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Thread: Zimbra or Zimbra Desktop as an Outlook/Entourage Replacement?

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  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Zimbra or Zimbra Desktop as an Outlook/Entourage Replacement?

    I've googled for nearly an hour to get the info I'm looking for, so now I'm asking here for advice.

    I've been looking into using Zimbra or Zimbra Desktop as a Calendaring/eMailing/Contacts replacement to OUtlook or Entourage, or, for that matter, the separate Mail, iCal, and Address Book apps which come with Mac OS X (I dislike having the functionality in separate apps).

    Really not wanting to use MS Office (no deep political reasons, I'm just happy with Open Office/NeoOffice and try to go openb source whenever it's available and efficient), I have been looking into Zimbra.

    Formerly, I was using SugarCRM, a PHP-based CRM, and found it worked pretty decently, but Zimbra is simply MUCH more robust and offers iSync integration.

    -However, as a JSP developer, I already have instances of Tomcat and MySQL installed and running on my little G4 iBook, and am wondering if installing separate instances would bog things down.
    I didn't have this issue with Sugar, as it comes as a thin install and you configure everything to run on your preinstalled RDBMS.

    If nothing else, I had considered installing the Zimbra server on my workstation at home, then the desktop version on my laptop (though I'm sure it also installs its own Tomcat and MySQL... but maybe a leaner install?). Also, as it's a web app, I could probably even access it from an iPhone via Safari, which would, for lack of more eloquent terms, rock my socks off.

    This would also serve as beta-testing, as I work as a web and network administrator and the business is always looking for ways to 1:save money, and 2:stick it to the man (I work for aging hippies), and the current open source options for just about everything are pretty amazing these days.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Well, my first comment would be that you really need to consider that Zimbra is much more than a Outlook/Entourage client replacement. Zimbra is a complete online collaboration suite comparable to Exchange, Domino, Groupwise, Scalix, etc. You need to look at the server part of it as well. I would suggest instead of googling that you look at the various pages and documentation on the Zimbra site to get a better understanding of it.

    If you decide that Zimbra is what you are looking for I would highly recommend installing the server part on a dedicated machine. You can also look into the Zimbra hosting partners.

    As far as at the client level, your choice of using the Zimbra web client or the Zimbra Desktop really depends on whether you need offline access to your email. If so, the Desktop is the way to go. However, at this time the Desktop is only alpha software, so be prepared for bugs and missing features.

    One last thing. You mention iSync integration. This is only available with the Network Edition (paid) version of Zimbra. Again a hosting partner may be the way to go if this is important to you.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    Thanks, though I assure you I am quite aware that it is more than just a replacement for Outlook and Entourage (as I also was when using SugarCRM), however, my consideration for the time being is to use it as such and get to know it better before considering a larger deployment.

    That said, it looks like the Desktop version doesn't run on PowerPC architecture... so that's out for now, and I'd like to be able to use it offline.
    I guess at the worst I can go ahead and install the open source version and see how well it runs. If not well, I can always uninstall. I was just hoping to gather more info first.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2006
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    I realize it states "Intel" in the online Quick Start, but it may be a good idea to add it to the download link (ie: Apple:Intel, 21mb instead of Apple, 21mb).
    It's become common practice these days to annotate on the download page whether or not the app is Universal.

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