Tip of the Trade: Zimbra

by Carla Schroder

For next-generation messaging and collaboration that is inexpensive and multiplatform, look no further than Zimbra Collaboration Suite.

It's taken some time, but network administrators who want a messaging suite other than Microsoft's Exchange Server finally have a number of excellent ones from which to choose. Zimbra, for example, is a superb messaging suite that surpasses MS Exchange and other comparable messaging servers in many ways: price, performance, stability, security and feature set.

Zimbra offers the services that have become the standard mix for today's messaging suites — e-mail, group calendaring, contacts, and Web document management and authoring. Zimbra offers mobile device synchronization, VoIP integration and cross-platform client compatibility. The Zimbra Ajax-based Web client runs on Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

The Web client puts complete control on the server — quotas, backups and, most importantly, security. All traffic between client and server is encrypted over SSL. Even die-hard Outlook users are accommodated and can seamlessly access all Zimbra services. Zimbra also supports Apple iSync.

Zimbra is designed to be easily extensible and modifiable via "zimlets," which allow you to create your own mash-ups. (Mash-ups, for my fellow fuddy-duddies, combine and integrate Web content from more than one source.) For example, the Zimbra Web site shows an example of a travel mash-up that embeds a Yahoo map into an e-mail.

Zimbra comes in several editions: the Open Source edition, Network Standard Edition and the Network Professional Edition. The Open Source edition is free of cost, with a reduced feature set. Visit Zimbra.com for downloads, loads of information, and an active and helpful user community.

This article was originally published on Datamation.

This article was originally published on Wednesday Oct 4th 2006
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