Groupware Patchwork

Thinking back on my mail system here, I usually get that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach as the server structure was more or less some unordered patchwork which was started long time ago.

Everything started back when I still used SuSE Linux, way before YaST2 when the world was still fine and sendmail a great choice for smtp jobs. I was happy to get mails. Spam was not a problem those days.

But you know, as you’re tasting blood, you want more and the system was extended by a spamfilter and some anti virus solution as needed.

The Cyrus IMAPd turned out to be a fantastic IMAP Daemon – I just changed the SMTP server several times and the system grew step by step and new features were added until the point where I noticed, that emails are still not everything I needed.

While messing around with the Horde-Framework I discovered, that Contacts and Calendar functionality can be useful too. Especially if you keep it centralized in case you wreck your workstation. I was even able to sync my mobile phone’s information store – but for managing contacts neither a phone nor a website are the right choice.

Most companies I worked for were using Microsoft Exchange servers. And even if I dislike those boxes, I have to admit, that they are damn powerful but expensive. For I do not have a windows box left here, I do not get me Exchange. So I was searching for alternatives and came across openExchange and Kolab which seem to be quite useful. But regarding my systems, I would have to reinstall everything from scratch using those packages due to dependency issues.

So I went on searching for ideas and came across eGroupWare which turned out to be ‘just’ a website, being able to use my current mail- and ldap server. The mobile phone can talk to it via SyncML and Kontact talks to it using RPC messaging. But that’s the post for now as I have to finish the setup here.


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