L. Mark Stone wrote:Curious why you feel you must have a fat client like Zimbra Desktop?
The web interface is essentially identical to ZD and Zimbra 8 and modern browsers support offline usage (works great; I use it often when traveling).
I love these questions because they force us to re-examine why we do what we do.
3 Reasons : Inertia, Offline storage and segregation.
Inertia is obvious. We've done it this way for years now and it perfectly fits our use case. We don't like change for the sake of change.
Offline storage : We do a _lot_ of work in locations where we are just not able or permitted to have any connectivity with the outside world (sometimes for a few days). So we sync up when we can and then operate offline. Over the years we've determined that we routinely use about 9 months worth of archive while we are disconnected, so we've all got our laptop ZD installations set to retain 9 months of data (mail and calendar). That works very well.
Segregation : We do a _lot_ of work where we have security rules that couldn't be satisfied by using a web browser in a shared capacity. The zimbra instance sits on a segregated network with several layers between it and the outside world. All client connectivity is on the secure side of that network (whether physically or via VPN).
So, your question prompted me to look at the ability to sandbox the browser as a "zimbra only" instance, without sharing any config or data directories with other instances and it appears relatively easy to achieve. Now I just need to see if I can make it reliably keep 9 months of mail and calendar data stored off-line.
Once I can overcome the technical issues, then I shouldn't have any issues managing the intertia problem.
Thanks for the poke into looking at it from a different angle. Let's see how good the offline usage works.
Edit : Actually, I just discovered a 4th reason. Multiple accounts on the same server, although I can work around that by creating a second address (interface or alias) for the server and the web browser can manage one account on each address. Still, a hacky solution to the problem.
Edit 2 : So I tried offline mode it and it's limited to 30 days. So then, offline storage is too limited and multiple accounts are an unworkable hack. There's 2 good reasons for a fat client for our use case.