Linux Collaboration Options Improve

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

For Open-Xchange it's an update to its flagship Open-Xchange Server 5, though 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 "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 now supports Red Hat Application server 2, as well as provides improved Microsoft Outlook integration capabilities. Open-Xchange has made over 50 additions to their product, though Nachtrab noted that 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 "Open-Xchange is more of a point solution and doesn't compare to what we are offering here."

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