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Thread: iCal attendee lookup using Zimbra directory

  1. #11
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    as a fairly crude workaround to this, I installed Textexpander and set up a list of company email addresses, and abbreviations for each. Now in iCal users can type someone's initials and Textexpander autocompletes the address. As we only have around 30 users, it works fine, but I dont think it will be practical for those with large user lists.

  2. #12
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    This seems to be largely an Apple issue but I wonder if this ought to be posted as an RFE. At minimum couldn't there be a way to use iSync to download the GAL into a local address book, without having to ask Apple to change anything?

    Ah, I see this has already been entered: Bug 30858 - iSync - add sync of GAL

    I suggest that this is worth voting for as an interim solution.

    These also seem relevant (and I voted for them); not sure if they've been mentioned earlier in this thread:

    Bug 33486 - supprot iCal to do attendee lookup
    Bug 26619 - Include necessary LDAP attributes to provide ical oattendee lookups
    Last edited by ewilen; 01-27-2009 at 01:54 PM.

  3. #13
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    Default Slightly Kludgy Workaround

    Hi All,

    I figured out a workaround for this issue in my office, but it's not nearly as elegant as I was hoping for.

    I just gave up on finding a solution integrated with Zimbra and set up a Open Directory-style OpenLDAP server on another machine. Though they are intended for setting up Apple's Calendar Server, the instructions at applecalendarserver [Me Admin!] explain quite well how to create an Open Directory mimic using vanilla OpenLDAP.

    With that running, I just slapped together a php script which takes the Zimbra users via LDAP and reads them into the Open Directory-style LDAP. (It gets run by cron once a day.) I've attached the script to this post as a .txt file, but it would properly have .php as its extension.

    I know there are much better ways of doing this, but given that it only affected auto-completion in one program, I didn't have the resources to get anything better going. I hope it's useful to someone though.

    Cheers.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #14
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    Thanks for posting that. Maybe Zimbra's built-in LDAP could be enhanced using your efforts as a basis?

    In any case I hope I'll be able to try and set it up next week.

  5. #15
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    seanw, thanks for the hack. It made me think of another one. It should be possible to setup an OpenLDAP server to proxy another server. There are several examples out there using an OpenLDAP as proxy for an AD. I'm sure it should be possible to do for Zimbra's LDAP.

    Come to think of it. I'm sure that it could also be done for Samba integration. This way you don't have to mess with Zimbra's schemas and therefor it's easier to upgrade/reinstall.

  6. #16
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    Setting up seanw's hack is proving more challenging than I'd anticipated, mainly because I'm a neophyte with slapd and LDAP in general.

    I'm hoping that by posting here I'll get him to come back, or that someone else can build off of what I've done.

    My notes can be found at Ewilen-Notes - Zimbra :: Wiki

    If people can feed me tips (here, via PM, in the wiki page or discussion), I'll continue working on the setup and edit my notes into something which will (hopefully) be generally useful.

    In the bug for this issue it's been suggested that the version of iCal in Snow Leopard may fix the problem. But I'd like to get this working at least as a stopgap. I'll be demoing Zimbra in a couple weeks, with iCal as one possible client, and it would be great to be able to show it working smoothly.

  7. #17
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    Just a quick note to report success in this area. I hope to post more complete instructions (including modifications to support locations and resources), but for now I want to alert readers to a major sticking point I ran into, in case anyone else is trying this.

    In zimtood, one of the variables you need to configure is $od_base = 'cn=people,dc=example,dc=org'

    I was setting this to 'cn=people,dc=zimbra,dc=company,dc=com'. (The dc attributes are just by way of example.)

    The problem is that as far as I can tell, iCal lookups (for autocompletion as well as searches in the Address Panel) are performed on the base cn=users,dc=zimbra,dc=company,dc=com.

    So once I changed the line to $od_base = 'cn=users,dc=zimbra,dc=company,dc=com' and reran zimtood, things started working.

    My copy of Address Book was now seeing double on its lookups via Directory Services, though. I suspect this is because Address Book uses both cn=people and cn=users in its searches.

    Going back and manually deleting the previously-created objects under the cn=people branch fixed this. Apache Directory Studio was very useful in this whole process, even though I've started to get the hang of the command-line ldap commands.

    EDIT: I gather the reason for the "people" branch in OD, and why Address Book searches it while iCal doesn't, is that "people" is for folks outside of your organization--or at least, people whom you don't want to have show up in your iCal autocompletion. One nice thing about the way Sean wrote zimtood is that it only replaces objects in the branch specified by $od_base. So if you do add objects under "people", zimtood won't mess with them once you use cn=users in $od_base.
    Last edited by ewilen; 03-04-2009 at 09:57 AM.

  8. #18
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    Well, as time went by and I proceeded to actually install Zimbra, there were bigger fish to fry than implementing the workaround in production and documenting it. Still, I'll post here to confirm that after being upgraded to Snow Leopard, my Mac's iCal 4.0 does indeed perform autocompletion based on both the Zimbra GAL and local Address Book entries.

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