Novel, Open-Xchange Expand Linux Collaboration Wares

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted Jun 15, 2007

Novell and former partner Open-Xchange are updating their collaboration offers in an effort to make their respective products more feature rich for users.

Open-Xchange refreshed version 5 of its flagship product, while Novell, no longer tightly partnered with Open-Xchange, announced Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition.

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For Open-Xchange it's an update to its flagship Open-Xchange Server 5, although it's not a full release.

"This release was sort of a combination between a service pack and a maintenance release," Oliver Nachtrab, vice president of products at Open-Xchange, told internetnews.com. "The enhancement was the speed optimization and overall searching capabilities, and the maintenance release was geared toward performance for the admin end."

Open-Xchange Server 5 supports Red Hat Application server 2, as well as improved Microsoft Outlook integration capabilities. Open-Xchange has made more than 50 additions to their product, though Nachtrab noted it is the performance improvements that will have the most immediate impact for users.

"This speed allows enterprises, especially those with large databases, to search faster across a broader spectrum of documents," Nachtrab said. "This plays into the extended search capabilities, and makes it easier and faster for the end user to get exactly where they want to be."

The extended search capabilities are now expanded to include every folder structure on the server. Nachtrab said this allows users to type one keyword and find what they are looking for right away, no matter where on the server it has been created.

Until 2005, when Open-Xchange version 5.0 was first released, the collaboration suite was closely tied to Novell and its SUSE Linux. That's no longer the case, and Novell is aggressively pursuing its own Linux-based collaboration strategy.

The company announced this week its new Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition. An iteration of the Novell Open Workgroup Suite announced last year, it now scales for small-business users supporting a maximum of 200 users and five servers.

Richard Lindstedt, senior product marketing manager for Novell, argued that the Open Workgroup solution isn't a competitive offering to what Open-Xchange is selling.

"The Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition is a desktop-to-server solution that includes a Linux-based server platform, collaboration and productivity tools and a business-ready Linux desktop," Lindstedt told internetnews.com. "Open-Xchange is more of a point solution and doesn't compare to what we are offering here."

Lindstedt also noted that Novell has a few more enhancements lined up for its Linux collaboration offerings.

"We will make new versions of almost all our products available, including the Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition," Lindstedt said. "In the small-business space specifically, you will see initiatives that aim to make it easier for customers to choose a Linux-based infrastructure while being able to run the applications critical to their business."

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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