Netline has made the core technology in SUSE Linux Openexchange Server open source.
The source code for the groupware, collaboration and messaging program, which lets Linux-based groupware work with Microsoft's Exchange Server, will be available free by the end of this month. Users will be able to download it, modify it and contribute improvements and changes.
SUSE Linux Openexchange Server is based on Netline's Open-Xchange Server, a standards-based application with corporate groupware functions such as e-mail, calendaring, contact lists, task lists and real-time document storage.
"Open-Xchange is built with open-source components, so making the source code available was clearly the most logical next step in its evolution," said said Netline chief executive officer Frank Hoberg. "As demand for an open communications product increases, the open-source community will help greatly accelerate innovation."
Ed Anderson, vice-president of Nterprise product marketing at Novell, which owns SUSE, said the move was good for customers and developers. "We recognise the value of open source in the rapid development of software and its responsiveness to users' needs," he added.
Open-Xchange integrates open-source and proprietary servers and clients and is accessible through a web browser, allowing users to share e-mail, calendaring, tasks, threaded discussions and documents.
Commercially available connectors will be available later this year to give seamless integration with Windows clients. Because the Open-Xchange user interface runs on all major browsers, it can be accessed from Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac and Palm machines.
Microsoft Outlook users can access calendar and contact data as well as tasks and documents stored in Open-Xchange in real time.
Todd R Weiss writes for Computerworld