Video Mashups Killed the Radio Star

Zimlets are great, they allow developers to integrate our mail UI with all kinds of third party web services and APIs. But what about integrating third party management consoles with Zimbra Admin UI? In version 5 Zimbra Admin UI is an open platform that allows developers to integrate ZCS Admin UI with other management consoles and add new features through admin extensions.

Here are some examples of what have been done through this mechanism already:

  • Add UI for configuring domain-wide disclaimers
  • Merge Zimbra and Samba account management
  • Manage SSL certificates though Zimbra administration console (no wiki article yet)
  • Here are a few ideas for admin extensions that our community has thrown around:

  • Expose Webmin, Plesk, cPanel and WHM Control Panels functionality through Zimbra administration console
  • Add templates for provisioning accounts
  • Display third-party monitoring data
  • View contents of messages in mail queues
  • Add Account expiration dates
  • Integrate provisioning with billing
  • Share calendar resources through the admin UI
  • In fact, almost any feature you can think of the the admin UI, can be implemented as an admin extension.

    Extensions are written in JavaScript and sometimes are accompanied by a server part. For example, zimbra_samba and zimbra_posixaccount extensions use zimbraldaputils.jar for extra SOAP requests.

    An extension that would expose some cPanel/WHM functionality could use PHP-based XML APIs : (Note, although the XML API is there, no one has implemented this admin extension yet).

    A 30-page long guide to writing plug-ins for Zimbra Administration Console is now available on our wiki. This guide would have been incomplete without a details description of the administration console framework. So, we have published a separate guide to the framework.

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