The Z-Whiz Experience: Zimbra! Your Mailbox Will Never Be the Same!

What a great week for knock-yer-socks-off webware! Today I took a look at Zimbra, a hot hot hot collaboration tool and MS Exchange replacement and my toes are still tingling. As a jaded veteran of the MUA wars, I tend to think that I'd be happiest going back to MM, the TOPS-20 text-based mailer that was ported to *nix using the Columbia JSYS library. There's actually an MM port for Linux, but I've been in Netscape long enough that I don't bother. When I moved onto the Mac, various folks' rhapsodic waxings about the local mail app there made me try it. For about an hour. Ugh. No thanks!

Now, I'm going to bother. Zimbra looks worth going through the hassle of moving a few gigabytes of mail archive into. OK, several hundred gigabytes of mail archive. Or at least going forward with on a regular basis. I'm going to be really, really interested in the migration tools.

They've already done one amazing thing, namely to produce a narrated Flash demo that is actually exciting to watch-- for me, at least. The features of following conversations, getting to info by mouseover that one usually has to click into, extensibility that can set up context-sensitive handlers (eg, recognize a FedEx tracking number or a company purchase order embedded in an email), the list goes on. I have to hop on the train shortly and can't finish watching the demo right now, but what I've seen so far has blown me away.

Yes, there is group calendar with free/busy scheduling, the Holy Grail of Exchange displacement. 'Nuff said. I am *so* spending my weekend getting this working for Virtual.Net's mail.


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