Enterprise Software

Review: Tine 2.0 open source enterprise software

Tine 2.0 is for any company that needs to have a single point of contact for their groupware, their CRM, and their ERP and need it up quickly and cheaply.

Groupware, CRM, ERP, or some combination of the three, are necessary tools for businesses. Some companies need one or more of these tools. However, if you need more than one of them, in most cases, you are going to have to install multiple Web-based applications. But what if you are either limited by time or resources and you don't want to have to deal with multiple applications? In that case you may need a tool like Tine 2.0, which offers Groupware, CRM, and ERP all in one easy to install (and easy to use) package.

Requirements

Basic:
  • MySQL 5.0 or later
  • PHP, required version: 5.2.1 or later, recommended version: 5.2.3 or later
Required PHP Extensions:
  • MySQL PDO
  • SPL
  • json
  • gd
  • date
  • SimpleXML
  • ctype
  • dom
  • mcrypt
  • iconv
Optional PHP Extensions:
  • APC (recommended)
  • Memcache
  • LDAP

Additional vendor information

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Who's it for?

Tine 2.0 is for any company that needs to have a single point of contact for their groupware (Email, Calendar, Contacts, etc), their CRM (content management), and their ERP (enterprise resource planning) and need it up quickly and cheaply. Tine 2.0 is also for companies who want to shirk the standard Microsoft Exchange route and go with an open source solution.

What problem does it solve?

Tine 2.0 solves the sometimes overwhelming issue of resource and content management as well as offers an easy to use groupware suite for employees. With Tine 2.0 you can manage your facilities, your clients, your employees, and much more.

Standout features

  • Simple installation
  • Easy to use interface
  • Multiple address books for each user
  • Multiple calendars for each users
  • Calendar/address book/task sharing
  • Export contacts to PDF
  • Project management
  • Time tracking
  • Voip Manager
  • Roles and role permissions

What's wrong?

Probably the biggest missing piece of Tine is the ability to access email/calendar/contacts with mobile devices. Yes, you can access Tine from any Web browser (and even from outside your network, if it is set up that way), but today's mobile world has reached the point where business email access is a must-have for mobile devices like smartphones. This is a big minus for Tine 2.0. And as there is no plan for such a feature in the future, Tine 2.0 might lose out big. And since the competition is so tight in this market space, missing any feature can be a real deal breaker.

Editor's Note: It has been brought to our attention that this feature is available in the form of an ActiveSyc plugin that must be installed separately. I would like to see this functionality built in by default with the ability to easily enable or disable the feature. There is one other issue with this news. The distribution of the Tine 2.0 ActiveSync module in or to the United States of Americais is prohibited due to patent issues. To me that says the ActiveSync capability is available, if you are outside the US.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you have a need for a combined CRM, ERP, groupware suite, and you do not need connectivity via mobile devices, then Tine 2.0 might be a good fit for you. It's flexible, it's easy to use, it has few requirements, and you can't beat the cost. If you can't seem to swing the installation of either eGroupware or Zimbra, then take a look at Tine 2.0. But don't expect to see Tine match the competition feature for feature or you will be disappointed.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Tine 2.0? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

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.

4 comments
jlibster
jlibster

There is a warning for US users here: http://www.tine20.org/wiki/index.php/Admins/Synchronisation It indicates US users cannot use their implementation of ActiveSync due to Patent laws. (Only in the USA...amazing how often that comes up in the USA). I guess you can download/buy MS's version of ActiveSync. ITs too bad Tine didn't use other methods like those in Sogo like Funabol. Tine has more function modules than Sogo and its web client appears to work on all browsers unlike Sogo whose web client does not work on Firefox 10SR or Debian Icewind 10 but appears to work in Firefox 15 and many other browsers. But Sogo's web interface much faster to load/use than Tine's. I really like Tine, just wish its interface was as speedy and mobile sync features as free to use as Sogos. Tine's vastly superior administration interfaces is tempting very strongly as many admins hate to get their "hands ditry" with raw config files or database tables which Sogo often requires with changes to accounts.

rygood
rygood

Tine is very useful.

lkneschke
lkneschke

Thank you for the good review of Tine 2.0. Only the "What's wrong?" section is wrong. :-) Tine 2.0 is able to synchronize data with mobile devices via ActiveSync. Supported devices are the iPhone, Android based devices, Nokia phones and all Windows Mobile devices. You just need to download and install the additional ActiveSync package.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you use open source applications for mission critical enterprise management?