common platform, including Windows, Linux, Unix, MacOS, and PalmOS.

    They dont give browser specifics, I wonder what they actually consider 'a major browser'.

  • by weave ( 48069 ) * on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:22PM (#9872229) Journal
    Our new CTO is making noises about us possibly ditching sendmail/linux and moving to Exchange. I'd really like to hear opinions about alternatives. He swears his mind is not made up already!

    Can these open-sourced alternatives be a reasonable solution?

    • Now that the entry costs aren't the same as Exchange, I think it will end up being a little more competitive. I settled on Horde because Openexchange was just as much as MS Exchange for our small office.
    • OpenX is, at its core, a set of standard Unix/Linux tools like sendmail, but it presents an exchange-compatible interface to the world. This has many positive results including mailing list management that doesn't require duplication of messages, slick calendar integration, etc.

      The bad side? The Web interface, I find klunky as heck. Hopefully this move will result in improvement on that front.
    • qmail is a very nice, very secure MTA. But "He swears his mind is not made up already!" so what's the point?
    • Depends what he wants it for. Sendmail isn't going to provide you group calendaring and scheduling. It also won't provide you centralized email management and storage if what you use now is POP3 -- something a lot of companies need now with the new corporate governance regulations. You'll have to provide a little more information on your current setup and future requirements if you want a useful answer.
    • Go with Postix/amavisd-new/clamd/spamassassin/Maia Mailgaurd. Can integrate with sql or ldap for account maintenance. Can scale across multiple computers. Very slick.
      • That's fine for SMTP, but you've left out the rest of the picture.

        A decent IMAP server (like cyrus) does a good job of completing email support, but you'll still be missing shared contacts and calendaring.

        We do the above (postfix+ & cyrus IMAP) and then use Oracle's Collaboration Suite to handle the calendaring, but I still need to find a good way to bring in shared contact management.

        It's even worse now that the sales guys picked up Blackberries... that they also want to sync instantly to their emai
    • by plj ( 673710 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:38PM (#9872990)
      Don't know about OSS, but to avoid Exchange, find out all serious competitors, OSS or not, search for facts about them, and tell your CTO to analyze them closely and carefully. Try to stress him as much as possible that as you currently do not have any groupware (assuming this as you only mentioned Sendmail), the cost moving to Exchange would include mostly licensing and HW costs -- but, if you ever want to move off from Exchange, it will be very expensive, as Exchange's data format is neither open nor standards-based.

      Try to convince him that whatever your solution will be, it's source code must either be available for competitors, or there must be an otherwise standardised way to convert data off if necessary. Otherwise you will just have yet another MS Office-like situation, where you're firmly locked into a single vendor and are forced to pay whatever MS wants you to pay -- even if the competitors' products would be able to handle your basic documents, you'd still have to rewrite all your existing VBA stuff (for example), causing huge migration costs.

      In short: one of your primary criterias when choosing software vendors should be making sure, that you're never migrating to something, from which you can't cheaply and easily enough migrate off later, if that would ever became necessary. Try to make this fact clear for him and forget all unnecessary OSS advocating, and you're much more likely not to end up being an Exchange administrator.

      Of course, if that CTO of yours is a PHB and already lured by MS marketing sirens, he'll probably not listen anyway... but then, that's life.
    • by Theatetus ( 521747 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:48PM (#9873128) Journal

      Not to echo half of your previous replies, but it depends on what your CTO wants. Most manager-types I've consulted for have this idea that there's this magical technology somewhere that makes them suddenly understand their business like they did when it had 20 employees. And for whatever reasons they think that software is a groupware suite.

      In my experience, Exchange commits some design sins that are so grevious that there are almost no good situations in which to use it:

      1. All the public emails are stored in a single information store file. Ditto the private emails, contacts, calendar entries. So that's 4 files that hold all of your organization's "crucial" information. These files break easily; in my experience about once a year on a good RAID and much more often on bad hardware or more than about 500 users. At that point your options are rolling back to a backup (which, btw, requires a special expensive plugin for any backup software suite) or paying data recovery people a few hundred dollars to get it back.
      2. Moreover, when even one of those stores go down, the other stores usually stop working. So if your contacts store gets corrupted, you can't use your calendar or send email.
      3. They incorporated email, calendaring and contact management into a single software package. Bad design in principle, but fine. The worse problem is there's no way to extend it to work with the rest of your particular fulfillment chain. Want to do some lead management with your contacts? Host a local NNTP server you want indexed in a public folder as though it were a thread of emails? Want all calendar entries to display in the home office's local time? Tough... pay through the nose for MS's CRM solution, because there's no way to write one yourself without having to reimpliment most of what Exchange does.
      4. You can't distribute its components (mail, calendaring, contacts, etc.) on your network without a lot of handwaving and paying for a lot more licenses.

      I've consulted for quite a few managers who really really wanted Exchange. In each case I told them they didn't need it. It can be a real blow to a manager's ego to have to accept that he doesn't run an "enterprise", but in 99% of the cases that's true.

      Exchange is a mediocre MTA, a slightly sub-mediocre contact manager, and a slightly better-than-mediocre calendaring system with some glue scripting that sometimes works to tie them all together but often doesn't. Its sweet spot performance-wise is from about 100 to about 300 users broken into 10-15 organizational groups, working on a single VLAN, transporting no more than about 20,000 messages a day total. If your organization fits those criteria, Exchange may well be a good solution for you. If not, I can tell you from my clients' bitter experience and my very expensive overtime cleaning up after it that Exchange WILL end up costing you a lot more money than almost any other solution.

      Most managers who want to use Exchange want a public calendar, a big contact database, and IMAP email. That's not rocket science. There are outstanding mail transport agents, contact databases, and public calendars; if you can't get a developer to pipe them together for *much* less than an exchange license, you're looking in the wrong places for developers. Plus, your support costs will be much less with that solution since you don't have the single, concentrated point of frequent failure that Exchange becomes.

      • Thank you for that very informative post. We're at around 50-60,000 messages sent and received with approx 5,000 users. The biggest feature wanted is group calendaring which would make scheduling of appointments easier (finding conflicts, etc). The next big feature is syncing with PDAs. The finally, and it's always the little thing that's the trip up, being able to "drag and drop" messages into folders in the web mail client.

        We currently run Horde and it lacks group calendaring and drag and drop (sigh).

      • by Thundersnatch ( 671481 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @11:12PM (#9875281) Journal

        Your experiences do not match mine.

        1. We have run Exchange since version 5.0 on many servers, and have never had an information store become corrupted. It simply does not happen "frequently", at least on decent hardware. Exchange 2000 and 2003 simply have never gone down on us, ever.
        2. Contacts are NOT stored separately from any of the other private mailbox storage in the Exchange system. Public folders are separated from mailboxes. Exchange 2000 introduced the "stream store" for storing messages from each type of store in native RFC2822 format, but everything appears logically the same to the user (and the backup software). And in Exchange 2000/2003, you can have multiple independent stores. Taking one down does not take down the others in the Storage Group. Do you really know anything about Exchange, or do you just sell your services against it?
        3. Not sure why you consider integration "bad design", especially since those functions are all necessary for a business communications tool. You need your contacts handy to do messaging, and you need your calendar handy too. Clicking all over the place and logging into different apps to acomplish this is stupid. There are plenty of 3rd party applications that integrate with exchange. The API and object model suck, I'll grant you that, but they're publicly documented and certainly no more convoluted than those provided by Notes.
        4. Yes, surprise, Exchange costs money. Quite a bit for large multi-server organizations. All those evil commmercial software vendors price software this way. But since Exchange has no true competeition in the OSS community, it will probably continue to do well.

        There are plenty of huge, multi-national Exchange enterprises out there. Some have hundreds of thousands of users, and 5000 or more per server. They're not all having the same trouble with the product you claim to have experienced. Maybe you just don't know as much about Exchange as you think you do.

        • The OSS solutions are fine for companies that have a few hundred employees. If you have more then that the oracle collaboration suite is cheaper then exchange and has lots more features. There are software like kerio, communigate and merak which cost thousands of dollars less then exchange and do more or less the same thing.

          You'd pretty much have to be an idiot to pay for exchange today.
        • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @12:16AM (#9875695) Journal
          Thats an interesting observation. I too have seen stuff happen that was like stated in both posts. It seems that the average msce flunky can't really admin exchange right and some shops try to not have an admin there for it at all.

          exchange needs to be played with from time to time. In my experience an exchange system just left there to do its job will have all sorts of isues. You can't treat it like a postfix or sendmail system and set it up and be done with it untill your change users. (well maybe if you not using any of the features it has outside mail) the funny thing is that an organization big enough to use it should have someone on staff running it. I just saw a law firm get toasrted out of 150+ thousand to install an exchange server and upgrade all thier workstations (about 30). To date knowbody is using the shared contacts, calendering or anythign. I stongly feel they would have had a better return on investment if they would have scaped thinking about productivity and bought some rental property somewere. This doesn't count for the now 7 times in 3 motnhs the system has went down for no explainable reason with at least 3 different consulting firms looking into it while a samba box with postfix running jumps to the rescue durring downtimes (that was in place before the upgrade).

          unlike that place i have seen exchange run without hickups at other sites too. it seems to be about a 60-40 split in who will have problems.
        • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2004 @05:40AM (#9877043) Homepage
          You missed a few:

          1. Serious problems with logging. In fact from the point of view of people spoiled by the sendmail and exim level of logging the Exchange logging sucks rocks through a thin straw

          2. Joint server/client limitation (to some extent it is an Outlook problem) that one mailbox is limited to 2G. Dunno if that is still the case in 2003, but 2000 + Outlook screws your mail magestically once you hit 2G limit. F.E. My mailbox is currently around 5G. It is on courier + imap + mozilla which are quite happy trucking along with it. If it was on Exchange + Outlook it would have been corrupted long ago.

          3. Loses mail with no trace if left to send versus slow senders on a congested network. No bounce is returned to the user. Basically if you are using Exchange 2000 (dunno about 2003) without a front-end relay you will have to learn to live with the fact that some mail will be lost. Probability depends on many things varying from around 0.01 to 0.5%. Combined with the wonderful logging this becomes really entertaining for the support people.

          4. Similarly, loses mail with no trace when receiving it on a SMTP channel (not exchange). Once again while the probability for this to happen is not very high, it still happens often enough for it to be a business problem. I have seen it on 5.x, I have seen it on 2000 as well. As anecdotal as it may sound, I have nearly lost my residence status in the country I worked a few years ago because the company exchange server lost all the documents which HR had to use for the work permit application.

          5. Basically, it is a very good groupware and SME solution for internal communcation. That is what it has been designed for and it is not going anywhere without a redesign and splitting into components (which MSFT is not willing to do for political reasons) or external systems to assist it.

          Based on experience in dealing with it, on its own it is not suitable for business use if you need full record of all of your email transactions with customers and other people who do not communicate with Exchange. If you are doing any business by email I would suggest to look into something else or use it in a combination with a good mail relay (sendmail, exim, postfix) which has proper logging and audit trail of what was sent, when, where and how. Exim 4 is possibly the best as it is the easiest one to implement copying all mails in transit to a suitable audit store (besides the exellent logging).
      • Very very true. As a MTA, I found the combination of postfix, courier imap, amavisd, anomy, procmail working very well. Central contacts might be done with ldap. But I still have to find a solution for central calendering, preferably one that works with a webinterface and outlook, and preferably a single app, instead of something intergrated with the mta, contacts and kitchen sink. Any suggestions? Most of the groupware solutions I have looked into were monolitic intergrated apps.
        • Well, our IT department is writing one using MySQL and Tclhttpd. (Some kind soul just wrote a WebDav module for the webserver.)

          I like Tclhttpd because it's a webserver implemented as a TCL package. I can hack, override, or out-in-out reimplement any chunk of the system. (For instance, I rewrote a chunk of the mime handler to deal with cases where a file is being pulled from an index and has to be renamed for the client.)

          We are also a postfix shop. (I'm in the middle of migrating our Email setup from Gen

    • Oracle collaboration suite. It kicks ass and is cheaper then exchange. You can use it with outlook if you want but you need outlook.
    • I'd say it's time to start making printing noises with your CV on a laser printer.
    • We're in the opposite boat. 110 user medical practice. We use Exchange 2000, which required us to upgrade our site from a Domain to Active Directory.

      1) Exchange is expensive per chair. In our situation, Medicare cuts have tightened our budget enough I'd rather spend the money somewhere else.
      2) Exchange is hardware intensive. While that server is also a home directory server, I really wouldn't care to run many more users on a single server, while with alternatives (postfix for example), I'd feel comfort
  • ScreenShots...! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 )
    I like the screen shots. For those who have used it, can I use an alternative browser other than Mozilla? I still find the Lotus Notes interface more intuitive and simple because it uses tabs as in tabbed browsing. In a case, the browser is implemented as another tab.
    • Re:ScreenShots...! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They have an entire Demo-site to play with!


      And it plays nicely with Firefox ;-)
  • Experience/reviews? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:33PM (#9872339) Homepage Journal
    I need a replacement for an Exchange 200 server. I still need calendaring/task functionality for Outlook clients. Currently I'm looking at Mailserver from Kerio. Anybody here have any experience/thoughts/advice to share? Help me make the case for an Open Source replacement for my hated Exchange box! I'd also appreciate any offline discussion as well.
    • Before I get flamed...Exchange 2000, sorry a typo occured.
    • You have pobably already checked out Opengroupware, it has a very decent calendar system.

      Squirrel Mail [squirrelmail.org] is often overlooked, it's plugins [squirrelmail.org] give it shared calendars with (some) outlook compatability, todo lists, and tons of other stuff [squirrelmail.org]. The calendaring system is very simplistic ( no auto-repeat of an event, events are limited to 6 hour intervals ), but depending on what you use it for, it's very nice.

    • I currently use the Kerio mailserver for Mac OSX (client) and it's very good. Support is outstanding but that might be more because of the size of the organization than any intended policy. Still, I've upgraded the system software on my Mac (via software update) and the Kerio software (via manual download) numerous times and never had a glitch.

      That being said, I think the problems with Kerio include lack of good collaboration tools (but again, that's not the product they are selling), and the inability to

    • Do a google for Merak, Gordano, communigate pro.

      In actuality exchange doesn't do much. OUtlook pretty much does all the heavy lifting. The problem is not to replace exhchance it's to replace outlook.

      As long as you are sucking on the outlook crack pipe you remain a junkie. Kick the outlook habit first!
      • I would kick Outlook habit in a sec if I could. Unfortunately, I can't. Outlook IS a very good client whether or not it's open source.
        • In that case stick with exchange. No need to do otherwise. You are addicted to the outlook crack so you might as well hang out with the pusher. Keep paying them money and enjoy the rush while you still got cash.
          • Whatever. Enjoy your idealism crack. If my CEO wants Outlook, he gets it no matter what you read by RMS.
            • Not to cast aspersions, but I regularly tell my CEO, no. That isn't going to work on our network. In fact it's going to require more staff to maintain, require expensive licenses, and ...

              And I never get past those 2 points. (Joys of working for a non-profit.) It helps that I've been with the company 6 years, built the current data center from scratch, introduced email to the entire staff, and suggested we use Linux back before linux was cool.

  • It's still a rollup and/or a partial solution. OGo doesn't even have an email system in it. OpenXchange rolls in a bunch of existing packages and puts a custom Web front end on it, just like Kolab and Bynari do.

    Those interested in a true ground-up implementation of an open source groupware server might want to check out the Citadel [citadel.org] project. It's got all the usual email stuff (IMAP, POP, ESMTP), a web front-end written specifically for it, shared calendaring/scheduling, instant messaging, and a database-
    • What is wrong with a rollup, so long as the glue is good? Why on earth would you scrap a bunch of good software, when you could use it? What would be so bad about haveing the option to change out a module sometime?
  • exchange (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Uh... openexchange can act as a server for Outlook? Many /. geeks just don't get that people use exchange not for email, but for all the other stuff it does - group calendars+meeting appointments, resource reservations, shared address book etc.

    Yes, packages exist for every individual exchange+outlook does in the open source world. No, they don't work together.

    • Re:exchange (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bull999999 ( 652264 )
      Many /. geeks just don't get that people use exchange not for email, but for all the other stuff it does - group calendars+meeting appointments, resource reservations, shared address book etc.You know, there is a reason why OpenExchange is called a groupware. And BTW, people also do use Exchange for E-mail, too.
  • by Plug ( 14127 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:40PM (#9872411) Homepage
    OPEN-XCHANGE(TM) is a collaboration platform that integrates open source and proprietary servers and clients. Accessible through a common web browser, OPEN-XCHANGE(TM) allows users to share e-mail, calendar, tasks, threaded discussions and documents originating from both proprietary and open source systems. For customers who need seamless integration with a Windows client, commercially available connectors will be released later in 2004.

    Same problem as always, move along. Like the Bynari Insight connector [bynari.net], the magic bit is still closed. Interestingly SUSE [suse.com] have a connector called iSLOX for their OpenExchange product, which is a free download; perhaps these two added together will finally be the CAL-free-groupware-with-Outlook-as-the-client we've been looking for?
    • The challenge faced when trying to move from Exchange is the tight integration between Outlook, Exchange and Active Directory. As the user authenticates to AD when accessing Exchange over RPC(enc. in HTTPS if desired), defined in the Outlook MAPI profile it is a single user instance. The competitive products do not this ability for obvious reasons, and for anyone looking at large scale Exchange support environments that is daunting. If the site does not have Exchange/AD then over alternatives are more at
    • Why not just run the thing in a web browser? Is there anything more you would get by using Outlook?
      • The fact that everyone is currently running Outlook, and wants it.

        Besides, Microsoft have a complete reimplementation of Outlook in ASP; the OSS community doesn't. It would be nice if there was a replacement for Outlook on Windows for groupware (apparently Novell are doing it with an Evolution port), but there isn't one that does the same thing - yet.
      • Web-only services don't let you sync up at the office/hotel then carry your email/calendar/contacts with you to the plane/bus/meeting, work on them there, then sync your changes back to the server when you get backto the hotel/office.

        That's one of the main (valid) reasons why business people don't want to 'just run in a web browser'...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:53PM (#9872525)
    Opengroupware actually was a big hype, but they failed to deliver what everyone was hoping for: a complete open-source and free groupware server and client, with all popular features such as folder sharing, ACLs, free/busy, etc...

    The problem with OpenGroupware, is that except for the web interface, there is no client. You can pay for an Outlook connector, yes, but it is rather expensive (no trial version available), and, more importantly, it did not prove very reliable in my testing. The web client, is not very impressive either. The community around OpenGroupware seems rather limited, I have the impression that all work is still done by one developer of Skyrix.

    SuSE OpenExchange on the other hand, does have a very nice user interface. The Outlook connector works fine, and with KDE 3.3 coming out in a few weeks, we will have a free client under Linux. I have heard a connector for Evolution is currently in development. AFAIK Suse OpenExchange lacks ACL based folder sharing, hopefully this feature will be added soon.

    And then there's Kolab, another competitor for this market. Currently, Kolab 2 is in development. It seems that it will offer a lot of features that people missed in Kolab 1, such as ACL based folder sharing, and server side generated free/busy. Problem with Kolab is currently also the lack of a native Linux client. Kontact 3.3 will finally have support for Kolab 1, but that's not very impressive, knowing that Kolab 2 will already be out at the end of this year.

    Anyway, interesting times are coming!
    • I'm curious, do these open groupware (not to be confused with OpenGroupware) servers support open groupware protocols like POP, IMAP, iCal, WebDAV?

      If so, then why is it so important to have an Outlook connector?

      There are a number of clients which support open protocols.

      Aren't we talking about open clients, open protocols and open groupware servers?
      • >I'm curious, do these open groupware (not to be
        > confused with OpenGroupware) servers support open
        > groupware protocols like POP, IMAP, iCal, WebDAV?

        SLOX (SuSE Openexchange Server) supports these.
        The contacts, appointments and tasks can be im- and exported via Webdav (the Outlook-Connector works via webdav)
        Simple document-management also via webdav.

        > If so, then why is it so important to have an
        > Outlook connector?

        Because the whole world lives on Outlook like a junkie on dope !
        Take Outloo
      • Nope, because if the PHB is tied to Outlook (they invariably are), then trying to sell a solution that doesn't work with Outlook is a non-starter. Getting them onto something different on the back end and then trying to ween them off of Outlook makes a lot more sense since the cost is in the CAL's for Exchange.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @05:58PM (#9872564)
    Gotta love the text in one of the screenshots!
    Hi Manuel,

    Do not forget to rent a car for your new wife :)


    Manuel Kraft

    Heh, I even like the part where the option 'Request read receipt' is checked.
  • I finally have ammunition to ditch our exchange servers! Now, if only somebody can make something equivalent to iManage that plugs into both OpenOffice and MS Office, I can ditch Windows entirely at the office...oh, happy days!
  • Exchange4Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pmsr ( 560617 )
    What about Exchange4Linux? The Outlook connector is not free, but that doesn't come as a surprise.

    http://www.billworkgroup.org/billworkgroup/home [billworkgroup.org]


  • ThANK YOU! (Score:2, Funny)

    by ThoreauHD ( 213527 )
    Praise God! That was the flea that kept me from using OpenExchange. Now I have a shot in hell of using this instead of MS Exchange.

    Thank you!
  • by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @06:56PM (#9873205)
    A couple of days hacking and the recently released connector from ximian and bingo a connector will be born.
  • Anyone here tried DBMail [dbmail.org]? I know it doesn't have the features of a full groupware server, but it looks promising, in that everything-- addresses, email content, etc... is stored in a PostgreSQL or MySQL database, and it supports Imap. Apparently for version 2.x, they are planning shared folders, etc... Also, it seems to be much simpler to install than these other behemoths. Worth trying?
    • I tried an early version of DBMail and found sufficient problems to build my own - it's not very hard to hack a postfix delivery agent to store data in a database and not much harder to hack a POP3 or IMAP server to get it out again. I haven't tried a recent version.

      Experience, though, is that storing e-mails in PostgreSQL isn't a particularly wonderful idea. There's a high ratio of insert/delete operations to read operations and this causes rapid growth in both database and index sizes. It's a bit of a sl
  • Top selling? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2004 @11:09PM (#9875262) Homepage

    I'm sorry but SLOX is not anywhere near a decent groupware system. Nice try. My vote (and my money) has gone to Exchange4Linux [exchange4linux.org]. I've evaluated SLOX, Samsung Contact, OpenExchange or whatever the hell the humongous OO-branded thing is, the various web-based crap out there and probably half a dozen other's I've since forgotten. E4L's server-side is open source, actively developed and the Outlook client is reasonably priced. The backend runs entirely inside of PostgreSQL and is written in Python. MTA interface is agnostic but documented with Postfix. non-outlook people can access the entire system through IMAP, although that is still not quite there.

    As I said everything is stored in a PG database -- I can access any part of the system through SQL and it's stored to make Outlook happy which means no weird-ass compatibility problems that I've seen in every other client. The weird-ass issues I encounter with E4L and Outlook revolve around parts that are still in development. :-)

    SLOX is top-selling groupware? Forget it.

Your own mileage may vary.