August 4, 2004

Open-Xchange Server goes open source

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

LINUXWORLD -- Open-Xchange Server, the Microsoft Exchange Server workalike, is being released under the GPL at the end of August. Open-Xchange Server is the engine behind Novell/SUSE's Openexchange Server, and is produced by Netline Internet Service.
Netline CEO Frank Hoberg will be in the Novell booth during most of the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, displaying what a company press release describes as "the industry's top-selling
Linux-based groupware, collaboration, and messaging application."The downloadable, GPLed version will take "some tech knowledge about Linux" to
install and get running," says Hoberg, which means that for many, "the SUSE
version is the product of choice. You can get it up and running in less than
one-half hour."

You can sign up in advance for your copy of the GPL release at
www.Open-Xchange.org, although, Hoberg says, once the download is publicly available no registration will be required. Both the download version and a new commercial edition
scheduled for release in late 2004 will be compatible not only with SUSE but
also with Red Hat, Debian, and other major Linux distributions. The GPL version
won't include "connector" software to allow the commercial version to work
seamlessly with Novell's Evolution groupware client or the fast-developing KDE
Kontact groupware suite, but Hoberg says he would not be surprised if an outside
developer writes a connector program that will allow the GPL version of
Open-Xchange Server to work directly with Kontact -- which is, of course, free
software released under the GPL.

Hoberg says, "The main reason for GPLing Open-Xchange Server is the speed of innovation we expect to get back from the community," and notes that more than 1,600 developers have already signed up to work with Open-Xchange Server to help create an open source replacement for Microsoft Exchange.

"We see great interest in working with us," Hoberg says. "The demand is
there."

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