Linux alternatives to Windows SBS part two
As you might guess, Open-Xchange is an open source product and one that provides an alternative to Microsoft Exchange. You’re right so far.
The product goes further, however. Open-Xchange is available in several different forms with one being an “express” all-in-one combo of Open-Xchange and an integrated Ubuntu Linux platform.
Additionally, Open-Xchange delivers 11 collaboration modules – there’s the opportunity to share calendars and the like which you would expected, but it also provides a web-based portal, forum, project team site, news repository and more making it a terrific SharePoint alternative too.
Open-Xchange is a fully standards-based program. The authors have elected to use completely standard constructs and languages for building the software and maintaining its data which offers protection against the ever-present problem of vendor lock-in. In other words, you can integrate Open-Xchange with a host of other products – including Outlook on user desktops – and you can even replace Open-Xchange in the future if you so need.
You can try out Open-Xchange online with a fully featured sandbox setup. Usernames and passwords are listed on the link.
Open-Xchange comes in four flavours: the Express Edition is a true SBS replacement with an easy installation wizard which leads you through setting up both the operating system and the application. You can also get this as a community edition but without OXtender, which provides Microsoft Outlook connectivity. OXtender is only available in the commercial versions. Next, the hosting edition allows web hosts and resellers to provide customised Open-xchange hosting for others.
Finally there is a more advanced server edition which does not ship with Ubuntu but is designed for use with existing Debian Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise environments. E-mail and telephone support is only available for this server edition. Feature-wise, the server edition is largely identical to the Express Edition but adds automated updates.
Page one – introduction
Page two – Zimbra
Page three – Open-Xchange
Page four – Zarafa
Page five – Kerio and reader feedback
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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.