I had been spending some free-time to research a good groupware server far less featured than an enterprise product (such as Microsoft Exchange, with whom I’ve some experience 😉 ). What I was looking for was a product which is able to:
- run on at least one type of BSD server platform;
- give a user experience similar to that of an Exchange system (e-mail, personal and shared contacts, calendar and tasks);
- be accessed using different types of desktop clients (such as Microsoft Outlook, Mac OS X Mail, web browsers or other free/open-sourced products) over the web in a secure way (using SSL/TLS);
- integrate with an existing corporate directory service (Active Directory, Mac and authenticate using secure protocols, such as kerberos.
I’ve spent a lot of time looking for that solution and, until now, it seemed that the only way to accomplish these goals was to build it using a few stand-alone products (SMTP and IMAP server for e-mail, web collaboration for groupware tasks, external authentication services, etc.). That was not what i was looking for, since one of my requirements was to maintain the administration cost as low as possible.
Same days ago I rediscovered the Communigate Pro platform, which seems to fit completely what are my needs: I’m giving it a try by creating a new service subdomain (see the CGP web interface at http://mail.bsd.valsania.it) and running it on a FreeBSD jail. It’s too early to say something sharp about it, but I feel that’s a great piece of software, built to perform and scale very well even in an enterprise or service provider environment, and I surely be glad to get deeper into that solution.