Homegrown Open Source Release: OnlineGroups.Net's GroupServer

Posted on: June 18, 2008 - 22:24 By: dave

Christchurch-based OnlineGroups.Net have just reached a major milestone, the first release of their impressive email+web collaboration open source web services application: GroupServer. Here's the scoop from OnlineGroups.Net's founder and director, Dan Randow:

After five years in development, our software-as-a-service at OnlineGroups.Net is out of beta, and we have released as open source GroupServer 1.0α, the software that powers it.

OnlineGroups.net would be grateful for your comments about either of these.

GroupServer's main purpose in life is to provide email lists with a web forum interface, that support file-sharing and chat. We aim to achieve the equivalence between the email and web interfaces that Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups have. The difference is that you can create email groups on a site that you can manage.

As a GroupServer installation integrates Zope, PostgreSQL, Postfix and Apache - more info is available - and can deal with millions of emails daily, administration is non-trivial.

The service at OnlineGroups.Net aims to make online groups and sites easily available, without administration costs. In fact, we make sites
with only public groups free of any costs at all, and charge subscriptions for sites with private groups. All our sites are ad-free.

If you are about to start an online group or community, please consider using OnlineGroups.Net.

The software we are releasing is pretty-much the same as the software that powers our software-as-a-service. Crazy? We think not. We think that online community software should be built by a community. We benefit from the open source community, so it makes sense to contribute to it. We want out customers to trust us with their data, so they should be able to inspect the system that is storing it. And we hope that the modular architecture of GroupServer will enable us to benefit from community development input. SaaS with OSS works for Automattic with WordPress, and for SugarCRM, so why not us?

If you are interested, here are the release notes, and a blog post about the release by OnlineGroups.Net Technical Lead, Richard Waid.

OnlineGroups.Net is part of the Christchurch open source business cluster, the Effusion Group.