OT: Collaboration replacement via Toltec/Bynari (was How many people to admin a Cyrus system?)

Rob Mueller robm at fastmail.fm
Wed Nov 14 01:49:10 EST 2007

> So you will have a choice of 3 commercial Outlook plug-ins,

What are the 3 commercial Outlook plugins? Obviously the Toltec one, but 
which others?

I've actually always liked the idea of what toltec + bynari were doing. It's 
basically using the IMAP server as a database where folders = tables, emails 
= records. The nice things about using an IMAP server is that:
1) you're reusing a protocol, rather than creating another one
2) emails can't be altered, so an update is a delete + add which makes 
detecting changes easy
3) the server is always authoriative, so syncing tends to be easier

Of course reusing an email protocol to do these other things it was never 
meant to do seems hacky as well. Still, is it really any more hacky than 
using a blatant file protocol (despite calling files "resources" and 
directories "collections") than CalDAV?

As an FYI, last time I tried Bynari and Toltec, my general conclusions were:

Bynari - Annoying they use a binary format for storing the information, but 
good that they use the 0-9 ACLs to designate what folders are 
calendar/contacts/etc folders, means you don't need the damn ANNOTATEMORE 
extension and the patches to make it work with arbitrary values. Seemed a 
bit "flaky". It creates some process that runs next to Outlook, and 
sometimes that process wouldn't quit when you quit Outlook leaving things in 
an odd state. Install/removing the software seemed to be prone to 
failures/screwing up your config.

Toltec - Seemed less prone to bugginess than bynari, and using an XML format 
seemed more open so we could read it ourselves for other features in the 
future. Using ANNOTATEMORE was a pain. There was a showstopper problem 
however. When I tested it seemed that Toltec would display all sub-folders 
of INBOX, and using annotations it would set the Calendar, Contacts, etc 
folders as appropriate to display those items, and all other folders to 
display emails, but it would not show the INBOX! At the time I asked support 
about this it was suggested that you should setup a POP account to download 
the emails from the inbox to the "Local Folders" PST file. This seemed to 
completely defeat the purpose of IMAP to me. Has that been fixed?

Also out of interest, how much caching does toltec do? Basically it seems to 
me to get any decent performance you effectively have to download all the 
calendar/task/etc items from the appropriate folders and cache them all 
inside outlook. Any attempt to get from the server on a "when needed" basis 
seems like it would never perform well?


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