[nSLUG] Possible Berwick Migration

Mark Lane lmlane at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 06:24:59 AST 2007

On 3/2/07, Robert Ashley <rb.ashley at gmail.com> wrote:
> > For any other than basic file and print service, specialized,
> > complicated, and hard to find would be the way to describe support for
> > the server.  If Berwick was to contemplate a move to Linux as a server I
> > would suggest some very careful study of the entity's needs and user
> > expectations.
> Yes. I can tell you that the needs occupy two poles. One is very
> basic, mainly email, word processing and a little else. The other pole
> is tricky, utility and tax billing and accounting. I don't even want
> to go there yet. But eventually, you bet. I'd love to find an OSS
> municipal billing or accounting application. Conceivably, we could try
> a completely redundant system in that area, make errors on purpose to
> see what happens.
Your biggest headache will be accounting. There are companies that
have switch pretty much everything to Linux such as Ernie Ball -
http://www.ernieball.com . But if you read one of the articles on
Ernie Ball's transition to open source, you will find that accounting
was a problem and they at the time of the article where still running
an accounting package on SCO Unix.


Most larger organizations would have the resources to commission a
custom accounting solution (if they wanted to go to the trouble) but I
doubt Berwick has that kind of budget. Though there maybe some
commercial Linux based Accounting packages that will work, but I am
not an accountant so I really don't know.

If you are users aren't stuck on the features of exchange, you have a
much better chance of going with a completely microsoft free solution.
Though some open source projects attempt to match the functionality of
exchange, I don't know of any that have exceeded.

Universities such as Brock and Alberta have departments that use a
combination of Linux and Exchange. Linux actually handles the SMTP
traffic on the internet and probably some filtering but the mailboxes,
calendaring, etc is all handle by exchange. The reason being is the
Professors demand Exchange's functionality.

However just because exchange functionality is needed doesn't mean
that you can't switch to Linux desktops. There are mail client options
that support exchange functionality for Linux and you can always run
outlook on a Linux box through Crossover Office.

Well I could go on but I need to get to work. Just one more comment,
unless you have in house development staff, going with a completely
open source solution may not be possible. A lot of shops maybe running
Linux as an OS but that doesn't mean all the applications running on
it are open source. There are lots of closed source applications that
run on Linux too --- everything thing from accounting systems to
commercial X servers.

Mark Lane, CET <lmlane at gmail.com>


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