Open-source from industry
The Biegler GmbH is an export-oriented company manufacturing medical-electronic devices and plastic items for one-time use in the medical field. Special attention is paid to developing solutions for customer problems.
As an IT- and especially open-source oriented company servers at Biegler are OpenBSD based for many years; since 2009 we support Biegler as far as operation, maintenance and new software installations are concerned.
Some of their IT components:
- Apache as web- and WebDAV server
- OpenLDAP as directory service and user backend
- Dovecot and Postfix as mail server/MTA
- Roundcube as webmailer
- Spamassassin and ClamAV (via amavisd) for antispam and antivirus
- PostgreSQL as database server
User managment is done by the directory service - for Apache-based authentication the module "mod ldap userdir" has been packaged as OpenBSD port.
Email is the main communication channel at Biegler, that is why several years ago an open-source webmailer was installed: A well-designed GUI, an active community and flexibility were key features that had to be fulfilled.
The (at that time) young but very promising project "Roundcube" was chosen in 2009 and is heavily used since then; temporarily even with an own theme created by bytemine.
During the last year management and employees discovered the need for a tool to share calendars and address books. Some of the leading groupwares were evaluated, but the current software stack was very satisfactory a solution should be found that integrates within the setup.
The first shot was SabreDAV, a project that was well maintained and refined; furthermore it behaved very RFC compliantly. But there were difficulties with calendars and the Thunderbird plugin Lightning, so the search went on.
With Baïkal a further software was evaluated: Baïkal is based on SabreDAV but with an aditional administration frontend. First tests showed good results, especially the integration of the existing OpenLDAP went smoothly. Access via different clients was fine as well. But Baïkal was lacking the ability to provide group calenders, an important feature as it turned out during evaluation.
Finally a DAViCal server was deployed, and after some adaptions to run under fcgi it was production-ready after short time. Detailed tests showed no problems, and it became a central component within the company IT quickly.