Frequently Asked Questions
What is exchange4linux?
exchange4linux is the new overall project name which includes BILL Open Workgroup Server.
BILL remains the code name for the server side workgroup engine, whereas exchange4linux is the name of the whole set of tools and services.
You'll find references both to exchange4linux and BILL, they all reference the same code managed by the same developers.
What is exchange4linux/BILL?
N&H; received more and more customer requests asking for a independent
workgroup server solution running under LINUX, but using MS-Outook(TM) as
the Client on the MS-Windows(TM) Desktop for use with shared calendars and
task lists etc. and not limited to e-mail. MS-Outlook(TM) uses a MAPI
Service Provider to store workgroup data centrally in MS-Exchange(TM)
database or other 3rd party messaging servers. Based on this, N&H; decided to
start an internal project that implements a storage server that can run on
LINUX where different workgroup clients and other applications can exchange
workgroup data. BILL is now under the GNU public licence. Since early 2003 we
renamed the project to exchange4linux. In the interim you will continue to find
references to both names, although they are the same software.
What can BILL do for me?
The intention for N&H; to develop BILL was the demand from customers.
These customers asked for an opportunity to store their Outlook (TM)
workgroupdata centrally on an existing LINUX server. For this purpose N&H;
also developed a MAPI Service Provider. This MAPI Service Provider can be
installed as an service in Windows 95,98,NT,2000 (TM) and talks over CORBA
to the BILL server. At the end of the day, BILL together with this MAPI
Service Provider and Outlook is a stable, cost effective and scalable way to
store and share workgroup data.
How can I test BILL?
The currently recommended way to install exchange4linux is to use the exchange4linux changeroot reference kit distribution which is based on Debian Linux, but will run on almost any Linux system in a chroot environment.
Please check out the documentation area for detailed instructions how to install
this Open Source distribution.
There are two other ways to test exchange4linux if you are an experienced developer. If you have experience with LINUX,
you can download the sourcecode tarball and install it by yourself. A Debian
LINUX package is available, too. You should do this first after successfully installing the changeroot Reference Kit, so that you have a reference point to compare to your system. In this case, you also have to
install Python (programming language), omniORBpy (CORBA broker), PostgreSQL
(database), Postfix (mail transfer). The exchange4linux source code can be downloaded
from our public download site:
Documentation on how to install your BILL server from the source are available as archive document in the documentation area.
The other way is to install a special ready-to-run LINUX distribution
from N&H.; You can download an ISO-Image (~ 70 MB) and burn a bootable CD.
With this CD you can install a complete gateway and workgroup server on a
PC. This is also possible without special LINUX knowledge. To get an
evaluation version go to:
Download EasyGate Workgroup
Where can I get the sourcecode?
The exchange4linux (BILL Workgroup Server) source code can be downloaded from Neuberger & Hughes download site:
The new exchange4linux project is at SourceForge:
The older set of BerliOS resources for the BILL open source project can be found here:
BerliOS Developer: BILL Open Workgroup Server
What are the next development steps for BILL?
- Gateways to IMAP and LDAP Clients
- integration of other Open Source Workgroup Clients (Evolution etc.)
- integration of web-based Workgroup Clients
- packages for Debian, SUSE , Redhat and other distributions
- ports for other plattforms (Solaris, BSD)
How can I use BILL?
The best way is to install the EasyGate workgroup CD on a server with
We recommend :
up to 10 user - > ~ 1 Ghz CPU, 512 MB DDRAM, FAST IDE harddisk
up to 100 user - > ~ 2 Ghz CPU, 1024 MB DDRAM, FAST IDE RAID
up to 500 - > ~ 3 Ghz CPU, 2048 MB DDRAM, SCSI RAID System
Nothing prevents you from using a 500 Mhz , 128 MB System for 50
users, but itīs not really fun.
Is the MAPI Service Provider for Outlook (TM) also open source?
No, sorry. All code that Neuberger & Hughes develops for the Windows platform is closed source. This funds our Open Source development of the BILL Open Workgroup Server and enables further feature development and maintenance.
You can get a 30 day test licence for free. After this trial period, you have to buy a licence at N&H; or an authorized reseller.
Is there a ready to run product with support, etc?
YES, itīs called EasyGate Workgroup.
I can't find the Outlook mail configuration dialogs to add the BILL Workgroup Service Provider?
Outlook can be installed in 3 kinds of modes:
- Internet Only (IMAP and POP3 + local SMTP)
- Corporate / Workgroup mode for Exchange and 3rd Party connectors
- No-Email mode
Most likely your Outlook is installed in Internet mode, especially if
you used it already with a POP3 or IMAP server in the past.
BILL does not work with Outlook Express only with Full feature Outlook.
(You can use Outlook Express with EasyGate Workgroup by using IMAP/POP3,
but that's a different story and doesn't include workgroup functionality)
Just to be sure go to:
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Mail
If you get a small dialog with information about Internet Accounts your
Outlook is in Internet Only Mode.
If you get a small dialog with information about Services you are in the
Outlook Workgroup mode.
To switch Outlook into Workgroup mode please do the following:
- Dig out your Outlook CD, you'll need it
- Start Outlook
- Menubar: -> Tools(3rd from the left) -> Options
- In Options Dialog press on the second tab call Email Services
- At the botton of the Dialog is a button called "Reconfigure Email Services" press this button.
- A wizard appears, choose the middle Radiobutton called Corporate/Workgroup mode and continue.
- Eventually Outlook quits or you log off when done
- Now just to be sure you might want to reinstall the BILL client software, although it shouldn't be necessary
- Now you can go back to the Controlpanel -> Email dialog
- If you want you can delete the existing profile or keep it if you want
- Press "Show Profiles..."
- Press Add...
- Wizard dialog appears, select Manual Configuration with the Radiobutton control
- Give a name, or use the one provided, continue.
- Then you can add a Service
- Select BILL Workgroup server
- Fill out the dialog
- Add "Outlook Address Book" as a Service, too
- Finish the profile
- at the bottom of the profiles dialog is a combobox to choose the Profile for default on startup. Select your profile as the default, if it is not yet selected
- Press Close
Now you should be ready.
Most of the final steps are explained in the Quickinstall guide which is availabe with the other Documentation at the EasyGate Workgroup and BILL MAPI Service Provider download site: