[Blueprint groupware-server] Groupware Server

Patrick Cantu arcanelinux at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 19:22:33 BST 2009

Blueprint changed by Patrick Cantu:

Whiteboard changed to:

2006-12+21 khaeru: might this be handled by the ubuntu-server-tasks spec?
21/12/2006 - I think we should pick an existing suite, i.e. hula and then create the ubiquitous middleware to achieve what we want

13/07/2007 (stephan-impilinux) - We have recently evaluated a load of
these solutions and have some professional experience in it.

2008-06-07 (pixelpapst) - Just a quick reminder that the hula project
ist effectively dead since late 2006, and the community created a fork
called "bongo project". However, by now they ripped out all of Hula's
LDAP connectivity, which makes this a very pretty but useless solution
for SmallBusinessServer.

2008-06-08  (Guy Van Sanden) Citadel seems a very good choice.  IT offers many features (including a Jabber server) and is completely GPL'ed.
The only caveat is that it does not have LDAP support (yet)

2008-06-19 (Art Cancro) -- yes, definitely go with Citadel.  Ubuntu
packages are already being maintained, and the project would be
delighted to cooperate with the Ubuntu team on integration issues.

2008-06-19 (Todd Hanna) I would also like to give a big +1 to Citadel.
They already have the .debs and there is even a connector to use it as
an "Exchange" replacement if you have clients using Outlook.  I have run
it without issue on Ubuntu server since version 6.06.  It's head and
shoulders above the rest at the moment..  and it is easy to setup,
update, and maintain.

2008-07-08 (Stuart Cianos) - I'll also give major points to Citadel, and
have been a longtime user of it. It is the only open-source groupware
package that is self maintaining and straightforward to configure.

2008-07-09 (Stephan Buys) - Please also dont forget Kolab (Citadel
implements the Kolab v1 format). Kolab has 3 plugins for Outlook,
support Horde Webmail, Thunderbird/Lightning and Kontact.

2008-07-09 (Guy Van Sanden) RE Kolab - Kolab is not a full groupware
AFAIK, it does not have a web interface.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

2008-07-09 (Christian Merlin) Remember also SOGo
(http://sogo.opengroupware.org/) it use LDAP for users and PostgreSQL
for database. So It could be easy to integrate with Ebox (http://ebox-
platform.com/). So Ubuntu can became an'easy and powerfull groupware
server like the commercial one.

2008-07-10 (Stephan Buys) Kolab does have a web interface (for admin and
email) through Horde (www.horde.org). Calendars, Contacts and Tasks can
be shared between Outlook/Kontact/Horde/Thunderbird

2008-07-10 - Personally I prefer bongo, however it is still in its
infancy.  It has a great UI, and is targeted at being simple to install
and use

2008-11-14 - (Guy Van Sanden) Zarafa is becoming an option too.  It was
AGPL'd recently and offers many features including CalDAV in the
upcoming 6.30 release.

2008-11-14 - (Stuart Cianos) Only the server-side components of Zarafa
were opened up... There are still numerous proprietary functions that
are unavailable in the AGPL version. There are plenty of completely open
solutions out there (Horde, Citadel, Kolab, etc.) Personally, I use
Citadel (with Funambol for push e-mail) due to its funtionality,
reliability, speed and flexibility... They also have a fantastic
developer/user community that is supportive and communicative.

2008-11-15 - (Guy Van Sanden)  @Stuart Cianos  Actually most of it seems to be in the AGPL version except for the client license required for Outlook usage.  Which is logical, if you are paying for closed source outlook you should also pay for the connector...
I know about citadel, have been running it for 2 years but it does have some issues and lacks certain features like LDAP integration.

2008-11-16 (Stuart Cianos) @Guy Van Sanden: Citadel will allow you to
authenticate against any service which support the underlying
authentication of the operating system (in this case, PAM). I have used
this to authenticate users against PAM using modules such as pam_ldap;
additionally, it can automatically populate an LDAP directory with
information from its global address book for use with external clients.

2008-11-29 (Giorgio Zarrelli) I do not see eGroupware, what about it?

2008-12-01 (Guy Van Sanden) @Stuart:  I tried PAM based authentication on Ubuntu, but it only works with pam_unix and not pam_krb5 or pam_ldap for me.  Though I really like Citadel in many ways, it has too many limitations to use it as a full-blown groupware server like Zimbra or Zarafa.  Zimbra is nice, but it really needs a dedicated server to run properly.
@Giorgio: eGroupWare is not a groupware server but rather a Web frontend to other servers. 

2008-12-01 (Giorgio Zarrelli)  @Guy. I agree on Zimbra. It's too
"expensive", not all people can afford a dedicated server just for a
groupware. Zarafa looks nice, but never tried it

Zimbra or potentially bongo are the prettiest of the groupware products
available which would make them great marketing tools for ubuntu.
However Zimbra has too many unofficial patches to be implementable and
bongo is in such an alpha stage and is not being targeted properly that
neither of these are good choices.  Its quite frustrating really.  We
have the best technology and some good looking UIs but nobody has truly
managed to integrate the two well

2008-12-27 (perspectoff) eGroupware bought by Stylite, but still has GPL
community edition (it is full solution, not just frontend).  Excellent
configuration GUI, multiple languages.  Kolab has GPL, exists on OpenPKG
platform (OS independent). Zarafa is now GPL except for trademarks and
is very nice. Citadel has GPL but has design unfamiliar to most existing
groupware users. OpenGroupware seems to be withering. OpenXchange
excellent but proprietary.  Zimbra is completely proprietary since
bought by Yahoo and therefore is not good candidate.

Of these, Kolab uses most number of integrated components similar to
Ubuntu Server (except it uses Cyrus IMAP instead of Dovecot). Also has
Horde web access, native integration with Kontact (for KDE users),
established outlook connectors (Toltec, proprietary), connectors for
Mozilla products.  Kolab therefore is fastest route to full
implementation into Business Server.  Because KDE4 is multiple platform
(including Apple and Windows), and Kontact is therefore multi-platform,
this is accessible to MS-exchange converts (which is target audience).
Kolab has  a .deb package already, but package is not supported by Kolab
developers, who prefer OpenPKG framework since it is platform
independent. Ubuntu server goal should be integration of Kolab package.

2009-04-23 Has anyone done anything on this project yet? I'm currently working on a project using Turnkey Linux (which uses Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS) and Citadel for a groupware suite. CItadel is the simplest to get up and running and in the 7.60 release it will have native support for LDAP and MS AD as well. If you are interested please go here: "https://blueprints.launchpad.net/turnkeylinux/+spec/create-groupware-appliance". I could use help in getting CItadel to auth via Likewise (solution until 7.60 release).
For all those wondering why CItadel, well here it is:
Native support for Ubuntu both from Ubuntu repos and Citadels own repos.
Super simple to get up and running. If you dont need LDAP auth you can have a working mail server in under 10 mins.
Only one that is stable. OBM, eGroupware, Kolab are difficult to deal with and are still unstable. Kolab was a huge headache to get working.
Please for once consider the needs of the community. I say that because it seems as if no one is working on this..... 
Anyways happy hacking.
-- Patrick (pcantu[at]virtualdisaster.net)

2009-04-23 @previousposter: Zarafa includes debs for both Ubuntu LTS
releases.  Setup involves little more than dpkg -i *.deb and loading the
database schema...

2009-04-23 UPDATE - i've managed to sucessfully have CItadel authenticate to AD via likewise. So now there isn't anything really holding this back. CItadel supports most email clients and is Ubuntu friendly, considering they maintain a repo for both debian and ubuntu. So the question now is "why not". 
-- Patrick (pcantu[at]virtualdisaster.net)

  Groupware Server

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