The core technology used in SUSE Linux Openexchange Server, which allows Linux-based groupware to operate with Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange Server, is being contributed to the open-source community under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Netline Internet Service, based in Olpe, Germany, announced last week at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco that the source code for the groupware, collaboration and messaging application will be available for free by the end of the month. Users will be able to download it, modify it and contribute improvements and changes to it.
Netline created the Open-Xchange Server baseline technology on which SUSE Linux Openexchange Server is based.
Open-Xchange Server is a standards-based application that includes corporate groupware functions such as e-mail, calendaring, contact lists, task lists and real-time document storage.
"Open-Xchange is built with open-source components -- making the source code available under the GPL was clearly the most logical next step in its evolution," Netline CEO Frank Hoberg said in a statement. "As demand for an open communications product increases, the open-source community will help greatly accelerate innovation."
The source code will be available for download from www.Open-Xchange.org and www.openexchange.com.
Ed Anderson, vice president of product marketing for the Nterprise platform services group at Novell Inc., which owns SUSE, said in a statement that "the GPL release of Open-Xchange is good for customers and developers. Novell has been a leader in collaboration for many years, and we recognize the value of open-source in the rapid development of software and its responsiveness to users' needs."
Open-Xchange integrates open-source and proprietary servers and clients and is accessible through a Web browser, allowing users to share e-mail, calendaring, tasks, threaded discussions and documents.
Commercially available connectors will be available later this year for users who require seamless integration with Windows clients. Because the user interface of Open-Xchange runs on all major browsers, users can access it from the Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac and Palm operating systems.
Microsoft Outlook users can access calendar and contact data as well as tasks and documents stored in Open-Xchange in real time, according to the company.