Are you looking for an open source, Web-based e-mail and groupware suite with its own development framework, Ajax interface, more than 50 applications, an active developer community, and millions of end users all over the world? The Horde communication and collaboration suite may not be as well known as the big name commercial offerings, but according to lead developer and release manager Jan Schneider it has just as much to offer, and more.
My first experiences with HORDE were many years ago, and I remember it being a very basic email client at best. Since I switched to Squirrelmail, I never looked back. So it was a surprise to see that the “HORDE application framework” consisted of so many applications. It appears that HORDE is able to hang with other full-featured Linux clients, and potentially extend them via their massive list of HORDE drop in applications.
Support for standards like WebDAV, SyncML, and in a near future release, CalDAV, was a surprise for me, as was the newly Ajax-ified interface. Because HORDE has matured into a full framework, running apps based on the framework is easy, so installing everything from a guestbook to a wiki is not only quick and painless, but managed via a centralized framework.
If you are a network admin for a small company needing an inexpensive but extensible web solution, HORDE might be worth a second look.
I never used Horde for anything else than Imp, the Webmail part.
Imp is by far the most sophisticated and nice-to-use free Webmail solution I found so far. It is especially well capable of co-existing with other clients using the same IMAP server. If I flag a mail in Thunderbird, it will be highlighted in Imp, too.
If you don’t want to bind yourself to Google and have your own Mailserver running, give Imp a shot for fancy “on the go” mail access. It is a PITA though, to get Horde running properly, first. Perhaps that improved over the last couple of months though.
Edited 2008-10-15 18:21 UTC
I tried to do a quickie install through the ubuntu reps and through the install guides found in the scripts.
And I have failed miserable.
Im not in any way a total newbie.. this shouldnt be so hard.
In honor of this post and the recently concluded Blizzcon 2008, allow me to direct your attentions to http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/10/31/
I don’t have any need for my own mail server, but, just based on the screenshots, does this look similar to the new Yahoo Mail to anyone else? Does this perform any faster than Yahoo’s sluggish AJAX?
I’m using TuffMail for my mail and I’m really happy with their implementation of Horde. I normally use a client, but I’m finding the AJAX interface to work great.
My university webmail is still using the ancient, very limited version of Horde, so I assumed that’s all there was. Nice to see that Horde is keeping up after all… Now if I can just get the admins to update it.