Kolab 16 at FOSDEM'16

The biggest European community-organised Open Source event is upon us and, this year, we at Kolab Systems have a very special reason to be there: we'll be presenting the new Kolab 16.1 [1] to the world during the meetup.

The development team has worked long and hard on this release, even longer and harder than usual. And that slog has led to several very interesting new features built into Kolab 16.1, features we are particularly proud of.

Take for example GUAM, our all-new, totally original, "IMAP-protocol firewall". Guam allows you to, for example, access Kolab from any client without having to see the special Kolab groupware folders, such as calendars, todos, contacts, and so on. As Guam is configured server-side, users do not have to do anything special on their clients.

Guam keeps users' inboxes clean, as it pipes the resource messages in the background only to the apps designated to deal with them. So a meeting scheduled by a project leader will only pop up in the calendar app, and a new employee recruited by HR will silently get added only to the contact roster, without the users ever accidentally seeing in their email the system-generated messages that prompt the changes.

As Guam is actually an IMAP proxy filter, something like a rule-based IMAP firewall (Aaron Seigo dixit), it is very flexible and allows you to do so much more. Come by our booth and find out how our developers have been using it and discuss your ideas with the people who actually built it.

Then there's MANTICORE. With Manticore we are taking our "collaborating in confidence" mantra to the next level. Manticore currently works only on documents, but ultimately it will bring collaborative and simultaneous editing to emails, notes and calendars as well, all without having to leave the Kolab web environment. Need to write an email with the input from a couple of colleagues? Instead of passing the text around, which is slow and error-prone (who hasn't ever sent the second to last version off by mistake?), just open it up with Manticore and edit the text all together, everybody at the same time. Interactive proofreading action!

Collaborative editing has arrived in Kolab 16.1

Finally we have implemented an OTP (One Time Password) authentication method to make logging into Kolab's web client even more secure. Every time a user goes to log in, you can have the system send a single-use code to her phone. The code is a random 6 digit number, which is only valid for a few minutes and that changes every time.

If you're an admin and tired of the security nightmares that are passwords copied onto slips of paper stuck to monitors; sick of trying to convince users that "1234" is really not that a clever password; or fed up of hearing complaints every time you have to renew their credentials because they have been hacked yet again; this is a feature that you'll definitely want to activate.

Of course there's much more to Kolab 16.1, including optimised code, a sleeker design, and usability improvements all round. You'll be able to see all these new features in action at our booth during the show and you'll also be able to meet the developers and ask them as many questions as you like on how you can use Kolab in your own environment.

What's even better is that you can also come over to our booth and copy a full, ready-to-go version of Kolab as a virtual machine onto your USB thumbdrive. Take it home with you and use it at your leisure, because, that's the other thing, we are fusing both the Enterprise and Community versions of Kolab together. This means the exact same code base from the Enterprise, our corporate-grade groupware, gets released to Community, with new versions, with all features, coming out regularly every year.

But that's not the only user news we have. We'll also be presenting our new Kolab Community portal during the conference. Kolab Community is designed to be a place for developers, admins and users to cooperate in the creation of the most reliable and open groupware collaboration suite out there. On Kolab Community you will be able to interact with the developers at Kolab Systems and other users on modern, feature-rich forums and mailing lists. The portal also hosts the front end to our bug tracker and our Open Build Service that lets you roll your own Kolab packages, tailored to your needs.

For example, if you need a pocket Kolab server you can take anywhere, why not build it to run on a Raspberry Pi? In fact that's another thing we'll be demoing at out booth. Bring along an SD card (8 GBs at least) and we'll flash Kolab 16.1 for the Pi on to it for you. You'll get to try the system right there and then take it away with you, fully ready to be deployed at home or in your office.

Useful Links

[1] Download Kolab 16.1: https://docs.kolab.org/installation-guide/index.html

[2] FOSDEM expo area: https://fosdem.org/2016/stands/

And just to prove how well all the Kolab-related tools work everywhere, we'll also be running Kontact, KDE's groupware client, on a Windows 10 box. Kontact will be accessing a Kolab 16.1 server (of course) for all its email, calendars, contacts, notes, and so on; proving how both frameworks combined have nothing to envy from other proprietary alternatives, regardless of the underlying platform. You'll also be able to get the first glimpses of Kube, our new generation email client.

Apart from all of the above, there'll also be Q&As, merch (including some dope tattoos), special one-time Kolab Now offers (which are also somehow related to tattoos). You know: the works.

Discounts 4 Tats

Update: Tattoos get you discounts! Take a photo with a tattoo proving your love for Free Software and get a 30% discount on your ultra-secure Kolab Now online mail, file & groupware account. Get your tat-discount here.

Come visit us. We'll be in Building K, Level 1, as you go in, booth 4 on the left [2]; try out Kolab 16.1's new features live; get cool and useful stuff; join our community.

Sound like a plan?