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Migrating from Groupwise/Novell to Zarafa/AD

This blog entry was originally posted in the Zarafa Community hub. This post is 1:1 cross posted.

My name is Remke Schuurmans, and I’m a (linux) System Administrator at one of the Dutch water boards “Waterschap Hoogheemraadschap De Stichtse Rijnlanden". Our organization has decided to move away from GroupWise/Novell. You can probably guess what we did next. Indeed, we migrated to Zarafa.

Why you may ask? We came to the conclusion that groupware system’s compatibility with other frequently used internal applications like a Content Management System is essential to users in our organization. And Groupwise isn't up for this job, Zarafa is!

The first step in the migration was to export the data to a PST file. We used the converter from Quest Software to generate the required files. When this was finished, we put the Zarafa Import Tool to work.

Our first Zarafa experience

We were quite pleased with the outcome. Most of the important folders were successfully migrated. We experienced one strange issue though: the GroupWise folders had lost their nl_Nl property. This unexpectedly resulted in the folder names being in English instead of in Dutch. One of the migration scripts resolved this minor glitch, so we did not need to spend time researching how this issue could have been prevented.

The script that did the magic is called moveitems.py and it also comes with a configuration file. This script enabled us to rename the folders quite easily. Strictly speaking, the script created new folders with the proper Dutch names and copied the original data to the new folders. We were very happy to use this script, because it allowed us to proceed with the migration with minimal delay.

Transferring the permissions of (sub) folders

We booted up the command line to set the permissions for the secretaries in our organization. These permission make sure that our colleagues can access personal and/or non-active email and calendar stores (like info@*.* or sales@*.*).

The default script used for migration of the permissions to the new Zarafa server is called datzarafa-mailbox-permissions. However, we needed additional functionality because we wanted to set the permissions on sub-folders as well (e.g. in the user's inbox). This default script was unfortunately not enough for us. We used the extended alternative to the script ( called access_rights.php) which is provided by Zarafa and is available on their Github here. It worked like a charm. The script's behavior can also be extended by defining the following important configuration parameters:

  • 1025 = Read items, folder visible
  • 1531 = Owner
  • 1147 = Secretary
  • 1024 = Folder visible
  • 1275 = Full control
  • 1049 = Folder visible, read items, edit and delete own items
  • 1145 = Folder visible, read items, edit and delete all items

The biggest advantage of using the script is that users don’t need to ask other users for the original permissions in the situation before the migration. This limits the impact of the migration within the organization, and that’s a good thing.

At the moment we are still in the process of resolving minor problems converting from pst to zarafa and engineers from Zarafa are making some adjustment in the code of the Migration Tool ... heads up!

Last but not least, I would really like to thank Dominique from Zarafa and also Roland Slagter from Campai for their help and creative problem solving. Keep on doing what you do best Dominique: delivering high class support.

Kind regards, Met vriendelijke groet,

Remke Schuurmans System Administrator @ Waterschap Hoogheemraadschap


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