Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Matt chooses Groupcal; limits of Plaxo

Matthew Mullenweg, creator of WordPress, has also been looking for calendar interoperability. He settled on Groupcal. Groupcal won't do it for me because it requires an Exchange server. I want Exchange-free synching between Outlook and iCal. Plaxo got mentioned too in his comments. But Plaxo apparently only syncs Outlook client to Outlook client. While that may eliminate the need to have Exchange to share Outlook calendars, I didn't like Plaxo's privacy policies when I looked at them a while back; I recall getting spammed by Plaxo when I responded to someone's request to update my contact info in their Plaxo account.

Hula calendar server 1.0 due by September

Hula, Novell's open source calendar and mail server, is due for its 1.0 release in late August or early September. For details about Hula, check out the recent LUG Radio podcast interview with Dave Camp. Novell welcomes help as any open source committer would; I still wonder if interoperability with Outlook and iCal are on the radar for 1.0 or future releases.

Bluetooth sync; Office 2003 XML thoughts

Over at IMJ, I've been talking this morning about Bluetooth. I've now reached a stage of interest to the Swamp. The Bluetooth Configuration Wizard is something one runs on a PC to prepare it to share data with devices such as phones and PDAs running Bluetooth. The juiciest service is called "PIM Item Transfer," described thusly:

Allow remote Bluetooth devices to exchange business cards with this computer. Accept Personal Information Manager (PIM) items such as calendar items, contacts, notes and messages from remote Bluetooth devices.

The wizard can save Calendar items off Bluetooth either as Outlook calendar items, or as files in the Bluetooth Exchange Folder. Oh if only these items were stored in XML, that could be easily transformed into iCal or Mozilla calendar items! Synchronization support is limited to Outlook only.

Which reminds me, on a recent Gillmor Gang podcast, Jon Udell pointed out that Microsoft Office 2003 can store much of its data in XML format. I wonder if that facilitates XML-powered calendar interoperability, or if anybody has tried to build some further integration from Office 2003 to the iCal world.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Kerio MailServer 6.1 adds iCal support

Products like Kerio Mailserver probably wouldn't have much of a chance of prospering if Outlook calendars just synched with iCal. But they don't, so this makes the announcement of new iCal synchronization support in Kerio worth a Swampdrain factor of +1.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Open Exchange certified for Red Hat

Open Exchange, an open source collaboration server that integrates iCal with Outlook and several other calendaring systems, is now certified for use on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Swampdrain factor: +1.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rearden Commerce: Another interesting puzzle piece

Rearden Commerce is the first service provider to act as a front end to various services, and to automatically populate desktop calendars with a variety of appointments customers can schedule with those services. Think everything from airline reservations to haircuts.

After a presentation this morning at Burton Group's Catalyst conference, I asked Rearden CEO Patrick Grady if the services he's built could be used to sync calendars between endpoints (two customers) without an intermediary.

Grady's answer was, not really, unless one of the two customers was a Rearden customer (in other words, a service provider) whose calendar was stored on a server such as Exchange or Notes.

Oh well. It's another interesting puzzle piece. At least I got to put the issue of calendar interoperability in front of a room full of very smart IT managers. I give Rearden Commerce a Swampfactor of +1. (+5-good, -5-not good)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Calendar Swamp podcast #5, 7/9/05

Lowering the boom on Outlook Web Access; extending iCal to manage tasks; Ta-Da and other list management sites; whether to expand calendar interoperability to include tasks; Microsoft's RSS demo at Gnomedex featuring Outlook displaying iCal calendars; Bluetooth mice; how custom PC orders shorten warranties and endanger rebates. Anime review: Paranoia Agent. Listen.