New Linux e-mail platform connects the missing link

The newest version of Scalix's e-mail package offers calendaring and scheduling functionality, features that are often missing from the Linux scene.

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BOSTON -- Businesses crying out for calendaring in a non-Microsoft e-mail system can put away their hankies, according to Scalix Corp. founder Julie Hanna Farris. Unveiled at LinuxWorld Expo & Conference today, the new Scalix 9.2 release is a Linux-based e-mail and calendaring package for mixed platform environments.

"Users have told us that the office functionality of OpenOffice.org is not a barrier to moving to the Linux desktop, but the big missing hole is calendaring and scheduling," said Farris. "So, Scalix 9.2 plugs that hole."

Scalix 9.2 is a full-fledged enterprise messaging system that plays well in heterogeneous environments, according to Farris.

The interoperability that it offers enables calendaring and scheduling across many desktops and across Microsoft Exchange and Scalix environments," she said. "This allows a business to gradually deploy and start using Scalix without having to make an all or nothing decision from day one."

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Systems integrator Peter Radochia of KyndL Corp. in Wakefield, Mass., appreciates being able to use both Scalix 9.2 on the server and Microsoft Outlook on the desktop completely transparently to users. Gone are worries about retraining or loss of existing functionality, he said. Next on his wish list for Scalix is fat client support on Macintosh.

Farris said Scalix 9.2 has a little something for both administrators and users. Admins get a graphical user interface that can interact with many e-mail systems, while users get a familiar client screen that requires little or no training to use, she said.

Scalix 9.2 fights users' fears of facing an unfamiliar e-mail screen with a graphical user interface as familiar as Microsoft Outlook, but with some noticeable differences. For one, the Scalix user's calendar can be seen on the same page where e-mail is viewed, ending the need to switch between screens.

The new calendaring features have been an important addition for Weymouth Public School teachers who now use Scalix Web Access as their only mail and calendaring client, said David Cawthorne, technology coordinator for Weymouth Public Schools in Massachusetts and a beta user of Scalix 9.2.

Enhancements to the web browser-based Scalix Administration Console include tools for managing server processes, messaging queues and default settings. The previous version provided visual tools for creating and modifying users, groups and distribution lists. Scalix 9.2 can run on several browsers, including Firefox.

Cawthorne said that administering Scalix 9.2 is a lot easier than working with Windows-based systems, and it has helped him cut down on the number of calls he makes to his Linux consultant. "With the new features in the admin console, I can address most of my administrative needs from a Web browser and don't need to use the command line interface."

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