Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking Over Zimbra, LibreOffice 3.6 Prep Work

I want to clarify that some of the items posted in this blog are done in sole capacity of evaluation.  There are many procedures in place to make changes to our infrastructure, and I'm just doing the geek work. :)

In that light, we met last week to discuss the issue of email.  In light of lack of ongoing work on the Groupwise connector to Evolution we have been reviewing Groupwise 2012 web interface.  We already own this upgrade because we pay for a support contract.  The Director indicated that he wanted a review of other options as well, and that of course led to Zimbra.   I downloaded and installed it on Ubuntu 12.  Their other operating systems were not a good fit for this test.  RedHat Ent is a licensed product and SLES 11 has been troublesome on this HP hardware.  Zimbra fights you a bit when you are trying to run a demo because it wants to find the right MX records.  One has to install dnsmasq and fool it into thinking it's getting proper DNS responses.  The help pages described this process and I was able to get it running.  I installed the latest version ( 8 beta ) and must say that I was very impressed with the new features and progress made since the last time I tested it a few years ago.  I love the concept that the primary interface is a browser, so all of the features just work immediately with Firefox.  Groupwise still kind of treats the web interface as a secondary login technique, and still kind of pushes you to using the MS Windows.  Another 300 concurrent MS Windows instances is not a good fit for us.  Tomorrow we are doing a demo of this software and Groupwise 2012 for our internal Governance Committee.  Below is a shot of Zimbra 8 running on Firefox 14.  100% Linux; both server and client.

LibreOffice 3.6 appears to be about a week from being released, so I updated our custom first launch UI to show users the new features.  We also will continue to offer the option to received LibreOffice 3.6 on a CD to take home for use on their personal PC.  I always try and pick the items from the official release notes page and condense them into bullet items.  This seems to catch their eye more than reading a lengthy page.  The release UI is below, almost done.

My project list: New thin client build goes live next week, prepping;  Starting to check out the HP Ubuntu release that runs on our thin clients; Helping to coordinate moving the last of our NX users off of the old GNOME server now that we have working patches; Backburner poking at Skype for Linux; Checking over Zimlets....Alfresco zimlet looks interesting; Starting to think a bit about SuseCon and OpenSuseCon coming in September in Orlando.


Felix Bartels said...

Hi Dave,

when evaluating Groupware alternatives, you can also have a look at Zarafa. Zarafa is MAPI native, so you dont have any trouble connection Outlook (if you have some in your company) it also features a nice new webinterface called WebApp. And in the end of the there will be a first beta of the new EWS integration which will hopefully also connect evolution.

Dan said...

Thanks for taking the time to review Zimbra. If you have any specific questions please email us at sales@zimbra.com and we're happy to answer any questions about transitioning from Groupwise to Zimbra.