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How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?

Posted by Cxms on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 14:15

I'm looking to create a Exchange-type server where users can have their Desktop, Laptop & iPhone contacts, calendars, notes, & email all synced automatically.

It will be a small office type server housed locally for 10-20 people max.

Do users here have any suggestions at the software I should be using, or the setup required?

Thanks in advance.

 

 


Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (62.140.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 14:40
SOGo and Funambol are the two that I would recommend.

SOGo gives all the docs that you need to get it running. (Although they are more geared to RedHat, they do provide a Debian report.)

http://www.scalableogo.org/english/downloads/backend.html

https://www.forge.funambol.org/download/

I have had it running for about 30 users on CentOS on a P4 but have not yet tried the Debian packages.

Cheers,

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:26
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Thanks for the comment. I am compiling a list of all the options people suggest, however I would like them to be totally Debian compliant.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (213.171.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 08:49
"SOGo and Funambol are the two that I would recommend."

Do you mean using the Funambol server as a middleware between SOGo and the mobile clients using the SOGo connector or using "plain" SOGo plus the Funambol client?

Did you test this with contacts stored on LDAP or just database?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (62.140.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 10:57
Hi this was set up with approximately 300 users in our LDAP server and only 30 users running the system as a pilot.

We used Funambol just for its SymcML connectivity.

Everything else, including shared private address books (for teams) and resource reservation (laptops, meeting rooms etc) was provided by SOGo and we even had assistants for staff!

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (69.242.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 14:41
This is a time sink if you're not careful. You could roll your own with great effort by separately implementing some SMTP, IMAP, and other tools. The calendar solutions will be poor at best. Save some grief and look at both scalix.com and zimbra.org -- both have community editions.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:33
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Thanks for the comment. I looked at each and as expected scalix.com is a commercial solution that does not keep control locally, and zimbra.org appears to be a dead link as a for-sale domain.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by paulgear (203.214.xx.xx) on Thu 27 Aug 2009 at 00:04
It's zimbra.com for Zimbra.

What do you mean "scalix.com is a commercial solution that does not keep control locally"? Scalix is a mail server product which you can install on your local mail server. There are both community and commercial editions.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (85.14.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 15:33
I strongly recommand zarafa (zarafa.com).
We are using it on debian etch platform and it works like a charm (sharing mail, calendar, contacts, notes, sync with iphones over the air, outlook integration (not free), web interface outlook like..)
I've had several contacts with the support team wich have been very fast at answering and correcting problems i've encountered.

PS : sorry for my poor english as i'm french.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:37
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Merci...

A leftover from my month in Paris.

Is this available via apt-get? I cannot find it listed or in search.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by herodiade (2a01:0xx:0xx:0xxx:0xxx:0xxx:xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 22:55
They distribute debs on their site (http://zarafa.com/download-community).

By the way, I'm moving away my company from Zarafa (running on Etch too) because we endured so many terrible bugs (like: updates that fail in the middle of altering the database leaving it trashed and all mails unavailables, automatic store deletion when it had a ldap access problem, mangles every mail not encoded in western charsets - no support for unicode -, Outlooks clients crashing all the time...).

Also storing everything in a (single) database looks (retrospectively) like a huge design mistake (non balancable load...), esp when the schema is totaly opaque (they almost dump things mapping Microsoft MAPI forms, with many undocumented binary columns acceded through bolean expressions and "magic numbers" in the "community edition"s sources...). As opposed to plain traditional stores in mailboxes/maildirs (which are easy to spread on multiple servers, are easy to restore manually, to backup incrementaly, are standards and compatible with other tools, etc).

But grand parent post is right, they reacted swiftly when we reported those bugs.

Since Zarafa experience I completely lost trust in those larges, all-in-one groupware solutions, and am migrating to plain IMAP and Webcal ; but Zimbra (for instance, and to a lesser extent OBM and Scalix) looks much saner than Zarafa. (ps. also from Paris ;).

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 23:12
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I am not experenced at all with these IMAP servers. I just need it to be stable, and very low on system resources.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Toony (82.234.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 15:39
Hi,

I suggest you OBM (http://www.obm.org/).

OBM is written using LAMP (but you can use/I suggest you PostgreSQL), Perl and JAVA. Mailer is based on Postfix+Cyrus+openLDAP. Synchronization is available for Thunderbird/Lightning, Outlook (non free plugin) and lots of Phone (using SyncML).

Debian packages are available.

Funambol IPhone support is poor, it implement his own calendar and synchronize it, not official IPhone calendar. IPhone official calendar synchronization is only available via ActiveSync.
For now, OBM doesn't synchronize IPhone, but ActiveSync is under development.

You can use their mailist for more informations.

Bye

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:41
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I am looking for something totally compliant with the listed devices/applications: Outlook and iPhone.

Thanks for your comment though.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by cmdln (24.124.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 16:43
How about zabbix. It is a pretty full featured exchange replacement.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by cmdln (24.124.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 16:45
OOpps feel free to delete that one. I meant to say zimbra

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (82.227.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 18:46
AFAIK, Zimbra uses its own servers : IMAP, SMTP and LDAP… It's really annoying when you already have some of these components, because you can't use them

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by cmdln (24.124.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 18:52
I was under the impression you can install zimbra locally. A quick google returns http://www.howtoforge.com/installing_zimbra_collaboration_suite_o n_ubuntu

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by cmdln (24.124.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 18:54
oh sorry, i see what you are saying, yeah it installs its own stack, I figured that would be preferable for a small office install.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (74.86.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 18:31
How about just use google's iphone connector and save yourself a ton of trouble? Shared contact list, shared calendars and documents, all easily integrated with iphone, and you won't have to take tech support calls.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:23
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I am looking for something totally automatic and totally wireless. I do not want the user to have to do anything but read and reply to mail and have all the data synced everywhere.

Thanks

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by oakim (83.248.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:18
I do recomend Zimbra Open Source Edition
http://www.zimbra.com/community/downloads.html

It has all you need but iPhone sync. But if you sync your Iphone via iTunes on Mac you get everything via Calenda, Contact and so on. Almost awesome.

The new 6.0 release will be on 31/8-2009

Joakim Nordberg

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (84.72.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:47

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 20:50
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Thank you, however I need total iPhone support.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by lollipop (67.132.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 21:00
zimbra has total iphone support if you pay for the exchange connectivity support. It works great for our company.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 21:05
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Right on.

Is it a modual you buy once and add in?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by lollipop (67.132.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 21:50
exhange (activesync) support is a per user fee unfortunately

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 21:53
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How much per user and is it a one time fee ?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by lollipop (67.132.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 22:03
It is around $42 per user and it is a one time fee if you get a perpetual license: https://buy.zimbra.com/

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 22:14
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-That's not too bad of it is one time. Is there a fee for the perpetual license?
-Is it apt-get or a seperate install?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (129.67.xx.xx) on Thu 27 Aug 2009 at 11:54
try zimbra (which will do calendars fine to iPhone), with http://z-push.sourceforge.net for push mail.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by lollipop (67.132.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 21:03
We use Zimbra Network Edition at our company and we have been very happy with the Outlook, Blackberry, and iPhone support. Not all the components are opensource, but they work quite well and development is very active.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (70.135.xx.xx) on Sun 30 Aug 2009 at 20:55
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Zimbra has a very good site for explaining what the software is capable of. It may be more software than I really need but definitely will have to look into it. It may be beyond my skills to install and get running, I am by far no expert is such matters. I'm an engineer, what can I say...

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (81.201.xx.xx) on Tue 25 Aug 2009 at 23:56
You didn't specify whether the software must be open source. If commercial sw is acceptable, try Kerio MailServer:
http://www.kerio.com/mailserver
It offers all what you requested (debian package, iPhone support, Outlook Offline Connector) + very simple and straightforward administration. You can download trial version.
Best reagards
Pavel

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (166.205.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 00:45
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Right. Thanks for bringing that up. I would prefer the free open source option.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (194.78.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 09:52
I recently discovered http://www.scalix.com/ which is the recommended server for the KDE Kontact suite.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (77.37.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 12:39
Your system is perfectly suitable for Google Apps Standard edition. It would be free for up to 200 users, unlimited mailing lists, 7 Gb of email storage, perfect Gmail spam control, and iPhone, BlackBerry and Outlook connectors. And you will save yourself from all this support, maintenance and backup hassle.

And I can assure you that your users will love it. Calendars, mail and Docs play very nice in corp environment. All these have offline mode, if you afraid to lose internet connection.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (68.35.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 22:50
Google apps would be forever free, do completely automatic wireless, instantaneous syncing on all listed devices and software?

Still think the idea of giving Google control of a big communication line in a business could be a mistake. But I want to check all options.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (77.37.xx.xx) on Sat 29 Aug 2009 at 07:45
Yes, Google promises to keep these apps free forever. If your organization is educational or alike, you can even have Premium edition for free. And you will never need to fight DoS attacks on your server, upgrade or replace hardware, deal with slowness and bottlenecks. Your colleagues will be able to work from home, from hotel, etc. Imagine that someone calls you and says 'hey, i'm on vacation here in Europe, and sync is so slow'. With Google apps this won't happen, cause they have a datacenters all around.

As for the privacy, Google complies with SOX and many other regulations, and you can read from their statements that they under no circumstances can read your email or something.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by suspended user Cxms (70.135.xx.xx) on Sun 30 Aug 2009 at 03:03
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I spent a lot of the day reading about then jumping through all the hoops to set up Google apps services. In order to sync contacts in Outlook it requires you pay for the premier edition of Google apps. So at this point Google Apps becomes something I was not looking for. That puts me back to looking for a solution on the local server. I hope this helps anyone else that is thinking of using this service and saves them a lot of trouble.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (77.188.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Aug 2009 at 21:55
If your are looking for a completely integrated server I'd recommend the Univention Groupware Server (http://www.univention.de/ - http://apt.univention.de/download/ucs-cds/ucs2.2-0/). It's based on Debian but has a management system built on top and integrates a full featured Kolab groupware system.

As far as I can tell iPhones don't support SyncML which is the only supported sync method with the groupware server. If you get SyncML working this might be what you are looking for.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by mverwijs (85.146.xx.xx) on Thu 27 Aug 2009 at 00:06
I'm really impressed with group-office thus far. Haven't tried any syncing yet, as this requires paying for something I won't be using. But it's a very nice piece of software:

See: http://www.group-office.com

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by sphaero (80.100.xx.xx) on Fri 28 Aug 2009 at 14:27
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I've been using Egroupware for quite a while in our organisation. We're pretty happy with. Mostly using email, (group)calendar, addressbook, syncML, Ical/CalDAV and account management. Also with an ldap backend so all our applications can authenticate with the egroupware accounts. I've written an article about it a while ago. See here

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (213.171.xx.xx) on Mon 31 Aug 2009 at 10:17
"We're pretty happy with. Mostly using email, (group)calendar, addressbook, syncML, Ical/CalDAV and account management."

I'm using more or less your same environment (eGroupware 1.6.002 with addressbook on LDAP and funambol client for SyncML to Windows ME 6 on mobile devices) but I had no success with regards to SyncML and addressbook (it seems to manage calendar fine). Any hints?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by sphaero (194.121.xx.xx) on Mon 31 Aug 2009 at 10:22
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I must admit we do'n use syncML with the addressbook. And I've had a bit trouble with addressbook in ldap so I haven't got that either. SyncML is for the calendars.

OBM looks quite impressive as well. I might give that a try for future use perhaps. Anyone experience with OBM in regards to Egroupware?

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (85.70.xx.xx) on Thu 10 Sep 2009 at 13:05
I must say that for some time I'm also trying to solve simillar issue. I'd like to offer to some of my small customers calendar and contact solution aside to mails. So I even need to be able to configure more domains on one server. I must say that OBM (i didn't know about this solution) made impress on me. But I still think it would be better (for open architecture) to build this solution from individual components MTA+pop3d+imapd for mail (as we have it now), LDAP+syncml+activesync for contacts, something-caldav-capable+syncml+activesync for calendar and some fine webinterface - maybe RoundCube with plugins.

I wonder what solution you will go with.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (77.251.xx.xx) on Sun 20 Sep 2009 at 03:14
Hi,

what you need is zarafa , + z-push, and optional 2way synchronizing your contacts, appointments to for example sugarcrm, done with z-merge.
the forum is good and support is also. 3 user free mapi connections ( outlook )
z-push is used for mobile devices to sync ( webserver needed).
I'm running it with 25 users now, database of 36Gb, and still adding users, going up to 70 ;-) ,
You can uses imap and pop also or from within zarafa or use other pop-imap servers. im running dovecot with it for my "to migrate" users..
it also has a nice webinterface, 1 normal, 1 for mobile devices.
for mobiles, im having here Nokia e90 and n71, several htc devices, and 3 iphones, android is also possible, but no android tested here..
and it all pretty easy to configure.

hoop this helps.. for me i like zarafa.
more info www.zarafa.com

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (77.251.xx.xx) on Sun 20 Sep 2009 at 03:17
and i forgot, it also has public folders, and if you have the paid version, a good backup tool include with able to restore single files or complete mailboxes.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (145.117.xx.xx) on Tue 29 Sep 2009 at 16:24
I recommend Axigen ( http://www.axigen.com/ ), they have a great package with excellent features and very good (true 24/7) support. It is easy and quick to deploy. The only downside is that they don't have an open source version.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by Anonymous (85.177.xx.xx) on Mon 5 Oct 2009 at 16:04
I recommend www.citadel.org. That is a groupware that is in lenny now and is using standards only. It is fully free and very! easy to setup and use. Has a web interface and funambol connector (which we do not use). It supports IMAP, ICAL, POP3, SMTP and some more standards.

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Re: How should I allow mail, calendar and contact syncs?
Posted by itsec (78.54.xx.xx) on Sun 21 Feb 2010 at 19:11
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We use citadel for more than a year now and it simply works and does the job it is supposed to do. That is exactly what I expect from a system. Thumbs up for citadel!

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