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Update on the new MAPI functionality coming soon to Evolution, with help from the OpenChange project

In my last post, I made a reference to queuing up and testing the new MAPI connector for Evolution under OpenSUSE 11.1. I have done that now.

First off, I added the repository to YAST using the information at the Evolution Wiki. The Repo file looks like this:

 


After adding the repo to YAST, updating the repositories, and then installing the MAPI bits, my system now had this on it:

steve@indiapaleale:~> rpm -qa | grep -i mapi

 

evolution-mapi-debuginfo-0.25.6-3.1
evolution-mapi-0.25.6-3.1
evolution-mapi-lang-0.25.6-3.1

steve@indiapaleale:~> rpm -qa | grep -i openchange

 

openchange-0.8-3.1

steve@indiapaleale:~> rpm -qa | grep -i samba4

 

samba4-4.0-19.1
libtdb1-samba4-1.1.3-14.1
libtalloc1-samba4-1.2.0-14.1
samba4-libs-4.0-14.1

The MAPI code was updated at the end of January, going from OpenChange .7 to .8, with all the related packages similarly revving.

 

MAPI-Clause is Coming to Town

 

The fact that MAPI has been added to Evolution so quickly is really very impressive. It is not an easy thing to do. Having the doc (as noted last time) certainly helps. That being said, this is called .8 for a reason. It is working against my MS Exchange 2007 server, but not without significant issues.

 

I want to stress right here and now that I am not testing this for prime time readiness, nor does the project make any claims that this is anything but Alpha level code. Use this at your own risk!! Really!!

 

I lost email with this. Really really. This is pre-GA.

 

I had tested .5, .6, and .7 of this MAPI code, and it never worked for me at all. I was testing it against MS Exchange 2003 though, so two factors changed: I moved to MS Exchange 2007, and Evolution MAPI .8 at the same time. Now it works. Sort of.

Here is what works:

  • I can send* and receive email.

(* sending works as long as the email address is fully qualified: Many things in the Inbox can not be replied to because they do not have valid email addresses)

Here is what kind of works:

  • I can see part of my calendar. I have not figured out the rhyme or reason to why Evolution can only see a small subset of my total calendar. Using today as an example, I can see one of seven meetings.

 

Flat does not work yet:

  • Expunge really does Expunge. Everything. Entire Inbox, whether or not a note has actually been deleted. It does ask if you really want to do it first though.
  • GAL: The Global Address List is still a work in progress. MAPI dropped the WebDAV / LDAP version of the code in favor of a protocol called NSPI (Name Service Provider Interface). It is not done yet, and not included in the current binaries.
  • No setting any rules / filters
  • No Exchange special stuff, like "Out of Office" autoreplies. Not even a screen to work with them yet.

 

Stability is not there either. I can walk away from the computer to go to lunch, and come back to find I have to restart all of the Evolution processes because it has hung. No messages. No tracebacks.

In related news, when I updated my Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha system this morning, it pulled down Evolution 2.25.90, so it looks like Evolution 2.26 is getting close. There is no MAPI available yet in the repository though, so it is still a race to see what goes first, 2.26, or MAPI support for 2.26.

I am encouraged. A version of this will ship with Gnome 2.26, and I assume that it will be revved very frequently after that for a while, but still: after all these years, MAPI / RFC support for MS Exchange is clearly headed to Linux. When it gets there, a *huge* wall to corporate Linux desktops will have fallen.