Zentyal 4.0 Roadmap Published!

Zentyal Development Team is glad to announce the roadmap for Zentyal Server 4.0! Zentyal 4.0 is a new Community Edition, that will be published in October 2014 and with this release Zentyal’s drop-in replacement for Microsoft® Exchange Server gets out of technology preview! Due to this, most of the development effort of the next months will focus on stabilization and improvement of the mail and mail-related directory features. Simultaneously, large effort will be put in establishing the necessary Quality Assurance procedures to guarantee the stability of Zentyal Server. The code freeze is expected on September 15th, 2014.

Besides focusing primarily on the improvement and consolidation of both OpenChange and Samba4 integration with the goal of providing a drop-in replacement for Microsoft® Exchange Server, some additional improvements will also take place. The L2TP module will be restructured and improved, migration from Zentyal Server 3.5 to 4.0 will be made as smooth as possible and the free configuration backup – the most popular feature of the Free Zentyal Account – will be made available directly through the Zentyal Server UI without having to register a Free Zentyal Account. This release will run on Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS.

In addition, the Zentyal Development Team has taken the decision to remove a number of modules in order to focus on Zentyal Server’s goal: Offer a drop-in replacement for Windows® Small Business Server and Microsoft® Exchange Server. The dropped modules are: IPS, UPS management (NUT), Backup (Duplicity), Monitor (together with the Zentyal Remote client), RADIUS, Webserver and Webmail (Roundcube), IPsec (replaced by a new module supporting only L2TP). Also the Free Zentyal Account will be discontinued. Documentation will be provided on configuring some of these services with specific software and naturally, community members interested in maintaining any of these modules will be warmly welcome. Feel free to comment or volunteer in this Forum post.

The availability of the Zentyal 4.0 Daily Builds for testing will be announced shortly. We strongly encourage everybody interested in a drop-in replacement for Windows Small Business Server and Microsoft® Exchange Server to join the testing effort and submit bug reports and feedback as soon as possible, in order to make this the best Zentyal release ever!


Update September 26th:

We are glad to announce that the official release date of Zentyal 4.0 will be October 29th! Spread the word! In the meanwhile you try the Daily Builds and help us with testing. Reporting found bugs in the tracker are highly appreciated and will help to make the final release a rock solid Microsoft Exchange drop-in replacement!

40 comments

  1. Vincenzo Oliviero

    Excuse me but if you keep on cutting features that we usually provide as a plus we will sell no more licenses at all.
    I’m talking about Backup, Webmail, Monitor and RADIUS.
    Please change your roadmap or state about how do you think to replace that functionality

    1. heidi

      Hi Vicenzo! Thanks for your feedback. For those modules that we have dropped and we consider that were providing important functionality (backup, monitoring, webserver, IDS, Radius, FTP, DynDNS…), we will provide detailed documentation on how these services can be configured on top of Zentyal/Ubuntu server.

      On the other hand, if you have customers with Commercial Zentyal Editions, these editions are supported until their end of life. If you have further questions, please contact your Partner Manager.

  2. Gerald Lovel

    I started using Zentyal with Ebox 1.0, not because it looked like a Microsoft server, but because it didn’t. Ebox supported Linux file permissions, Linux shell, Ubuntu Linux package management, and so forth. Now, Zentyal community edition is abandoning much of this differentiation. Frankly, no one in business cares that Linux is free. They care that it works and is secure. So, Zentyal removes the armor from the server? Weird idea.

    1. heidi

      Hi Gerald! Thanks for your feedback. Please note that Zentyal Server continues providing all these features that you mention.

    1. heidi

      Hi Richard! Thank you for your feedback. This is good idea, but currently not on the roadmap. At the moment we only provide Login / Logoff scripts. Additional GPOs can be added from Windows with RSAT tools. If you are not familiar with RSAT Tools, this community how to might give you an idea how it works (disclaimer: it’s in Portuguese). And then you have the official Microsoft documentation.

  3. Josef Rieder

    I do not understand why essential moduls like backup, webserver and webmail and also monitor module are now also dropped. Also after putting effort in the webmail module in the last releases.
    Now this is no solution any more to cover essential needs of a small business server which is bad so we need to consider change to other system again (after moving to zentyal a year ago).

    1. heidi

      Hi Josef! Thanks for your feedback. Regarding as to why we are dropping modules, there are basically two reasons: 1. We have realized that unfortunately it is impossible to cover satisfactorily absolutely all the IT infrastructure and 2. We need to focus on what we are best at.

      For those modules that we have dropped and we consider that were providing important functionality (backup, monitoring, webserver, IDS, Radius, FTP, DynDNS…), we will provide detailed documentation on how these services can be configured on top of Zentyal/Ubuntu server.

      As to webmail, please note that until now we integrated two webmail services (Roundcube that offered mail only and SOGo that offered both mail and groupware). For simplicity’s sake, we are maintaining just one (SOGo).

      1. DeanB

        Hi Heidi, glad to see SOGo remains.
        Will the documentation for not included services be available at release time? I am particularly interested in the backup and restore tools.

  4. Alex O.

    I accidentally clicked on “upgrade” on Zentyal 3.3 – it came with Zentyal 3.4 and an option to upgrade to Zentyal 3.5.2
    We – unfortunately – also did this extra upgrade.

    Now we are sitting here like ducks wondering where the e-mail functionality has gone. No more fetching mails from external providers? Impossible! Our whole company depends on it!

    And what do I read – no more “duplicity” backup?
    Guess what, the whole company depends on it too!

    You badly need to warn your users about dire consequences of upgrades and a possibility to downgrade back to normal.
    IMHO.

    In the meantime, we keep getting errors on a non-existant, but supposed to exist, software on port 10024, most likely the spamfilter or virus scanner, which prevents that any fetched mail (by fetchmail) is being delivered.

    That is absolutely NOT what we want.
    Is this your way of scaring customers away?
    Or generating support?

  5. b.deivid

    I doubt in Zentyal’s future as a open source project. All those decisions about dropping modules is leading to one direction – profit.
    You are also missing the goal to be an SBS replacement. Dropping functionality like fetching emails from external providers or backup makes no sense.
    Why should fetching emails from external providers not be dropped:

    1.) it is a feature of MS Exchange server and is very often used , leaving this out means that Zentyal is not able to become a drop in replacement for MS Exchange
    2.) big external providers do care about all the emails – antispam antivirus, so they do a god job and there is less for you to do
    3.) you can leave emails on providers server so the email is reachable through providers webmail and other software – very often the situation

    1. heidi

      Hi! Thanks for your feedback. First of all, there is no reason to doubt Zentyal’s future as a open source [1] project. Please keep in mind that open source is a software development model and not a business model.

      On the other hand, regarding fetchmail, as already specified in these Forum replies [2, 3], external mail retrieval (fetchmail) was removed together with User Corner module. We are not getting back the old User Corner module with a generic and complex design, but we’ve restored already the fetchmail functionality in the Zentyal administration UI and plan also to provide a simpler replacement for user password changes and fetchmail configuration as soon as possible.

      If you have any bug reports or specific feature requests, please report them through the Zentyal Tracker [4].

      [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source
      [2] https://forum.zentyal.org/index.php/topic,22671.msg87700.html#msg87700
      [3] https://forum.zentyal.org/index.php/topic,22671.msg88221.html#msg88221
      [4] https://tracker.zentyal.org/

  6. waspinator

    Understandable due to your limited resources, but disappointing.

    I currently deploy Windows 2012 Server Essentials + Office 365, and for small businesses this provides:

    – web mail
    – backup
    – web server
    – group policy

    I was hoping that Zentyal would not only provide some sort of replacements for those, but also keep value added features like IPS, and UPS. Maybe once the core is stable version 5 can bring some features back.

  7. Gary Schiltz

    Would you please comment on “migration from Zentyal Server 3.5 to 4.0 will be made as smooth as possible”? Will we be able to upgrade an existing server from 3.5 to 4.0 without having to “wipe and reinstall”? Thanks.

    1. Lenny Horstink

      There will be a simple “update” button, so there is no need to “wipe and reinstall”. Please note, as mentioned in the release policy, “If a user has a Zentyal Community Edition in a production environment, he/she is expected to have a testing environment where the upgrade is first tested and if any issues arise, to report them to Zentyal. The upgrade in a production environment should not take place until all the pending issues are fixed and the process is flawless.”

  8. O Knoner

    I see the point in some comments here made; however I think Zentyal community edition is moving into the right path, making the core SBS as good as it can be, a solid and trustworthy solution; as long as it has DHCP, DNS, AD, VPN, MAIL and FILE mgmt working perfectly, it can replace a Windows server (SBS).
    Of course that the more solid working options it can have the better.

    I´m working with v3.5 now and look forward for v4.0! More importantly look forward for this:

    “migration from Zentyal Server 3.5 to 4.0 will be made as smooth as possible and the free configuration backup […] will be made available directly through the Zentyal Server UI without having to register a Free Zentyal Account”

  9. greenmeanie

    Well I am not using it now I needed the web server feature.
    Are you just trying to make us buy the commercial version now to get the features we need?

    1. Lenny Horstink

      No, sorry. You misundertood it. The reason of dropping certain modules is, as explained in the roadmap announcement, that we can focus on Zentyal´s goal: to Offer a drop-in replacement for Windows® Small Business Server and Microsoft® Exchange Server. Documentation will be provided on our Wiki on how to configure features like web server with specific software.
      Apart from this, I see it is unclear what the difference is between community and commercial editions, so here is a link that explains it clearly. Please don´t hesitate contacting us if you have more doubts.

  10. rui

    Windows Small Business Server have Windows Backup and IIS, webserver is crucial even for a small intranet page.

    Also RSAT and radius and internet control options

    1. Lenny Horstink

      Hi Rui. We will provide detailed documentation on how these services can be configured on top of Zentyal/Ubuntu server on our Wiki .

  11. Christof De Backere

    I can follow to some degree the roadmap, because you need to make choices at some time.
    As long as there are clear instructions and a vivid community to help install additional modules that’s a good start.

    However, one esential module that will be scrapped is the UPS. To me this is an essential feature for a stable server, since real servers always are on UPS. Can someone explain & justify this roadamap choice?

    thx

  12. Rafael

    Oh man. I was so excited with the features that Zentyal 3.5 brought possible with so much ease of use, at the same time, I’m frustrated, because this ease of use will be a twisted on version 4.0, of course I’m talking about taking out DHCP and so forth. If so many users are asking you not to, please just leave as it is.. you don’t have to trouble yourselves with something that is already working.. please.. I beg you.. :( It feels like you are going backwards.

  13. Sopheak Seng

    Now I stop update Zentyal and I stay on version 3.4.8 because I saw that upgrade from 3.4 to 3.5 we lost many module and we saw that zentyal didn’t test about migration. I use zentyal as AD and I use zentyal user to login many apllication as xwiki, owncloud and other, after that I tested to upgrade zentyal to 3.5 we met many error especially on user data.

    So if zentyal release new version I think you should test it with some module to replace.

    Othermore I want zentyal to allow DHCP configure with 24bit subnet, coz nowday zentyal need me to configure it with 32bit subnet..

    Thanks to zentyal that help me to replace Windows Server.

  14. Martin Alt

    Hi Zentyal Team,

    I understand, that you want to get better with the current version and most of your decisions are “arguable” for me. But, removing the Backup function and explain to add it manually ba creating own cronjobs: sorry, this is NO way for me. The posts before this one had been explicit. Backup-Function is fundamental!

    Imagine you wouldn’t have any technical knowledge – would you be able to think ybout your software? Seriously not. Think about that – that’s not the way you should move…

    So, please note that I will see version 3.5 as the most usable version of zentyal server.

    Best,

    Martin

  15. Stamatis

    I did not believe my eyes when I read that such useful services like webserver, webmail and backup are to be dropped.

    What I need is an SBS server while up to version 3.4 Zentyal was growing to the right direction, as for compatibility with the Exchange, I do not give a damn. Wonder if others really do.

    By dropping useful features am afraid Zentyal is shooting themselves to the foot.

    What a pity for such a promising product.

    1. Lenny Horstink

      Hi Stamatis! Thanks you for your feedback. There are basically two reasons why these modules have been dropped: 1. We have realized that unfortunately it is impossible to cover satisfactorily absolutely all the IT infrastructure and 2. Compatibility with the Exchange is very important and requested by a lot of people, so we need to focus on what we are best at. We have provided documentation on how to replace dropped modules. Thanks!

  16. Mike Grellmann

    Dear Zentyals

    I have been tracking and using this software for sometime now and have been impressed by all new developments and additions – why start stripping a beautiful product to bare functionality – I understand the SBS replacement concept – but why not incorporate SBS with the rest of the functionality. I understand if you want to skip Cube etc.. but please not the others – IPS, Captive Portal, all other great networking functionalities – the powerful feature of Zentyal has always been its versatility – eg one product solution for small to medium businesses – now we will have to mix and match various products to get the same functionality!
    Maybe you could publish a road map of which modules would remain after say a year or so. This might give the Zentyals some hope or not.
    Thanks again for a great product.

  17. Carlos Vásquez

    I think that we are starting to move away. We respect the vision of Zentyal become more and more a Windows Server drop-in replacement. But this is not what we need. We need a flexible infrastructure and office server. We use Zentyal since ebox 1.0, has been nice. But we definitively do not like the roadmaps dropping features, more than adding new ones.

  18. Kashif

    Sir –
    I have Active directory currently on Zentyal 3.5 on Ubuntu 14.04 TLS.All of my user’s groups and hosts are on Zentyal 3.5 Now i want to migrate it 4.0 what are the steps.

  19. John B

    I’m disappointed with the latest version 4.0 Zentyal.
    Comparing this to ClearOS, it seems the Open Source projects are becoming more of a subscription, cloud based model, whereas the fucntions we really need (Duplicity, DYNDNS, IDS, FTP, UPS, monitor) are being stripped or replaced with other Zentyal-branded products. There’s nothing wrong with “remodeling”, just leave the useful functions on a unsupported add-on page somewhere and include them in the GUI real estate.

    I thank you all for the hard work you’ve done in the past for the OS community, however I’m not interested in this wanna-be, community-sudocommercial-subscription project. I predict the future releases will have a free base-core, and everything else will be piece-mealed or “valued-added”.

    1. Lenny Horstink

      Hi John! Thanks you for your feedback. Regarding as to why we have dropped some modules, there are basically two reasons: 1. We have realized that unfortunately it is impossible to cover satisfactorily absolutely all the IT infrastructure and 2. We need to focus on what we are best at.

      For those modules that we have dropped and we consider that were providing important functionality, we provide detailed documentation on how these services can be configured on top of Zentyal/Ubuntu server on our wiki (we will add more documentation).

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