Looking for the best way to share an outlook calendar without exchange server. Have found a couple of paid solutions, are there any freeware ones about.
If your hellbent on using outlook clients then use exchange server.
I've never seen a free one that works except Netfolders that M$ stopped a long time ago because it was awful!
Most other working solutions cost money and normally require a syncronisation agent or additional client of some kind to be installed at each workstation. By the time you have deployed clent add-ins everywhere and burdened yourself with additional administration tasks you will wish you had installed an exchange server and had done with it!
OWA, Mobile Device support, Syncronisation with god knows how many device types make it well worth the effort of learning how to deploy it.
Be aware the next encarnation of Exchange drops public folders in favor of a sharepoint solution and as Exchange webparts are a major feature of Sharepoint Services it might pay to look at this type of calendaring solution to begin with.
What use is a shared calendar unless all of your groupware participants can cross check schedules and check free/busy conflicts?
If you can't use Outlook/Exchange then you would probably be better off looking for another complete solution.
We use Outlook clients with RPC over HTTPS full access to all Exchange functions without the need for a VPN just web access from anywhere.
Why do you not want to use exchange? Is it because of the cost? We bought exchange server 2003 from Ramesys. £99 for the server license and £1.75 for each CAL. If you want to share calendars amongst admin / senior management staff, then you prabably won't need too many CALS. Tell your Boss to cough up the dosh.
Yeh exchange 2003 is good.
A bit OT but Mark what you think of Ramesys?
@ZeroHour: I bought a load of MS licenses from Ramesys and they were very good - they chucked in all the media kits, a license for Visio and some SQL CALs for free (I did spend nearly £10k though)
If you are a specialist school then you would be silly to go anywhere other than Ramesys ... they hold the select agreement for the SSAT and will bend over backwards to help.
We are with them currently but have been having nothing but problems since start (few years ago)
We are now looking at Pugh to do it as they have always been good when buying software.
We have bought ALL our licenses at Ramesys. We did not go for the MS Schools License as we didn't want to tie ourselves in. But the licenses are so cheap at Ramesys that it was easier to buy seperate CALS.
Ramesys always chuck in the media - other bits and bobs. I deal with GARY. He's very helpful.
I wonder what the prices are like for non-specialist schools then?
We are a private school.
We are in the schools agreement, we thought it was one price for it but pugh say they can undercut ramesys which is nice. I have to say I like the schools agreement. Lots of perks that are nice.
I've never seen anyone undercut ramesys yet and I've never had problems with them. I bought a hundred or so office 2003 licences and got a free exchange 2003 licence, media kit and 50 cals for free with it.
Nearly going to start using it too.
I have and will always use Ramesys for my outside of work schools deals, I deal with Matt, great bloke, and very helpful.
I have had dealings with Pugh for my Corel L.L., and told them where to stick it in Decmeber, moved it to Civica, they were not helpful at Pugh, and would not budge on the cost of the media, even when we were going to get 200 Office 2003 pro licences, and then we asked about a reduction in the cost of the Corel media (for Painter, PSP & GS12) as well as the Office 2003 disks. They would not shift, and they know no longer have our business. We dont use Ramesys where I work for some strange reason, cannot convince them to use them, so I say its there loss, Matt helps me out when he can, so what more can I do!
Thanks for all the replies. Cost of moving to exchange is not an issue just don't have the hardware to run it on at the moment and for 3 users can't be justified. I will look at using a web based solution for now and see how they get on - they like the outlook calendar - never mind
@ATOM: You could maybe use something like phpGroupware for this - that has shared calendars and email and other gubbins.
If you are a Linux newbie, it's also easy to install on Debian using dselect.
Mozilla Sunbird can share calanders using WebDav or fileshares. Its a bit rough around the edges at the moment but it works.
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