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Mac Calendaring Solutions? 80

ubercombatwombat asks: "I have been tasked with providing groupware for the administrative office at the school district, for which I am the network admin. Laetly, I have been searching in vain for an Entourage compatible groupware calendar solution. We have Communigate Pro, which was supposed to support Entorage by now, but doesn't. Meanwhile, I have placed HP 2410 iPaq's with The Missing Sync for PocketPC on the 10 desktops without groupware. Secretaries use Apple Remote Desktop, a few times a day, to update their bosses Entourage calendar. It is not the best solution, but it is all I can come up with, at the moment. Incidentally, we also have Brown Bear Software's excellent iCal product (yes, Apple licensed the 'iCal' name from them), but Brown Bear doesn't work with Entourage or Apple's iCal in a groupware role. As far as Exchange goes, I'd rather not use it. Does anyone have a Mac OS X groupware solution?"
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Mac Calendaring Solutions?

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  • by Urd ( 198177 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:33PM (#14747356)
  • Kerio (Score:5, Informative)

    by akac ( 571059 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:40PM (#14747375) Homepage
    Try Kerio's mail server if you must host your own. Or for hosted Exchange. I personally use CGPro as well because we need a solid mail backbone that is easy to administer, but otherwise we'd probably go with Kerio or Both support Entourage in groupware mode as well as Outlook.
    • Re:Kerio (Score:3, Informative)

      by CptTripps ( 196901 )
      I REALLY agree. We had CommuniGate for years, and got sick of the licensing BS, and the lack of support for programs like you state above. Kerio is a GREAT app...and...

      It supports iCal...and Address book...and does it well.

      Not cheap, but if you already own are used to that. If you ask me, Stalker missed the mark by a MILE. the rested too long, and I can see Kerio taking a LARGE chunk of their already small marketplace.
    • Re:Kerio (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I use Kerio and I'm in exactly the same position you are. It's wonderfull, it supposedly works with entorage and outlook, but we just tell everyone to use the webmail. It supports all the same features as entorage and outlook, so why use a client at all? It also can host your calendars for ical, which means that with the phpicalendar project you can provide awesome calendars for your school's website without dual entry. We have plans for using public calendars in our kerio mail server to track everythin
    • you can download a trail for 30 days unlimted in very way from []

  • CalTalk (Score:5, Informative)

    by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:45PM (#14747393) Homepage Journal
    While this doesn't solve your problem it may interest /. macheads out there....

    CalTalk [] is a 'Bonjour' enabling app for iCal that lets you automatically share and find shared iCal calendars on the network. It only works on the local subnet because that's all Bonjour supports but that's just right for at home or at work use... ...though it does allow you to share iCal shares you've subscribed to from the internet ;-p which is nice, cause you can basically set up one Mac as a calendar server and have it subscribe to all the various published iCal files from external urls and share them out to the subnet for everyone else.

    And of course it's a Free as in Beer app you can download now.

    p.s. I'm not affiliated w/ the developer in any way

  • Why not looking for Unix groupware solutions? Don't narrow your mind by only looking for Mac OS X.

    Or how about web-based solutions?

    • How about their workstations run Mac OS X, so that's the platform on which the software for which they're looking runs?
      • by ScuzzMonkey ( 208981 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @01:50AM (#14747798) Homepage
        I dunno if this is what the grandparent was getting at, or if you are ignorant as to the BSD underpinnings of OS X and the relative ease of compiling *nix based code for it, but there is an awful lot of Unix-based software that has already been ported over to OS X via the DarwinPorts, Fink, and other projects, so it's not really a bad suggestion. I use a lot of desktop programs on my Mac which are traditionally associated with Linux and might not turn up in a search for OS X only software--but they work great on my Powerbook. I can't say for server-side solutions but it's certainly worth taking a look.
      • I hate to break it to you, but Mac OS X is Unix!

  • Zimbra. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:46PM (#14747397)
  • Online Calendar (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_bahua ( 411625 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:48PM (#14747406) Homepage Journal
    Your situation sounds like it's ideal for an online calendar. The newly-released AJAXified 30 Boxes [] is a great little online calendar, and is definitely worth a look.
  • by mr_burns ( 13129 ) on Friday February 17, 2006 @11:56PM (#14747430) 1&mode=thread []

    You may want to use the search on that site with a few other keywords. This subject comes along every once in a while so there's likely more than one thread about it.
  • by dn15 ( 735502 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:17AM (#14747488)
    Check out Now Up-to-Date and Contact. It's not exactly my favorite program, but it does the job. There's also a Windows version in case you have and PCs that need to connect. []
  • My last long-term consulting gig used an OS X Server used to publish iCal calendars from their computer. Each computer/user had 1 public and 1 private calendar. It utilized WebDav, and was passworded.

    From there, other people subscribed to the public calendars.

    I can't recall whether there was an option to allow others to edit your calendar, but you can allow them to view notes or have them get the alarms from your published calendar, and they were visible from the web as long as the server was web-accessib
  • by jcr ( 53032 )
    Check out this app. [] It's generally well-regarded in the Mac community. Does rather more than calendaring, though.

  • Zimbra attempts to provide this (and much, much more): []
  • Ha!!! (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by dslauson ( 914147 )
    Mark me off topic or troll if you like, but I have to say it...

    You know it's Friday night in nerdtown when there are four back to back "Ask Slashdots".
  • Maybe Novell Groupwise or IBM lotus domino? ($$$)

      I've heard Kerio is good, but I've never used it.
  • Meeting Maker (Score:3, Informative)

    by KerberosKing ( 801657 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @01:36AM (#14747749)
    Meeting Maker [] the server runs on Windows, Mac, Solaris or Linux. Native clients for Macs and PCs, Web clients for anything with a decent browser. Lots of good features like iCal or outlook integration, PDA sync, all sorts of cool bits.
  • I'll admit I don't have any real experience with it, but as I understand it, iCal supports webDAV servers other than .mac; Perhaps you could "roll your own" webDAV server, which both entorage and ical talk to?
  • Linux box (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Udo Schmitz ( 738216 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @04:26AM (#14748292) Journal
    In our office (multimedia/public sector) we are right now in the process to decide on a groupware solution. We have Macs and Windows-PCs and right now people use different e-mail-clients and use a very old version of Now-Uptodate. After comparing an upgrade to this with MS Exchange and OSS solutions I recommended a Linux-PC based solution with either Open Xchange or Open Groupware. We "outsorced" this to a small local company who will decide what exactly will be used. They'll sell us a machine with everything build and configured to our needs and give us an introduction. We then will use it through a web-interface.

    I'm a Machead myself but I think this is the best solution, it surely was the cheapest and will run on everything with a webbrowser. And it is the savest solution for the future. Right now there are some people who want to change everything from Mac to Windows, who knows if in a few years our city switches to Linux?

    • After comparing an upgrade to this with MS Exchange and OSS solutions I recommended a Linux-PC based solution with either Open Xchange or Open Groupware.

      OpenGroupware is still in beta; has been for years. The Outlook and Palm plugins for Open Xchange are commercial.

      Also, I'm a Linux sysadmin, and unless the company building the linux box really knows what they're doing, you can't really treat it like an appliance. Additionally, both projects on their own strike me as immature (ie some monitoring and s

    • I know you are going for a F/OSS solution, but I can't say enough good about the smartermail [] server it's .Net based, so it requires a windows based server (2003 web edition is pretty reasonably priced, and will work)... the latest version supports outlook integration, and iirc iCal/WebDav and LDAP support for calendar and contacts... I'm using the 2.x version myself, but will probably upgrade in the next few months.

      Honestly, imho it's the best interface outside of outlook web 2003 (slick), or gmail (simp
  • by Lproven ( 6030 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @07:03AM (#14748606) Homepage Journal
    Sticking with Entourage may be a problem, though.

    You might want to look at or evaluate these:

    Crm4Mc 2.0 []

    DayChaser : Econ Technologies er/daychaser_overview.html []

    DayLite : Marketcircle []

    ecOrganizer []

    intuiware : HotPlan []

    Now Software : Now up to date []

    Organizer software by CSoftLabs []

    Pure Mac : Personal Information Managers [] - Formation []

    SOHO Organizer tml []

    OD4Contact []

  • Oracle [] also has a multi-platform product - Oracle Calendar - that is part of their Collaboration Suite (which includes email, calendaring, PDA sync, etc...). It's not free, but Oracle has fairly generous licensing terms for schools. They also offer it in a hosted environment for low monthly fees. It'll do everything you want and more, and they are constantly working on providing enhanced support for applications that are part of the respective operating systems.
  • by pelorus ( 463100 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:03AM (#14749312)
    There's some work being done on this - using iCal on Mac OS X as proper groupware using SyncServices. Initial release will support Mac OS X only - further releases will link to Sunbird and Vista Calendar. Just started investigating the possibilities of linking to other online calendaring solutions (30boxes etc). There is a working prototype but it's not released yet. Stuff will be posted on sourceforge as well. []

    (Warning: Link is to a blog. And yes, I'm involved in this. So, this is almost a cheap shill advert!)
  • from Open Text ( [] They have a free fully functioning intro-server. It is a full workgroup solution, server can be Mac OS X, Windows or Linux and it serves all af those platforms. We have been using it for years.
    • FirstClass is a great option, and one that I forgot to mention in my post below. I looked at it for us, but the main problem was I found the client to be somewhat non-intuitive and non-OS X-like. (when creating a new email, the first line is "subject", not "to:"? huh?) Plus, it does way more that we need (which is just email/contacts/calendar). Still, it's a worthy option, just not for us (nor for this guy, from the sound of it).
    • We've been using FirstClass since mid 90's and it has evolved from a BBS system to a groupware solution. I run the systems on a university department with about 700-800 students and 40 in the staff. We also run the distance learning for a different department thru the web interface. Why you should try it: You get mail, conferencing, common and individual: calendars, documents, adressbooks, a webserver that can be used as a publishing system, etc etc. Check it out on ahref= []
  • by rtorkian ( 810428 ) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:39AM (#14749444)
    I went through a similar process recently for our all-OS X org (35 people/3 offices).

    After LOTS of searching, I gave up on the all-in-one groupware solution and decided to pick individual apps that just do what we need, nothing more. There is no good groupware solution w/ a full client for OS X outside of Exchange/E'rage and Notes; this is a big hole someone should fill.

    I chose Communigate Pro for email, because it's solid, and I don't want to spend precious time fooling w/ a cranky email server. Exchange was out, it's expensive, and I have zero experience (or desire) adminning it or windows server. It was either CGP or Kerio, and Kerio has more groupware features, but when I looked, Kerio was having some pretty serious bug/stability issues--this was pre 6.1 I think. The support forums were a bloodbath, and I didn't need that headache.

    For calendaring, we're currently testing Meeting Maker. Native OS X client, web interface too, it does calendaring and little else. People like it so far.

    Even w/ individual programs, the administrative burden can be lessened by support for LDAP authentication. Both CGP and Meeting Maker support this (MM w/ an extra bundle).

    If I were you, I'd drop the requirement for Entourage integration, and find standalone solutions that best fit your need. Even just using Meeting Maker would be a huge improvement over what you have now.
    • Well, your searching missed a good one. As someone else pointed out, Oracle Calendar is a great product. Oracle bough Stelltor's Corporate Time and integrated it into their collaboration suite. I like the way that Oracle's product works. I can't stand how with Exchange that if I don't use the heinous Entourage program, I need to be careful not to delete meeting invites, for if I do, it is gone forever...

      There are many other things that drive me crazy about Exchange... I personally like how there is a separa
      • I did look at the Oracle Collab suite, and I have heard good things about it.... but it's WAY WAY overkill for us. To get the calendar you have to get either the Unified Messaging package or the full Collaboration Suite, both of which include other stuff we just don't need.

        Even as a complete solution, either package is too much for our 35 person org. Maybe if we were 10x that, and more tech-oriented, it'd be up our alley.
  • I does calendars, project management, wiki, issue tracking, email, etc. It's a great app, fully web based and it now uses AJAX. Give it a try. []
    • Web-based PIMS are pretty much useless in any organization having mobile users. How is one supposed to view or make adds/changes/deletions to PIM data if they don't happen to be net connected at a given moment (say on a plane or something)?

  • Have you checked out []? It's a complete OSS email, contact, calendaring solution. I'm not sure about the Entourage integration, but it does have outlook integration in the commercial version. I'd be surprised that it doesn't work. It does come with an AJAX interface that's well worth looking into as an addition/replacement for entourage.
    tachijuan []
  • open your requirements to include other platforms. i've tackled this problem several times in the last five years for different employers. it seems like it's a holy grail when i speak with others that have similar needs, even with folks who have already deployed commercial groupware products. being too narrow to the mac will bite you in the ass later. at the very least consider a system that is both mac and pc compliant.

    consider an all web deployment, one that does not require specific software on the clien
  • Zimbra (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Aron S-T ( 3012 )
    Zimbra [] is a neat new open source offering that is very Mac OS X friendly, integrates with just about everything and runs on OS X server and various Linux flavors.
  • Groupwise has an awesome feature set and a very nice Java-based
    client that runs great on Linux and MacOS-X. It basically has all
    the features of Exchange and more, without the administration
    hassles and it runs on Linux servers.

    You look like you're at an educational institution, which means you
    can probably get their ALA pricing (only $5k/year for several hundred
    • We tried Novell Groupwise on SUSE Enterprise with Linux and Windows clients. Firstly the groupwise server was VERY unstable on SUSE Enterprise. Secondly the Java client for Groupwise is unstable and lacks many features. Their support for Evolution sucks. In short, we dropped Groupwise after a month and converted to Kerio mail server in two days. Kerio is a wornderfull experience.
      • For us (as per management), it was either Exchange or a solution by a
        major vendor that offered all of the features of Exchange. That
        equals Groupwise. What version did you have trouble with? Beyond us, I know of a couple other companies running GW v7 on SUSE and it's rock
        solid for all.

  • Hava look at []. It is still just a demo but if there is enough interest the service might be released.
  • Go with MeetingMaker. It's not the prettiest, but its the most reliable we've tried. We also use(d) Kerio as another person here recommended, it's crap, don't bother.

    MeetingMaker (I think they just changed their name to PeopleCube) is solid on all its platforms (OS X/OS9; Windows; and the Web Client). Also has Palm conduits, and can interface with Blackberry and WinCE with Intellisync.
  • If you're willing to consider an on-demand, SaaS solution, which would be available through any Internet-connected Mac (or PC), take a look at NetOffice -- [] It has all the features of Entourage or Outlook but adds a slew of other contact, communications, and file sharing capabilities.
  • Let me highjack this for a moment and expand to the Windows platform -

    Are there any decent calendaring applications that let me /subscribe/ to online calendars?

    Plenty of programs will import iCal calendars (which seems to be the most popular format), but it's a one-time thing. I'm looking for something more like RSS - import what's there now, and check back on a regular basis for updates.

    Importing isn't very helpful if I have to do it manually every couple days.

    I think the time is ripe for a new kind of ca
  • Calendering is a real mess

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith