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Thread: Some feedback...

  1. #1
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    Default Some feedback...

    Hiya,

    I have three test installs going at the moment with some focus groups with the intention of rolling out Zimbra to replace our Squirrelmail setup. I've had some fairly good feedback from two of them with the other just getting off the ground after some teething problems and a couple of gripes which are probably more useful to share.

    1. It's been mentioned before with the general consensus being that they will be incorporated at some point so I won't dwell on this but tasks are a much missed feature in Zimbra.

    2. Documents. I realize they are in beta still but while they offer some really good opportunities, their implementation is a little akward it was felt. The notion of the "Notebook" organizational structure isn't really as intuitive as one might think, particularly to people who are used to a file and folder organizational method.

    One major question was why can you embed a spreadsheet in a document but you cannot create a document that is exclusively a spreadsheet (Such as an Excel file is).

    3. Understandably you cannot have the documents feature in the basic client but it would be good if you could at least still read them if not create them.

    4. You can't share email inboxes or folders. Or at least if you can I am utterly missing where you do this. This is a big let down as a shared sales inbox is not a possibility.

    5. Sharing of documents and calenders is messy. It was felt that if you share your calender with another user, it should just become visible in a users calender list. The whole inviting a person to view your calender concept meant that quite a few users where not even aware they had permission to view someone else's calender.

    Here is an example of what I mean. Manager A shares his calender with the "Managers" group and sends out the invitation to share the calender to the group. The other managers receive the email and add his calender.

    However after this has been done, User X, User Y and User Z get elevated to the status of managers and get put into the Managers group. However because they are not aware of Manager A's existence and vice versa, they do not get access to Managers A's calender because they never got the email and Manager A will not know to send it to them...

    The same issue applies to documents and address books.

    A much much better system would be if you have shared something with a group or individual, they see it by default the minute you share it or they become part of the group you have shared it with.

    6. There is no year view in the calender. Unhelpful if you need an overall picture or you are plotting when to take your annual leave, training days, etc.

    Overall everything else went down very well. :-)

    Keffa

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    Hiya,

    1. It's been mentioned before with the general consensus being that they will be incorporated at some point so I won't dwell on this but tasks are a much missed feature in Zimbra.
    Yep. It's comin.

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    2. Documents. I realize they are in beta still but while they offer some really good opportunities, their implementation is a little akward it was felt. The notion of the "Notebook" organizational structure isn't really as intuitive as one might think, particularly to people who are used to a file and folder organizational method.

    One major question was why can you embed a spreadsheet in a document but you cannot create a document that is exclusively a spreadsheet (Such as an Excel file is).
    Because the the document is actually HTML, just like a wiki. The spreadsheet function is independent, and we're sort of merged them.
    I think that would be an excellent feature to request. I can't make any specific promises, but it sounds like a good idea. Will you fill out a feature request?

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    3. Understandably you cannot have the documents feature in the basic client but it would be good if you could at least still read them if not create them.
    Another good idea. Feature request?

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    4. You can't share email inboxes or folders. Or at least if you can I am utterly missing where you do this. This is a big let down as a shared sales inbox is not a possibility.
    It's defenetly a possibility, just not available.
    We're working on that as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    5. Sharing of documents and calenders is messy. It was felt that if you share your calender with another user, it should just become visible in a users calender list. The whole inviting a person to view your calender concept meant that quite a few users where not even aware they had permission to view someone else's calender.

    Here is an example of what I mean. Manager A shares his calender with the "Managers" group and sends out the invitation to share the calender to the group. The other managers receive the email and add his calender.

    However after this has been done, User X, User Y and User Z get elevated to the status of managers and get put into the Managers group. However because they are not aware of Manager A's existence and vice versa, they do not get access to Managers A's calender because they never got the email and Manager A will not know to send it to them...
    Why would user x, y, and z get elevated to the status of managers if they don't get an invite? Anytime someone adds a share, the receiver gets an e-mail with a notification. I'm still a little unclear on this.

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    6. There is no year view in the calender. Unhelpful if you need an overall picture or you are plotting when to take your annual leave, training days, etc.
    Feature Enhancement.

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    Overall everything else went down very well. :-)
    Great!

    -john

  3. #3
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    For #2, please see bug # 12854, and vote for it.

    http://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=12854

    This bug asks for exactly what you are referring to, I believe. That is, the ability to actually store documents (Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDFs, etc.) without having to put them in a notebook page, which is somewhat counter-intuitive and requires more work on the part of the user. This is basically requesting a document sharing system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mclark View Post
    For #2, please see bug # 12854, and vote for it.

    http://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=12854

    This bug asks for exactly what you are referring to, I believe. That is, the ability to actually store documents (Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDFs, etc.) without having to put them in a notebook page, which is somewhat counter-intuitive and requires more work on the part of the user. This is basically requesting a document sharing system.
    It's not exactly the same (Although that feature would be cool). It's more of a case where if you can't seem to create a Spreadsheet file. Instead you have to start a new document and embed a spreadsheet to actually create a spreadsheet document. It would be better served allowing you to create a document that is a true spreadsheet.

    Keffa

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    Quote Originally Posted by jholder View Post
    Why would user x, y, and z get elevated to the status of managers if they don't get an invite? Anytime someone adds a share, the receiver gets an e-mail with a notification. I'm still a little unclear on this.
    User X, Y and Z will have been promoted to the managers group for any reason you can think of. Such as they have been promoted from normal members of staff to managers, they are covering for some managers, etc.

    The point is that should they find the need to browse Manager A's calender, they will not be able to do so because his invitation to access his calender was sent to the Managers group before they joined and hence did not receive it. Therefore although by being part of the group they have permission to browse his calender, they can't see it.

    If of course they all knew of each other, it would be no great deal as it is merely a case of manager A sending another invitation email again, but if he didn't then it would cause problems.

  6. #6
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    Default flushing out one of your ideas...

    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    Hiya,
    5. Sharing of documents and calenders is messy. It was felt that if you share your calender with another user, it should just become visible in a users calender list. The whole inviting a person to view your calender concept meant that quite a few users where not even aware they had permission to view someone else's calender.
    Keffa
    I think the current system works ~pretty~ well, but, there is definitely room for improvement. One thought that occurred to me is that in the case of calendars and address books, you could simply have a collapsed folder with the twisty at the top or bottom of your list of calendars/addressbooks that said something like 'shared to you but not displayed'. Then, you could simply drag it out of there to your main list of calendars/addressbooks.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdell View Post
    I think the current system works ~pretty~ well, but, there is definitely room for improvement. One thought that occurred to me is that in the case of calendars and address books, you could simply have a collapsed folder with the twisty at the top or bottom of your list of calendars/addressbooks that said something like 'shared to you but not displayed'. Then, you could simply drag it out of there to your main list of calendars/addressbooks.

    Thoughts?
    That would work. The main thing though is that it removes the two stage and two party interaction needed to share a calender or address book. Another point to consider is that in the example I gave, I used only three people. Imagine if you had between ten and twenty people a week or even a day joining the group! Sharing your calender would become a labour intensive task!

    Another issue demonstrated in my example I gave is imagine if the managers group comprises of 250 people. And then Person G gets promoted to a manager and joins the group...and all of the existing 250 managers share their calender with him!!!! He could be there a while! Same thing would go for everyone really if everyone re-shared their calender with the managers group say once a month to reshare it with any new managers that have joined.
    Last edited by keffa; 03-21-2007 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Clarified last paragraph

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by keffa View Post
    That would work. The main thing though is that it removes the two stage and two party interaction needed to share a calender or address book. Another point to consider is that in the example I gave, I used only three people. Imagine if you had between ten and twenty people a week or even a day joining the group! Sharing your calender would become a labour intensive task!

    Another issue demonstrated in my example I gave is imagine if the managers group comprises of 250 people. And then Person G gets promoted to a manager and joins the group...and all of the existing 250 managers share their calender with him!!!! He could be there a while! Same thing would go for everyone really if everyone re-shared their calender with the managers group say once a month to reshare it with any new managers that have joined.
    That is why you share your calendar to a distribution list and not to individuals (unless necessary). When the administrator adds/removes people from that list, the share is updated as appropriate. And that is why the approach I suggested is useful, because for someone new added to a dist list, they would see new shares and be able to add/view them without requesting that people 'resend' their invites, or have to guess the info through 'link to shared calendar' feature.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdell View Post
    That is why you share your calendar to a distribution list and not to individuals (unless necessary). When the administrator adds/removes people from that list, the share is updated as appropriate. And that is why the approach I suggested is useful, because for someone new added to a dist list, they would see new shares and be able to add/view them without requesting that people 'resend' their invites, or have to guess the info through 'link to shared calendar' feature.
    Exactly!! With the current system though this would be a whole lot of work so hopefully they will take it onboard. I have one distribution list that will have 220 users or thereabouts if I use Zimbra in production, can you imagine someone being added to that distribution list and having all those share invites land in your mailbox!

  10. #10
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    Default documents troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by mclark View Post
    For #2, please see bug # 12854, and vote for it.

    http://bugzilla.zimbra.com/show_bug.cgi?id=12854

    This bug asks for exactly what you are referring to, I believe. That is, the ability to actually store documents (Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, PDFs, etc.) without having to put them in a notebook page, which is somewhat counter-intuitive and requires more work on the part of the user. This is basically requesting a document sharing system.
    I had quite a bit of trouble at first to figure out how to create and store a document. I can't really find any documentation on the website or the wiki (maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I've been trying for hours), and even when I called and spoke to a sales rep, they couldn't figure it out. I believe they had to ask a technical rep person while I was on hold. This tells me that there's something critically wrong with the feature.

    So, my question is, how many votes does a bug need before it's addressed either as a bug or a feature enhancement? I would have to strongly agree with the comments that the documents feature is, in its current state, not intuitive. I am currently evaluating Zimbra to use in my organization which will have upwards of thousands of users. The document sharing is a major piece of functionality that I'm hoping to use as part of our virtual office, and right now, I would be hesitant to even use it. It seems that Zimbra has crammed document storage into their concept of Notebooks... and although (here comes the positive in this negative post) I like the possibilities of creating RTF notes, attaching documents, and sharing them... the document storage and access should be its own feature. I've been in the usability field for years and it would be a magnificent feet to move people away from the traditional folder-document approach.
    -Dan

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