Netline Updates OpenXchange Server

The mail offering is now completely open-source and will run on a full gamut of Linux distributions. Code can now be downloaded for Debian Sarge, Red Hat 9, SUSE 9.X, FreeBSD and Mandrake 9.2, according to the company. Support for Red Hat Enterprise Server 4 will be available by the end of May.

Netline developed the underlying mail engine for SLOX and now is continuing to develop the product under its own brand.

Some mail solution providers are bullish on the product features and functions, but bemoan the confusion that has arisen around Novell's mail strategy. Novell said in December it will sell and support Open-Xchange, but it is also fielding its own Groupwise offering.

"[Novell has] muddied the water," said one longtime solution provider who asked not to be named. "They will support and sell this product but they're also backing their own Groupwise. I would have preferred that Novell offer both a SUSE and non-SUSE bundle and manage it all. They're [moving] away from that and from Red Hat support."

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Gregg Rosenberg, CTO of RICIS, an integrator in Tinley Park, Ill., said the good news is that this offering interoperates very well with Microsoft Outlook clients, meaning users don't have to retrain.

"They've also completely changed the back-end infrastructure so that all of the info you put in Web-based folders, via Samba shares, WebDAV or whatever mechanism, is now uniformly viewable, accessible and manageable from one interface," Rosenberg said.

Frank Basanta, director of technology for Systems Solutions, a New York-based integrator, said his company has done well with SLOX and expects that to continue with this offering. "We've worked with Netline before and have a good relationship," Basanta said.

Basanta said the product itself is robust enough to support up to 2,500 users on a server and that it is a viable replacement for Microsoft Exchange Server or Lotus Domino.

OpenXchange incorporates calendar, distribution lists, shared folders and off-line functions.

The Small Business Server Edition, including one year of maintenance, administration interfaces, installation support, Outlook and Palm connectors, is $295 for the first five users. Annual maintenance for each additional user is $25.

Advanced Server Edition for more than 25 users with all of the features listed above is $850. Maintenance for each additional user is $25.