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RE: Outlook Calendar?

-----Original Message-----
From: Anthony E . Greene [mailto:agreene@pobox.com]
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2001 21:26
To: openldap-software@OpenLDAP.org
Subject: Re: Outlook Calendar?

On Mon, 15 Jan 2001 09:52:06 Walter Neuhaus (EAS) wrote:
>I'd like to integrate an LDAP-Server instead of Exchange (or Openmail from
>HP) because software-price is a very important argument for me. (And the
>The customer is already using Outlook 2000 and the tasks to be performed
>should be:

If the customer already owns a license for Exchange Server, why switch?

No, the customer is NOT using Exchange for the moment. He's using Openmail 6.0 for Linux (evaluation version for 6 months).
Outlook 2000 is the client he uses.

Anyway, the Fileserver is Redhat6.1 with Samba, Sendmail, and so on running on it. So Exchange would be a crossover to NT4 Server.

>- Adressbook with his customers shared on the server so that all employes
>(4 ;-) can access it. (Whith LDAP, no problem?)
>If I want to include some new fields in Outlook 2000 (like the name of the
>customers dog) can I set then the LDAP attributes myself?

Both of these are pretty straigtforward using OpenLDAP. If you want the
end-users to update the entries, a shared Outlook folder that contains
contacts would be easier than setting up LDAP and an update interface. If
the directory will only be updated by an admin, then LDAP is easy enough.

I've used both ldap-abook and a custom-written solution for end-user
updates. Both sers small scale in-house solutions. I don't consider them
adequate for customer use, although a custom solution that allows for
arbitrary addition of LDAP attributes might work. It still would not be
integrated with Outlook though.

There is a problem with the sharing feature of folders of Outlook: The customer has a few laptops on which are the most important adresses and calendering stuff. How can they be shared, if the laptop is not connected (not at its place)?.

The other thing is that the customer is using Palm Pilots. So he must be able to synchronize his informations.

>- Calendar must also be shared on the server. (Do I need a special
>calendar-server or can LDAP handle this?)

LDAP might be able to do this, but it was not designed for it. A relational
database or a real calendaring application (preferred) would be a much
better solution. The application logic required to make LDAP do calendaring
would not be worth the trouble. Additionally, LDAP optimized for reading. A
caledering app would involve a good percentage of writes. I you really want
to abandon Exchange server you might look into web-based calendering
solutions. Again, these will not be integrated into Outlook.

Mainly I have to say that it was my fault to install Outlook 2000 on the customers computers, because it would be VERY hard to explain now to the customer that there are Web-based groupware applications (which I had a look on) which are better to use and which do better fit to his requirements, AND they are not that expensive than Exchange, Openmail, and so on.

I also know, that I looks very exagerated to implement that "complicated and enormeous" systems" like LDAP or Openmail for only a few customers, for mini-networks. But HOW should I be able to build up knowledge for LDAP and other systems if I can't practice?

So long

After a little looking around, I found a site that describes a way to shared
Outlook calendars via the Web:


Anthony E. Greene <agreene@pobox.com> <http://www.pobox.com/~agreene/>
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