Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oracle Beehive and Migrating from Meeting Maker

Over the last few years our inquires have been running something like 90 to 0 in favor of getting OUT of Oracle Calendar Server.

Imagine our surprise when this morning we had an inquiry of a site wanting to migrate from Meeting Maker INTO Oracle Beehive.

Editorial Update August 19, 2008: Looks like instead of Beehive (which we referred to internally as "Buzz Off" but we also heard called "Hornet's Nest") they're going to Zimbra. All in all a safer choice.

We jumped into figuring out how to do it (only too aware of how we will invariably discover underlying problems we did not anticipate).

Step 1: Export your MM server as a .DAT file, ship it to Sumatra, and let us convert it into an Access database (easy, we handle this now).

Step 2: Using Sumatra's zinsert tool, convert MM data into a series of related iCalendar files (easy, we handle this now).

Step 3: Using import_icalendar in Beehive, bring in the converted data from Step 2 (now this we have not tried in the real world and expect to find at least one or two problems when we do).

The command will look something like this:

beectl import_icalendar --file

And of course it will be repeated N times where N is the number of users you have.

I'm not sure if this will properly handle resources and locations yet, but stay tuned.

Short answer to those of you wanting to get calendar data into Beehive: It looks good -- but we're going to team with you if you understand that right now we're considering it more of a "clinical trial" than a released solution.

We suspect we're going to have some problems with GUID format and Time Zone nomenclature, but the architecture of the method looks sound.

Also, please check out Gartner's Oracle Jumps Into the Collaboration Market (Again).

Now, for the problem of taking calendar data out of Beehive and putting it into Exchange -- our experience has been that won't be an issue for the next 12-18 months. But if it's an issue for anyone sooner than that just let us know -- we can certainly insert any calendar data into Exchange.

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