Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

General discussion about Zimbra Desktop.
mhammett
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Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby mhammett » Fri May 10, 2019 11:46 am

The Zimbra Desktop is no longer supported. It will reach the end of Technical Guidance October 1, 2019.


So Desktop was canceled, then brought back, now canceled again? What is Zimbra planning to do in Desktop's absence?


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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby zmbr16 » Thu May 30, 2019 4:04 am

What is an alternative to Zimbra Desktop?
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby jholder » Thu May 30, 2019 4:15 am

mhammett wrote:
The Zimbra Desktop is no longer supported. It will reach the end of Technical Guidance October 1, 2019.


So Desktop was canceled, then brought back, now canceled again? What is Zimbra planning to do in Desktop's absence?


Hi there,

As much as I love Zimbra Desktop, I would not use it with versions 8 or higher.

There's a bug between the SOAP version that it uses and the one that Zimbra 8 or higher uses. The bug is that the desktop doesn't use existing soap sessions. Each request ends up spawning a new soap session. On a low volume server, that's not a problem. But if you have multiple users using Zimbra Desktop, it means that the server can experience severe performance issues.

But what people loved about the Desktop product is how it had all the features which stock IMAP and POP3 clients don't have-- and that's your question: Where can I get those?

If you're a network edition customer, then those things (most of them, anyway) are within the NG ActiveSync module. Shared items, specifically.

But I'm afraid there isn't a 1 to 1 replacement for it at present. It doesn't hurt to let our team know that you want it, but we just didn't see enough depend for an offline version to keep it going-- but that isn't to say it's out of the question.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby mhammett » Thu May 30, 2019 11:20 am

Do people use the web interface? No one I know uses the Zimbra web interface on a regular basis.

I have about 40 accounts loaded in my Zimbra Desktop. That also makes the web interface a bit more difficult to use.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby lippyrich » Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:38 am

mhammett wrote:Do people use the web interface? No one I know uses the Zimbra web interface on a regular basis.


I have 225 users and the vast majority (180 - 200) use the web interface through Chrome, found ZDesktop last update caused far to many issues and not using professional licences on most of my users.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby mhammett » Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:07 pm

Where does the license level come into play here? Everything I have is on free licenses.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby lippyrich » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:27 am

mhammett wrote:Where does the license level come into play here? Everything I have is on free licenses.


Ah sorry I am a Network Edition administrator and I have pop & imap off.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby BradC » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:49 am

jholder wrote:
As much as I love Zimbra Desktop, I would not use it with versions 8 or higher.

There's a bug between the SOAP version that it uses and the one that Zimbra 8 or higher uses. The bug is that the desktop doesn't use existing soap sessions. Each request ends up spawning a new soap session. On a low volume server, that's not a problem. But if you have multiple users using Zimbra Desktop, it means that the server can experience severe performance issues.


Can I just clarify that?
We upgraded from zcs 7.2.7 to 8.6.0 a few years ago, and we've been merrily using ZD as the main client since we started with Zimbra in 2011.

When you say "versions 8 or higher", do you mean zcs version >= 8.0.x or 8.8.x ?

With 8.6 no longer receiving security updates, we're debating upgrading to 8.7 or 8.8 and that decision will be made *solely* on the basis of which one is going to work best with ZD as a client. This is purely as a stop-gap while we figure out what client we're going to use next.
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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby L. Mark Stone » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:04 am

Curious why you feel you must have a fat client like Zimbra Desktop?

The web interface is essentially identical to ZD and Zimbra 8 and modern browsers support offline usage (works great; I use it often when traveling).

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Re: Zimbra Desktop Discontinued... Again?

Postby BradC » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:30 am

L. Mark Stone wrote:Curious why you feel you must have a fat client like Zimbra Desktop?

The web interface is essentially identical to ZD and Zimbra 8 and modern browsers support offline usage (works great; I use it often when traveling).


I love these questions because they force us to re-examine why we do what we do.

3 Reasons : Inertia, Offline storage and segregation.

Inertia is obvious. We've done it this way for years now and it perfectly fits our use case. We don't like change for the sake of change.

Offline storage : We do a _lot_ of work in locations where we are just not able or permitted to have any connectivity with the outside world (sometimes for a few days). So we sync up when we can and then operate offline. Over the years we've determined that we routinely use about 9 months worth of archive while we are disconnected, so we've all got our laptop ZD installations set to retain 9 months of data (mail and calendar). That works very well.

Segregation : We do a _lot_ of work where we have security rules that couldn't be satisfied by using a web browser in a shared capacity. The zimbra instance sits on a segregated network with several layers between it and the outside world. All client connectivity is on the secure side of that network (whether physically or via VPN).

So, your question prompted me to look at the ability to sandbox the browser as a "zimbra only" instance, without sharing any config or data directories with other instances and it appears relatively easy to achieve. Now I just need to see if I can make it reliably keep 9 months of mail and calendar data stored off-line.

Once I can overcome the technical issues, then I shouldn't have any issues managing the intertia problem.

Thanks for the poke into looking at it from a different angle. Let's see how good the offline usage works.

Edit : Actually, I just discovered a 4th reason. Multiple accounts on the same server, although I can work around that by creating a second address (interface or alias) for the server and the web browser can manage one account on each address. Still, a hacky solution to the problem.

Edit 2 : So I tried offline mode it and it's limited to 30 days. So then, offline storage is too limited and multiple accounts are an unworkable hack. There's 2 good reasons for a fat client for our use case.
Last edited by BradC on Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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