Author Topic: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?  (Read 22149 times)

J. A. Calvo

  • Zentyal Staff
  • Zen Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Karma: +66/-2
    • View Profile
    • http://blogs.zentyal.org/jacalvo
Hi eGroupware users,

I'm afraid I bring bad news for you. We are thinking about dropping ebox-egroupware as official module because the egroupware packages are no longer maintained by Ubuntu nor Debian. The current package of the latest version backported by us has known issues, some applications even don't work at all.

Of course, if any eGroupware expert would like to help us maintaining a working version of eGroupware for Ubuntu 10.04 we could change our mind without problem.

We are currently analizing other alternatives for our officially supported groupware solution.

Don't hesitate to ask if you have any doubts about this. Any kind of feedback would be also welcome too.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 01:46:18 pm by J. A. Calvo »
Zentyal Server Lead Developer

bbking

  • Zen Monk
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Hello there!

First of all, I again have to say thank you for this wonderful software package called "EBox"!

Secondly, there have been discussions in the past about eGW and other groupware solutions. My mindset is like this:
- for a small and medium sized business it is definetly great to have a groupware software, at least from my point of view
- a groupware should have some kind of desktop client apart from the web client to make the transition from Outlook easy for everybody (don't forget the power of secretaries!! ;) ) -> if the users can't get used to it, it won't be accepted!
- another reason for a desktop client is the drag&drop argument: I'm tired of endless clicks on the web-GUI, I prefer to use drag&drop whereever possible
- my personal dream would be to have a mobile sync working with the groupware, so that I can enter contacts outside the office and when I come back I just type the the new contact's name and can write an email to him right away...
The same goes for calendar entries -> nothing more annoying than forgetting some detail of a meeting and don't have it with you outside the office...
- to me, a working package with the reasons mentioned above could be a real selling argument for small and mid sized businesses....
- there are a few "but's" according this:
*) the groupware should be working 100%, it should not contain half-ready solutions...as I mentioned it before, I better pay a smaller fee for a WORKING solution than have something that's free but buggy
*) I had my issues with eGW, could not import my imap-folders, could not set up AND use my identities, how in the heck does one create a new entry in the wiki (other than saving an existing topic under a different name,....), funambol sync is a mess, tbird sync is a mess as well....this was the point for me to stop investing any more time in this

I can see several other alternatives:
- open-xchange (http://www.open-xchange.com)
- kolab (http://www.kolab.org)
- groupwise (http://www.novell.com/products/groupwise/)
- funambol server (http://www.funambol.com/solutions/enterprises.php)
- zimbra (http://www.zimbra.com/)
- sogo (http://www.sogo.nu/english.html)
...

but before there is a decision on the solution I think the need of EBox users must be evaluated. I for myself offer testing and part of package maintenance services if wanted.

Cheers
BBKing
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 02:29:02 pm by bbking »

jquintao

  • Board Moderator
  • Zen Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 648
  • Karma: +14/-0
  • jquintao
    • View Profile
    • NetSol
Hi Jose,

In the past i did use eGroupware... I had a lot of problems with eGroupware (bugs in felamimail, calendar, syncronization, etc)... I was losing customers to Microsoft Exchange and another groupware solutions when i met Zimbra... Today i can say that i can offer to my customers a good solution (Zimbra)... I believe that eGroupware is a amateur solution when compared with Zimbra... I think the eBox staff should not waste time with eGroupware...

Maybe a good solution could be write a "HOW TO" called "eBox Integration" explaining how to integrate eBox with another solutions (eGroupware, Zimbra, MailArchiva, Zabbix, etc)... See an example from MailArchiva:

http://www.mailarchiva.com/knowledge/bin/view/Main/MailSystemIntegration

Thanks,
Jorge Quintao

carlswart

  • Zen Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Hi,

Being very new to eBox, I'm a bit disappointed to hear this, however it is the right thing seeing how some of the eGW programs do not work.

Which alternatives are you currently considering?

We currently use Zimbra extensively, but we use the Network Edition (NE) and unfortunately according to me the costs involved with Zimbra NE may deter many from using it.

I'm looking at the alternatives suggested by BBking.

Perhaps you would like to take a look at:

AtMail Server - http://www.atmail.com/
Zarafa - http://www.zarafa.com/

Unfortunately it seems all the half decent groupware solutions are commercial. :(

bbking

  • Zen Monk
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
The roadmap shows that EBox is going towards Zarafa, which is OK for me, as long as it works. I will get some more details on linux clients and stuff like that. I'm curious how they integrate the Blackberry server into their product...

I have pretty bad experiences with open-xchange.
Kolab is not that bad and they have a Windows based client (but I haven't tried it yet). There is also a plugin called "syncKolab" for TB, which is AFAIK starting to make progress but is under heavy development.

I don't have any experience with the other groupwares I listed above.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 03:31:16 pm by bbking »

stuartiannaylor

  • Guest
Erm I picked eBox as a solution even though I did like ClearOS. One of the main reasons was groupware as the Horde interface isn't much good.

Egroupware Calendars, Contacts, Tasks, Projects, Resources... Is perfect for in terms of offerings but I didnt know about the known Issues. I did try installing eGroupware on 10.04 LTS and I must admit I did give up in the end.

I have been casting an eye over various groupware products and without doubt Zimbra looks the most professional and Ubuntu tout it as a software partner also being a Yahoo offering will provide commercial stability.
My only worry is that of the future and commercial pressures in what is going to remain Opensource.

Zimbra desktop is also a great looking piece of software but the Imap and Pop3 connections dont seem to work for me but they do disclose those functions are still at a Beta stage.

If eGroupware is being dropped then out of various offerings I guess I would say Zimbra

Stuart


carlswart

  • Zen Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

ctek

  • Zen Warrior
  • ***
  • Posts: 197
  • Karma: +6/-1
    • View Profile
My 2 cents if it is accepted.

Before dropping eGroupware completely an switching to other gw solution i suggest that you leave the eGroupware package in the distro but ask the user witch solution wants to install as MAIN groupware solution between the two of them let's say:

Please select the Groupware solution you want to install:
- eGroupware (no longer supported, will no longer receive updates for this solution in the future)
- Zimbra (currently supported and will receive updates for this solution in the future)

Some of the users of eBox are still using eGroupware and will be a huge step in accommodating with a new gw. solution from zero, thus making them turn to other solutions or abandon eBox...

I have to say that i'm not surprised that you have (finally) decided to drop eGroupware. And indeed i think that this is a good move.

Just my opinion :)

Regards
Bogdan

kgw

  • Zen Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
eGroupware being part of the ebox package was what drew me to ebox in the first place.  I am presently in the process of setting up a new server using ebox, a process that is up in the air while the move to v2 is going on.  If eGroupware is dropped, I will be attempting to include it as a separate unmanaged package on the same server but if that doesn't work I am sorry to say it will be ebox that will be dropped here rather than eGroupware.

Sam Graf

  • Guest
Because the Ubuntu/Debian "support" for eGroupWare was consistently behind and because the eBox implementation was seriously problematic in my experience, I abandoned the eBox integration some time back. We put eGroupWare into production under a standard, supported installation on a separate server (where it performs reliably, though not bug free) and will have no plan to adopt whatever solution eBox ends up with for the foreseeable future.

Svein Wisnaes

  • Zen Samurai
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • Karma: +5/-0
  • A Norwegian living in Brazil
    • View Profile
    • Oceanwatcher Media | Svein Wisnaes
Re: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 04:43:33 am »
Mye personal opinion about groupware is colored by the needs of a SMALL group. So some things here don't need a heavy use of shared functions. But there are always some thigns that would be great to share:

Addressbook - VERY important
Calendar - Important

Web interface - important, but not critical
Connect with various desktop clients - VERY important: Kontact (KDE), Thunderbird and Outlook.
Mail - not critical, can be handled directly in the various desktop clients
Sync addressbook and calendar with mobile/handheld devices - VERY important

From what I have seen and heard so far, Zimbra really works well. I still need to test it. Also, it seems that Funabol can be used for syncing mobile/handheld devices and that it really works for most of the important devices today.

I see it as important that people are allowed to use their preferred interface to do their tasks. I do not see any point of forcing anyone over on a web interface.

Regarding eGroupware, I never even got around to try it out as it seemed way too complex for what we need. I wish there was a groupware solution that had a modular approach. A core, and everything else were plugins. Calendar, mail, address book, mobile sync, to-do etc.
Regards,

Oceanwatcher
Do NOT use PM for support. This is a community forum and support is not on a one-on-one basis.
READ BEFORE POSTING - How to make a good post - click here

bbking

  • Zen Monk
  • **
  • Posts: 97
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2010, 10:44:17 am »
I see this is a very important part of EBox, so why don't we pick a candidate each and get the hard facts together?

I am going to have a phone conversation with the Zarafa sales this afternoon.
My questions so far:
  • How many users are allowed in the community edition for free?
  • Are there desktop clients for linux/OS X as well?
  • How does the Blackberry integration work esp. with Blackberry Enterprise Server on a linux box? Working test environment?
  • How many domains are in the community/commercial version supported?
  • Does the sync between desktop and/or mobile devices REALLY work? (Let the sales give you a test account to try yourself! Claiming that it works with funambol is NOT enough!)
  • What are the costs for the commercial version per user and year (in case somebody looks for more)?
  • Anything else?

Maybe you guys can jump in as well with a few questions and everybody can pick one candidate each and do the "survey" for that solution?

jquintao

  • Board Moderator
  • Zen Hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 648
  • Karma: +14/-0
  • jquintao
    • View Profile
    • NetSol
Re: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2010, 01:18:20 pm »
I can answer about Zimbra...

  • How many users are allowed in the community edition for free?

Unlimited... I have a customer with 35.000 accounts...

  • Are there desktop clients for linux/OS X as well?

Yes... But here in my company a lot os employees prefer use the ajax web interface... It's very cool.. Very similar with a desktop client...

  • How does the Blackberry integration work esp. with Blackberry Enterprise Server on a linux box? Working test environment?

You can install Funambol with Zimbra and use to sync calendar, contacts, etc with windows mobile, blackberry, iPhone, symbian, microsoft outlook, etc... It's free too...

  • How many domains are in the community/commercial version supported?

Unlimited...

  • Does the sync between desktop and/or mobile devices REALLY work? (Let the sales give you a test account to try yourself! Claiming that it works with funambol is NOT enough!)

What's your problem with funambol? Funambol is very nice...

  • What are the costs for the commercial version per user and year (in case somebody looks for more)?

I don't know... The commercial version isn't necessary... The community version is suficient...

  • Anything else?

See this: http://www.linkedin.com/answers/technology/enterprise-software/TCH_ENT/705934-6203673


Thanks,
Jorge Quintao
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 01:27:13 pm by jquintao »

Sam Graf

  • Guest
Re: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 02:34:21 pm »
Mye personal opinion about groupware is colored by the needs of a SMALL group...

Sync addressbook and calendar with mobile/handheld devices - VERY important...

I also am thinking in terms of a small group. Since I personally know of no small group SMBs that actually supply their entire staff with mobile/handheld devices, I've been curious about the emphasis on the sync aspect in these discussions here.

In fact, when I was supporting sync for staff personal devices within Outlook, we had calendars and address books cluttered with personal information. What a pain. I requested that we not support personal devices when we implemented eBox--and the "excuse" that it was a pain to do in the Linux world was actually an asset! :)

But even in a small group, building a corporate intelligence is VERY important. None of us lasts forever, and an accumulation of shared knowledge is a tremendously valuable legacy. So it baffles me a little that so few people here value the knowledge-building tools of a groupware product.


cougarmaster

  • Zen Monk
  • **
  • Posts: 80
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Planning to drop ebox-egroupware support, volunteers for maintaining it?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2010, 06:54:09 pm »
Hi all,
    I myself add zimbra for my clients so I vote zimbra :) Of course its really upto the developers as they are the ones that will need to support the integration. Whichever way you choose must be that the package will not end up like egroupware. It definitely needs to be easy to setup and manage.

Please pick zimbra
Eric

 

mailcat