Advertising "open core" software

Robert Scheck robert at
Wed Apr 14 20:42:58 UTC 2010

Hello Rahul,

On Wed, 14 Apr 2010, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Open core, for those not familiar with the term is the business model of
> keeping some key features closed and selling a proprietary product where
> the "core" functionality is free and open source.  Two features in the
> feature list are such software
> Zarafa groupware and IntelliJ IDEA, IDE for Java have a number of
> features that is only available in their proprietary product.

I'm sorry to say that, but it looks very much like you never used Zarafa so
far nor do you have somehow a deep clue about the features or how it works.

Please explain why you consider the Microsoft Outlook support (a *.DLL MAPI
connector), the Active Directory toolkit, support for Blackberry Enterprise
Server and the Auto deployment tools as key features? Is Fedora 13 going to
support Microsoft Windows clients and Microsoft Outlook? No. And that's why
it doesn't matter that Fedora doesn't ship all these features. Because they
require and depend on Microsoft Windows, otherwise they won't work.

The High Availability support is only human support for DRBD and Heartbeat;
they are both used to get the High Availability support to Zarafa. Nothing
you couldn't setup yourself, you're just paying for human support here (see
the tooltip).

The remaining three key features are Bricklevel backup, Advanced multi user
calendar and Multiserver support. Seriously, I never needed any Bricklevel
backup/restore the last three years (where I began with Zarafa), the soft-
delete satisfied all user needs so far. For the other two features, I would
say, that there needs to be a tiny difference between paying and non-paying
people. Especially the Multiserver support doesn't make much sense without
having a support contract with Zarafa anyway. Imagine, that something hooks
up in your productive environment with 2000 users. Do you seriously want to
debug that yourself and on your own? No.

On the other hand, the Zarafa Open Source Collaboration as Fedora is ships
it right now, is a full-featured collaboration software 100% based on MAPI
and providing a native MAPI implementation for Linux. If you are a Fedora
(that means a Linux user), you can send and receive e-mails (via Webaccess,
POP3/IMAP), create calendar entries (Webaccess, CalDAV/iCal), create group
invitations (Webaccess), create contacts (Webaccess, there's no VCardDAV
standard until now). The Zarafa Webaccess is made to be a full replacement
for Microsoft Outlook (there are even prominent paying Zarafa customers who
only use the Zarafa Webaccess because they like it more than any Outlook).
And if you use Z-Push from the RPM Fusion Package Review, you even can sync
your mobile device/smartphone - of course it needs to support ActiveSync
over-the-air, but there are clients for nearly each smartphone nowadays.

And if you don't believe me, install Zarafa and verify it yourself. Or ask
somebody with Zarafa knowledge and experience.

So which key features are you exactly missing in Fedora? Who the fuck needs
seriously support for Microsoft products in Fedora? Or do you want to start
a "Fedora Windows" spin for Fedora 14? ;-)

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