Enterprise Developers Take Aim

By John Rizzo  |  Posted 2006-01-10 Print this article Print

at Microsoft"> Microsofts competitors in the enterprise space were not fazed by Apples earlier-than-expected release of Intel Macs. "Weve been engineering our product to be as platform agnostic as possible," said Jonathan Crow, Product Marketing Manager of ThinkFree Corp.
The company has released a beta version of ThinkFree Office Server Edition, which supplies Web-based office applications that are compatible with Microsoft Office.
The server, which installs Java applets on the client machines, runs on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The final version will ship this quarter. Zimbra Inc. announced that this quarter that it will ship a new messaging server positioned as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, but running on Mac OS X. Zimbra Collaboration Suite Network Edition will provide calendaring, contacts, and e-mail to Mac, Windows and Linux clients. The server is also available for Linux. Users can access the server with Zimbras Web-based client, or use Outlook for Windows, or, for Mac OS X users, Apple Mail, iCal and Address Book. Zimbra will include an iSync plug-in to sync calendars and contacts with the Mac OS X applications. The goal is to provide client options to enterprise customers. "The area we want to compete is on the server side," said John Robb, VP of Product Management. "Customers in the Apple space are not happy with what they have right now." Zimbra is providing migration tools to move users off of Microsoft Exchange version 5.5 and later. The Collaboration Suite Network Edition offers integration with Microsoft Active Directory for user IDs. The Zimbra server can support 5000 users and has the ability to cluster with multiple backend servers to support tens of thousands of users. The Collaboration server also includes backup and recovery and hierarchical storage, moving older messages to secondary storage media. The Zimbra client provides additional features not possible with other clients. Combined with the servers ability to hook into enterprise databases, the Web-based Zimbra client can integrate supply systems and calendaring systems into the workflow of e-mail. For instance, when the user moves the cursor over a part number or purchase order, a pop-up appears with additional information. Hovering over a URL displays a preview of a Web page, and a date in an e-mail message can bring up a calendar, and an address can bring up a Yahoo map. Clicking a phone number can launch Skype. Zimbra Collaboration Suite Network Edition will be available for annual subscription fee of $28 per user per year, which includes support. A free version of the server, the Zimbra Collaboration Suite - Open Source Edition, is also available, but doesnt include support for non-Zimbra clients and lacks the backup and recovery features, among other things. The company said that version of the server for Intel-native Macs is in the works for release this year. Next Page: Updated servers.


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