Open-Xchange

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OX App Suite
Developer(s) Open-Xchange
Stable release
7.8.0[1] / (2015-10-07)
Operating system SLES, RHEL, Debian, Univention Corporate Server, CentOS
Type Web desktop
License

paid subscription,

while OX Community Edition: Backend (GPLv2), Frontend CC BY-NC
Website open-xchange.com

Open-Xchange[2] develops, markets and sells web-based communication, collaboration and office productivity software, which enables full integration of email, documents, scheduling and social media. The company is privately owned and headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany, with offices in Helsinki, Finland, and San Jose, CA.

History[edit]

The company started with development of a Linux-based email and groupware solution that was positioned as open source alternative to Microsoft Exchange, namely Open-Xchange Server SUSE Linux Openexchange Server (SLOX, an OEM version for SUSE Linux).

In 2006 1&1 sub-contracted Open-Xchange to build a scalable email and collaboration software for hosted deployments that is deployed to users as software as a service.

In 2012, members of the Hamburg-based OpenOffice development team joined Open-Xchange to engineer a cloud-based office suite from scratch using HTML5 and Java Script technology.

In 2013, Open-Xchange released OX App Suite, a web desktop that provides central access to digital assets and consistent user experience on all devices, as well as OX Documents, a cloud-based office productivity suite that complements OX App Suite. The software is used by more than 80 cloud and hosting providers, telcos and local Internet services to provide more than 165m users (as of 2015) with branded Cloud services such as 1&1 MailXchange,[3] Network Solutions Secure Mail,[4] Namecheap Email Hosting,[5] Mailbox.org,[6] 123-reg Email,[7] acens Correo Professional,[8] Home.pl Cloud Email Xchange,[9] Virgin Media Mail,[10] Ziggo Mail,[11] and others. The software was also made available for on-premises installations.

In March 2015, Open-Xchange announced a merger with software vendors Dovecot and PowerDNS. The combined company is a leading provider of open source cloud software for ISPs, telcos and cable companies providing one point of contact for an integrated solution – from email backend to application frontend.

Overview[edit]

OX App Suite includes a set of applications that are meant for email, contacts, calendars, media and all documents. With the integration of Google Mail, Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, users benefit from sharing across all devices while ensuring that data stays secure[how?] in a central storage.[why?]

Open-Xchange introduced OX Documents, a browser-based office productivity suite, featuring OX Text, a word processor, "OX Spreadsheet" and "OX Documents Viewer". A key feature of OX Text is non-destructive support of Microsoft Office and OpenOffice or LibreOffice file formats. XML-based documents can be seamlessly read, edited and saved back to the original format without corruption. OX Document Viewer delivers plugin-free document viewing capabilities for Microsoft Office (.docx, .doc, .rtf, .pptx, .ppt, .xlsx, xls) and OpenDocument (.odt, .ods, .odp, .odg) file types as well as for the Portable Document Format (.pdf).

In February 2014, the company added OX Drive to the OX App Suite family, which provides file syncing and collaboration features both in-browser and with native applications available for Android, iOS, Windows 7/8 and OS X devices.

In September 2014, the company introduced a tool called OX Guard to their existing open source email server. A software that individuals and businesses can use to operate their own email services.[12] In July 2015 the company announced PGP support for OX Guard.[13]

The company partners with Dutch software vendor Summa[14] to create OX Messenger, a WebRTC based solution for secure peer to peer chat, voice and video communications that is integrated into the Open-Xchange flagship product, OX App Suite.

Technology[edit]

OX App Suite consists of a Java-based backend, a frontend implemented in JavaScript and various extensions.

The backend is modular and extensible, based on OSGi bundles. Every bundle provides different APIs, from Java to RESTful HTTP or specialised interfaces like CalDAV. The backend is designed around Open-Source components like Linux, Apache HTTP Server and MySQL and can be set up as single instance or clustered on several levels. Unlike other collaboration appliances, backend does not come with its own mail server and allows users to plug in their existing systems. The default choice is Dovecot.

The frontend is a HTML5 based website, using JavaScript to make lightweight asynchronous calls. It is built around jQuery, underscore.js and made modular using a system similar to and derived from require.js.

Alternatively end users can use fat clients like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook as well as mobile devices to connect to the backend.

Availability[edit]

Open-Xchange is being offered in 5 different versions,[15] two hosting solutions (OX Server Edition and OX Hosting Edition) and three software packages (OX App Suite, OX Web Edition, OX Community Edition). Out of these 5 versions only OX Community Edition can be used permanently without paid subscription.

Comparison[edit]

This tables gives a fast overview of different features.[16]

OX App Suite OX Web Edition OX Community Edition OX Server Edition OX Hosting Edition
License model paid subscription paid subscription GPL2/CC BY-NC paid subscription paid subscription
Additional software and functionality Availability is based on contract:
  • OX Text
  • OX Spreadsheet
  • Connector for Business Mobility (Active Sync)
  • WebDAV for accessing OX Drive (formally OX Files)
  • CalDAV for native Calendars
  • CardDAV for native Address Books
  • OX Drive for Clients
  • OX Mail app
  • OX Guard
  • OX Messenger (Deployment Options)
  • eM Client for OX App Suite
  • Open-Xchange Mobile Web Interface
  • WebDAV for accessing InfoStore
  • CalDAV for native Calendars
  • CardDAV for native Address Books
No additional software available
  • Connector for Business Mobility (Active Sync)
  • Open-Xchange Mobile Web Interface
  • WebDAV for accessing InfoStore
  • CalDAV for native Calendars
  • CardDAV for native Address Books
All additional software for OX 6 are supported (based on individual custom packaging)

Licensing[edit]

OX App Suite can be downloaded[17] for evaluation and non-supported use. Updates, maintenance, technical support and access to components with 3rd party licenses such as Connector for Microsoft Outlook and Connector for Business Mobility (ActiveSync) need a separate subscription plan.

OX Community Edition Backend is released under the GNU General Public License, version 2, the Frontend is released under Creative Commons Share Alike, Non Commercial, Attribution. These licenses allow use without payment, including in commercial environments. The restriction to Non Commercial in the Creative Commons license for the Frontend restricts re-distribution to third parties, i.e. hosted deployments for third parties. However, since the front-end license prohibits commercial re-distribution, the software is neither free software nor open source software since the definitions of both require such re-distribution to be permitted.[18][19]

Functional overview[edit]

  • Webmail
  • Portal view
  • Integration of widgets and RSS feeds into Portal view
  • Team Calendaring
  • Personal and Team View
  • Free / Busy View
  • Contact Management
  • Task Lists
  • Document Management
  • WebDAV interface
  • Java API
  • Web-Based Client (AJAX)
  • Microsoft Outlook® Connectivity
  • Synchronization of Mac OS X applications via CardDAV and CalDAV
  • Import of CSV, iCal, and vCard files - WebDAV interface
  • Central editing of external E-mail accounts (e.g. from Google, Yahoo, GMX)
  • ISPConfig control panel integration[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ OX App Suite Announcements
  2. ^ Open-Xchange Website
  3. ^ 1&1 MailXchange
  4. ^ Network Solutions Secure Mail
  5. ^ Namecheap Email Hosting
  6. ^ Mailbox.org
  7. ^ 123-reg Email
  8. ^ Correo Professional
  9. ^ Home.pl Cloud Email Xchange
  10. ^ Virgin Media Mail
  11. ^ Ziggo Mail
  12. ^ By Klint Finley, Wired. "The Open Source Tool That Lets You Send Encrypted Emails to Anyone"
  13. ^ mailbox.org launches one-click email and content encryption based on PGP
  14. ^ How Open-Xchange significantly increased user engagement by adding voice, video and chat to OX App Suite
  15. ^ Product Overview
  16. ^ Product Overview
  17. ^ OX App Suite Download and Install
  18. ^ Open Source Definition
  19. ^ Free Software Definition
  20. ^ Open-Xchange Connector for ISPConfig3

External links[edit]