OpenGoo vs. Google Apps: Host It Your Way

This week I've been testing out OpenGoo, an open source online office project that's meant to provide a more open alternative to Google Apps. Specifically, the code that comprises OpenGoo is freely accessible, and, as a plain old LAMP application, OpenGoo gets to leave the confines of its makers' firewall and live in your data center, or desktop, or hosting service of choice. As I've written in the past, I'm a big fan of Google's Apps. However, I'm also a fan of reserving the right to fire any of your suppliers, and to do so, ideally, without disturbing adjacent layers of your stack...

This week I've been testing out OpenGoo, an open source online office project that's meant to provide a more open alternative to Google Apps.

Specifically, the code that comprises OpenGoo is freely accessible, and, as a plain old LAMP application, OpenGoo gets to leave the confines of its makers' firewall and live in your data center, or desktop, or hosting service of choice.documents.png

As I've written in the past, I'm a big fan of Google's Apps. However, I'm also a fan of reserving the right to fire any of your suppliers, and to do so, ideally, without disturbing adjacent layers of your stack: Swap Intel for AMD, IBM for HP, Xen for VMware, Red Hat for SUSE, Domino for Zimbra, and so on.

With something like Google Apps, every layer of the stack, all the way up to your data, is under Google's control. Of course, that's the point of SaaS--someone else manages and serves up the application, and you get to focus on taking care of business.

As I see it, the perfect application would be available in SaaS form, from multiple hosting providers, as well as in commercially-supported on-premises, and self-supported open source incarnations.

Perfection is a pretty tall order, but we're starting to see open source Web applications that offer the sort of deployment flexibility that I'm looking for, even if they don't nail all the features as well as do better-established online incumbents do.

OpenGoo is certainly not perfect, but the project is progressing at a promising clip. I'll be keeping tabs on OpenGoo as it continues to develop. For now, check out my review and slide gallery of OpenGoo, and go demo the suite for yourself. I'd love to hear what you think of it -- drop me a line in the comments below, ping me on Twitter or Identi.ca.

Next up on my review docket is another SaaS/on-premise/open source challenger in the enterprise application space: SugarCRM.