User Migration

Revision as of 05:34, 16 March 2006 by Riso (talk | contribs) (The Good News)

Migration from one mail system to another is often painful. It can result in a user having to look in two different places to find mail, or in the worst case mail disappearing.

Copying the contents of one mail system to another often seems like a good idea, that way if anything goes wrong at least the old mail is still available.

Ideally you know exactly what you are going to do at the start, you move everything across and then you kill the old mail system (or at least make it not visible from Mail clients). That way users are not confused by having two sets of identical folders.

In reality you may have to learnt on the Job, al least if you have to walk around a load of PCs at least the users can be using the web based mail program until you get to them, to convert their mail client to point from old mail server to Zimbra

Many users think email means Outlook, this is unfortunate for a number of reasons.

Lots of different versions of outlook exist, and upgrading a whole company to the same version may cost some money, so consiqently people do not upgrade.

Microsoft have not really gone the whole way to make Outlook work smoothly with IMAP, some have argued that they have deliberately done this. Microsofts incentive is to make users move to Exchange server.

Inconsistancies like, you must have a personal folder when using imap or pop and don,t need one with exchange, leave users wondering why they have two inboxs trash etc. Also the fact that the personal folder always appears first and imap at the bottom, shows that when it come to open standards Microsoft are not your friend.

The Good News


The Zimbra web client is adeqaute for a large number of users Thunderbird has good imap support


Existing data contained in personal folders can be saved to a PST file from within outlook then a utility is provided by Zimbra to move this data to the Zimbra server.

You need the ZCS Import Wizard see how to get this below. This does not always work 100% and you may need to be selective about what you export from outlook to the PST file before doing the import.

Just put this into your browser :-

and select the ZCSImportWiz-(version).exe download and run it.


Zimbra have provided an excelent utiliy for moving everything from an excahnge server to a Zimbra server.

Just put this into your browser :-

and select the ZCSMigWiz-(version).exe

This is a great program because you can pick the accounts you want it to move, tell it to do it then go home early.


The Open Source world and Closed Source world do not always mix. If all you need from email is simple IMAP-style access, use Open Source Zimbra with the Zimbra webmail interface for calendars/contacts and then additionally Thunderbird for IMAP on the desktop.

If your users reallyreallyreally love their Outlook, you should purhchase Zimbra Network Edition. This is especially important if you are moving from Exchange- as users will whine if they loose functionality. Also, the Zimbra devlopers need to eat!

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