Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Google Calendar vs. OpenXchange Calendar

Our CEO recently request me to do a write up, a comparison between the above products. So after about 2 hours of playing around with both calendaring solutions my conclusion in shortest form possible, Google is fancy and OpenXchange is sufficient.

Links:
OX: www.open-xchange.org
Google: www.google.com/calendar

Summary:

Both Google Calendar (GC) and OpenXchange’s Calendar (OX) has pretty much the same features from a shared calendaring point of view. Both products require an account with the basic email, where other users can share some or parts of the entire calendar. Both products are easy to use from their web consoles but OX offers a connector to use in your native Outlook.

From a business processes and functional point of view, both products can achieve almost similar functionalities but OX is an internal product thus the creation and maintenance of accounts can be managed by our local support and helpdesk

Google Calendaring features that got my eye.

  1. Calendar sharing – Everyone with a Gmail account is entitled to use this feature through web or GoogleDesktop
  2. You can create events inside your calendar and then share them by means of invitation, even if they don’t use Google (as Google implements iCal, a standards compliant calendaring which can integrate with popular email clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird.) However, the information in those email clients are static thus changes to the calendar would need another invite.
  3. Natural language recognition – If you type “Meeting with BNM at 12.30” it will automatically create a related event with the related time/date in that natural sentence (using quick add function)
  4. Ability to create events and invite guests with reminders, guest comments, RSVPs
  5. Ability to publish calendars privately (so you can privately view your calendar without logging in) or publicly (so you could share with the world and have people either edit/manage events/entries)
  6. Ability to create multiple calendars per user
  7. Ability to search by time, location and natural search
  8. Calendars are accessible through mobile phones
  9. Ability to get invitations through SMS and emails.
  10. Ability to integrate with Google Desktop which means we do not need to login to gmail
  11. Ability to “take the calendar” to our own domain e.g. mcsb.com
  12. Import and export existing calendars to Google

OpenXchange Calendaring

  1. Calendar sharing – Everyone with our email system can use this feature through either web or Outlook (it’s a piece of software has a price to it)
  2. You can create events inside your calendar and then share them by means of invitation, even if they don’t use Google (as Google implements iCal, a standards compliant calendaring which can integrate with popular email clients such as Outlook, Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird.) However, the information in those email clients are static thus changes to the calendar would need another invite.
  3. Ability to create events and invite guests with reminders and RSVPs
  4. Ability to search calendars using natural search
  5. Import and export existing calendars to OX
  6. It’s our own email server which means we can do pretty much everything we want
  7. New version includes RSS feeds
  8. Ability to integrate with Project Management modules in their Groupware
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