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Quality Open Source Calendaring / Scheduling?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the date-for-a-date dept.

Software 492

Jim R. Wilson writes "In past jobs, I've used Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, Novell Groupwise, and Google Calendar for handling business appointments. I'm sorry to say it, but I have yet to see a rival to Microsoft's scheduling features. On Slashdot I have occasionally read rumblings that there are better open source email and calendaring solutions out there. Can anyone substantiate this claim? What are the OSS alternatives? Can any compete with Microsoft's resource scheduling?"

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no (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520305)


Haven't found much (4, Informative)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520309)

I haven't found much, either. It's either some half-done web-based solution or it's got seriously missing features.

Evolution works great with Exchange; all they need now is to create their own back-end =)

PS. Public folders have gone away in Exchange 2007; big mistake if you ask me. It was a selling point for Exchange.

Re:Haven't found much (2, Interesting)

Wicked187 (529065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520503)

I believe the removal of Public Folders in Exchange 2007 is a result of integration with Sharepoint. The functionality is supposed to still exist, just outside of Exchange, itself. I haven't tried it out yet, as I do not have a 64-bit server to install on, but I do like a lot of the features in Sharepoint, and I can see how they would be better than Public Folders (and considering that Outlook pulls data in from Sharepoint, it should be fairly seamless from the user perspective).

Re:Haven't found much (2, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520949)

Yea, that's what I've been seeing - use Sharepoint. But Sharepoint is a whole 'nother beast. I think they should have improved the functionality of Public Folders. Sharepoint can't do a lot of things that PF's can, and Sharepoint itself is a bit of a pain in the ass.

It's going to seriously slow the adoption of E2k7 because many companies really use them. One company I contracted at a couple years ago had over 25,000 public folders, many of which were used daily.

Outlook integration isn't quite as seamless as it could be; you still have to link folders to Sharepoints, etc.

Re:Haven't found much (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520683)

Sure about public folders? []

Q. What is happening with Public Folders?

Public Folders are included and supported in Exchange Server 2007. Microsoft has communicated that future releases of Exchange Server may not include public folders. If you use Public Folders, read the Exchange Team Blog on the topic of public folders for more guidance.

Re:Haven't found much (1)

jayp00001 (267507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520703)

I find it a much needed improvement. Some of the functionality is gone but it can be reproduced with a little work on the sharepoint side. BTW you can play with exchange 2007 at [] without having to build your own

Re:Haven't found much (2, Funny)

Spinlock_1977 (777598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520709)

I wrote a calendaring web app a few years back, and it was certainly a half-done web-based solution some seriously missing features. I wish you had included mine in your survey, because I still don't have any customers for it.

Re:Haven't found much (4, Informative)

ibi (61235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520823)

It's worth looking at Chandler (fat client) and Cosmo (server) from []

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally approaching a useable release and it's quite interesting. I think it will be a real choice in 2008...

Re:Haven't found much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521057)

"PS. Public folders have gone away in Exchange 2007; "

This is incorrect. Public folders are still alive and kicking in Exchange 2007.

Re:Haven't found much (2, Informative)

sharkey (16670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521065)

Public folders have gone away in Exchange 2007

They are in there, just disabled by default. If you use Outlook 2003 or older they are required, so Exchange 2007 includes them.

does MS use CFS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520311)

when did windblows have better scheduling?

Power Failure Resistant: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520321)

Application: Pen and Paper.

Re:Power Failure Resistant: (3, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520753)

Unfortunately its not chicken scratch resistant

Re:Power Failure Resistant: (5, Funny)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520957)

As much as I love the Y2K compliant Office App...

0) Geeks will argue which pen and which paper is the best.
1) The Gentoo crowd will make their own paper from pulp.
2) Where's the ^H on Pen?
3) There are some serious latency issues
4) Sometimes the output is so horrible that others can't read the file.
5) Sometimes the output is so horrible that I can't read my own file.
6) You can backspace on a word processor. You can shake an etch-a-sketch. If you mess up on paper, you need new hardware.

.....or (1)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520329)

How about an OSS software package that actually WORKS with Outlook's calendar system properly? I'm not talking about OWA via Firefox, I'm talking about something that supports all the pretty colors and features of the calendar.

Re:.....or (2, Informative)

disasm (973689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520411)

opengroupware has a plugin for working with outlook. I haven't used that one in a while though.


Re:.....or (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520531)


Re:.....or (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520585)

Outlook is purposefully difficult to interface with, as with most Microsoft products, so that if you have to get events from/to it, you're stuck with it.

Compatibility (4, Insightful)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520337)

I think the main problem is we can't really come up with an open source scheduling system that's compelely new and innovative because you need compatibility with people outside your organization.

If we're not coming up with something new and innovative we're stuck making outlook clones. People don't like writing software like that.

Re:Compatibility (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520517)

two words "backward compatibility". You can make something new and invoative while keeping outlook compatability. Thats how Microsoft gets dominate. Imbrase a technology, saying this is good. Extend while keeping all the old features put new ones in so there is little risk in adopting. Extinguish once you have dominace make your product incompatible with the rest to force the rest to go to you.

Re:Compatibility (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520583)

I think the main problem is we can't really come up with an open source scheduling system that's compelely new and innovative because you need compatibility with people outside your organization.

That's not all that true of the companies I've worked for. I'd be kind of annoyed if someone outside of my company sent me a meeting invite. You're not in my company; don't make assumptions about my scheduling.

Re:Compatibility (4, Interesting)

forrestt (267374) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520947)

How is that an assumption about your scheduling? It's an invitation to a meeting, if you can't make it or don't want to, you are free to decline the invitation or even just ignore it. But, it would be nice if your dentist could send you an appointment reminder with a link that would put it in your calendar so when your boss is wondering where you are he can look at the calendar (no, telling your boss has no effect on them knowing where you are when they want you). Or perhaps your friend could send you an email to go do something that would require you to take off early Friday and include a link to update your calendar. Or maybe some vendor could send you an invitation to meet them for lunch with multiple times for the event and you could pick one. Or maybe a customer needs to meet you to schedule a time they can call you so you send them a meeting invite, Or maybe even the people from SANS sending you an email after you register with a link to update your calendar to say you won't be at work for that week.

Being in your company has nothing to do with wanting information in your calendar, and you are the person that gets to decide if it is worth putting in the calendar or not.

Re:Compatibility (1)

mbadolato (105588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521129)

I'd be kind of annoyed if someone outside of my company sent me a meeting invite. You're not in my company; don't make assumptions about my scheduling

You apparently don't work on a team that requires interaction with lots of clients and/or vendors and require $time_interval meetings to coordinate the development efforts of tech teams from each company involved.

Look to google apps (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520357)

You're unlikely to find anything native. It's just not a sexy project people want to volunteer to.

Re:Look to google apps (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520631)

I reject the notion that a calendar app ala Exchange/Outlook is not sexy.

There are TWO things that OS needs to do, and that is one, the other is a Universal Directory Service that isn't a pain in the rear and is supported by everyone.

When Open Source completes the foundation for both, and obviously tying both together, then it can start to compete with the likes of MS. While I don't particularly like Active Directory, it has useful features for managing just about everthing in a Corporate Windows Environment, which makes Windows almost usable.

What I'd like to see is a consortium of UNIX companies (Sun), Linux Companies (IBM, Novell) and Apple get together and build a foundation for a complete, open, extensible and cross platform Directory Service that can rival Microsoft's version. The closest I've seen to this is all using Microsoft's Active Directory as the backend, and using what little compatability there is to function with other Open Source setups.

If done right, it would rewrite how we do just about everything on inter-connected networks and data.

Re:Look to google apps (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520807)

Oh, and such a system would be quite "sexy", it's also very difficult to pull off. However, the most enjoyable things in my life were the things that took the most effort.

There's a difference between nailing the cheap floosy at the local dive, and meaningful long term relationship built on a strong foundation. If you've never had the latter, and only the former, you'll never know what I'm talking about.

The slut in a tight outfit may look sexy, but I can assure you that it only looks that way. If you really thought about it, a cheesy slut is actually gross.

Re:Look to google apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520931)

It seems you've never heard of LDAP...

Re:Look to google apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521179)

I see no reason to call LDAP a slut! It's just friendly when you get it drunk.

Re:Look to google apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521249)

Yeah, but it's LIGHTWEIGHT and so it looks sexy in a tight outfit. Thus, it's a slut!

php web calendar from (1)

disasm (973689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520361)

I've used the php web calendar from for a number of clients and for personal usage as well. It's nice because it has very nice print friendly pages for printing your calendar, multi-user support, group support, public access calendar, rss feeds, and webdav support for keeping in sync with sunbird or icalendar. Sam

Citadel is the best i know of: (3, Informative)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520367)

Citadel is the best i know of: []

What features? (4, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520369)

It's hard to expect the developers to write a feature they haven't been asked about, and/or don't even know it exists.

In other words, what features do you use in MS products that you haven't found in the free/open source applications?

Re:What features? (5, Informative)

jimbojw (1010949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520817)

In other words, what features do you use in MS products that you haven't found in the free/open source applications?

Sorry I wasn't clear enough in my initial question. What really impresses me about Outlook/Exchange is when you go to schedule a meeting, it allows you to see when all the participants, rooms and resources (like projectors) are available in a horizontal chart of sorts. People who are busy are marked off in blue, out of office is purple, etc. To find a time that works for everyone, you just scan across until you see a vertical bar of white (everyone free), or try to minimize conflicts.

I don't know of MS holds a patent on the UI, but I haven't seen it anywhere else. Also, with respect to calendaring, in Outlook you can open up several calendars (yours and others) side-by-side in order to see who's free when. It's a pretty simple bit of eye candy, but nonetheless, I've only seen it in Outlook.

Re:What features? (1)

surajbarkale (877769) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521055)

I have seen similar features in Lotus Notes. But let's pretend I didn't mentioned it :)

Re:What features? (1)

xaqar (112761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521081)

Java Communications Suite's calendar does this as well. Looks very similar to Outlook's chart. It is free (lower case f) as well.

Re:What features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521145)

Not OSS as far as I know, but Oracle Calendar (formerly Corporate Time, now part of the Oracle Collaboration Suite) also does all of these things with scheduling. (No email, though - my office uses Thunderbird for email and OCal for scheduling.)

WebCalendar (2, Interesting)

DaGoodBoy (8080) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520377)

We use this: []

Works well for our needs.

Re:WebCalendar (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520501)

Seconded. Been using for our (small) office needs for over 2 years now. Even a host migration in the middle went off fairly well, considering I'd never had to install it manually before.

Yes, it looks a little low-rent, and there are some features I would love to see, but it gets the job done.

Kontact (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520379)

The KDE organizer/calendaring system is extremely good -- I use it all the time. It supports multiple calendars as well as calendar export and sharing (although I don't use those features).

Apparently there's an enterprise info sharing server available based on it too.

Re:Kontact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521217)

Yes extremelly utterly shitty. Not even Kmail accepts HTML signatures! ^^'

Could you help us help you? (5, Informative)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520397)


I hate to say this, but unless you give us a few reasons why some of the solutions you have looked at are not sufficient I doubt you will get any meaningful response.It's a pretty common problem when people ask for an open source replacement for a program they have used and were reasonably happy with.

Without some starting point for comparison you will just get dozens of stories about how product X works fine for them.

It's not that Microsoft's Calendar is that great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520403)

It's that the integration with the email is pretty much perfect for business.

This is Slashdot. (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520407)

Just because it is by microsoft people hate the product even if they never used it before. They will say Some Obscure Open Source tool is better even though they never really used the microsoft one... After so they just may realize that they are missing someting. That is the last thing they want to hear. It would be like someone from an other political party saying someone from the other party actually made a big difference and the world is better because of him/her. It just wont happen.

Re:This is Slashdot. (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520811)

Oh, I love Outlook for Calendering. When you get a group of people who know how to use it it's really useful. You can use the thing to replace a CRM, and you can easily invite people to meetings. It's fast when working in a corporate environment with Exchange. All of that is great. The part I'd like to cut out is paying money to Microsoft for it. Not because I have some sort of vendetta against them. But because it shouldn't cost as much as it does.

Re:This is Slashdot. (2, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520861)

I've used Outlook before. I used it for over four years as it's the official corporate e-mail/scheduling client. The scheduling they did a pretty good job on, I'll give them that, but as an e-mail client I've never cared for it. I much prefer thunderbird or the web interface on gmail. Really the question people are looking for is, how do we replace the scheduling portion of Outlook and still retain all it's nice features while using the e-mail client of our choice?

This is particularly tricky because one of the nicer things with Outlook is the ability to send e-mails with meetings in them and receive feedback as people accept or reject the meeting request. My thoughts on it are that you could probably get around the problem by using a new URL scheme, something like or some such that you can associate to an external application that way you can embed it as a hyperlink inside en e-mail. Using something like that you can use whatever scheduling client you want (assuming it understands the protocol the scheduling server uses) and whatever e-mail client you want because it's just a hyperlink with a URL.

Re:This is Slashdot. (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520919)

What it really comes down to is choice, if Microsoft were the only clear choice then I'd say you were right. However some of these alternatives aren't that obscure and are really quite capable of holding their own without needing to stand beside MS for direct comparison. The largest problem is their _relative_ obscurity to most people... hence the reason for this topic's existence: to find information!

Kontact (1, Informative)

padonak (687721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520409)

Try Kontact [] (part of KDE Personal Information Manager).

CalDav (5, Informative)

jlittle (122165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520423)

CalDav is the wave of the future, with most calendaring clients supporting it (but not MS), and many servers commercial and otherwise also supporting it (Zimbra). The real coming out party was the commercial release of both OSX Server 10.5 and the client, which have both ends. But guess what, the server is open source: calendar server [] can be gotten and put on any platform. If you want something today, Zimbra or OSX Server are there for the taking. RedHat has a Messenging product coming out based on Zimbra for this exact purpose.

Re:CalDav (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520867)

Yeah, I'm really hoping the rest of the non-Microsoft world will center around the standard, and it will end up that CalDav:calendars::IMAP:mail.

Re:CalDav (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521009)

Yeah, I'm really hoping the rest of the non-Microsoft world will center around the standard, and it will end up that CalDav:calendars::IMAP:mail.

That's not saying much, considering how many mail hosts still only support POP3.

Re:CalDav (1)

cadeon (977561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521207)

Has anyone used OpenConnector [] with Outlook + CalDAV, with success? As it works out, I started looking into ways to make events from my company's application to show up in Outlook *yesterday* - and I was thinking about doing it via CalDAV so I'd be usable on other clients too.

What about Darwin Calendar Server? (5, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520429)

Apple provides a nice calendar server [] with Leopard server - but it works with Linux (any anything else running Python) as well...

What Is The Point??!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520431)

Is there some particular reason you need to replace Outlook for an Open Source alternative?

This makes no sense to dump something that works and is clearly the best solution right now.

Unless you just want to save a couple of bucks, there's nothing magical about an Open Source product that makes it better.

Re:What Is The Point??!! (1)

Pr0Hak (2504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520715)

The magic comes in when you have some in-house programming talent and the open source software doesn't do *quite* what you want it to in some particular area (and neither does the commercial alternative).

An organization that is using an open source package has some chance of making a tweak to the application to make that one little piece fit their needs and environment better. An organization using a closed source solution is essentially at the mercy of the software publisher in this regard.

(That isn't to say that there aren't other arguments to be made for why open source software is less advantageous than a comparable commercial package, just wanted to point out that I do think a little bit of magic does exist here.)

Re:What Is The Point??!! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520729)

A couple of bucks? Have you ever seen the bill Microsoft sends you for licenses for Exchange 2003 or 2007 and 50 licenses for Office 2007?

Re:What Is The Point??!! (2, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521013)

It's also nice to be able to eliminate Windows machines off your network that you're not really using for anything but hosting a few select applications that require it. Having to have an entire server running just to host exchange server is a pain in the butt when you already have plenty of Linux servers around that could do the job if there was a cross-platform alternative to Exchange open source or otherwise.

Re:What Is The Point??!! (1)

dbrutus (71639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521085)

The universe of people who can use your calendering product is bounded at the bottom by the cost per user. If you have a nice solution that has zero cost per user like the Darwin Calendering Server, entrepreneurial startups everywhere end up with a marginally lower burn rate and a small number of them who would have run out of money right before they produced something useful will end up surviving and adding to the material goodness that is free market capitalism. It's part of a larger process of squeezing all the costs possible out of IT.

So go ahead and use what you like if you're established. It's quite likely that the cost to reimplement would swallow up any cost savings for many years to come but if you're creating a new division which is separate from the rest of the mothership or a new start up, there's a real need for something better on the cost front and preferrably stripped of the proprietary handcuffs.

Sunbird (0)

RatOfTheLab (535003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520443)

Might be worth having a look at mozilla org's Sunbird []

Re:Sunbird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520611)

I will second sunbird; I had trouble with the last version, but the latest one seems to be working great under ubuntu. However even with a webdav server, this probably isn't sufficient for the scheduling needs of anything more than an individual or small group.

Re:Sunbird (1)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520991)

Sunbird slows down terribly when you have a lot of events in your calendar (I have about 500, which isn't really that much), so you might have some problems with it.

I intend to check with a profiler to find the source of the slowness, but I haven't got round to it yet.

Not really (5, Informative)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520453)

Zimbra []

Scalix []

are the two closest, but honestly, neither is a perfect replacement.

No callenders? (2, Informative)

tristian_was_here (865394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520469)

Mozilla has an active callender project with Sunbird and Lightening []

Re:No callenders? (0)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520507)

Normally, I wouldn't post something like this, but I couldn't resist.

Do they come with spell-checkers, too? :-D

Compete in what way? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520471)

Can any compete with Microsoft's resource scheduling?"

Um. Yeah. They all compete somehow.

If you'd say what feature you wanted and what you wanted to do, someone could tell you how that feature in program X competes with Outlook. Short of that, I think the best answer is "Um. Yeah."

Re:Compete in what way? (1)

mjolnir_ (115649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521063)

I obviously can't speak directly for the OP's needs but resource scheduling out in real IS/IT world - you know, where we can't just magically make all those MSFT installations disappear, no matter how much we'd like to - usually means booking conference rooms. Exchange 03's implementation isn't that great; most ppl just set their rooms to auto-accept any invite, then some lucky soul gets to go digging through all those when something goes bonkers (on Exchange 03, something always does).

I'm moving us to CalDAV as soon as I kill my Exchange admin and hide his body.

Zimbra (1)

nycsmart1 (654214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520495)

Have you taken a look at Zimbra?

Zimbra (4, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520509)

Zimbra pretty much does it all. The web client is top notch, and makes a perfectly fine outlook replacement (Yeah, I know. Just try it, seriously), and its got some serious scaling capacitys (Its used by some of the biggest ISPs around). Yahoo now owns it, so its got some name backing. The catch is the outlook compatible one ISNT so open source, but its pretty cheap.

Citadels pretty nice too, and Ignatius foobar is a cool guy, but its a pretty eccentric product. I think they've kinda been fucked around a bit with outlook compatibility, but I admit I havent checked in a long time.

Re:Zimbra (1)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520743)

Have to second Zimbra. We just finally got a proper mail / calendering server (after limping along with vanilla Imap and google calendars... ug). There's an Evolution plugin in beta but it seems to be flaky. However, I was surprised on how much I liked the web client. Not perfect, but pretty damn useful. If the Evolution plugin is ever completed I may switch the client back to that, but in the meantime I'm quite happy with the web client.

open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520575)

if you're looking at open source solutions shouldn't you be willing to make it as good as outlook? i really got to ask... are you looking for open source or are you just looking for free?

unless you're looking to modify the code to something that fits your needs there is no reason to go to open source unless you're just cheap.

Google Calendar or Google Apps Enterprise Calendar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520629)

When you say you tried Google Calendar, did you try the Google Apps Calendar? In the Non-Profit/Enterprise version, they have a meeting scheduler and resource scheduling... what else are you needing?

not free/open but at least cross platform (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520633)

Its not Free or Open, and far from free, but Steltor/Oracle's Corporate Time is at least available on Mac, Linux, and Windows and works well....

Gmail Appliance? (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520659)

Why have we not seen a GMail Appliance? Seems like it could be the exchange killer.

Google Calendar? (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521045)

Why have we not seen a GMail Appliance?

A snippet from [] :

Integrated contact list -- Your contact list in Google Calendar is always in sync with Gmail, so you'll never need to look someone up in Gmail to send an invitation.

Integrated into Gmail -- Gmail recognizes incoming meeting requests and invitations, and helps you RSVP without ever leaving your inbox.

Mobile access -- You can get event reminders, check your calendar and even add new events to your agenda with SMS commands from your mobile phone.

Any particular features? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520671)

Perhaps to get a better answer, you could help us understand your needs. For example, if business meetings are with people external to your company, do you need public-facing calendar so others can check your availability?

Or possibly you need the ability to handle group events, search for available times within a distribution list, manage one-time vs global changes to recurring meetings, or some other advanced calendar functions?

You also mention "resource scheduling" -- are you looking for basic project-management features? So-called "calendar" software might mean so many things (color-coding, pop-up alarms, and so on) to different people.... It seems in the FOSS arena, lots of people create "building blocks" and you assemble your own pieces to add the function you need, which is fine if you just need to add a pop-up, but more challenging to incorporate something like "enterprise collaboration". :-)

Hey, maybe IBM will open-source Lotus Notes; and that scales up better than MS Exchange, too.

I think a lot of people would like an alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520721) Outlook/Exchange. It doesn't have to be free but 1/2 the price of Exchange would be nice and an open standard so that you could change either the client or server end if you weren't happy with what you had. As for what Outlook/Exchange features, all of them. Seriously, while I don't use all of the features in Outlook/Exchange if you add together everyone in my company they probably use 95% or more of the features.

Zimbra (1)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520741)

I use it as a personal mail/calendar server, I don't use a frontend with it much, but it does integrate nicely with evolution and with thunderbird and lightning.

It has resource scheduling (even in the free version) I just don't use it, so I really can't comment on its quality. The email and scheduling is nice, its compatible with iCal, so there's tons of public calendars out there to help keep track of generic stuff too.

Check it out.

evolution kthxbye (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520757)

Evolution should do everything you need. Seriously, what else could it do?

I am waiting for a good calDAV server (2, Interesting)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520763)

in the mean time I am using webcalendar which works great. Lotus Domino runs on Linux and would be my preferred choice of proprietary solution, I am trying to get IBM to make Domino a CalDAV server, anyone who has an IBM rep is encouraged to beat them up about CalDAV support. looks quite good now. Might have to re-evaluate that one.

Look at Citadel (1)

bflong (107195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520765)

Take a look at Citadel [] . It does Groupdav, Kolab1, and a few others as well. Calendar, Contacts, and Email. And it's 100% GPL.

Citadel of course (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520779)

Citadel is the best kept secret on the internet. Installs in no time and does everything: []

All Web Based on LAMP (1)

lager_monste (857304) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520787)

eGroupware [] has all the features of Outlook with project management tools, wiki, time manager, file share access all thrown in.

And its web based so it works across platform.

It connects to POP and/or IMAP email servers and can support 100's of users on a slow server.

I replaced my web email solution with this and now use it for a whole lot more.

A great project. []

Resource scheduling (1)

shrikel (535309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520795)

Can any compete with Microsoft's resource scheduling?

Google calendar handles resource scheduling, if you go with the Professional (paid) version.

eGroupware with Kontact (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520849)

eGroupware with Kontact. All F/OSS with outlook compatibility, LDAP Integration, MySQL Backend. Its just missing Kerberos then it would be perfect.

It uses XML-RPC to transfer Addresses, Calendaring, etc. It even talks to Outlook, It would be the perfect Exchange replacement except that for the love of god, it doesn't support Kerberos! God damn it!

iCal Server (4, Informative)

HiredMan (5546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520859)

Apple's iCal Server is Open Source PHP (with Twisted Framework) and based on the new CalDAV open standard. Everyone (with the possible exception of Microsoft) is moving to CalDAV as the open standard. Many big companies (Oracle, IBM, Google) are involved with the committee and hopefully the holy grail of inter-operable calendaring systems - including free/busy, invitations etc - is finally on the horizon.

The server just officially went gold with Leopard but has actually been done for a while now. Apple's iCal Server and (closed source) Client are currently the most polished products but now that there is a solid CalDAV server I expect that the various clients with gain alot of polish and other CalDAV servers should start to roll out as well.

Check out the CALCONNECT standards body for more information: []


PS Microsoft is finally a member but their commitment level is not that of the other partners.

Re:iCal Server (2, Informative)

Erskin (1651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521051)

Apple's iCal Server is Open Source Python (with Twisted Framework) and based on the new CalDAV open standard.
(It's probably an innocent slip of the brain, but figured I'd mention it for anybody unfamiliar with the tech so they don't get confused.)

Re:iCal Server (1)

HiredMan (5546) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521227)

Absolutely right - Python not PHP. Sorry, serious lack of caffeine this morning....


Zimbra (2, Interesting)

hackus (159037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520921) []

We are replacing all of our Exchange users and dumping exchange by the end of the year.

It is an open source free replacement for Exchange.

Very nice and integrates well with Sunbird (Thunderbird Calander).


ECCO - Not open source but still awesome!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520955)

"Can any compete with Microsoft's resource scheduling?"

Yes, a 10 year old program called ECCO still kicks the CRAP out of even the latest version of Outlook! It was originaly a commercial product owned by NetMange back in the mid 90's. How ever I think (rumor has it) M$ paid them to stop making and selling the program. I think it is open source now, not sure on that. Any ways, it is free if you can find it, I know that much. And I know support groups have even found ways of making it work across networks and with Exchange servers! I personally have not done this but I hear it can be done. So Google around for ECCO or EccoPro and see what you can find! It is an extremely powerful PIM, is based on an entirely relational concept, and can sync with some hand held devices (I used to sync with a Sharp PIM). It's cool because everything can be setup as a series of relation links, so you can see what you have scheduled and also what task notes or contacts are tied into that event. And it's not just copying the text around all over the place like Outlook automates, it uses actual relational linking internaly! Also the entire interface can be highly customized. Check it out...

I tend to use a lot of obscure old commercial apps that have now gone free or are abandon ware... I use ECCO as my PIM, and a program called Courier (used to be Calypso) as my email program, which is much more powerful than Outlook or Thunderbird, is internaly relational, but perhaps lacks some of the spam filtering that Outlook and Thunderbird now have (how cares, my server does all that any ways!).

So yeah, two examples of small commercial software outfits that had better programs 10 years ago than some of the stuff being done today...

communigate (1)

nldave (1196065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520977)

We've been using communigate for about a year and a half now at my company (replaced all our windows+exchange servers with centOS+communigate), and I must say it's been a great alternative to exchange. It's got all the features you need and a pretty good web interface. Their info is at []

Devices, devices, devices (1)

Average (648) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520999)

My bugaboo with calendaring has been devices. We're a introspective enough shop that we get away with a lot of open source. But, for calendars? Blackberrys, Symbians, PalmOS, Windows Mobile for Smartphones and PDAs, iPhones... and the list grows. I hope CalDAV picks up soon, because even Exchange isn't 100% on syncing with all these devices.

Bunisoft Meldware? (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521007)

How about Meldware [] from Bunisoft? They have
a calendaring module. I haven't used it, but it might be worth a look.

Zimbra meets GCal ?!? (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521019)

I rely on Google Calendar for my day-to-day needs. Can an enterprise implement Zimbra and still send out messages that auto-trigger Google Calendar to update itself like Outlook does? Conversely, can a business implement a Zimbra solution to interface with someone else's Outlook solution?

I really don't know the answer to these questions. I have a number of clients who use Outlook/Exchange for calendaring but I am pretty much all-Linux on my end. The thing that seems to work is they schedule events on my Google Calendar by dint of GCal auto-interpreting Outlook's email messages, but that's the extent of it.

Exchange/Google Calender/iCal/Blackberry (1)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521029)

The biggest problem with the calendar system now is that there is no standard 2 way communication platform. I do all of my scheduling online then pull it down to Outlook on my PC, iCal on my Macbook Pro, then sync my blackberry with iCal so that IT pulls down google calendar.

If there was a good 2-way platform that would allow me to upload AND download (safely! I know there are hacks) from a service like Google Calendar I would be more likely to use it.

I am thinking of getting a hosted Exchange server but I don't want to pay the extra $$$ to Sprint and not get my current 'power vision' plan

Two options. (1)

amper (33785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521075)

There are essentially two options out there that I would be willing to use: Zimbra and iCal Server (Darwin Calendar Server). Zimbra is sort of in limbo right now due to the Yahoo! acquisition, and Apple has not yet released a packaged version of iCal Server outside of Mac OS X Server 10.5 (you can, however, get it from the Subversion system).

I hope that Yahoo follows through on their stated intention to keep the open source version of Zimbra.

The other problem is clients. Right now, there aren't many clients that interoperate with Darwin Calendar Server. Apple's iCal is probably the only one ready for prime-time, though supposedly Mulberry works, as well. Mozilla Sunbird will hopefully catch up at some point. Zimbra doesn't have a stand-alone client package, last time I checked, but the Zimbra Desktop package is a good start, even though it itself is actually a web application running against an embedded web server with database synchronization.

This has been a long-term interest of mine. C&S competition to Exchange is one of the key areas that the industry has consistently failed to address.

Citadel is *the* solution (5, Interesting)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521133)

You really want to check out Citadel [] . It has a very comprehensive feature set -- not just calendars but also email, address books, message boards, instant messaging, access via all standard protocols plus a gorgeous ajax-style web user interface.

The best part about Citadel is that it is very easy to install. There's an automatic installer script right on the web site. No fuss, no muss, just enter the install command and watch it go. No tedious mucking about with integrating all of the pieces yourself, as the entire Citadel system is self-contained.

And the whole thing is GPL, unlike solutions such as Zimbra and Scalix which claim to be open source, but when you actually go there you find out that to get the full feature set you have to buy a commercial version. The Citadel project makes its very best work available to everyone on the same terms.

Google Calendar with Thunderbird (0, Redundant)

angrytuna (599871) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521161)

I've recently become a fan of Google Calendar ever since I found out that it could be read from and written to within Thunderbird (using the Lightning [] calendar extension, and the Provider for Google Calendar [] add on). I wouldn't suggest it as a business solution, but for personal use, it works well. I'm not really a fan of the google calendar web interface, but now I don't really have to deal with it, and my changes are replicated to anywhere I've got the plugins installed.

Anyways, my $.02. More directions here [] .

Zimbra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21521195)

Zimbra worked the best of the non-exchange groupware we've tried. It's not open source though. Before that we tried Scalix and moved off it.

Scalix? (1)

rael9real (442240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21521201)

What about Scalix [] ? It has a very good web client, but also works with Evolution if needed. It has good calendar support and various other goodies. We're thinking of switching from Domino/Notes to save costs.
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