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MS Exchange Alternative

We need to setup a share for MS Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks for about 3 users.
I don't want to use MS Exchange; can anyone suggest an alternative.
Anon
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
MDaemon from Deerfield has an outlook connector to give you exchange functionality.  But price is par with the action pack I think
Lee
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Exchange certainly seems like overkill for 3 users. Have you considered a whiteboard? Are you wedded to Outlook for the client? This is only really going to be entirely happy sharing data with Exchange as a backend.

You need to be clear why you don't want to use exchange (*is* it the 'overkill' issue?) otherwise people might just waste their time and yours suggesting solutions that suffer from the reason you cut exchange from the list. For example, with the overkill issue, suggesting lotus notes or one of the OSS exchange alternatives isn't very helpful because they're still very much overkill for 3 users.

Would a pick and mix bundle of google's iHypeiWebAppsPleasePayEvenMoreAttentionToUs web desktop products or whatever we're supposed to call them today be any use?
Rob Moir Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
To suggest a suitable alternative please first explain why you don't want to use Microsoft Exchange.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
We don't want to use Exchange because of the overkill; we also don't have experience to configure it.
Anon
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Oh if this is about getting that first toe in the water but wanting to get practically all of the benefit of a well oiled email server then definitely look no further than Gmail's offerings for businesses.

From there we had some great discussions in the past*

Choice 1) First, sure, you can probably find a VMware appliance that has the entire email stack (from Anti-virus to Spam filter to Postfix to POP/IMAP to webmail all figured out)--possibly even nicely adminable via a GUI like webmin, but if something breaks, your admins are going to be scream murder because they probably don't know how to fix it unless they understand the whole email stack. So, for a beginning small firm, I would probably say, do this only if you can get paid support from a FLOSS support shop. If you are very lucky to acquire decent open source email help right off the bat and can continue to get that help in a timely-manner, this could be one of the most serious Exchange-alternatives. Why is it serious? It just runs if you have it configured and secured correctly. And the hands-off-ness could easily translate into ease of use when you look at the time spent on the thing on Excel.

Choice 2) Some links from past discussions on JoS

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.127390.19

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.401375.14

and much much more, I've mentioned how I found these articles later on...


* I tried digging them up via the Discussion Group search but the search index is being rebuilt, so falling back on Google here:

site:joelonsoftware.com windows "mail server"

You are welcomed to do the same because I am going to to quote only ones I find relevant, you, however, may want to read more...
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
I'd certainly agree with the idea that your own exchange server is overkill for 3 users. I'd actually say the same about just about any other kind of mail server, in particular any of the ones that would offer all the extras like shared calendar and contacts.

The lack of experience to run a server is also a very valid point, and again one that could probably apply to any other conventional alternative.

Have you considered 'hosted' Exchange server products? This would be great if you really want Outlook on your desktop.

( http://www.hostedexchange.co.uk/default.aspx - posted as an example of what I'm talking about, not a recommendation to their service in particular.)

Or (again) back to gmail iGoogle desktop or whatever it's called, and other similar ideas, if you're not wedded to Outlook as your client then would this be sufficient?
Rob Moir Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
SendMail!

Thread closed.
I jumped da Shark
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
1) Free VMWare Server machine running a free Linux distro of choice, running free Zimbra

2) Same as above, but replace Zimbra with ClarkConnect

Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
If you really want to run your own server, consider also hMailServer (free) using IMAP with outlook to keep email on the server.

Don't know if you can do calendar folder in IMAP shared, maybe, never tried, but you can then share calendars, tasklists, etc at the workgroup peer to peer level as well.
Lee
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Outsource it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
If Exchange itself is overkill for 3 people, then I'd love to know if the people suggesting their preferred OSS substitute in a virtual machine are seriously suggesting that would somehow not be equal overkill?

How can that possibly be justified? If I was running a 3-person business then I wouldn't want to have to look after _any_ kind of server that wasn't absolutely essential to my core activities.
Rob Moir Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
> How can that possibly be justified?

When you actually do your job right and it doesn't stay a 3 person shop for long.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Duff Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
"When you actually do your job right and it doesn't stay a 3 person shop for long."

Then you want Exchange

Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
You're right Li-Fan, but if the business doesn't expect to reach that tipping point soon I'd still suggest outsourcing to an Exchange service provider like the one I linked to for now (or someone offering the same service with your OSS product of choice if you swing that way).

When you outgrow their service you can just save your mailbox into a PST file (or OSS product of choice's file format of choice) and import it back into your own server when the time comes.

In the meantime you haven't tied up capital in hardware and software you don't need yet, and you haven't been struggling to run server software that (in the original poster's case) you don't know *how* to run.
Rob Moir Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Hire an IT guy and use Exchange.
*myName
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Our uni has thousands of email accounts but doesn't use Exchange. Those of us that connect through Outlook simply use the internet only setup.

MS recommends Share Point Server. So you now have two types of overkill!
Stephen Jones Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
Exhange's advantage isn't that it is best at large user number (although it does do that well) if you use it with Outlook you get a lot of very useful calender features.
Martin Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
I'm sure it's easier to get a web based shared calendar than set up Exchange Server just for that (tasks can be emailed, and there are plenty ways of keeping contacts lists).

At my last place we had Exchange and most people never used any of the features. The great advantage is shared inboxes (delegate access) if  more than one person needs to access the same email.
Stephen Jones Send private email
Thursday, May 03, 2007
 
 
You can get a Citadel Vmware image from citadel.org but as someone pointed out, anything but a whiteboard is overkill for just 3 people.
:-0
Friday, May 04, 2007
 
 
Why not google apps?
question for you
Saturday, May 05, 2007
 
 
ShyK
Saturday, May 05, 2007
 
 
Justin Silverton Send private email
Saturday, May 05, 2007
 
 
You ask for all the functionality of exchange, but do not want to install and manage an exchange server. Well, why not get hosted exchange. You even get a free version of Outlook 2007

http://affiliate.softcom.biz/aw.aspx?B=5&A=355&Task=Click
ThMoJe
Thursday, May 10, 2007
 
 

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