fredag, januari 14, 2011

Mailing lists in Beehive

One things that strikes you when starting to setup Beehive is the absence of mailing lists. Even though Beehive focuses on collaboration rather than on e-mail, mailing lists still plays an important role in an organisation. So, given the fact that you don't have regular mailing lists in Beehive but your end users demand them, what can you do? So far we have seen 3 options that you can use in Beehive.

* Using Beehive workspaces
* Using Beehive (or in our case Active Directory) groups
* Using an external mailing list server

I will discuss these options below and give you my take on each of them.

Using Beehive workspaces

Each user can create a workspace in Beehive and add users to it. So this can be used to mimic a mailing list, but imho, it is a bit of an overkill to setup a workspace just to be able to have a mailing list. As any user can create a workspace you quickly loses any naming standards you might have in place within your organisation, which will make it practically impossible to find the right mailing list for the end users. Also, you will loose control of abandoned workspaces within Beehive when employees leaves. You could have a centralized administration for company wide workspaces and uses these as mailing lists, but this will turn some of your employees into full time workspace administrators.

Using Beehive groups

In our case we synchronize our Active Directory with Beehive and have user and group management there. As you can set a mail address on a group you can use this as an alternative to mailing lists. However, as you do not want any given person to have the right to work inside your LDAP server, this option leads either to a lot of work for your LDAP administrators or you will have to setup a 3:rd party product (or create your own) only for the purpose of handling group memberships.

Using an external mailing list server

This is perhaps the best option to choose for having mailing lists within Beehive. You will only have setup the initial mailing list and you will have to create an external contact in Beehive (if the address should be visible in the address list), but once that is done you can delegate all administration of the list to the list owner. You will also be able to keep any naming standards that you might have in place. Below is an overview on how this could be setup.

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