Spotlight on open source for business: Adam Williams on

A developer from the community explains that this Open Source groupware project is more than the sum of its parts

What new features are in active development for future versions of

There is a great deal of effort being put into SOGo, improving its Mozilla application connectors, and developing an Outlook connector.

A port of OGo is underway from SOPE (Objective-C) to JOPE (Java). The OGo Web interface receives a steady stream of enhancements, as does the server's functional core, known as "Logic". Recently, an improved XML-RPC API, known as "zOGI", was added to OGo, and that is [being] continuously improved as well. Work on a new Web interface for OGo is in the the very early stages.

There is also a constellation of related projects, including the GroupDAV connector for Funambol and Consonance, which is a .NET/Gtk# client for the OGo.

Does OGo feature any kind of integration with social network sites? For example, if you have a friend on LinkedIn, can you easily grab that person's contact info for your e-mail address book? LinkedIn has an export service, so how easy is the importing on the OGo side?

OGo can import data from the traditional tab- and comma-separated files, as well as vCards.If your data import needs are straightforward, the features provided by the Web UI should suffice. If you need something more sophisticated, writing import scripts with Perl, Python, or your favorite scripting language is very easy.

My experience with the SMB space is that organizations usually need something more than stock tools to import their data. You don't want to lose key relationships, [like] a contacts association to a company, and meta data-like permissions is critical.

Groupware and social networking are actually worlds apart, despite superficial similarities. They address entirely different markets and needs. For instance, how many social networking sites provide document versioning? Or detect scheduling conflicts? I'm not aware of anyone directly integrating OGo with a social networking service. On the other hand, mash-ups with services like Address Meister, XMPP, and Google Maps are pretty elementary.

For you personally, as a developer, what's been most rewarding about working on

My own focus has been on improving OGo as a development platform. It is really enjoyable to be able to focus on the functionality of the application rather than the tedium of things like database connectivity, implementing access control, tracking changes, etc..In addition, your application inherits interoperability with everything else in the universe.

Personally, I've learned an immense amount while working on; the key developers know their stuff. It is a very pleasant community to work with.

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