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GroupDAV and Citadel: some thoughts on interoperability

GroupDAV and Citadel: some thoughts on interoperability

Art Cancro {\{:http://uncensored.citadel.org/%7Eajc/ajc.jpg\}}

Over the last few years, we have been slowly and quietly building the Citadel system into a unique kind of open source solution. We've chosen to take a different approach than that used by similar projects – instead of doing a 'roll up' of existing components (Cyrus, exim, etc.) we have built a standalone, high performance, multithreaded, multiprotocol server with its own data store based on Berkeley DB. It is our goal to make available a system which can be installed in just a few minutes, is easy to maintain, and provides a comprehensive, fully integrated set of services. In addition, Citadel sets aside the traditional corporate approach and instead offers a groupware system that you can build a community around.

It is frustrating that while so many people in the open source community have the same goal – namely, end-to-end open source groupware – to date there has been no concensus as to get all these programs to talk to each other. While everyone can do e-mail in a standard, interoperable manner, there was previously no standard way to access calendar and address book data.

So far, everyone has agreed that vCard and iCalendar are going to be the standard data formats. Everyone uses them, everyone handles them, life is good and standard. But how do you implementations of it. The next attempt seems to be CalDAV, but it suffers from the same problem – gratuitous complexity has made it a slow starter thus far.

We at the Citadel project were delighted to have the opportunity to join the GroupDAV effort. GroupDAV embraces the same data formats that Citadel does: iCalendar for calendars and tasks, vCard for contact lists, and HTTP for retrieval of free/busy data, etc. The growing list of projects now having or aiming for GroupDAV compatibility is encouraging, and we are optimistic about the increasing level of interoperability between open source groupware products.

We are therefore happy to be able to say that the Citadel system is a fully compliant GroupDAV server. It has been tested with both Kontact and Evolution, and everything works great – contacts, calendars, notes, tasks, even SSL encryption.

If and when CalDAV clients become generally available in a meaningful way, we will of course provide a server implementation of it. In the meantime, GroupDAV is available .

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