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Home » Kerio User Forums » Kerio Connect » Kerio and iCal, Mail, Address book or Entourage (Which is better, using Entourage or the standard Mac applications for groupware)
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john.falkus

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Has anybody successfully implemented the groupware features of Kerio on the Mac environment with either the standard Mac applications or Entourage for about 70 users?

We have been using Kerio for our mail server for 4 or 5 years and its a great product for email using it with the Mail application in OS X. We are trying to replace our diary system and would like to use the features within Kerio but so far the testing we have done has had mixed results. If anybody else has been down this route and have any feed back it would be really appreciated.
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cwachs

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We've done it with both. To be honest, I've had better success with Entourage - groupware just seems to work better in Entourage than it does in iCal / AB / Mail. I use both solutions personally with my Kerio install but when it comes to delegations, calendar invites and LDAP work, I turn to Entourage since it "just works" in Entourage and tends to be a struggle in Apple's software. We are running Kerio 7.0.2 on a Mac OS X Server 10.5. Our clients machines tend to be the latest release of 10.6 with some 10.5 clients in there. Almost all are using the groupware built into AB and iCal though a few clients (mostly 10.5 users) still use the Kerio Connect system pref.

In my opinion, you will have less headaches deploying with Entourage as your client though I agree that software is less polished looking that Apple's and does not integrate as nice into the rest of the OS experience as Apples. I look forward to the real Outlook for Mac and hope Kerio quickly supports it.

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Server installation:
Kerio Connect 7.1
OS X Server 10.5.8
Apple G4 X Serve
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j.a.duke

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I've implemented both Entourage & Mail/iCal/Address Book.

I've had issues with both.

Entourage keeps complaining about database corruption. It's a known problem and hopefully will be resolved with Outlook/Mac. Also, if you're using Time Machine for backup, that monster database is PITA since anytime you touch it, the modification date changes and then gets queued for backup.

I've had virtually no issues with Mail, and a few with iCal (mostly CalDAV weirdness with repeating events that have no end date), but the Address Book/Kerio really needs work. I've got it working mostly with both the GAL and local address books, but i really haven't seen the functionality like shared calendars that let people share specific address books. It might be there in CardDAV, but since I'm not running 10.6 most places, I don't know how well that works.

If there's anything I can answer, please feel free to ask.

Cheers,
Jon
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samvenning

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We tried Entourage and the iCal/Mail/AddressBook option.

The Kerio "hosted" vs "On My Mac" (local) contacts confuse staff a bit. Apple could design Address Book to make the difference a bit clearer. But if you explain it to staff they seem to eventually understand the difference.

In the end we decided to go with the iCal/Mail/AddressBook path for one simple reason: staff love to layer calendars of colleagues and resources. You can't do this in Entourage.

As a systems administrator I prefer Apple Mail over Microsoft Entourage. Sure, the advantage of Entourage is that it is just one account you have to setup (Exchange/ActiveSync) but it stores email in one single monolithic database (date changes even if you touch it). Apple Mail instead stores each message as a separate file. This is much better when it comes to backing up desktop home folders.

[Updated on: Wed, 23 June 2010 02:17]

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john.falkus

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Although Entourage looked like a good solution, our users love their email and no matter how much we try we have several users with very large accounts (10gb + ) and Entourage seems to hate these. So we are going down the Ical route for the diary.

Did anybody have any issue running ical as the solution? we keep getting odd errors an example would be when a user invites a couple of people to a meeting and everyone accepts not all the users can see that everyone has accepted, different users see different results. We also have issue with the directory stopping working for some users randomly and the only way we can get it to work is to delete the link and run the set up script again.
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samvenning

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Using iCal with Kerio Connect 7.0.2 is working well in our company of about 30 staff and 20 contractors/freelancers. Kerio Connect is hosted on Mac mini in Melbourne office. About half the staff and contractors/freelancers working in Sydney and the other half in Melbourne. The WAN link is an ADSL2+ (In Melbourne office we are lucky to have a 2Mbps/2Mbps SHDSL link as backup... rarely needed).

There are just two iCal/Kerio Connect issues that cause a bit of confusion...

1. Some staff put room in iCal's "location" field expecting it to book/reserve a room. Once the invitation has been sent iCal presents an exclamation mark here. Most staff know that with Kerio Connect server they need to add the room to the invitee list (eg boardroom<_at_>company.com). It is possible to check the free/busy status of resources (rooms/equipment) and colleagues (staff and freelancers/contractors). iCal shows when someone accepts, tentatively accepts or declines a meeting request (also shows when someone hasn't yet responded).

2. Kerio Connect 7.0.2 doesn't allow staff to respond to meeting requests on the iPhone. The meeting request pops up on the iPhone but responding doesn't do anything. Not a big problem and I understand this is fixed in Kerio Connect 7.1 (due "soon").

- Staff like iCal over Entourage because they can "layer" calendars (their calendars and colleague's calendars).
- Staff like how their calendar is visible in web interface, iCal (CalDAV) and iPhone (Exchange ActiveSync). This works really well.
- As a systems administrator I prefer iCal / Apple Mail solution over Microsoft Entourage because iCal / Apple Mail stores data as smaller files (rather than on monolithic database). I understand that Microsoft Office 2010 for Mac will change the storage format and store emails in a file/folder format.

The Kerio Connect backup mechanism and restore tool (done at the command line) works and is adequate but a GUI utility would be nice.

Kerio Connect runs very nicely on a Mac mini. Mac OS 10.6 Server is not required. We have it running on Mac mini running Mac OS 10.6 Server. But... don't run Open Directory and Kerio Connect on the *same* computer (both like to run an LDAP service). Having both OD and Kerio Connect run an LDAP service (different ports) raises a few problems. Again, you can run Kerio Connect on Mac OS 10.6 Server but don't run OD and Kerio Connect on the *same* computer at the same time. Configuring Kerio Connect to look to a *different* computer running Open Directory is fine.

I am very happy with Kerio Connect. All the best with your deployment.
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samvenning

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I should perhaps add a couple of comments about Address Book component of the AddressBook/Mail/iCal combination.

1. Kerio Connect does indeed support the extra fields that Microsoft Outlook doesn't support. Address Book will push this field data to Kerio Connect and Kerio Connect will quite happily store and share this (share this in the Global Address List). However, these extra fields aren't visible (or editable) in the Kerio Connect web interface. This is a little disappointing... but I can live with it.

2. I do not tick "Publish in the Global Address List (GAL is synchronized periodically)" when creating a user. The problem this is that it wipes-out any other data you might add for this user. Instead I add this manually. We could make the GAL read/write for everyone but I don't trust them not to delete records. I therefore make it read-only for staff/contractors and I update them manually.

3. Some staff don't understand the difference between "On My Mac" Address Book records and records hosted in the Kerio Connect server (CardDAV) and sync contacts using CardDAV on computer (ActiveSync on iPhone). The people that don't understand this prefer to sync contacts using iTunes. Apple could make the Address Book interface a little easier for people to appreciate the difference between different address book storage areas.
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