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Thread: FirstClass 9 to Zimbra

  1. #1
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    Default FirstClass 9 to Zimbra

    I am really considering moving from Firstclass to Zimbra and I am having all kinds of problems trying to sync from FC to Zimbra. The problems aren't on Zimbra's end, but on FC's end.

    I have tried to use imapsync, but since FC has a broken implementation for IMAP it is only partially helpful.

    I guess my question is has anyone out there successfully migrated from FC to Zimbra, and if so what did you have to live with?

    Here is what I have figured out so far:

    1. Contacts have to manually exported and imported
    2. Sent email is not seen through the IMAP interface so it can't be transfered
    3. Date format trouble with FC has forced me to not use the --syncinternaldates tag
    4. Folders can been seen but their contents can't be. If I create a conference with the same name as the folder in the inbox and move all email from the folder into the conference, then it works.

    If anyone has any tips it would be greatly appreciated...

    Thanks,

    JL

  2. #2
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    We'll be migrating one school from a FirstClass pilot to Zimbra in the fall.

    Currently, our migration plan is ... leave it up to the user to manually forward stuff to their Zimbra account that they want to keep. We've fount, the hard way, that FC is a data sink (easy to get stuff into, next to impossible to get things out of).

    Don't bother with imapsync, it won't work. FC IMAP is broken. Period. Even their product manager Scott Welch agrees that IMAP is broken (his suggestion for using IMAP is to have two separate FC accounts, one you access via the client, one you access via IMAP, and don't ever mix the two). They have no plans to fix IMAP, but will gladly advertise it as working in all their product literature.

    You may be able to grab mailbox contents if you move all messages into the INBOX, mark them all as unread, and then use a POP3 client to pull the messages out. However, that is a lot of work, if someone has a bunch of folders/conferences under their mailbox.

    And there's no way to grab conferences data (non-mailbox data).

    We haven't even looked at exporting contacts or calendars. Theoretically, this should be easy, as there are export functions available. But we're thinking we may just leave the FC server running for a year after moving to Zimbra, so that users can access their old data. And after that time, just killing the FC server completely. Save us all a lot of time and effort.

    This is one of the beauties of Zimbra: standards-compliant access to all the data, in all parts of the system!! Easy to migrate data into *AND* out of the system.
    Freddie

  3. #3
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    Yeah this is one of main reasons we are switching. It seems to me that FC goes out of its way to make things not work.

    Also so you know if you make a conference in the mailbox you can export them using imapsync as if they were a folder. Contacts export just fine as long as you don't need groups. They export as csv and then Zimbra can import them.

    I was just hoping someone figured out how to get the information out of the hole that is FC...

    Thanks Freddie, at least I know my experience with FC just wasn't me. There are bunch of schools in my area that just love it and think it is the best system ever.

    JL

  4. #4
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    We have migrated from FirstClass to Zimbra at the end of 2008. Exporting contacts and importing them into Zimbra was no problem. We did not use the FirstClass Calendar (migrated a Meetingmaker setup into Zimbra).

    But we gave up on emails. no way to get the mails out of FirstClass and into Zimbra in an acceptable way. Therefore we told our users ->
    - manually forward, whatever you need, into the Zimbra account
    - we leave the Firstclass server running throughout 2009, so they can access the old mails if needed. so far nobody complained. and at the end of the year we will shutdown Firstclass for good after having used it for 16 years.......

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlivezey1999 View Post
    Thanks Freddie, at least I know my experience with FC just wasn't me. There are bunch of schools in my area that just love it and think it is the best system ever.
    If you have a team of full-time personnel that do nothing but manage the FC servers, and develop within the FC frameworks, then it can do amazing things. But if you don't have full-time people (1 person is *not* enough if you are doing anything beyond e-mail and calendars) to look after it, then it's more trouble than it's worth.
    Freddie

  6. #6
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    This might be a stupid question, but how do you set it up so that you can forward to the new server. Won't you have the same email address on both servers? I am guessing I would have to strip out the aliases out of FC so I could forward to my new server...

    Thanks,

    JL

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fcash View Post
    If you have a team of full-time personnel that do nothing but manage the FC servers, and develop within the FC frameworks, then it can do amazing things. But if you don't have full-time people (1 person is *not* enough if you are doing anything beyond e-mail and calendars) to look after it, then it's more trouble than it's worth.
    It may do amazing things, but its lack of support for the most basic things would make it a no go for even if I had a team to make it work (IMAP, HTML based email, etc...).

    To be honest I don't trust it, and as you said before it is almost impossible to get any data out so why would anyone want to put more in?

    JL

  8. #8
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    We use sub-domains for each of our mail servers (fc.domain.com, zimbra.domain.com, mail.domain.com, webmail.domain.dom). Everyone's e-mail address is just user@domain.com. We have a separate mail gateway in front of everything that handles anti-virus and spam scanning duties. On there, we have a canonical mapping table that routes people's @domain.com mail to the correct server.

    To forward to themselves, they have to be given the "non-canonical"/server-specific address (user@zimbra.sd73.bc.ca). Forwarding to that address will deliver it to the correct server.

    It's a bit of a complicated setup, as we've transitioned between mail servers several times over the past 7 years (POP3 to IMAP to webmail to zimbra test to FC pilot to zimbra pilot to hopefully zimbra). We tried to minimise the disruption to the end-user as much as possible (always keep the same e-mail address, username, and password). Once we go live with Zimbra, things will get a lot simpler.
    Freddie

  9. #9
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    That's what I was afraid of. My users don't take change well so the most I can get done for them the better. I have found a way to imapsync to kind of work, and it will be a lot of work.

    The rest I will have to leave to them to copy over. I really appreciate your help with this.

    Thanks,

    JL

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