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Exchange-like calendaring functionality?

 
Ulf Dittmer
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As my company grows, the need for a more all-encompassing group calendaring solution becomes pressing. So far, we have worked with a mixture of shared Google calendars and Thunderbird plugin Lightning, but both fall a bit short of what Exchange can do when used in conjunction with Outlook, namely to see which other folks (and resources) would be available at a particular time. There's an additional plugin for Thunderbird/Lightning called Provider for Google Calendar which allows two-way sync with a Google calendar, but during event creation I still can't see what is going on at a particular time. I suppose that's due to the fcat that it's just one calendar that is shared by multiple people, and not multiple calendars of all the people. So -unless I'm missing something, in which case I'd be happy to be educated about how to make this work- I'm wondering about the following issues, and would like to hear any and all thoughts and opinions:

  • What are people using for group calendaring (besides Exchange/Outlook, which is also an option -we're a client-side Windows shop- but not the preferred one) ?
  • Are there combinations of Thunderbird plugins, web sites, and/or Linux server software we could install to make this work? Commercial solutions are OK, I figure just about anything would be cheaper than setting up an Exchange server and fitting 100 desktops with Outlook.
  • Exchange also provides sharing of contacts; is there anything in that space for use with Thunderbird?


  • Again, I'm not just looking for complete solutions, ideas and opinions are welcome, too. Thanks!
     
    Gregg Bolinger
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    If you setup sharing across all the calendars then you should be able to enable the free/busy gadget from the labs and get what you want from google calendar. That doesn't help if you're dead set on using Thunderbird, however.

    Reference: http://email.about.com/od/googlecalendartips/qt/See_Who_is_Free_And_Who_Busy_in_Google_Calendar.htm
     
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