OpenGroupware Challenges MS Exchange

The open source community has added some more ammo to its arsenal by marshalling together an alternative to Microsoft’s Exchange server. OpenGroupware.org (OGo) intends to foster and maintain groupware to integrate with open source office suites such as its distant cousin OpenOffice, as well as other groupware clients.

OpenGroupware software runs on Linux and Solaris, initially having been based upon pieces borrowed from the SKYRiX 4.1 server distribution. It will provide access to all functionality and data through open XML-based interfaces and APIs, according to information pulled from the organization’s website.

Currently it permits the sharing of OpenOffice documents, and serves as a Rosetta stone between users of Glow, iCal, Mozilla, Outlook, and Ximian Revolution. Its release fills a large gap in the open source line up, being called "the missing link in the open source stack" by company spokesperson Gary Frederick.

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German based SKYrix is one of the oldest Linux/GNU Groupware Servers. At roughly seven years of age, it has matured into a powerful tool for collaboration and document management – enabling users to share address books, folders, documents, and calendars. Enhanced communication features include instant messaging, a whiteboard, and collaborative browsing.

"Just to be perfectly clear, [OpenGroupware.org] is an MS Exchange replacement," said Frederick in a statement.

SKYRiX has been assigned to be an enterprise distribution of the OpenGroupware.org software, offering a wider range of features.

Microsoft could not be reached for comment.

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