EGroupware is a team management solution which specialises in team communication. The software is not only open source-based, but can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures. EGroupware can be installed via the Univention App Center.
The great advantage of Univention Corporate Server lies in the integrated identity and infrastructure management system. This facilitates the administration of applications, users and resources. Userscan, for example, simply install a mail server or other additional components that connect seamlessly with EGroupware.
Due to the ongoing corona crisis and the resulting increased demand for home office support, EGroupware has brought forward features originally planned for version 20.1 and released it already in April 2020.
The updated version allows the integration of the open source application Jitsi into EGroupware. This combines the functions of the videoconferencing solution (video, audio, chat, desktop sharing) with business functions of EGroupware such as scheduled videoconferences, invitation of participants via e-mail or ad-hoc calls. In addition, the DSVVO-compliant chat solution Rocket.chat is now also available.
Editing documents is also possible at any time, as Collabora Online Office is fully integrated into EGroupware. You simply create a new document in the file manager and edit it together with team colleagues in the browser. All data stored in EGroupware, such as addresses or custom data, can be inserted into documents using placeholders. Thus, users are also enabled to send serial letters or personalised serial e-mails directly. You can share folders or files with external partners at any time. There is also a new option for „hidden upload“, which can be used,for example, to collect homework if the tasks have been prevoiusly been put in a shared folder. The uploaded files are visible to the teaching staff, while students or parents can only access the given tasks.
Furthermore, the Guacamole module accommodates the foreseeable increased use of home offices: It allows performance-hungry applications to be used on company desktops or servers from the web browser of private user PCs without requiring an additional license. Access is granted via VNC/RDP/SSH and is secured with SSL encryption, 2-factor authentication, rights management and brute force protection. The data stays where it belongs: in the company!
EGroupware releases version 20.1: new perspectives are opening up
The application “smallPART” is yet another additional extension for video-based learning and teaching. The acronym stands for “selfdirected media assisted learning lectures & Process Analysis Reflection Tool”. With smallPart and EGroupware teachers can create courses, insert videos – also with annotations at certain points – and describe tasks. On the other hand, students can comment on these videos at any point or add questions. These comments, in turn, are seen by the teachers and, if approved, also by other students.
The tool smallPART was developed by a cooperation of task forces of the University of Tübingen and the TU Kaiserslautern. The further development and integration into EGroupware is carried out in the
context of a cooperation between the TU Kaiserslautern, namely Prof. Dr. Christoph Thyssen and Arash Tolou, and EGroupware. The module smallPART is available free of charge under the GNU Affero
General Public License 3.0 and thus in all variants of EGroupware.
Furthermore, EGroupware 20.1 uses a technical innovation that will be gradually introduced into all modules of the collaboration software in the future: the push server based on PHP Swoole, a NodeJS-like technology for PHP environments. This ensures that the clients are informed about news concerning them without delay.
With the integration of PHP Swoole in EGroupware 20.1, the calendar view, including timesheet and infolog, is immediately updated as soon as someone makes a change, sends an appointment request or enters an appointment. In addition, the email application has been switched to push notifications and notifies directly about new incoming emails if the integrated IMAP server supports this feature.
Dovecot from version 2.2+ enables push notifications in the inbox. Starting with version 2.3, further events can be considered, such as flag changes or delete or move emails.
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Birgit Becker has been working with digital solutions for optimized collaboration, coordination and communication in companies for 11 years. She is responsible for IT consulting and support around the open source software EGroupware and since 2016 managing director of EGroupware GmbH.