MS Exchange - MAPI
Posted Jul 22, 2006 14:27 UTC (Sat) by addw
Parent article: Free Software Sets the Computing Agenda
One huge nail in the MS corporate strategy would be if/when the MAPI protocol is fully described. MAPI is how MS Outlook talks to MS Exchange, in spite of several attempts there is not an open source product that implements this.
MS Exchange through it's groupware functions (booking of meetings, etc) often glues large companies together. Since the functionality is part ef exchange there is no way of replacing the mail server with something better (eg: exim/postfix with cyrus or dovecot) as the groupware would be lost. The result is a lock-in to MS Exchange & Outlook, this means the MS Active Directory needs to be used server side and to run Outlook you need a MS Windows desktop.
If we could speak 'MAPI' then:
* we could implement FLOSS servers and desktop users would (need to) know, I know many sites that would love to dump MS Exchange.
* we could have FLOSS desktops working alongside MS Windows desktops, this crack could then be widened on a desktop by desktop basis while guaranteeing that no one would be cut off from the corporate diary.
There are a few proprietary products that implement MAPI (Bynari & HP/Samsung OpenView) - nothing free.
The exchange of email is easy, IMAP provides a good way of doing it. When many talk of email they also mean groupware, to be able to break the stranglehold would be a big win for FLOSS on the desktop.
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