By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-09-11 Print this article Print

In just three years, Scalix has made considerable progress in turning its namesake e-mail and calendaring platform into a compelling enterprise-class option.

But the market is changing, and its no longer enough to provide good e-mail and calendar support in Microsofts Outlook and the Web browser. Delivery to wireless devices, better integration with enterprise applications and the need for better visibility into (and control over) e-mail communications have become increasingly important capabilities.
Click here to read about this applications predecessor, Scalix 10.
eWEEK Labs tests of the first public beta of Scalix 11 Community Edition Preview, released in August, show that Scalix is doing a good job of addressing some of these issues while attempting to deliver a feature set comparable to its prime competitor, Microsofts Exchange Server.

Scalix has recently made a significant strategic move, as well: While the company has discussed open source a great deal in its marketing material in the past, it didnt have an open-source license until July. At that time, the company announced that it had established a licensing agreement with Hewlett-Packard to grant access to the source code of Scalix, including the portions that come from the now-defunct HP OpenMail.

Source code will be available through the Scalix Community Edition, which includes just about every feature available in commercial versions of the platform.

The main difference between the Community Edition and commercial editions (Enterprise and Small Business) of Scalix is that the Community Edition has a limit of 25 Premium users (users with access to advanced features, such as native Outlook MAPI, or Messaging API, support) and supports only single-server deployments. The Enterprise edition supports an unlimited number of Premium users as well as multiserver deployment. The Small Business edition of Scalix supports 50 Premium users and single-server deployment. The commercial versions of Scalix also support Microsoft Active Directory integration.

Scalix officials said they intend to maintain a dual-license strategy, with a commercial license and an open-source license based on the Mozilla Public License.

The Scalix 11 platform is expected to be released in November, just ahead of the release of Exchange Server 2007.

Application integration

To compete with stalwarts such as Microsofts Exchange Server in the enterprise market, a messaging platform has to integrate well with enterprise applications such as CRM (customer relationship management). By going to an open-source license, and with the addition of the Scalix Messaging Services API for Web services integration, Scalix is poised for that kind of integration. However, whether a third party integrates with your platform often depends more on the scope of your installed base than the quality of your tools.

Scalix is still working to beef up its third-party base, which will include stealing back some of the mind share that Zimbra has garnered this past year, and Scalixs Messaging Services API is likely the best way to do it. This Web services API is a server-based REST (representational state transfer) system that allows access to message and calendar data from within a browser interface.

Zimbra was one of the first applications to make use of this kind of integration by scanning message text for relative date information and linking that text in a free/busy lookup to the recipients calendar. More broadly, the Scalix Messaging Services API could allow a CRM application to access message and calendar data on the Scalix server beyond the simple SMTP listening and capturing of e-mail traffic typically found in messaging and CRM integration.

Next Page: Web mail client experience; going mobile.


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