Ximian Connector: First Thoughts

Annika Backstrom
in misc, on 23 June 2004 (history)

I finally have a properly configured copy of Ximian Evolution with the Novell Connector thanks to Shawn here at ITS. I've had the software installed for some time via Dropline Gnome (a must for any Slackware destop install), but two problems kept me from using the software more regularly: the inability to access calendars to which I have delegate rights, and a problem reaching the GAL. I assume the first problem stemmed from the second, but I was unable to find a fix for either.

Shawn pointed out the ximian-connector-setup utility for configuring Evolution Exchange accounts. Running this setup utility in preference to a manual account setup fixed every Exchange problem I had. If necessary I can run Evolution using a forwarded SSH connection, which is important since I use Microsoft Entourage 2004 at work. The Connector has the following features that Entourage lacks:

  • Resource scheduling. No Macintosh client supports the scheduling of resources~~, nor does Outlook Web Access~~.
  • Segmented views for delegate calendars. Entourage has only one calendar view. I have access to several of my coworkers calendars as a delegate. Their calendar events [show up alongside mine][] in the calendar view. It is the definition of "clutter."
  • Folder permission modification. Evolution lets me modify folder permissions, allowing other users access to my calendar, etc.

I'm sure that's just scratching the surface. I've only had the software set up for a couple hours. I'll be testing it off and on for the rest of the summer, after which I hope to be free of Exchange Server. We'll see.

If anyone has an interest in setting up this software for access to the RIT mail server, please let me know and I'll provide instructions. (Though it's pretty easy once the setup assistant is at your disposal.)