[nSLUG] Re: Any nsluggers in Valley?

Jeff Warnica jeff at coherentnetworksolutions.com
Mon Aug 29 14:08:16 ADT 2005

On Mon, 2005-29-08 at 09:51 -0300, Bob Ashley wrote:
> > Replacing Exchange with Sendmail or Exim will have problems, because 
> > Exchange implementation also typically includes a Directory Service 
> > (Active Directory, "Global Address Book") which would to be also included 
> > and synchronized with account maintenance issues. I haven't even touched 
> > on the other Group-ware functionality such as Calendaring.
> Your mention of the Apache option is clear, but I'm afraid I don't have the
> mental equipment to comprehend the implications that go along with the above
> paragraph. Is there a clarifying scenario that might show how things could go
> wrong here?

Sendmail is a Mail Transfer Agent. It moves mail from one system to
another reasonably well. By itself, it can only locally deliver to "UNIX
mail box format" (which, as a storage format, is only marginally
superior to water soluble ink on moist toilet paper)

Exchange, in addition to providing a (significantly less capable) MTA,
provides for /message store/ (proprietary Exchange format, but almost
definitely faster/more features then mbox), /message access/ (POP3,
IMAP, MAPI), /task lists/ and /notes/, /calendaring/ (with "free busy"
search capabilities ("When is the next one hour block that Bob, Mary,
Joe, Myself, a boardroom, and a projector are free at the same time?"))
and the /global address book/ feature Michael mentions. Exchange also
has /document management/ capabilities, with "workflow", but of these I
know little.

Pretty much any of the above features can be shared between users with
various levels of access, from "you can ask me if I'm busy at a
particular time, and Ill tell you" to a secretary being, for all
practical purposes, identical to their boss.

Strangely, Novell has ended up with two potential OSS alternatives to
Exchange, Open Exchange Server  http://mirror.open-xchange.org/ and Hula
http://www.hula-project.org/ , both also offered in commercial supported
versions. Sendmail (or whatever), Cyrus IMAP, OpenLDAP, some SQL server,
Apache with the Horde framework and a bunch of its apps could also be
clobbered together for a reasonable alternative, too. Horde would lack a
unified management system...


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