calendar sharing/groupware for hardy

Loye Young loye.young at
Fri Oct 12 15:08:33 UTC 2007

>So what are you actually suggesting here?  Kolab with Toltec?

I don't have a particular dog in the race. As I said earlier, I've only heard 
and read good thing about Kolab; I don't have any direct experience with it. 
From all I've seen and heard, it is a good solution, but I'm not suggesting 
it's the only or the best. It may or may not be. I'm willing to defer to the 
team's consensus on that. 

However, I do have experience with trying to implement mission-critical 
changes at organizations. Most of my lessons have been learned the hard way, 
and I wish to spare others that pain.

My point is that whatever we do _must_ provide a smooth, predictable, and 
repeatable transition path, and that path _must_ include interoperability 
with Outlook, before, during, and after implementation. Even if it means we 
tolerate proprietary tools in the short run.

So here's a few of what I consider the requirements for an email solution:
	*	Easy-to-use GUI administration interface that doesn't require much thought 
from the administrator (Ideally, we'd provide both a web-based interface and 
a light-weight, desktop interface.
	*	Seamless interoperability with Outlook
	*	Security (encryption of messages, "hacker-proof" from the outside, etc.)
	*	Stability (always-on, with failover and hotswapping)
	*	Integrated with OpenLDAP user authentication and host management solution
	*	Reliable, simple, and fast disaster prevention and recovery
	*	A large developer community to ensure fast bug squashing
	*	Multilingual support
	*	Webmail interface
Yes, it will be tough to have it all, but these are the tasks before us.

I've said in a variety of places over the past year or so that widespread 
Linux adoption in businesses (at least in the USA) will not happen until we 
have top-quality alternatives to three products:
	*	Active Directory: Hats off to Microsoft for getting this one right. We are 
making solid progress on comiing up with an alternative. The OpenLDAP work 
that's going on is very solid, and paving the way for a complete replacement. 
We still need an easy-to-use, guided interface. Several interfaces are in the 
running. (One to consider is Maintain:
	*	Quickbooks, Peachtree, and other accounting products: Again, we have some 
contenders in the race, but we are still a way to the goal line. Postbooks is 
a good product, but still needs packaging for Debian/Ubuntu repositories. 
GnuCash is getting close to business-class, but isn't there yet. 
	*	Exchange / Outlook: From a technical perspective, we already have several 
servers and clients that perform better, are standards compliant, and are 
more secure. But our server solutions still do not have an easy-to-use, 
guided interface the way Exchange does, and we don't provide good 
interoperability for a heterogeneous client environment. Exchange may suck, 
but it doesn't require much technical knowledge to administer. Similarly, 
Outlook isn't standards-compliant, but the C[E,F,A,I]O types use it every day 
and from their perspective, it just works. 

Loye Young
Isaac & Young Computer Company
Laredo, Texas

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