Several independent developers have begun an open-source groupware project intended to provide an alternative to Microsofts Exchange server.
OpenGroupware.org was founded to create "the leading open-source groupware server to integrate with the leading open-source office suite products and all the leading groupware clients running across all major platforms, and to provide access to all functionality and data through open XML-based interfaces and APIs," according to the group.
The group said it intends to work with the OpenOffice.org developer team but maintain a separate hierarchy. OpenGroupware is not affiliated with any specific company.
"Just to be perfectly clear, this is an MS Exchange take-out," said Gary Frederick, leader of the OpenOffice.org Groupware Project, in a statement. "OGo is important because its the missing link in the open-source software stack. Its the end of a decade-long effort to map all the key infrastructure and standard desktop applications—including the Web server (Apache); the OS (GNU/Linux, the BSDs); the browser (Mozilla, Konqueror, Opera); the office suite (OpenOffice.org 1.1, KOffice, AbiWord); and the groupware applications (Evolution, KMail, Netscape/Mozilla Mail)—to free software.
Subprojects begun by the OpenGroupware.org team will use either the General Public License (GPL) or a "Lesser General Public License," which allows users to modify, copy and redistribute certain libraries.
The LGPL, a modification of the GPL, also applies to non-commercial entities, and was designed to allow the possibility that those libraries may becomes a de facto industry standard. According to the LGPL, any free libraries to not come with an implied warranty, and any modified libraries must be labeled as such and cannot be patented.
OpenGroupware,org binaries can be downloaded from the organizations download page. OpenGroupware.orgs download list only provides packages for Linux, although the source can be compiled on other platforms.