Medium- to high-range business groupware server

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002

In today's business world, real-time communication and collaboration between employees is critical. Joydesk from VirtualTek comes into the groupware market hoping to meet just those needs. Coming in two versions, ISP/Portal and Business, Joydesk provides address book, message board, calendaring, and e-mail services. The Business Edition is the only version that supports public sharing of message board, calendar, and address book information. The ISP/Portal Edition is aimed at providing a large user base with services, while the Business version's goal is to provide stable, mission-critical services to high-end and large businesses.

Joydesk from VirtualTek comes into the groupware market hoping to meet just those needs.

Joydesk's basic configuration has many layers. The first layer, also called the front tier, deals with user interfaces. Joydesk services can be accessed through any Java-enabled Internet browser and wireless electronics through a WAP interface. Because Joydesk information can be accessed through the Internet, the second layer, ironically named the middle tier, is basically the middleman between the third and first layers. The second layer is essentially a Web server, which can be of any major platform, from Windows NT, to Unix, FreeBSD, or Linux, or even the little known Cobalt Qube. All that is required for the second-layer server is that it be a Web server with support for Java Servlets.

It is in the final layer that things get interesting. The back tier, as it is called, is the heart and soul of Joydesk. It consists of a powerful database server storing most of the information that users will access. The database used CodeSQL and is accessed by a special program specifically made for Joydesk. Aside from being a lumbering database server, the third layer also features e-mail serving for users by the use of sendmail. It can also be configured to use an existing SMTP server of choice. Joydesk also offers standard POP3 and IMAP4 protocols for use with any Web browser, WAP device, or standard e-mail client, such as Outlook, Eudora, and Netscape Mail.

With any type of server, log-ons are a big hassle. By using "images," Joydesk groupware server hopes to reduce the log-in time of users across the board. When a user first logs on, an "image" is placed on his or her local machine. If the images weren't saved, they would have to be transferred through the Web server every time, taking up precious bandwidth and time. Having the "image" stored locally allows the client to bypass waiting for the "image." This process frees up not only bandwidth but also time.

The system requirements for Joydesk are also extraordinarily awesome. All that is required for Joydesk to support 1 millions users, 8 million e-mail messages, 1 million articles per message board forum, 5 million total schedules, and 800,000 addresses per user, is a typical high-end dual Pentium Server with 1 GB of RAM and 46 0GB of hard disk space. Initially, that sounds like a lot, but when looking at what that configuration can handle, it is amazing. No business that we know of would need 1 million users logged in to one server.

Pros: 7 Easy to integrate due to broad platform compatibility, 7 No new client software required

Cons: 7 Complicated three-level design requires multiple servers, 7 A lot of expensive hardware to support the three-level design.

New in v2.6: Encrypted SSL security using self-signed digital certificates; sound notification for new mail; single or multiple domain creation capabilities; Apache v1.3 included; comes with a 30-day trial of the Joy2Go! suite, which includes Joy2Go! Wireless for mobile phone access and Joy2Go! Sync; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 3

Version Reviewed: 2.6
Reviewed by: M.A. Dockter
Last Updated: 10/24/01
Date of Original Review: 12/20/00

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