Kolab 3.1 alpha released with iRony

Six months after we released Kolab 3.0, we are very happy to announce the immediate availability of Kolab 3.1 alpha. The most notable new features are CalDAV and CardDAV support. There is also integration with file storage in our web client. It serves files through WebDAV.

We are deeply worried about programs like PRISM and are therefore especially proud to be listed on prism-break.org. This motivates us even more to provide you with a 100% Free Software groupware solution that you can use as you please to manage all your personal information outside the reach of the various espionage agencies. Our vision is to make Kolab so great, so easy to use and deployed at so many places that nobody has to hand over their personal information to Google, Microsoft and subsequently the NSA. Please consider contributing to this goal by testing Kolab's new features and provide feedback.

Kolab 3.1 calendars in web client and iCalendar
The same calendars in Kolab 3.1 webclient and OSX iCalendar

In Kolab 3.0 you could access your calendars and your contacts using native Kolab clients, one of various connectors or ActiveSync. With Kolab 3.1 you can connect any application that supports CalDAV and CardDAV, such as the native OSX applications. As usual, we did not reinvent the wheel while the Free Software community already has a good answer. So as planned, we integrated with SabreDAV and connected it to our Kolab backend. These new groupware access protocol layers are called iRony. The default location to point your client to is:


Attaching files from the file store in Kolab 3.1 webclient
Attaching files from the file store in Kolab 3.1 webclient

Most clients can use arbitrary URLs like this, but Apple's OSX Addressbook 10.6 is broken and requires you to create a dedicated host just for CardDav. iCalender does work without such a host, but needs manual configuration. We created a sample virtual host config file for Apache in case you want to connect the OSX Addressbook.

Our new Kolab Files feature seamlessly integrates into our web interface. On the right you can see a screenshot where you can choose to attach files from your Kolab files storage right to the email you are writing without first upload files to the server. We build this features to allow componentized usage in other web applications. There is a middleware allowing for multiple backends. For reference we provide a simple file storage based on IMAP to demonstrate how this all works. It is now trivial to integrate Kolab with ownCloud, Dropbox or any other service.

Other new functionality include the ability to edit shared folders directly from the web administration panel and to define a policy for how the users' UID should be generated (similar to the recipient policy). There is also automatic configuration of LDAP VLV and Server Side Sorting control. When Kolab Systems employees built the MyKolab.com service they needed better multi-domain capabilities, so they of course contributed this to the general code base. It is now possible to use a single URL for webmail and ActiveSync, even when using several domains. Thanks also to Timotheus from TBits who contributed to better multi-domain support as well.

How to test Kolab 3.1

In order to release Kolab 3.1 without any issues, we need your help to thoroughly test the new functionality. Especially CardDAV and CalDAV are of interest to us. If you don't test now, don't come back later complaining that your favorite client does not work with Kolab 3.1. As usual with alpha software, don't run this in production and don't trust it with sensitive data that has no backup.

Currently, Kolab 3.1 alpha is only packaged for CentOS. So in order to test, please set up a VM with a recent CentOS and install the epel-release package. At the time of this writing, this means executing:

# rpm -Uvh http://mirror.switch.ch/ftp/mirror/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

Install the kolab-3.1-community-release package. At the time of this writing, this means executing:

# rpm -Uvh http://mirror.kolabsys.com/pub/redhat/kolab-3.1/el6/development/i386/kolab-3.1-community-release-6-2.el6.kolab_3.1.noarch.rpm

Install the kolab-3.1-community-release-development package. At the time of this writing, this means executing:

# rpm -Uvh http://mirror.kolabsys.com/pub/redhat/kolab-3.1/el6/development/i386/kolab-3.1-community-release-development-6-2.el6.kolab_3.1.noarch.rpm

Then please follow our installation guide. Experienced users can simply install Kolab Groupware like so:

# yum install kolab

And setup Kolab with a minimal amount of interference:

# setup-kolab

Please also test upgrading an existing Kolab 3.0 installation and help us documenting the upgrade procedure. If you have any questions or want to report something, please use the development mailing list, or report an issue right away.