Yesterday I wrote about Zimbra launching a new version of its mostly open source-based collaboration suite. Then I got a call from competitor Scalix, telling me about the just released downloadable community preview edition of Scalix 11, a new open source and commercial version of the company's Linux messaging and calendaring software.
The Scalix Community Edition Open Source will include the Scalix Server, the Web services API platform for application integration, the Scalix Installer, the Scalix Administration Console, Scalix Web Access Mobile and new search and indexing services, as well as Scalix Ready open source components. Scalix will release as binaries unlimited standard users and 25 free premium users, and the source code for various components.
The new open source direction is based on signing a licensing agreement with Hewlett-Packard that contributes parts of the Scalix code based on HP's OpenMail into an open source project. Previously, Scalix offered a free, but closed source version of its software. "We always desired to go open source, but licensing restrictions were blocking us," said Scalix CEO Glenn Winokur. "In a few weeks, we will release the source code for some of the components, primarly around the Web services platform. In November we will have general availability of Scalix 11, with the open source components we have written from scratch. In the spring of 2007, all of the source code, including the server, mail store and surrounding components will be available."
The Scalix Community Edition Open Source is licensed under a modified Mozilla Public License (the Scalix Public License). Scalix for the Enterprise will also be released in November, and includes additional features such as public and shared folders, high availabilty, Outlook support, some connectors and Scalix Web Access.
Scalix has been building a community around its free, closed software, Winokur said, with forums focused on tips and best practices, and is now turning it into a more traditional open source community.
A major part of Scalix 11 is the new middleware layer of messaging and management Web service interfaces, which make it easier for enterprises to integrate the product with other applications. "Customers prefer to integrate at a server level," said Jim Black, vice president of product development at Scalix. The Web services allow customers to more easily customize the software, such as dealing with wireless synching, automating form routing or integrating with a trouble ticket system or purchase approval system, as well as with a variety of management systems.
In addition, Scalix introduced a mobile client that provides basic e-mail access for cell phones and PDAs. The company has also upgraded its Web client with improved performance and searching, enhanced the migration tools and the Scalix Administration Console offers a single management point for remote servers.
Scalix 11 doesn't offer the innovative mashups, Zimlets and collaborative suite of applications of Zimbra. "We have a different vision than Zimbra," Winokur said. "We work with a set of like-minded open source ISVs with complementary products to ourselvesm such as wikis, document management and mobility...we want to catalyze the community rather than be overly Scalix-centric."
Currently, Scalix has about 400 commercial customers and 1 million mailboxes. Pricing for the commercial Enterprise Edition includes a $60 perpetual license fee and an annual subscription fee starting at $12. Support services are a separate fee.
Scalix views itself as the more mature open source leaning player, with its Linux focus and core of HP OpenMail code. Zimbra is the fresh, Web 2.0 poster child for messaging and collaboration. Despite their differences, both Scalix and Zimbra present an alternative to the market leader--Microsoft Exchange. and Outlook.