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Novell To Release Ximian Connector Under GPL 497

ashmodai9 writes "According to this article on as well as this press release directly from their site, Novell announced that its "Connector for MS Exchange Server would be integrated into Evolution 2.0 and made available as open source, beginning today with the current Connector 1.4." Apparently, downloads will be available for the current version of Evolution starting May 14th." Thanks to reader crafterm, a snippet from Novell's Connector website: "With the Connector for Microsoft Exchange installed, Evolution functions as an Exchange client, enabling users to become full participants in company-wide group scheduling and other collaborative tasks. Linux and Solaris users can access public folders, Global Address Lists, email, calendar, task lists, and group scheduling information." Update: 05/11 17:58 GMT by T : In related news, ChiralSoftware writes "Codeweavers' long-awaited sequel to Crossover 2.1 is here. Just like the old version, the new version lets you install MS Office on Linux desktops. The new version adds support for Outlook XP, Lotus Notes and Microsoft Project."
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Novell To Release Ximian Connector Under GPL

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  • Apache? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:03PM (#9118098)
    But what does this have to do with Apache?
  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:04PM (#9118106)
    Download the source [] now!
    • Heh, download it now, because you KNOW Microsoft is going to be pissed.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @02:19PM (#9118988)
        I posted this elsewhere: You need an Exchange CAL and a Windows CAL to legally use this thing. MS has no reason to be pissed.
        • by B'Trey ( 111263 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:06PM (#9119994)
          Not necessarily true. You might need a client access license but you don't need to purchase a copy of Windows. Additionally, depending on how you have your server configured, multiple people can share a CAL, just not at the same time (per server vice per seat licensing.) MS is still getting a slice of the pie, but their slice is a whole lot smaller.

          The biggest thing that MS won't like about this, however, isn't the loss of a few seat licenses but that it opens up an avenue for migrating to Linux. You can convert piecemeal rather than having to switch everything at once.

    • by O ( 90420 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @03:20PM (#9119564)
      Okay, I'm running gentoo and just built this from source. A couple of things:

      Be sure to specify the proper --prefix= to ./configure (probably should be the same one with which Evolution was built).

      A few things failed to link. This was solved by adding "-lresolve -lldap" to the proper _LIBS= line in the Makefiles. I only had to do that a couple times.

      So, I have it installed and Evolution finds it. It seems to be hung up right now trying to connect to the Exchange server, but at least I got it installed.
  • by biglig2 ( 89374 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:04PM (#9118113) Homepage Journal
    Another reason for not switching - the need to access an Exchange server - bites the dust.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jargoone ( 166102 ) * on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:05PM (#9118121)
    This is great news! I put in a request a couple of months ago to have this purchased, and I just cancelled that request. It's nice to have one fewer barrier to acceptance.

    Now I just have to convince our NT admin staff to turn on Outlook Web Access...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @02:11PM (#9118900)
      If you work for a company that would actually spend money on it, DO IT! We should financially support F/OSS companies when we are able to.

      Also, remember you'll likely be buying some support which is cheaper than going it alone.

  • by finse ( 63518 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:06PM (#9118128) Homepage Journal
    And there was much rejoicing!!!!
  • by ironhide ( 803 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:06PM (#9118130) Journal
    I always wondered if custom contacts forms would work.
    And what about categories? In Windows you have to add them to the registry - there is no such thing in Linux.
  • by existential goo ( 622017 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:07PM (#9118148) Homepage
    Now that Connector is open-source, it should be interesting to see what MS thinks of this as it will undoubtedly eat into their ability to sell Office as well as they do now.

    I also wonder how long it will be before we see some kind of open-source version of Exchange Server itself, replacing MS across the board for Exchange!
    • [] is a great open source project tackling this effort.
    • by SlashDread ( 38969 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:23PM (#9118362)

      This is THE single big reason to NOT switch away from Windows in Office Automation. THE. Wow.

      I cannot believe, there are not 10.000 alarm bells ringing in redmond right now.

      Notice the tarball already avail in source?

      Notice how SOON it will be officially? This looks like a planned hit and run to me.

      Prediction: Either MS treatens them and they pull it. But the source is out so -pbbbt-. Or expect the next big free software suit to arrive. And it will be pulled, but the source is out so -pbbbt-

      If, on the other hand, MS plays nice about this, well, hell just froze over again.

      • Well, since I was just postulating they might have a little more stress about it, you can relax now and realize nobody thinks that MS's world is going to end if an OSS Exchange Server clone were created.

        However, Office is, from what I understand, MS's biggest source of revenue, so threatening that in any way likely isn't taken lightly or ignored in Redmond.

        However, my personal bet is that they'll just quietly (at first) either:

        1 - Prepare to pull some patent crud and hinder Connector and its deriva
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:52PM (#9118696)
        cannot believe, there are not 10.000 alarm bells ringing in redmond right now.

        Ximian Connector has been listed on Microsoft's website for a long time as a partner product, so they have no reason be suprised. Connector uses APIs which MS built in for the explicit purpose of interoperatbility.

        Be clear on one thing (bolded for emphisis): In order to use Ximian Connector, you need to buy an Exchange CAL and a Windows CAL.

        MS gets paid whether you are using Outlook or not -- in fact they get paid more because Unix cilents aren't using a free IMAP server or something.
      • by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @02:01PM (#9118805) Homepage Journal

        What grounds would MS have to threaten them? In this country, you still can't threaten someone simply for competing with your business, even if you're a monopoly. I don't read anywhere where they need MS's approval to keep this source available.

  • Great News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmilingBoy ( 686281 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:07PM (#9118149)
    That's great news - and for those wondering why Novell would release this open source, whereas they could sell it for cash before: Remember, Novell is not primarily selling software but services. They hope to sell more services by freeing the Connector.
  • Wonderful News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cube_slave ( 765396 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:09PM (#9118184) Homepage
    This is great. A couple developers here at work are trying to get Linux for their workstations. Hooking into Exchange was always a set back. IT did not want to pay for the connector, since it already paid for Outlook.

    This is just one less hurdle to overcome. I aplaud Novel's decision.
  • by The Breeze ( 140484 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:09PM (#9118187) Homepage
    Compatibility with Exchange is wonderful, seriously.

    The promise of exchange - integrated email & calendaring, locks a lot of companies in to MS software.

    Say what you will, the ability for a clueless end-user to click "accept" on an email and automatically schedule themselves for a meeting is a Big Deal(tm).

    Now, if only we had something affordable that could do that on the Linux server side, with clients on Linux, Windows and Mac platforms...and no, webmail doesn't cut it...

    Is there anyone working on this?

    • Groupwise [] does the trick. I might not fall in your definition of affordable though...
    • by LNX Flocki ( 459790 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:20PM (#9118332)
      Also this [] might be of interest
    • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:22PM (#9118356) Homepage
      You could write the server-side of the protocol this client expects for instance. That should not be too hard.

      Specially if you use something like Mono (plug, plug, plug, plug).

    • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:27PM (#9118426)
      Say what you will, the ability for a clueless end-user to click "accept" on an email and automatically schedule themselves for a meeting is a Big Deal(tm).

      I don't consider myself clueless and it's a Big Deal(tm) for me.

      I don't get paid for managing my calendar and I don't want to waste my time managing my calendar. If someone or something will do it for me or make my life easier, then all the better.

    • by OmniGeek ( 72743 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:37PM (#9118546)
      This product (not free, but cheaper than Exchange) which, by an odd coincidence, I'm evaluating for purchase in an upcoming IT changeover, replaces an Exchange server and supports both standard and Outlook/Exchange clients with all the calendaring bullhockey PHBs can't seem to do without. They have a separate for-cost Webmail product as well, about which I know little.

      Insight Server *looks* very good, and the independent info I've seen also likes it. (If anyone has direct experience good or bad, I'm interested in hearing of it.) I'm looking forward with glee to a MS-free server room...

      Also, once upon a time, Bynari was making a free Exchange client, but something happened to that plan and they don't mention it on their site any more.
      • by KodaK ( 5477 )
        I'm using it. I'm pretty happy with it. I got it because my boss wanted Exchange like features to not use.

        We use some of the features, but not all of them. I've got no complaints. Remember, what you're really buying is the connector component which translates the Outlook info into "regular" mail that can be stored in Cyrus IMAP -- everything else is open source.

        Their version-in-the-works will integrate Spamassassin and ClamAV too. Hopefully they'll have the hooks for other AV products as well.
    • Now, if only we had something affordable that could do that on the Linux server side, with clients on Linux, Windows and Mac platforms...and no, webmail doesn't cut it...

      I'm not so sure webmail doesn't cut it. I recently rolled out a web based groupware server based on qmail/vpopmail/phpgroupware and the users couldn't be happier. They do everything they used to do on Exchange and I freed up a sizable chunk of IT's budget by no longer needing Win2k/2k3 Server license, Exchange license, and CALs. That add

    • Yes, enter Kolab! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pointwood ( 14018 )
      The Kolab Project [] is a project that was sponsored by the German "Federal Agency of IT-Security". The Kolab server is based upon several open source software pieces: OpenLDAP, Postfix, Cyrus IMAP, Apache and more. Kontact (combines the following KDE apps: KMail, KOrganizer, KAddressbook and KNotes) will soon be ready for use as a Kolab client too. There are other clients too.
  • Okay, you have your connector for MS Exchange right there in the main app now. NOW what's stopping you from seriously considering OSS as a possibility? And, I'm not talking about the 1.2% of the population that needs some bizarre, esoteric feature in Outlook or Word or whatever that 98.8% of the rest of the population didn't even know exists.

    Seriously, folks. Linux ain't ready for the home desktop market, but it's high time more people start considering its viability for the desktop in the workplace, especially as lightweight replacements for Wintops that don't do all that much more than word processing and scheduling.

    Take most of that money you've been blowing on MCSEs and A/V software, and pay a few competent *nix admins to come in and properly set up the systems, and you just may well alleviate some, or most, of that downtime. How much TCO did YOUR company have to add to Windows from Sasser, anyway?

    • by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:22PM (#9118355) Homepage
      How about one of the major features of Outlook that has been missing for three and a half years now? The notes/memos [] feature? I, and many other use it extensively, but no matter how many times it has been requested (or who requests it; check the submitter on the listed bug), it has never made it into Evolution.
    • This may be modded off-topic, but find me a company that "blows" money on MCSE's? I remember when MCSE certification actually meant something, way back when. No offense to MCSE's here, but they are now a dime a dozen - everyone wants MCSE certification, and IMHO it doesn't carry as much weight as it did. I know MCSE's who didn't know how to 'ping' an IP or even start a command prompt.

      "Blowing" money on MCSEs is right; a good (really good) *nix admin commands at least three times the salary of a good MCSE
      • Uh. So fire the receptionist and hire a competent one? It's called internal training. You should have a budget for it. There's no reason your receptionist needs to "learn Linux". You give her the apps, you give her the introduction, and you give her some time to settle into it, and that's that.

        I'm sick of hearing that people need to "learn Linux" to migrate in the workspace. Hello? I'm surrounded by 350 co-workers and I think maybe 2 of them, not counting our meager IT staff, actually "knows Windows" but they still manage to do their jobs. The nice thing about "knowing Linux", however, is that if you're a competent admin you can make sure that the people who don't "know Linux" can't shoot their own toes off, or, at least, can't shoot anyone else. See, with Windows, not only can you shoot your own toes off if you don't "know Windows", but you can shoot everyone else in the general vicinity, and, on occasion, it just arbitrarily decides to shoot you even if you didn't do anything wrong.

        I don't want to hear any crap about migration costs. Proof. Give me proof. Give me case studies. I'm tired of excuses. Maybe they're true, but they're always just excuses. It's just people afraid of a new thing and nothing more.

  • Paging Steve Jobs! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:11PM (#9118214) Homepage
    Stevie-baby, here is your chance to get Mac OS X into the Enterprise! One of the major problems with integrating Macs in most large scale companies is the Exchange Mail Systems in use. In the past, most Mac OS X users had to load up classic to use the G-d awful Outlook client. The new Office 2004 Entourage client is still not as cool as Stickies, Mail, iCal and Address Book working as a team and the best part, those are built into the OS -- as the connector should be.
  • Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChiralSoftware ( 743411 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:13PM (#9118247) Homepage
    Exchange is probably MS' best and most important product that has no Open Source equivalent. I am aware of Kolab [] and some other works-in-progress, but none of these are even close to Exchange yet. Exchange has more than its fair share of security problems, but what it does, it does well. Now with Connector being released GPL, that will have two consequences: The free downloadable version of Evolution will be able to use Exchange's features, and hopefully other OS tools like Koffice/Kmail will pick up those abilities, too. Also, having an open source client side might help them in getting an open source server side move faster. Now I just wish that Evolution would be properly integrated with KDE. They are doing it with OOo []...

    I'm a full-time desktop Linux user, and not just for coding, but for every aspect of business, so all this stuff matters to me. This week is going to be a great week in Desktop Linux: Suse 9.1 and Crossover 3 are both coming out at about the same time, and both are huge improvements over what came before.

    WAP news []

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:14PM (#9118259) Homepage Journal
    I use KDE, so Kontact integrates better with the rest of my desktop than does Evolution. However, this is bound to be good for me, too, since the KDE folks can presumably use this to improve KMail's Exchange support. Oh, to be able to view the company calendar without booting into XP. That would be very, very nice.

    Novell, you seriously rock. I know you're doing this for business reasons, but you just bought a lood of goodwill from a bunch of folks in IT departments. Thank you!

    OT harp: Now, if KMail would just add IMAP filtering... ;-)

  • Cached Mode? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mantrid ( 250133 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:15PM (#9118270) Journal
    Well we ended up with an Exchange 2003/Outlook 2003 solution expensive solution, but once they spent the money - well It's actually been quite good! Active Directory seems to be a bit of a headache ;) But Exchange/Outlook really is running well! Two things stand out (well having different mail views in OL2K3 is awesome - for example having a view of "follow up" items, or "unread" items separate from the folders they are in):

    One is cached mode - no more online/offline dicking around - it really works *well*. I have not had any screwy problems as of yet. (Basically Outlook caches your email - a seamless synchronization of your folders and it automatically detects a connected state)

    The other thing is the RPC over HTTP - so I can get full exchange functionality over the internet, just as if I was using IMAP or POP standards, but with the full exchange server deal: contacts, calendars etc. It's really been handy - no opening VPN connections or using webmail to check my work mail on my laptop.

    Are these two features available with Novell's solution? Even if they aren't I'm sure they will be. And having the option is great for the future even though, we are on the MS road for the time being. But for now, Exchange 2003 has worked very well, certainly better than our Linux pilot (Debian/FetchMail/Exim etc. with Thunderbird) - but our Linux pilot was kneecapped by having to operate in a mixed environment (which these new connectors would fix), and obviously going with Exchange cost us a whole lot more money! (Like $20K or thereabouts instead of free - consulting and hardware fees would've been required in both cases - and the Linux consulting was a lot cheaper believe it or not)
    • Re:Cached Mode? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cascadefx ( 174894 ) * <`morlockhq' `at' `'> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:27PM (#9118418) Journal
      But Exchange/Outlook really is running well! Two things stand out (well having different mail views in OL2K3 is awesome - for example having a view of "follow up" items, or "unread" items separate from the folders they are in):

      Virtual folders have been in Evolution forever. I have the same thing set up in Evolution and was shocked when I installed Outlook 2003 and they had it too. I think the interface is BUSY though. I hate the bars that break stuff out by date... it is distracting. The other stuff is interesting (but I have it in Evolution).

      I don't know everything that the connector adds, but I am glad to get it... hopefully soon.

      This isn't to say that Evolution doesn't have its rough edges. It DOES... but it is amazing for how relatively young it is. I have been using Outlook for years and it only recently got to be very usable. Evolution is a lot further in a shorter amount of time (love the RSS feed aggregator that is built in).

  • Silliness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:16PM (#9118287)
    Novell has in public beta a GroupWise client for Linux and Mac OS X...and then they give away a connector to make a free client talk to the enemy's mail/calendaring system?

    Makes me glad I don't have Novell stock. GroupWise earns them money. This does what?
    • Re:Silliness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by phoenix.bam! ( 642635 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:30PM (#9118467)
      this gives companies who use exchange (The enemy) to start using Evolution (The ally) which can also use Novell's (presumably) better cheaper product (The Goal).
    • Re:Silliness (Score:3, Insightful)

      by www www www ( 763043 )

      GroupWise earns them money. This does what?

      I can imagine that Novell want the parts of the FOSS/OSS community that uses the Evolution Connector to help in taking care of this code while Novell redirects its Ximian hackers to work on better integration of Evolution with GroupWise. The Connector was a big deal for Ximian but not a huge source of money for Novell, and they rather use the excellent hackers of Ximian to something that is better for the future of Novell.

      Besides, the more corporation PC's t

    • Re:Silliness (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thelexx ( 237096 )
      This earns them goodwill and helps build a reputation for playing well with others, which means that people who care about such things will be more likely to consider purchasing other Novell products in the future.
  • Thank you, Novell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JediTrainer ( 314273 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:18PM (#9118302)
    I'd just like to throw that in. I've been waiting for ages and now it's actually possible.

    I can actually use my Linux box at work, without relying on my Windows box.

    In my particular company, we use Exchange. While I *have* been able to get IE working with Wine, I haven't had any luck with Outlook at all - I need it for its calendar, which everyone else uses. With Evolution plus the connector, I can now throw away my old dusty NT box for good!

    We've needed this for a long time, and I am very grateful for this.
  • by Spoing ( 152917 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:23PM (#9118363) Homepage
    I've admined 5.5 over the past few years...and can't get management to switch over to OSS or even newer versions of Exchange that Connector supports. Very annoying...though I do use Evolution to read mail.
  • by InodoroPereyra ( 514794 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:24PM (#9118383)
    Is it me ? I have the feeling that if Novell keeps opening up (as in GPL) the core of SUSE, then the (perhaps) most polished distro (according to reviews from people I respect) will become extremely popular.

    The big picture for commercial distros a couple years back was:

    • RedHat, open but not very user friendly.
    • Mandrake, even more open (in its development cycle), more polished and user friendly, not as stable.
    • SuSE, polished, stable, professional, user friendly, but with closed source bits preventing widespread use.

    With RedHat going Fedora (and resigning its mindshare), it wasn't clear what the new scenario sould be. Mandrake was in my mind the great candidate to be the king of the overall distro (from freelading and home users through enterprise solutions), assuming they released more stable corporate versions.

    Mandrake did its homework, and they announced a new development strategy with a community release and a later, more stable official release. They probably should add a slower (once a year) corporate option

    But now Novell buys SUSE, opens it up and kicks the hell out of the Chess board. RedHat backs up and announces their (late) return to the desktop. Things are getting hot my friends :-)

    • by jdavidb ( 449077 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#9118751) Homepage Journal

      I think you have missed some things. RedHat did not abandon the desktop, nor did they resign their mindshare. Their mindshare was reassigned to Fedora, and most of it stayed there. Fedora == RedHat. Yes, there's some differences, but Fedora is still what the old plain vanilla RedHat Linux was. The only difference is average joe user can no longer buy a support contract for it, which is no difference, because average joe user bought his RedHat CDs from LinuxCentral instead, without a support contract. (I know, because I did.)

      So, RedHat didn't abandon the desktop. Meanwhile the RedHat Enterprise Linux product continues as before, and RedHat announces the new Desktop product for corporate users. Meanwhile Fedora continues to occupy the same niche as the old RedHat Linux.

      I keep seeing these misconceptions repeated, so, one more time, everyone, all together: "Fedora == RedHat Linux."

  • by Erik_ ( 183203 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:25PM (#9118405)
    Now, they only need to release a Windows port of Evolution and even more people will be able to enjoy this awesome program.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:31PM (#9118481)
    So, if you really want to support Novell becuase of its very positive actions of late, here's the way:

    BUY something from SuSE, Ximian or Novell!
  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:34PM (#9118505)
    Ok, this is fantastic news. I'll be taking my work laptop and switching over to linux as my primary OS by the end of the week. (And yes, I realize I'm lucky to have an IT dept that will still support me after I do such a thing.) I'm not a zealot about such things; imho Outlook and IE genuinely suck on their own functional/security merits. The only thing I'll miss from a windows client perspective is Visio (yeah, I think MS does make/maintain some good products), but then there's always VMware.

    BUT here's the obvious question: When will there be a viable challenger to Exchange Server? Am I missing something big? Last time I looked, most of the messaging solutions were missing a decent calendaring/schedule solution. Oracle's Collaboration Server is so involved/overkill (9cds for a basic install, iirc) that it's out of reach for most small/med orgs, and makes Notes look svelte. Groupwise was pretty obtuse & closed when I last looked. Open Groupware looks interesting (especially with the knoppix-ogo distro), but feels like Openoffice build 635... i.e. not fully baked.

    When is a project going to come up with messaging, calendaring (via ical, mapi, etc etc), a repository that isn't as horrid as exchange public folders (maybe something modeled after/improving upon Opentext's Livelink), flexible event notifications (maybe simple stuff like alerts via email/SMS???). I have hopes for IBM's recent office tools announcement, but we'll see. A turnaround for Groupwise? Maybe? Options, I want options, dammit!

    • When the Calendar Access Protocol gets finished. Of course, now their talking about having to modify iCal and such to deal with inconsistencies caused by the CAP draft. The CAP draft itself is on draft 12 which is 6 years of development.

      If you want a server, see if you can help get CAP out the door: IETF Calendaring & Scheduling group []

      From what research I've done, everyone seems to think this will be the final draft, sets up a new project []. Although, I am hopeful that the UW project [] will be successful,
  • by plazman30 ( 531348 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:35PM (#9118517) Homepage
    Is Novell turning out to be a good open source neighbor, or what? I think there is finally a large commercial corporation that "gets it!"

    About time.

    How long till they open source NetWare and eDirectory?
  • by Erik_ ( 183203 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:37PM (#9118559)
    Another good news for Linux in the Enterprise came from CodeWeaver's CrossOver Office 3.0 []. It now supports Lotus Notes 6.5.1 on Linux.

    CodeWeaver is happy to announce that today we have shipped version 3.0 of CrossOver Office.

    We've added new, official, support for Outlook XP, Microsoft Project, and Notes 6.5.1. Unofficially, we're excited by users comments that far more applications are working now. These include programs like Framemaker and Microsoft Money. You can see the full list of changes here: change_log/ []

    Further, this version marks some fairly ubstantial changes in our CrossOver Product line. First, we have merged the CrossOver Plugin product into the CrossOver Office product offering, so now all non server versions of CrossOver automatically provide
    the Plugin functionality.
  • by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:41PM (#9118589) Journal

    For a basic office computer, there is now no excuse for IT to not use Linux, unless there is a specific Windows-only app that is needed.

    Linux has any terminal you ever needed,, and now is fully Exchange-server compatable?

    And it's all free?

    The only thing that could possibly make your Linux TCO high now is perhaps re-training your tech staff who have undoubtedly been brought up on MS Windows if they went to college in the US, and that's not terribly expensive in the long run...
  • by dennisr ( 17484 ) * <dennisr.spacerodent@org> on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:46PM (#9118635) Homepage
    I see quite a few comments about "Now I am going to switch to Linux" or "I have been waiting for this for so long" and I got to thinking. What stopped you from using prior to this? It was available for download for ~30 dollars. I purchased it not only for its functionality but to support a Linux company.
  • thunderbird? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by twelvemonkeys ( 689012 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#9118758)
    I wonder if thunderbird will be able to integrate the connector into their code?

    Some of us are still forced to use windows at the workplace for other reasons (Visio a big one), but would love to have an open win32 email client that can connect to exchange for calendaring reasons.
    • Re:thunderbird? (Score:3, Informative)

      by mactari ( 220786 )
      Completely integrate; fraid not. Afaik, Thunderbird still uses the MPL (Mozilla Public License) which basically is a convoluted BSD license as far as my IANAL self can figure. That's what allowed Netscape to use Mozilla as its core and still close it up and sell it.

      Now can Thunderbird provide a hook so that you could personally set up some module someone else writes to integrate with Exchange? There I have to think it's an easy yes. As long as Thunderbird doesn't incorporate GPL code and just provides
  • ...a new Exchange license designed to make this unattractive.
  • by Kurt Granroth ( 9052 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @02:21PM (#9119000)
    The Novell/Ximian Connector goes a long way towards integrating Linux into a Windows-heavy business environment. However, it doesn't go as far as many here seem to think. Just because you have Connector does not mean that you will be able to use Evolution with Exchange at work... at least, not in all cases.

    Specifically, Connector only works if Outlook Web Access is enabled on Exchange. There are a few problems with this approach in the real world.

    First, OWA isn't enabled by default in Exchange. That is because, secondly, OWA costs extra for each user. Third, as a result, all places I've worked that used Exchange either disallowed using OWA at all or severly limited its use.

    For instance, at my current company, OWA is enabled but only has a few client licenses and is therefore blocked from all internal IPs. It's intended use is for people that are traveling that want to access their email via a web browser.

    So, yeah, Connector is very slick and very useful... just not as slick and as useful as the euphoric posts here seem to indicate!

  • by rednox ( 243124 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:25PM (#9120205) Homepage

    This is great news for OpenGroupware []. It's a full featured calendar, email and groupware server.

    Previously, the only end to end open source solution you could set up with OpenGroupware was using Mozilla Calendar, another iCalendar app, or by using the built in web client. The Mozilla/iCalendar support is good, but "provides little "groupware" functionality and the support for it is to be consider experimental" [].

    There are plugins for Outlook and Evolution, but they were both not open source. It was actually pretty funny, an open source server, an open source client (evolution), and a closed source, very expensive connector to get the two to talk to each other! Look for "Ximian Connector" in their FAQ: []

    OpenGroupware will not be able to use this Evolution connector directly, but since it is open source, it will be adapted for this purpose. Helge Hess the main developer for OpenGroupware has said as much [].

  • Opposite Problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by awarlaw ( 102125 ) on Tuesday May 11, 2004 @04:30PM (#9120252)
    But I Currently have the opposite problem and have yet to find a solution.

    I am looking to replace an exchange5.5 with something a little more controllable. Cost is an issue and I have around 50 clients. webmail a must. Currently, we are evaluating and will probably go with SUSE Openexchange.

    But, here's the problem:

    We also want to replace the outlook clients and I would love to switch to evolution. But, I cannot switch the clients off win2000 because of some propriatary programs that need to run.

    The goal here is to be MS free within the next year. And, with the exception of some programs we are currently porting, If I can get the users off outlook I can switch them from 2000 to Linux or BSD and very few would notice the difference.

    It took us 3 months to ween the users from MSOffice to Oo with very little complaints/training.

    Any thoughts?

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer