New group releases open source groupware

OpenGroupware.org (OGo) on Thursday announced its formation and release of groupware server software under an open source format. An official at OpenOffice.org, a complementary project for building an open source office suite, calls the OGo project a replacement for Microsoft Exchange.

OGo's free software provides server components for office collaboration with the OpenOffice.org suite and various Linux and Windows groupware clients, according to OGo, whose software runs on Linux and Solaris.

The groupware provides document-sharing capabilities for OpenOffice.org documents and enables collaboration between users of packages such as Microsoft Outlook, Ximian Revolution, Mozilla calendar, and Glow, which is OpenOffice.org Groupware Project's client product.

"Just to be perfectly clear, this is a [Microsoft] Exchange replacement. OGo is important because it's the missing link in the open source software stack," said Gary Frederick, leader of the OpenOffice.org Groupware Project.

The groupware is based initially on the contribution of code from the Skyrix 4.1 Groupware Server. The software enables sharing of calendars, address books, and e-mail information as well as communication via instant messaging. Users can share folders, exchange documents, track changes, share a whiteboard or even browse the Web. The software is being contributed by Skyrix Software, which OGo said is well known as a leader in Linux groupware in Germany.

Frederick in his statement said OGo is offering users a free solution for collaboration and document management that will "far surpass the quality and level of collaboration found in Windows [through integration of Microsoft Office, Exchange Server, and SharePoint.]"

OGo is licensed under the open source dual licenses, Lesser General Public License (LGPL) and the General Public License (GPL). OGo supports XML-based APIs, including XML-RPC. OGo uses a WebDAV-accessible relational database management system to make document storage accessible from the OpenOffice.org office suite, OGo said.

OGo seeks to complement OpenOffice.org, which is building an international office suite that will run on major platforms and provide access to functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format, according to information culled from the two groups' Web sites.

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