Thursday, August 23, 2007

Finally An Evolution Upgrade For Us

As of today I have checked in and approved the Evolution build that we will used to upgrade the whole City on September 4th. We have been running Suse 9.3 for several years on a build that I would give a letter grade of a "B". That was the first release that we used with the GroupWise postoffice. It had some threading problems and not all of the GroupWise features were enabled.

We entered the beta program for Evolution on SLED 10 in the fall of 2006, which then continued into the SLED SP1 beta. Focus on this release has been interaction with the GroupWise calendar system, proxy, free/busy, meetings and appointments. I was a bit disappointed that it took one year to complete, but that isn't the fault of the developers. My view is that Novell should add additional people to the project; there simply are not enough human resources. This is a huge piece of software for use by corporate and enterprise customers, and needs more love.

The new release is labeled 2.6, but contains a lot of code from later releases. The mail view supports the triple panes (shot below):



The calendar view contains the most amount of changes. The mini-calendar has moved to the left and memos are now listed on the right side. The proxy feature was picked by our users as the most important feature to get working, so I focused on debugging and testing that functionality.

You might notice all of the "On The Web" calendars. We have developed some scripts that automatically generate .ics files each night with information useful to our users. For instance, in our financial system we can enter leave requests. We generate departmental Ical files which show which employees are off which days and can be checked easily at a glance. Very cool. (Shot below).



If your organization has GroupWise and you are thinking of moving to Evolution, I would highly recommend testing this release on SLED 10 SP1. It's been tested and QA'd greatly with that backend.

Thanks to Harish, Chen, Varadhan, Srag, Flex, Sankar and everyone else for working on this project with me.

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