Email archiving is the process of backing up generally huge amounts of emails and attachments sent and received by the employees of an organisation. The Emails are regularly backed up and indexed for future reference. This is usually done using expensive software packages which requires a license to use.
The license also has to be renewed monthly or annually depending on your plan. Not all organisations can afford this, specially small businesses which are just starting out and can’t pay for a monthly subscription for a software that doesn’t directly help in the growth of their businesses.
However trivial it may look to you, Email Archiving is an important task and shouldn’t be overlooked. Archiving your Emails regularly can help you get out of a lot of professional and legal trouble and will save you from a lot of hassle in the long run. This is why many small businesses and even a lot of medium sized businesses rely on open source alternatives of popular Email archival softwares. This allows them to easily archive their Emails regularly without paying a hefty sum of money every month or every year.
You can choose from a variety of Email archiving open source softwares available online. This article is going to list a few of the best Email archiving open source softwares that you can use for free in your organisation. But first, let us look at what are Open Source softwares and why are they free to use.
What are Open Source Softwares?
Open Source Softwares are softwares which are developed by an online community of developers who contribute their time and efforts for free. These softwares are free to use and modify for anyone and its source code is “open” for anyone to see and change. People can also make their own versions of open source softwares and sell them for a price.
The Open Source Software Community or OSS Community collectively agrees upon certain points which are essential for any software to be categorised as open source. Any software should meet the following criteria for it to be called open source:-
- The software must be free to use and freely distributed.
- The software must be distributed along with its source code.
- The software could be modified by anybody.
- Modified versions of the software could be legally distributed.
Not all developers favour the use of open source software but it is accepted by many as it allows for quick and easy repair of bugs in any software which results in the creation of higher quality of software.
Major companies like Google are putting forth lots of efforts to promote open source softwares to the general public and is making a lot of its code open source for the public to work on them.
Now that we know what open source softwares are, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using Email Archiving open source software over regular paid Email Archiving packages.
Advantages of using Open Source Email Archiving Softwares
While using Email Archiving softwares, there is always a slight chance that your Emails are going to be leaked. This could cause lots of losses for the company if any essential piece of info is leaked. When you’re using traditional paid Email archiving softwares, you have to trust the makers that they aren’t leaking your Emails to a competitor. After all, as you cannot see the source code of the software, you don’t know what’s going on under the hood.
This isn’t the case with Open source Email Archiving softwares as the source code for the software is available for the general public to look at. This way, any malicious code can be easily found and fixed. This makes the software completely secure from spyware. You won’t have to blindly trust the developers to save your company from getting ruined.
Additionally, open source software are generally more bug free as they have a lot of people from around the world working on it. This results in any new bug or glitch getting fixed instantaneously as soon as it is found.
Disadvantages of Using Open Source Email Archiving Softwares
One of the biggest advantages of using paid email archiving packages is the 24×7 support provided by the email archiving services vendors. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get any support for open source email archiving softwares. This is a big downside of using open source software as running a big organisation requires lots of continuous efforts and when even one aspect of the enterprise is not functioning properly, there is a huge loss in productivity.
If you don’t have a good tech department which is familiar with open source software then it is not advised to use an open source email archival package. You can go for paid email archiving vendors which have good support options which will allow smooth functioning of your organisation.
While there are many paid Email archiving softwares available in the market, there are also many free open source email archiving softwares too. Both of them are suited for different kinds of customers/businesses. Open source email archiving solution is the best for small to medium sized businesses where there is less funds for it management needs. Open source software doesn’t provide adequate support facility and should be operated by an experienced IT admin. Both types of archiving softwares has its pros and cons. You should always consider opting for open source variants of business softwares like zimbra open source for reasons like value for money, transparency and trust.