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Enterprise Mac Calendaring?
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Aug 7, 2008, 02:06 PM
 
My company is floundering in our search for a viable calendaring system that will work with iCal. Xserve refuses to work (constant server reboots, issues with calendar sharing, etc) and .me just doesn't cut it in a business of more than five people. If anyone's got an idea of what I should be checking out, I'd love to hear it.
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Aug 7, 2008, 02:12 PM
 
The first thing that came to my mind when I read the topic title is Google Apps.
It allows calendar sharing and just recently implemented support for CalDAV (WebDAV with Calender Extensions which is what iCal uses).

I haven’t used this combination so far but it might be worth a try. And Google Apps (non-premier) is completely free.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
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Aug 7, 2008, 03:30 PM
 
     
Clinically Insane
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Aug 7, 2008, 03:32 PM
 
Have you tried Apple's Calendar Server/Darwin Calendar Server? If the XServe is having difficulties, you can install Calendar Server on another Unix based OS.. I've installed it under both Linux and FreeBSD myself.

Otherwise, the Google options are okay if privacy and data ownership aren't an issue to you. Short of that and an assortment of commercial products I've never used, I think you're out of luck.

If iCal integration isn't required, there are a ton of web-based calendar apps.
     
zro
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Aug 7, 2008, 03:51 PM
 
     
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Aug 7, 2008, 03:53 PM
 
Sunbird is simply a client, like iCal, that would require a WebDAV/CalDAV server just the same as iCal does.
     
juusan  (op)
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Aug 7, 2008, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Have you tried Apple's Calendar Server/Darwin Calendar Server? If the XServe is having difficulties, you can install Calendar Server on another Unix based OS.. I've installed it under both Linux and FreeBSD myself.
This may be a good option - thanks. Problem is that it's difficult to tell if the app is flakey or the server itself. How many users were working under your Linux and BSD installations?
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zro
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Aug 7, 2008, 10:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Sunbird is simply a client, like iCal, that would require a WebDAV/CalDAV server just the same as iCal does.
No ****.

But unlike iCal it allows full group access using WebDAV. There is also a Google calendar plug-in for it that enables write access to your calendars there. Not to mention Lightning, the Thunderbird calendar plug-in. And the as yet "experimental" local caching of remote calendar data, which really amounts to automatic backup.

Only real problem with it is Mozillas insistence of adding their local time zone identifier strings to remote calendars (/mozilla.org/20070129_1/America/Phoenix for example) which amounts to junk in iCal. No idea if that's within spec or not.

The one thing iCal has over Sunbird is SyncServices. It is however still an option well worth looking at.
     
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Aug 7, 2008, 11:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
No ****.

But unlike iCal it allows full group access using WebDAV. There is also a Google calendar plug-in for it that enables write access to your calendars there. Not to mention Lightning, the Thunderbird calendar plug-in. And the as yet "experimental" local caching of remote calendar data, which really amounts to automatic backup.

Only real problem with it is Mozillas insistence of adding their local time zone identifier strings to remote calendars (/mozilla.org/20070129_1/America/Phoenix for example) which amounts to junk in iCal. No idea if that's within spec or not.

The one thing iCal has over Sunbird is SyncServices. It is however still an option well worth looking at.

What is the nature of the group access? Read and write? How are the groups configured?
     
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Aug 7, 2008, 11:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by juusan View Post
This may be a good option - thanks. Problem is that it's difficult to tell if the app is flakey or the server itself. How many users were working under your Linux and BSD installations?
I'm only testing it with a very small install, but it has been running for months without a single crash or even a blip.

You can also checkout the latest Calendar Server code on the project website via Subversion. It might be that the newer versions in the SVN repository have fixed whatever problem you were running into within OS X.
     
zro
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Aug 8, 2008, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What is the nature of the group access? Read and write? How are the groups configured?
Apache has control over authentication to a WebDAV share. You know this.
     
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Aug 8, 2008, 07:46 AM
 
I was picking up on the "unlike iCal" part... How is it unlike iCal? Is it respectful of Apache basic group auth?
     
zro
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Aug 8, 2008, 10:27 AM
 
You're too transparent to play dumb. But very well.

iCal doesn't GET before it PUTs. Sunbird does. Therefore a group of users can safely share a calendar over WebDAV using Sunbird without worry about data loss.

I will say that I haven't tested it under 10.5, but with the inclusion of CalDAV support I don't see Apple making WebDAV access more robust in iCal.
     
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Aug 8, 2008, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by zro View Post
You're too transparent to play dumb. But very well.

iCal doesn't GET before it PUTs. Sunbird does. Therefore a group of users can safely share a calendar over WebDAV using Sunbird without worry about data loss.

I will say that I haven't tested it under 10.5, but with the inclusion of CalDAV support I don't see Apple making WebDAV access more robust in iCal.

What's with the attitude? I obviously haven't investigated this to the extent you have, hence my questions... Is there something wrong with asking questions?

I always thought that the whole purpose of CalDAV was to deal with read locks to prevent people from editing a calendar event at precisely the same time? I should look at my logs (or perhaps increase log level) to see if an edit request does claim some sort of file lock. If it does, I guess there is a minor risk of concurrent edits of a single calendar entry creating conflicts, right? I'm not suggesting that this is a show-stopper, for me it wouldn't be, and for this person it may not be either, I'm just trying to learn more about this...
     
zro
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Aug 8, 2008, 10:51 AM
 
But I'm not talking about CalDAV, just WebDAV since the OP should be able to turn it on and use it for calendars.

I've only ran CalDAV once using the POS XML flat file, plain text user db. But looking at it, CalDAV looks to be geared towards serious appointment scheduling, not just event tracking. A single calendar over WebDAV isn't nearly as powerful as individual calendars over CalDAV, but again it may be worth trying. Though you could still subscribe to another users calendar, it's not up to them if you have write access, so the honor system comes into play here.
     
juusan  (op)
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Aug 11, 2008, 03:34 PM
 
Our current solution is iCal on xserve, and it's failing miserably for an office of 100 people. LDAP directories head south, requiring a reboot of the server, which houses other mission-critical applications that don't like to be rebooted.

Is it the calendar app or xserve itself? Apparently one of our developers actually met with the Apple team that developed the app, and they weren't entirely surprised that it didn't work.

People are on the verge of installing Exchange, which I really don't want to happen. If we can't find another effective solution, though, that may be the only route we have left.
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Aug 11, 2008, 06:50 PM
 
Obviously having to babysit OpenLDAP is not at all ideal, but you can restart OpenLDAP without rebooting the server, right?

As far as client/server calendaring solutions on the Mac go, the main ones are Sunbird/a variety of CalDAV servers and iCal/Calendar Server. Have you tried a newer version of iCal Server like I suggested? If this don't cut it, about the only thing I can think of is looking to build Evolution on OS X. Short of that, I think you're out of luck.
     
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Aug 19, 2008, 11:20 PM
 
Any reason you're not looking at Kerio MailServer? It supports cross-platform CalDAV-compliant shared calendars:

http://www.kerio.com/kms_collaboration.html

There's also Zimbra, which is owned by Yahoo, which is currently a negative, IMHO.

I've just downloaded the Kerio demo... haven't dug into it, but hope to soon, to migrate away from Now Up-To-Date & Contact 5 (which we've used for the better part of 15 years...)
     
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Aug 20, 2008, 12:13 PM
 
I've setup Kerio server for numerous clients, from 10 users thru 150+
plays very well with every platform I've installed it on, works well with Apple mail, iCal, outlook, Entourage and and excellent webmail client.
very easy to install, stable and very hard to break
also happens to be a decent mailserver...
     
juusan  (op)
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Aug 20, 2008, 08:22 PM
 
Hrmm - does Kerio calendaring show free/busy times?

We're soon moving to Zimbra for mail... do you know if their calendaring runs CalDAV?
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Aug 21, 2008, 08:40 AM
 
Zimba 5.0 has CalDav.
Look into Communigate if you want a decent mail platform and VOIP and everything else. Fantastic software.
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Aug 21, 2008, 11:11 AM
 
Be sure that you benchmark and test these groupware products diligently if your company is in the thousands - particularly tens of thousands. Most groupware products, including both Exchange and Zimbra, do not scale well and can become quite costly at this level of usage.
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 06:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by juusan View Post
Hrmm - does Kerio calendaring show free/busy times??
Look at the link I posted above (http://www.kerio.com/kms_collaboration.html) - click on the "See how you and your colleagues can always be up to date" Flash movie - it clearly shows free/busy for meetings/etc.
     
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Aug 21, 2008, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by juusan View Post
Our current solution is iCal on xserve, and it's failing miserably for an office of 100 people. LDAP directories head south, requiring a reboot of the server, which houses other mission-critical applications that don't like to be rebooted.

Is it the calendar app or xserve itself? Apparently one of our developers actually met with the Apple team that developed the app, and they weren't entirely surprised that it didn't work.

People are on the verge of installing Exchange, which I really don't want to happen. If we can't find another effective solution, though, that may be the only route we have left.
Virtualize that stuff!
     
   
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