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Zimbra's Collaboration Suite

Midsize businesses may find a high-end messaging and collaboration system, such as the Lotus Notes and Domino platforms, too complex for their needs. They may have better success with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite Network Edition, which offers Web access to e-mail and calendaring functions, and can read RSS feeds. The software also comes with an AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript with XML) toolkit for creating and integrating third-party browser-based applications.

Zimbra is chiefly open-source software, composed of ClamAV, SpamAssassin, Apache Tomcat, OpenLDAP, MySQL and Postfix. All of these pieces are installed and configured by the Zimbra installer. I tested the second beta version of the software, slated for release this quarter, at our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®, using a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 server. Fedora Core 3 is also supported.

Administrators manage the server, creating new users, e-mail aliasing and distribution lists through a Web client. You can create multiple administrator accounts, but there's no support for tiered administration. Given that there's a nice big "read mail" button over every user's account on the administration page, it'd be nice to separate administrator accounts and privileges.


• Simple interface
• Group scheduling support
Recognizes and acts on certain strings in messages


• No tiered administration
• No instant messaging support
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