There are so many groupware suites available to use. Each suite has its pros and cons and most of them offer the same tools (email, calendar, contacts, etc). Some of them are fiercely complex (in both setup and usage) and some of them are moderately user-friendly. One of those tools, Share360 from Cybozu, is incredibly easy to set up, administer, and use. And it does this without losing functionality.
- Windows: IIS, Peer Web Services, Apache, or Cybozu Share360 Web server.
- Linux: Apache >= 1.3.2, kernel >= 2.2.x
- Clients: Any client PC with a Web browser
- Additional information
Who's it for?
Share360 is for any business that needs a solid groupware suite with standard (as well as a few unique ones) features. But Share360 can be obtained with a far lower price tag than an equivalent application like Microsoft Exchange. And with the addition of Outlook Sync any company can employ this easy to use groupware suite.
What problem does it solve?
Share360 solves the problem of keeping a business organized while doing it far cheaper than other solutions. Share360 keeps your users scheduled, in touch, in control, and well organized.
- Installation - Cybozu Share360 is one of the easiest installations of any groupware suite available.
- Address book - Both private and group address books with a comprehensive search function and filters.
- Announcements - Send announcements (with or without attachments) to the entire company or select groups.
- Cabinet - Company-wide file repository that includes document subscription so users know when a document has been updated.
- Memos - Send memos company wide, re-use memos for standard announcements, and attach files.
- Phone messages - No more sticky notes, because phone messages can be created and sent with a simple form.
- Project - Full-featured project management tool.
- Scheduler - Calendar that handles both individual and group scheduling.
- Time sheet - Keep track of your time without the need for a punch clock.
- Web forms - Create unique, online forms that can include calculations and much more.
- Web email - Read your email with an easy to use Web-based interface.
The biggest problem with Share360 is that there is no way to connect to Share360 with an email client. Even with the Outlook Sync feature, users are only syncing calendars and contacts - no email. And even though it seems your users might be "locked" into using Web email, they aren't. While Share360 doesn't include an email server of its own, you can deploy a full-functioning email server. The issue occurs when your users try to use both Share360's Web email tool and their own favorite email client - they will have to manage their email carefully or they will lose precious communications.
Bottom line for business
If you need a full-featured collaborative groupware suite, but want to avoid the high cost of an exchange server (and CAL licenses) Share360 might be the perfect product for you. When you look at the per-user cost comparison (Exchange $485.00 per year per user, Lotus Notes $595.00 per user per year, Share360 $63.00 per user per year) the choice becomes much easier. Add to this the easiest installation of any groupware suite available and you have a solution that makes sense for just about any business or enterprise.
Have you encountered Cybozu Share360? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of Share360 in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.