Simple Groupware is a powerful and reliable open source groupware solution that any small to mid-sized business can deploy. A downside to this feature-rich groupware suite is that its setup isn’t always intuitive; email setup in particular can be a little tricky. I’ll walk you through the process of setting up email for users on the Simple Groupware system. Before I do, there are several key pieces of information you need to know.

First and foremost, you don’t set up a global email server for Simple Groupware — you set up email accounts on a per user basis. In a way this is nice because you can have different emails for different users.

Simple Groupware does not include an email server; if you want to include email on the same machine, I highly recommend you set up a Postfix server. If you have no desire to deal with the hassles of an email server, you can always set up a Google account(s) for your user(s).

Simple Groupware goes about the connection to external data in a rather different manner; instead of configuring a client for email, you configure a folder and a mount point and then configure the mount point with the correct information for the account. Because of this setup, you can configure the syncing of external data to use such information as:

  • IMAP (read mails)
  • POP3 (read mails)
  • SMTP (write mails)
  • PmWiki content management
  • CSV contacts
  • LDIF contacts
  • LDAP contacts
  • XML contacts
  • VCard contacts
  • iCalendar appointments
  • CSV appointments
  • RSS news feeds
  • CIFS network file system
  • Local file system
  • Google Docs
  • Firefox bookmarks

Setting up users’ email

Each user can have different systems configured, so it is crucial to have the user to be configured already set up. Follow these steps to add a user in this system:

  1. Log in to Simple Groupware as the Admin user.
  2. Click Main menu.
  3. Click Administration.
  4. Click Users from the left pane.
  5. Click New.
  6. Enter the information in the new User window (Figure A).
  7. Click the Save button.

Figure A

Lots of information can be entered in a new user setup. (Click the image to enlarge.)

With the user set up, you are ready to configure an email account for them. Once you have all of the details of their email account handy, it’s time to set up the account.

The first step is to locate the user’s folder in the left pane. You should find these folders under Workspace | Personal Folders. All created users should have a folder in that location. Within the user’s folder, you should see a number of sub-folders (Figure B).
Figure B

These folders are auto-generated when the user is created.

Select the E-mail folder and then scroll the left nav down until you see the Mountpoint option. Click that link to reveal the configuration settings window for the Email setup (Figure C).
Figure C

Once you locate the setup, it’s quite easy from here.

Select the type of email connection you are setting up (IMAP or POP3) and then configure the necessary options for the connection. Once you finish the setup, click the OK button to save. You should see the newly created account syncing with the E-mail folder.

Setting up outgoing email

Here are the steps for setting up outgoing email (SMTP):

  1. Click the Mail folder under the user.
  2. Scroll down in the left nav and click Options.
  3. Under the New section (Figure D) select SMTP.
  4. Fill out the necessary information for the SMTP connection.

Figure D

Select emails.png as the icon for easy reference.

Now go back to the user’s email folder and click the New tab to test the outgoing email.