Open-Xchange Offers Free Trial of Collaboration Software

The move is an attempt by Open-Xchange to drive adoption of its open-source collaboration software.

More than a year after its release, the commercial edition of the Open-Xchange Server 5 software is now available for a free 30-day trial.

The move is an attempt by Open-Xchange to drive adoption of its open-source collaboration software.

It follows requests from the companys worldwide network of partners, who hope it will help organizations realize the potential benefits of the software, Dan Kusnetzky, Open-Xchanges executive vice president for marketing and corporate strategy, said Sept. 19.

"The 30-day trial makes it easy for organizations to evaluate Open-Xchange Server 5 and see why the product has attracted customers in more than 60 countries since its launch," he said.

But the software, which was released commercially in April 2005, is not meant to be used in full production, but rather for testing and evaluation. At the end of the trial period, the user must either buy a license for the software or remove it.

Open-Xchange Server is the engine behind Novells SUSE Linux Openexchange Server and is a modular, standards-based communications server with a WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) interface.

It can work with both open-source and proprietary e-mail and groupware servers and clients.

The Open-Xchange Server 5 commercial edition supports the two leading enterprise Linux distributions, Red Hat and SUSE, and also works with a range of browsers, mobile devices and rich clients like Microsoft Outlook.

The software includes an installation tool, a graphical administration module and documentation including user and administration manuals for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 environments.

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Pricing for Open-Xchange Server 5, which is available from the company directly or through its partner network, starts at $389 for the small business suite, with the advanced server edition coming in at $1,095.

The Red Hat bundle starts at $1,495, while the Novell/SUSE bundle is $1,519. Both bundles include 25 named users, installation support, Outlook and Palm connectors, and a one-year subscription to the vendors enterprise Linux offering.

Connectors, known as OXtenders, enhance customer flexibility by using open standard APIs to integrate existing IT infrastructures, or extend capabilities to mobile devices, fax servers, backup utilities, e-mail archiving tools and Samba administration tools, Kusnetzky said.

The Outlook OXtender and Palm OXtender, which are also available for 30-day free trials, require registration, after which users will be given a 30-day access key to Open-Xchanges maintenance portal, where the OXtenders can be downloaded.

The e-mail, calendaring, contacts and task management features of Open-Xchange Server 5 are fully integrated with groupware features such as Documail, Smart Linking, Smart Permissions, document sharing, project tracking, user forums, and a knowledge base, he said.

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