Teething problems setting up my migration to ZIMBRA

I’m quite behind on my blog, and a lot has gone on in the past 2 weeks in respect of my personal migration from outlook to zimbra.

First, I need to be clear that I am totally dependant on my sync’d nokia 9500 running with outlook to manage my business, my life and the variety of commercial projects I am running at any one time. Like any business, I get through a lot of email traffic, and I only run electronic calendaring, and task manger for all my 150-200 tasks running at any one time.

Having decided last week to start my migration to Zimbra, Dave at Senokian came over to give us an introduction to zimbra, do some configuration and get me setup.

There are problems, and potential solutions if you are expecting identical functionality in zimbra to outlook

  1. There is currently no support for tasks in the web based zimbra interface. WHY??? I was suprised and v dissapoiinted to find this out. Tasks supprot is due out in the next release in October 2007, its finished development, but not in there in the current release.
  2. The outlook migration tool in Zimbra only support migrations from outlook 2003, not outlook 2000, 2002 or 2007. I bet their are good reasons, and I know from the formums that I’m not the only only to whinge about this, but its bloody stupid. Lots and lots of potential ZIMBRA clients arent running the 2003 version, and its creating an extra barrier to migration for the uncommitted
  3. You can export contacts as a CSV using he built in tool and import them into zimbra, but its not perfect
  4. Calendar, ARHHH! Outlook dosnt suport export to ical format, so you have to download a tool in visual basic to do the export, and then import it into zimbra using a curl proceduire. its beyond me, so Senokian’s sys admin is hopefuly going to guide me through it tomorrow.
  5. Zimbra dosnt support spam whitelists by default, it has to be setup seperately. Again, this NEEDS a simple web interface. Again, senokian have been good at helping us to solve this, but for any organisation like us receiving 4000+ spam emails a day, a whitelist is essential. Another job yet to be done.
  6. Zimbra is fully web based, so no connection = no email, web or tasks…. unless you use the new Zikbra desktop tool, currently in alpha release. Seems to work well on my laptop though, I’m hoping to give this a full workout in due course.
  7. writing emails to lots of people looks very slow, as you cannt drag and drop/select lots of addresses quickly. more comment will follow as I get stuck in.
  8. I cannt copy my emails across from outlook 2000 to zimbra yet. Apparently there is an IMAP solution, but we havent got it configured yet. again, watch this space.

BUT, Zimbra is web based, more secure, more accesible (from any web terminal) and sems to work well. only time will tell.

We’ve bought a 25 user zimbra pro/mobile license, the first open source license we have bought.

I’m hoping to get my account transfered / configured within a week, ready to migrate all my life to Zimbra.


  • Have you considered using Google Apps ?

  • HI Cory

    Thanks for the comment. Google apps isnt really appropriate for us, as we need to keep control of our own email archive in case of legal disputes. Running a design and printing business we get through a lot of email traffic, and along with the sync issues, online tools such as google apps arent really appropriate. besides, I’d rather stay open source if possible.