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Technology

Groupware

So we finally decided that Google Apps is not a sustainable idea without subscribing to their paid service (which costs a LOT by the way!). The only solution – look for alternatives who can give the same kind of service (my Head Ops wants this, thats Manish) and be as easy to administer (I want this) for as less as possible (my finance guy wants this). Yes, we want the BEST :)

So after doing a long due diligence, we decided, that having our very own hosted email server would be better (yeah, the cost-effectiveness hurts since Google Apps was free). Now, my MD wanted an interface where everyone’s schedules and calendars were visible to every other person. So, the need for a calendaring system was apparent, the moment he said that … I realized that we want something like the Google Apps paid version at a cheap cost. Fair enough, we can have that, just buy MS Exchange and enough Office licenses instead of using Gnumeric and Abiword bounded with QMail. My headaches would be resolved. Again, the financing of this exercise looks like a nightmare to me.

So, I have to look the open source way once more. Apple apparently offers CalDav, which works well with Outlook even (Thunderbird needs Lightning extension, or you can use Sunbird). Very good, so I take one derelict machine lying in my office (it’s a P3 you know :-)), and I install Ubuntu 7.1 on it. The installation goes without a hitch, I choose command line and remove the GUI interface, that drastically brings the load on the machine down. Sadly, for some reason CalDav is not installing, I cant compile the @*#@*^ file.

No worries, I look around and then decide to go with eGroupware, which needs not much just apache2, php, mysql and its own binaries. Installation has now begun …

10 minutes later … the file system on the machine has crashed. Some days are just fun days :-)

I am beginning to appreciate Google Apps from a whole new perspective.

By Prasad Ajinkya

Prasad Ajinkya is the Big Fat Geek and often he spends his time working on the WordPress or Google eco-system. He loves to solve business problems with technology.

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