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Ximian Connector 1.0 Available 226

An Anonymous Coward writes: "Ximian Connector is out! Regardless if you don't like open source and Microsoft playing together this will let me ditch my Win2k box at work! Here is the press release. Of note, MS Exchange 2000 has a nice HTTP interface to it as well, works wonderfully in Galeon." kittenslietome adds a link to the license under which it's released as well: Connector is not Free software, but rather software Ximian hopes will pay for further Free software development.
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Ximian Connector 1.0 Available

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  • by Florian Weimer ( 88405 ) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:33AM (#3220608) Homepage
    It's proprietary software with an extremely obnoxious license. Quote:
    4. Security: CUSTOMER understands and agrees that the Software contains trade secrets belonging to XIMIAN, and will take all reasonable steps to protect its confidentiality. CUSTOMER acknowledges that the Software is the property of XIMIAN and contains confidential information. CUSTOMER agrees that, other than to its employees, it will not provide a copy of the Software nor divulge any details of it to any person without the prior consent in writing of XIMIAN.
    This means that you must not talk about security problems in Connector with your hired security consultant. You can't even share information with other Ximian customers.
  • Wish they'd started with Exchange 5.5. I would guess that there are FAR more Exchange 5.5 installs out there than Exchange 2000. (At least in my neck of the woods, everyone runs 5.5)

    Have been using Evolution with IMAP successfully for about 4 months now. The lack of calendaring has been a thorn in my side.
    • I've only seen a couple Exchange 2000 installs around here but several 5.5 installs so I would have to agree. I was making good progress at replacing a 5.5 install with Openmail when the announcement came. I' have to say that Exchange is Microsoft's best product out there though it has its share of issues. I'll be happy when there is a solid replacement for it.
    • I actually asked them about whether they would be supporting 5.5 in the future. They said "3 months from now" (of course, that was at least 3 months ago)..

      But needless to say, they have plans to release a connector for 5.5.

  • by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento&brentozar,com> on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:37AM (#3220624) Homepage
    There's a big catch: it only works with Exchange 2000 servers, not 5.5, and it requires that the OWA (Outlook via Web) is installed on the Exchange server. Wish my employer wasn't still on 5.5, then it'd be a lot more exciting.
    • When I worked for MediaOne they wouldn't even turn on WebOutlook.. So I'd be out of luck if I was still there (now AT&T).

    • So wait, why shouldn't we just use whatever web browser we prefer to view the OWA page?
      • So wait, why shouldn't we just use whatever web browser we prefer to view the OWA page?

        Because most of OWA's cool features, like inline formatting, spell checking, and drag & drop only work with IE6 and above (or could be IE5.5, can't remember for certain).
        • Cause they are all implemented as activeX controls.

          Basically, you have all the stuff on your machine to run outlook, but you run IE instead of Outlook and the web pages pretty much call all the controls outlook would call.

          so, you just don't have to setup a profile.
  • by somethingwicked ( 260651 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:39AM (#3220628)
    MS Exchange 2000 has a nice HTTP interface to it as well

    AC or no AC, we demand to know the true identity of a Slashdot poster who would DARE make such a positive M$ comment. And on the front page? Timothy must have been duped... Sacrilege!!!

    ---Your friends, the Slashdotologists---
    • I'm not one of the reflexive Microsoft bashers (love Excel, love the fonts) but -- that web interface to Exchange _sucks_.

      Out of curiosity, has anyone found a good way to use it from Linux? I've found the interface to be tolerable in MacOS/IE, and barely usable with Netscape 4.x on Linux. Konqueror doesn't work at all for me, and the submitter notwithstanding, neither do Mozilla or Galeon, at least in the versions I have.

      What are other peoples' experiences?

      • I've accessed our company's Exchange web interface from Mozilla, Netscape 6, Galeon and Konqueror under Linux and it works great.

        However, I don't know if it's just our Exchange server or if they all do this, but there is no "logout" button on the web interface (doesn't come up under IE, either). I just close the browser window.
  • by FooBarWidget ( 556006 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:39AM (#3220630)
    While Ximian Connector is not Free Software, Evolution *is* Free Software.
    Connector is just a plugin to be able to access Exchange servers, and you are in no way required to buy it.
    Lots of people don't know that for some reason...

    I think this is a good tactic, because:
    1) They have some sort of business model now (nobody can complain about that they don't have a business model).
    2) Companies that depend on Exchange servers can now use Evolution.
    3) It encourages open standards, because you don't have to pay for Connector if you convert your servers to use some open standard that's supported by Evolution by default.
    • I couldn't agree more with you. Its a good case of tying a (possibly) viable business model to the production of software for the open source market (even if the software *gasp* costs me some cash). I fully expect Ximian to be panned by the more rabid open source folks, but I see this as a natural step in the (pardon the pun) evolution of the business model that folks like Ximian will have to make work to stick around.
    • Yes, finally they have a business model!
      I'm running to the stores to buy some proprietary junk that costs more than a copy of RedHat.
    • by bhsx ( 458600 )
      Remember, Ximian doesn't depend on the linux server market at all. They are strictly desktop, though I personally would like to see them working on a full-blown backend to replace Exchange in all its glory (i.e. full-featured web integration and shared address books like tying PHPGroupWare or something to that extent)... hint, hint, Miguel.
    • Bias disclaimer: I don't much care either way about free software or not (though I have a slight bit of opposition to it for reasons too complex to explain here).

      I don't see how having a proprietary software portion of a business aids the free software portion. Only one half of that company is going to bring in any serious cash, and I'll let you guess which. What would the point be of sustaining the free half, then?
      • What would the point be of sustaining the free half, then?

        Cheap publicity. You would have never heard of this company if they weren't involved with their free software projects.

        Public awareness is very hard to create or buy, and it's a huge advantage in the marketplace.

  • by tom_newton ( 179430 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:41AM (#3220638) Homepage
    Firstly, if you're using this, then you're by definition also using some other non-Free software. Just because this is from a developer that works primarily with Free software doesn't make it any worse. In fact, quite the opposite.

    This (small) piece of proprietry s/w could open the door for thousands of gigs of totally Free software being installed - eventually obviating the need for itsself, perhaps?

    Finally, if it pays for more Free software (lets face it, everything has a cost, if not a price) then i'm all for it...

  • This looks like a neat pieve of software, but it's outragous that it's needed at all. In this instance, Microsoft has created a new software development business - the business of conforming to 'Microsoft Standards'. It's discraceful that we've let this go on. Companies should not be able to find it profitable to create interfaces into Microsoft's proprietary protocols. Instead, Microsoft should find it unprofitable to ignore standards and go out on their own. While I have no objection to Ximian as a whole, they are facilitating this behavior, by providing interoperability products. Really, though, at it's core this is our fault. Clearly sufficient pressure has not been aplied to Microsoft to force them co conform to the standards that the rest of the software world now uses.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      What standards would those be? Face it: there is _no_ good open-source alternative to the scheduling features that exchange provides. NO ALTERNATIVE. got it? Microsoft has provided the superior solution in this instance.

      It is sad that no one has put any time or effort into a decent open source iCal server, but don't blame MS or Ximian for that.

      • I don't blame Microsoft for there being no good OSS alternatives to their product. I blame them for not enabling standard protocols like IMAP, and iCal out-of-the box. Granted, there are a lot of incompetant admins out there that don't realize they can enable these protocols, but in every other arena, Microsoft has catered to the lowest common denomicator in the way of user intelligence, so why not here? The answer is simple. They want their protocol to become the defacto standard (which has pretty much already become) and the creation of software that facilitates this use of non-open standards, where equivelent open standards DO EXIST, is shameful; especially from a company that preaches the virtues of OSS.

    • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 25, 2002 @10:02AM (#3220731)
      Exchange 2K is different. It's built around SMTP, POP, LDAP, and iCalendar. It's using standard protocols. Where are the UNIX clients to support them?

      It's easy to complain about Outlook and Exchange except there has been no real competition until now from Ximian, and that is only in the client piece. Exchange is a good system, just because it's from MS doesn't make it bad even if this is Slashdot.
      • That is incorrect. Although you may be able to turn these protocols on, most Exchange server admins do not turn them on, but instead Exchange is accessed using MAPI using only Outlook as a client.
        • Which hardly makes MS the evil guys in this instance. Another strike for incompetent admins, if they turn off support for the standard protocols and then bitch about not being able to use non-Outlook clients.

          • Another strike for incompetent admins, if they turn off support for the standard protocols and then bitch about not being able to use non-Outlook clients.

            I agree with the jab at admins. But, of course, they don't wonder about not being able to use non-Outlook clients. They tend to wonder why you'd WANT to use a non-Outlook client (and then stare dumbly at mention of other-than-Windows or the vast anti-virus infrastructure they're having to maintain). Oops. I'm ranting.
          • You have a reading problem don't you? The parent poster quite specifically stated that admins don't turn on the standard features, they're off by default.

            In other words Microsoft is up to its old game again: proclaim it's conforming to standards, using their own closed protocols by default, and then blaming the admin for not turning on the alternative.

            Gee, like an admin team for a 2500 client site is going to turn on features for all clients and servers when they just work out of the box on the default config. Never mind that they are now stuck with a serious case of vendor lock-in.

            How you can spot a Microsoft shill: it's always the hardware, the user or the admins fault. A suspiciously high percentage of failure can never be the fault of the software vendor.


      • Exchange 2K is different. It's built around SMTP, POP, LDAP, and iCalendar. It's using standard protocols. Where are the UNIX clients to support them?

        Er, are you asking where the Unix POP3, SMTP and LDAP clients are? I suggest you start here [sourceforge.org] or here [freshmeat.net]. Have fun...
        • Any of these?

          I've looked in on the Internet Calendar IETF, and it appeared that while some drafts were being done, nothing was ready to start coding a client. That was a while back, and I guess I need to check, again. In the meantime, does anyone else have a better concept of the status?

          In the meantime, http://www.mit.edu/afs/athena/project/calsch/
          and RFCs 2445, 2446, 2447, and 2739, as well as draft-ietf-calsch-cap, draft-ietf,calsch-imp-guide, draft-stracke-calsch-ical-reviewer, and draft-stracke-calsch-crisp. But just seeing these names is a long ways from knowing what is going on.
      • Exchange 2K is different. It's built around SMTP, POP, LDAP, and iCalendar. It's using standard protocols. Where are the UNIX clients to support them?

        There's no need for exchange at all. That's the stupidity of this whole thing. Using Connector is still supporting Microsoft because you still have to pay for the client access license. Nobody needs Exchange. And there's no advantage to using Exchange.

        Do we need Exchange for SMTP? Nope
        Do we need Exchange for POP? Nope
        Do we need Exchange for LDAP? Nope
        Do we need Exchange for Calendar services? Nope
        Do we need Exchange to integrate all these? Nope

        Every single use of / reason for Exchange has been thoroughly obsoleted by free software.
        So who's going to pay for Connector? Employees working for companies with braindead IT deptartments. Kinda lame really. Why didn't they just put out some documentation on how to talk to Exchange and let the community build the software? But heck, if they can milk some money out of dumb M$ users to support their free projects, more power to 'em! (-:
    • Read the press release. This is us invading them, not us throwing in the towel:

      "The challenge in connecting decentralized Linux workgroups with larger Windows-based enterprises has been a barrier for Linux desktops to make inroads into the corporate world.... Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange is designed to
      break down those barriers... The overwhelming customer response to Ximian Connector for Microsoft Exchange shows that we have clearly struck a chord with companies increasingly adopting Linux for desktop use. By providing this key missing ingredient to interoperability with office document and messaging standards, Ximian is helping companies support their Linux users without compromise while eliminating the costs normally associated with the purchase of second PCs or mail systems."

      It makes the slow (and, for some, fearful) migration from windows to linux possible, instead of requiring a clean break. There is a lot of resistance to "clean breaks". Slow migrations don't get much resistance, especially if said migration doesn't show up on budget outlines or requisition forms.
      • Although I'd say your interpretation of the press release is just a matter of spin, I'd have to agree with your statement regarding slow migrations. Here you make a vary good point. One of the few other examples of software that facilitates this slow migration might be OpenOffice. Interoperability is a dangerous thing though. You have to adopt the ways of the enemy in order to use it effectively. Provide interoperability, but provide greater (and non-compatible) functionality which encourages the user to migrate away from the product to which you originally provided interoperability. The problemwith this is - since we are preaching open standards - we must extend an open standard such that it provides the greater functionality, rather than implement in a closed way. This means the only advantage possible is in a feature development race, where Microsoft has greater resources to draw upon and so will certainly win such contents. Granted, this is a rather gloomy analysis. I hope I'm wrong.

    • I'm not a fan of MS proprietary protocols either, but they often *do* find it unprofitable, and end up resigning themselves to using a more "open" standard. When this doesn't happen, it's simply because the majority are voting with their dollars, saying "What you've already given us is just fine, thanks."

      Look at NT 3.51 compared to Win2K and you can see quite a shift towards recognizing the value in such things as DNS and more flexibility in DHCP.
      These changes came about because NT server started having an obvious disadvantage, lacking some of these protocols and standards.

      With email, the same thing could easily happen, but right now - the only other real player in the competition against Exchange is Lotus Notes, which also features a proprietary mail connector.

      MS and Lotus took the marketplace by storm because they realized a mail server could be enhanced to provide calendar/scheduling/address filing as well as simple email, and did a pretty good job of integrating it all together.
  • by let the storm ( 567735 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:43AM (#3220645)
    my papa always said, ..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." :)

    Ximian Connector is a unique client software extension that allows Linux and UNIX users of the Ximian Evolution groupware suite to manage personal information and collaborate with Windows-based co-workers using Microsoft Exchange 2000
  • Now we only need a Microsoft File Format Connector so that Linux becomes a viable alternative on the desktop.

  • for linux of course. that works with evolutuion. now that would be a product i would buy for sure. not only once.

    I'm still looking for a good shared calendar solution for linux,i did try some of thoese webapps (phpgroupware etc ..) but they don't cut it in daily use ...

  • Ximian Connector (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BobandMax ( 95054 )
    Ximian has gotten this backwards. What is needed is a fully functional replacement for Exchange Server, not clients. We need to rid the data center of MS.
    • Agreed 100 percent!

      But! Ximian has made it pretty clear they have goals of improving the Linux *desktop* experience. Building an Exchange server clone would be a little bit out of the scope of what they're trying to accomplish.

      I do wish *someone* would seriously work on an Exchange server replacement though. The closest thing out there was HP's OpenMail (which I guess was now bought out - but the future of it still looks rather dismal), and OpenMail wasn't user-friendly enough anyway.

      One BIG advantage they could code into a Linux Exchange replacement server would be spam filtering capabilities and integrated email virus scanning. Both of those currently require additional 3rd. party commercial software and/or hardware to do with MS Exchange.
  • Opposite Solution (Score:5, Informative)

    by Yoda2 ( 522522 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:58AM (#3220713)
    There is a new product called InsightConnecter [bynari.net] available from Bynari [bynari.net] that allows you to replace MS Exchange with a standard IMAP server. This is a good solution for those who are stuck using Outlook, but have access to a Linux server and don't want to use Exchange. It works as an Outlook Add-In and "tricks" Outlook into thinking that the IMAP server is Exchange Server.

    It is not free, but very reasonably priced.

    You can also find a brief summary of it here [thelinuxpimp.com].

    • Thing is, Does it support the Calendar functions. That is the primary reason my company uses Outlook and Exchange (5.5) still.

      It isn't because our CIO is a twit (we've been using linux since .9 kernels), he has to have something that the office wenies can use easily.

      Once we get something that is simple to use for calendar sharing/etc. then we'd drop exchange like a hot potato.

      • Yes, it replicates all normal Outlook folders inside of IMAP. You can create a company IMAP/Outlook account with permissions for everyone to build a company calendar. For free/busy we post the info to an FTP account.

        I will admit that the application is not perfect, but it is pretty damn good and I would guess there will be another release with some bug fixes soon.

  • Hooray! (Score:2, Funny)

    by gruntvald ( 22203 )
    I can now replace my proprietary software with, uh, proprietary software.
  • by LWolenczak ( 10527 ) <julia@evilcow.org> on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:59AM (#3220721) Homepage Journal
    The price is a bit much at 69 bucks *PER* seat. At that price, its almost more economical to just use terminal services.... that way atleast a user still has access to a windows box at all times. We would gladly pay for it at 30 bucks a seat, but 69 is a bit steep.
    • This post is NOT a troll. The price of the software is pretty steep for what you're getting. Remember. You STILL have to pay for the Microsoft Exchange Client Access License with is $80/seat ($401/5 client licenses).

      Plus, Exch2k's OWA interface is MUCH improved over 5.5's OWA implementation.

      So what do you get for your extra $70?

  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Monday March 25, 2002 @10:00AM (#3220723) Homepage
    Unfortunately, even with Ximian Connector, I still can't totally get rid of my Win2k box. Why, you may ask??

    NT Authentication

    I can use Linux for development, I can use Evolution now to integrate with Outlook, but I still need IE to be able to use my corporate intranet (some of my development work is for intranet applications, so I need to be able to test them). Unfortunately, my company runs IIS on the intranet servers, and only allows NT Challenge/Response for authentication. So, short of trying to get IE running under VMWare/Wine (Which I have not been able to successfully do yet), I'm stuck in Windows.

    Does anyone know if there are any other web browsers that can do NT Authentication?? I'm guessing no, since it's a closed Microsoft protocol.
    • IE runs just fine under VMWare. I can't imagine, in fact, what you could possibly do to make it not work. I run Win2K (very rarely) under VMWare on Linux with no problems whatsoever. IE, SQL Server Manager & query analyzer, Outlook, Visual Studio, etc etc all work a-OK.
    • Isn't it the same or similar to what Samba has to do? Or is it different in their situation? Either way, I'm in the same situation.
    • I use Enlightenment, Mozilla, Evolution/Pine every day all day at work and have NO problems connecting to our Windows/IIS servers. The IIS servers that require NT Challenge/Response for authentication are not a problem for me when I access the page it prompts me for my username and password I simply enter domain-name\ntusername on the username line and then enter my NT password on the password line and then I'm in. Never a problem. And I have no problems accessing any NT shares, I have all of the "necessary" NT shares mounted via SMBFS and have no issues using them either.
      • your admins are running W2k in NT4 compatability mode.

        Unfortunately, the IT Dep't/Gestapo here runs everything in native W2k mode.

        Fortunately, the network engineers and ldap folks have conspired to put up an iplanet proxy which works with everything.
    • I was reading up on this the other day, actually. There are two NT authentication mechanisms - NTLM, and the Windows 2000 Kerberos-based "negotiate" authentication. NTLM is pretty well known and there are a number of implementations of it available on the 'net, although I don't know if any are actually built into a browser yet. Apparently NTLM isn't much of an improvement over the "Basic" http auth, though, and it has a weird connection-based authentication mechanism which doesn't proxy well.

      The Kerberos-like authentication is apparently much stronger, but there don't seem to be any open implementations of it yet. I did find a couple IETF drafts that purported to explain it - search for "brezak spegno draft" or something like that.

      So, the short answer to your question is: probably not.

    • If you have Solaris X back IE for Solaris to your Linux box.

      IE for Solaris [microsoft.com]

    • Can, dear all!! Thanks to a guy by the name of Dmitry Rozmanov [SMTP:dima@xenon.spb.ru] He has created a ridiculous nice utility: http://www.geocities.com/rozmanov/ntlm/ Works really great! Wished, someone else had done the same for X400; so that we could read our addresses from Exchange without $69 plus OWA! Uwe
  • by Dredd13 ( 14750 ) <dredd@megacity.org> on Monday March 25, 2002 @10:03AM (#3220737) Homepage
    ... would be an Exchange SERVER replacement. I don't care WHAT desktop environment someone is using (and there are good arguments for why the average executive should NOT be using Linux), I don't want to have to manage an NT server to get the very nice functionality that Exchange offers in terms of calendaring, etc. None of the various open-source alternatives integrates nearly as well into the users workflow as Exchange/Outlook do.

    Zealots - grouse all you want about that criticism, but it's true.

    The suits aren't going to lose Outlook on their desktops, but if I could avoid having to manage an NT server to GIVE them that functionality that they need, that'd make my life a helluva lot more happy than knowing that some Linux box can connect to an NT Excange server...

    As it stands, we're already considering (eew) Lotus Bloats, because it can offer basically the same functionality, but do it from a Linux box as the server, which is important to us.

    • Take at look at Corporate Time from Steltor (www.steltor.com). We're currently evaluating it to replace Exchange 2000. It runs on Linux (and Soalris and HPUX and 2000) and provides better calendaring than Exchange does. They have native clients for Windows, Mac and Unix.

      They also have an Outlook client which uses an IMAP server to handle mail. To the user is looks like Outlook plugged in to Exchange, but you can run it all on Linux and way fewer machines than Exchange. It's not cheap, but it does seem to be a really good product.

  • Like most people, I assume, I work in a Windows dominated workplace, and while software products like this are great news, I am at a bit of a loss on how to promote them in my company.

    Is there a site or a HOWTO that gives hints on how to start getting the upper management in a company thinking about alternatives like this?
  • Of note, MS Exchange 2000 has a nice HTTP interface to it as well, works wonderfully in Galeon.

    Jeebus - the poor guy had to post the story as an Anonymous Coward just so he could say something nice about Exchange. You guys should be ashamed. ;-)
  • by iceT ( 68610 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @10:30AM (#3220867)
    Exchange2k WITH OWA enabled is the requirement? So I bet this isn't REALLY talking to the exchange server.. It must be doing SMTP/IMAP4/LDAP and using a Web-browser for calendar. Why the HELL would I want to pay $70 for that?

    Can anyone confirm that? What was $70+Evolution+galeon have that Evolution+Galeon doesn't have? One window? That's a lot of money to pay for one window...

    • As many others have said. The shared calendar resource in Outlook/Exchange is a killer. It really does make organising your day easier. Easily $70 easier. Having said that I am loathe to use something that parses the web page version of the calendar, if thats what it does, which seems possible given the need for OWA.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      from http://www.ximian.com/products/connector/faq.html

      Q: What features of Microsoft Exchange are supported?
      A: Ximian Connector enables Ximian Evolution to function as a Microsoft Exchange 2000 client by communicating with Microsoft Exchange 2000 servers through the WebDAV protocol. End user data, including email boxes, address books, calendars, and task lists can be stored directly on the Exchange Server. With Connector installed, Ximian Evolution also supports group scheduling, including free/busy time publishing, with other users who are using the Exchange server.

      So although evolution does support SMTP/IMAP4/LDAP Ximian Connector doesn't use them when talking to an e2k server. Going through WebDAV and using the scheduling features through evolution is nothing like using galeon and rendering HTML.
    • The Ximian Connector talks to Exchange 2000 via web-dav. Interestingly, Microsoft decided to group the options for web-dav and OWA together. You have to turn OWA on in order to get web-dav.

      Calendar, Mail, Tasks, and Contacts are all accessed through Exchange 2000's web-dav interface. The Global Address List is accessed through LDAP.

      This is the reason that the requirements are:

      • Ximian Evolution 1.0.3 or higher
      • An account on a Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server
      • OWA support activated
      I'm certainly biased, but the Connector feels smooth, integrated, and quick. And it certainly behaves itself very well. Here's a screenshot [ximian.com] .
  • How much let's say 100 Exchange licenses and 100 connectors ?
  • If prior experience is any guide [1], I think we can expect Microsoft to release a small change to the Exchange API with the next service pack that will break this Connector. The service pack will probably be labeled "security related fixes" as well so any attempt to get around the breakage will violate the DMCA and the DOJ Consent Decree. Oh well, it was a nice idea...


    [1] Novell Netware, Windows 95, MS Office 97 Service Pack 2.

    • I doubt it, here at a large 40k+ employee communication gear company it will get MS out of a line item on a contract that has been haunting them for almost a year, namely Linux and Sun support. They will be happy if Evolution works well enough so that the unix admins and geeks quit hounding them. (I told the Linux lead that he should have them negotiate MS into dropping the added cost for enabling OWA based on the fact that it is the only way that they can fulfill the contract.)
  • Great, now they just need a minimalistic Lotus Notes plugin for "standard" mail database access (maybe with local replication and archiving) and we're all set!

    Please god?
  • mechanism? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by psamuels ( 64397 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @11:16AM (#3221097) Homepage

    Anyone up for some free karma? Explain what mechanism this uses. Is it a meta-front-end for the OWA front-end, or does it actually use MSRPC?

    If the latter, what RPC implementation does it use? MSRPC is based on DCE/RPC, for which there is a free implementation [sf.net] on Sourceforge - I'm curious as to whether they're using that or something else.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...if all you want to do is access MS Exchange email from alternative (see -> non-MS) platforms.

    Sorry to burst everyones bubble, but MS has been providing access to Exchange via their free OWA (Outlook Web Access) addon for several years now.

    Any decent web browser with Java support can connect. This Corporate connector simply takes the parsed html from OWA (notice it requires an OWA instance to be running to work) and feeds it into Evolution.

    Don't get me wrong, if you like the way Evolution lays out your mail, and handles contacts then this might just be for you...but if all you're looking for is access to e-mail, then OWA, especially the Exchange 2000 edition does a pretty good job natively.

    I would have been more impressed if Ximian folks would have reversed engineered the MAPI protocol and made the connector using native MAPI...

    How much does anyone want to bet that MS breaks this with a disService Pack?
  • A DAV client (Score:2, Informative)

    by bergie ( 29834 )

    Since Exchange and Outlook 2000 are using WebDAV as their communications protocol, Ximian Connector is actually a WebDAV [webdav.org] client.

    I saw Greg Stein's WebDAV presentation in the Open Source CMS Conference [wyona.org]. It seems that a lot of companies are actually switching for WebDAV as their primary communications protocol. Greg mentioned at least Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. Good for interoperability.


  • Seems like Ximian could sell a lot of copies to Mac users if they had an OS X version.
  • I'm in favor of Red Hat, Mandrake, Ximian, whoever answering up with for pay solutions every now and then.

    There maybe a market to get people over from the MS camp. Answering an MS solution sometimes with a Linux based, although non-free solution. IT managers don't switch now because it's "free" anyways.

    If its a good product then let it stand on it's own and then let it pay for other free development.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."