REVIEW: OpenGoo Removes Some of the Liabilities of Web-Based Productivity Apps - Page 2

OpenGoo in the Lab

I tested OpenGoo 1.5.2 in a virtual machine running Ubuntu Server 9.04 with the LAMP server role enabled. As with many other LAMP-based applications, installation of OpenGoo was fairly simple. I extracted the archive containing the OpenGoo source into the Web directory of my test server, and then visited a setup page to complete the setup-configuring the database, creating an administrator account and so on.

Once OpenGoo was up and running, I could create additional user accounts, as well as company accounts for my organization and for client organizations. However, this process could have run much more smoothly if OpenGoo supported LDAP directory integration.

OpenGoo manages permissions for the documents, contacts, calendar items, projects and tasks that live in the system through a series of workspaces. Each user gets his or her own personal workspace, and workspaces can be created for projects or teams. I could assign rights to create, modify, view and remove objects within given workspaces to particular users, and could manage rights for a hierarchy of workspaces by nesting them.

The document editor in OpenGoo (which I used to write this review) offers the typical range of rich text editing options, but the document editor is a bit thin on supported file formats. By default, the editor stores documents in HTML, although I was able to install an optional module to download my documents in PDF. I could upload HTML or text documents for editing within OpenGoo. I could also upload other document formats-such as .doc, .docx and .odt-and manage them with checkout and versioning controls. However, I couldn't directly edit these documents from within OpenGoo.

OpenGoo includes a basic presentation editor and viewer application, which also taps HTML as its file format. I was disappointed to find that I could not export my presentations in PDF, as I could with the word processing component. The suite also does not include a spreadsheet component, but this capability is on the project's road map.

Alongside its document and presentation tools, OpenGoo offers a basic e-mail component that supports receiving mail from IMAP and POP3 servers and sending mail through external SMTP servers. Somewhat annoyingly, the e-mail component pulls down only 10 messages at a time, but I could remove this limit through the suite's admin console. At this point, I couldn't see using the OpenGoo e-mail application as a primary mail client, but it could come in handy for pulling down messages from a shared project-related account.

OpenGoo's calendar component is fairly similar to Google's calendar application, with the important exception that OpenGoo's calendar doesn't handle subscriptions to calendar servers. I was able to import events from an uploaded iCal file, but to keep my events up-to-date, I would have to set up some sort of cron job to pull down the import files.

Executive Editor Jason Brooks can be reached at