Working with Zimlets

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(From Zimbra 4.0 docs)

Zimbra Collaboration Suite created Zimlets™ as a mechanism to integrate ZCS with different third-party applications to enhance the user experience from the Zimbra Web Client. When a Zimlet is added to the ZCS, users can look at information and interact with the third-party application from within their email messages. Zimlets can be made available from the Zimbra Web Client Overview Pane to users by modifying the Class of Service (COS).

Several pre-defined Zimlets are included with ZCS, and you can create other Zimlets so that users can interact with your company resources or other defined applications from the Zimbra Web Client. For more information about creating Zimlets, see the Zimlets - A Mechanism for Integrating Disparate 'Information Systems and Content with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite specification. A copy is available on the Zimbra website, www.zimbra.com.

This chapter describes how to deploy, configure, and manage Zimlets on the Zimbra server. The Zimlets that are included with Zimbra Collaborating Suite are described at the end of this chapter.

Zimlets are delivered as a zip file that includes all the files necessary to run the Zimlet. The zip file is copied to the Zimbra servers and the administrator use the Zimlet Management Tools to deploy the Zimlet to users.

Deployment and management of Zimlets is only from the command line (CLI).

Deploying Zimlets

The Zimlet zip file should be copied to each Zimbra server where it will be deployed.

To deploy a Zimlet to the default COS

1.
Copy the zip file to the /opt/zimbra/zimlets directory.
2.
Type the following command
zmzimletctl deploy <zimlet.zip file name>

Deploying the Zimlet creates the Zimlet entry in the LDAP server, installs the Zimlet files on the server, grants access to the members of the default COS, and turns on the Zimlet.

Running zmzimletctl deploy is equivalent to running the following four commands.

zmzimletctl install
zmzimletctl ldapDeploy
zmzimletctl acl default grant
zmzimletctl enable

To deploy a Zimlet to a COS other than default

To deploy a Zimlet to one or more COSs other than default, first install the Zimlet, then adjust the ACL on the COSs.

1.
Copy the zip file to the /opt/zimbra/zimlets directory.
2.
Type the following command
zmzimletctl deploy <zimlet.zip file name>

This creates the Zimlet entry in the LDAP server, installs the Zimlet files on the server, grants access to the members of the default COS, and turns on the Zimlet.

3.
To add the Zimlet to other COSs and grant access, type
zmzimletctl acl <zimletname> <cosname1> grant

You can grant access to more than one COS on the same command line. Enter as zmzimletctl acl <zimletname> <cosname1> grant <cosname2> grant

Note: To turn off access to Zimlets in the default COS, type
zmzimletctl acl <zimletname> default deny

Configuring a Zimlet

Some Zimlets may require additional configuration after they are deployed to configure additional information. Your developer will let you know if this is necessary.

The Zimlet Management Tool provides the means for setting up a special Zimlet configuration. You make the configuration changes on the configuration template and then install the new configuration file on the Zimbra server.

How to Change Zimlet Configurations

1. Unzip the Zimlet zip file (found under/opt/zimbra/zimlets-extra/) to a tmp directory.

2. cd to the tmp directory and locate the configuration .xml file with the relevant settings. Make the desired edits, being careful to modify only required areas.

3. Zip the files in the tmp directory, eg:

  zip -r com_zimbra_foo.zip * 

4. Enter

  zmzimletctl deploy /path/to/file/com_zimbra_foo.zip

Viewing a List of Zimlets

You can see a list of Zimlets that are installed on the Zimbra server, which are enabled or disabled on the LDAP server, and in which COSs the Zimlets are available.

Type zmzimletctl listZimlets to view the status of installed Zimlet files.

Disabling or Removing a Zimlet

You can turn off access to a Zimlet from a COS, disable the Zimlet, or remove the Zimlet from the server.

To turn off access from a COS

Type zmzimletctl acl <zimletname> <cosname> deny

To disable a Zimlet on the Zimbra server

Type zmzimletctl disable <zimletname>

Note: To enable a disabled Zimlet, type zmzimletctl enable <zimletname>.

To uninstall and remove a Zimlet from the Zimbra server

Type zmzimletctl undeploy <zimletname>

The Zimlet and all associated files are uninstalled.

Remove the Zimlet file from /opt/zimbra/zimlets

Important: Only remove your custom Zimlets. You should not remove Zimlets that are shipped with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite. If you do not want to have the ZCS Zimlets available, disable them.

Zimlets Included with ZCS

Zimbra Collaboration Suite includes preconfigured Zimlets when ZCS is installed. Some of these Zimlets enhance the user experience while in their email messages, letting them click on the following type of text:

Dates, to see their calendar schedule for that date.
Email addresses/names, to see complete contact information, if available.
URLs, to see a thumbnail of the website.
Phone numbers, to quickly place a call. VOIP software such as Skype or Cisco VOIP phone must be installed on the user’s computer. The user can click the phone number in the message to immediately make a call.

When users right-click on these Zimlets within their messages, additional actions are available. The above Zimlets do not require any configuration to work.

You can disable these Zimlets but do not remove them from ZCS.

To see the latest documentation about specific Zimlets, go to the Zimbra Wiki, ZCS Community, Zimlet page.

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