[Kolab-devel] Is IMAP still the right choice?

Hendrik Helwich h.helwich at tarent.de
Wed Nov 30 14:39:27 CET 2011

Hi Thomas,

Am Montag, 21. November 2011 10:41:58 schrieb Thomas Koch:
> Hi,
> I'll push regular updates to my bachelor thesis[1], if my Professor agrees.
> Right now I've pushed a list of advantages (short) and disadvantages (long)
> of using IMAP for a groupware like Kolab does.[2]
> I've the impression that IMAP may have been a good, quick choice at the
> beginning of the project that should be revised now.

i agree. IMAP is not designed for such use cases and has therefore many 
disadvantages. The main problem IMO is that there is no defined interface 
(e.g. an API specification, a WSDL file or a client library).
So client development is very hard and end users and administrators have to 
deal with many problems in practice.

> I'd like to propose as the subject of my bachelor thesis that I want to
> outline a groupware architecture with the following properties and
> implement a small part of it:
> - restful protocols: portable contacts (now integrated in opensocial) and
> Google's calendar API v3[3]

Sounds good :-)
I work for Tarent AG which developed a Kolab web service which wraps the Kolab 
IMAP server [1]. A restful protocol would be nice and opensocial and Google's 
calendar API look promising

> - NoSQL or plain files storage? CouchDB?

From my point of view as a Kolab client developer the interface has the most 
importance and the storage is exchangebale.
If you think of a file storage maybe its also possible to use the current 
Kolab server file storage in Cyrus and adapt it so that both (Cyrus and your 
solution) work on the same files and you can offer the current Kolab IMAP 
thing to connect existing Kolan clients.

> - CardDAV / CalDAV to reach many clients

also a good idea IMO

Good luck :-)


[1] https://evolvis.org/projects/kolab-ws/

> I'd appreciate any comments on the IMAP subject or my "restful groupware"
> vision. Thank you!
> [1] https://github.com/thkoch2001/bachelor-thesis
> [2] this link may change: http://thkoch2001.github.com/bachelor-
> thesis/multi/restful_groupwarese2.html
> [3] http://code.google.com/apis/calendar/v3
> Regards,
> Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro
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