Interop: Connect as one unit.

One of the more nifty features to grace the Zimbra scene recently is the interoperability framework for sharing two-way free/busy information with other server platforms.

Since we released the framework APIs and the reference implementation against Microsoft’s Exchange 2003 (previously covered) there has been a lot of interest from customers and community (interop works with both Open Source and Network Edition).

Argonne National Labs has given excellent feedback culminating in a few enhancements for ZCS 5.0.10. We also recently got a wonderful thank you note from the University of Pennsylvania, who teamed up with the folks over at Sumatra Development to handle some calendar migrations. They were impressed at how well their multi-domain environment behaved, and shared a link to a configuration tip for Exchange 2007. It’s great to see the community enhance, extend, and tweak the open source interop framework.

That type of integration cohesiveness frequently makes Zimbra relevant to organizations in the same way that other open source business application are: often initially at the division level, and then spreading within the enterprise. (Penn breaks their IT into “local support providers” to better serve each school’s specialized needs.) For immense corporations wanting to switch from software such as Exchange, Lotus, Meeting Maker, or other third-parties that interact with our API, picking a new platform can be a massive undertaking – having interop can mean a safe departmental decision.

Admins out there can certainly attest the the headaches involved with maintaining different server infrastructures, but it also works in reverse – that ‘stubborn group’ which doesn’t want to switch or the ‘peer organization running different software’ can now seamlessly communicate as one.

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