A new Danish open source company believes that it has a new solution to the problem of connecting Microsoft Corp. Exchange servers to third-party client applications.
OMC Denmark ApS has developed a Corba-based framework, called Brutus, that wraps around Microsoft’s own Messaging Application Programming Interface, enabling non-Microsoft clients to connect to Exchange, from version 5.5 onwards.
Other solutions, such as Novell’s Inc.’s Evolution Connector for Microsoft Exchange, are available, but Evolution Connector, which uses the WebDAV extension to the HTTP protocol, is only available for Microsoft Exchange 2000 and 2003.
It has been estimated that between 60% and 70% are running Exchange 5.5 or lower, giving OMC a large installed market to aim at before version 5.5 reaches end of life at the end of 2005, and potentially even beyond. OMC also supports Exchange 2000 and 2003.
An example of the potential demand for Brutus came from the UK’s London Borough of Newham, which was last year considering a move to Linux desktops but hit a stumbling block in that it would require an upgrade to Newham’s Microsoft Exchange 5.5 server that the council could not afford.
As recently reported, Newham ended up scrapping its Linux plans and negotiating a complete move to a new Microsoft-based infrastructure, giving Microsoft a key marketing weapon in its ongoing battle with Linux for government contracts.
The Brutus technology is available under the open source GNU General Public License, but can also be licensed under a commercial license from OMC for companies that want to include the Brutus technology in commercial products.