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Take Control of OS X Server, Chapter 7: Collaboration Services

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This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of OS X Server,” by Charles Edge, scheduled for public release later in 2014. Apart from Chapter 1: Introducing OS X Server, and Chapter 2: Choosing Server Hardware, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Take Control of OS X Server” Streaming in TidBITS for details.

Collaboration Services

Many of the services provided by OS X Server enable collaboration of one sort or another, but for the purposes of this chapter, I want to focus on three types of collaboration: contact sharing, calendar sharing, and instant messaging, which map to the Contacts, Calendar, and Messages services in OS X Server.

Note: Mail is often lumped in with the rest of the collaboration services, and may be necessary if you want the Calendar service to send email invitations, but given the complex nature of managing mail, I don’t delve into those details until Chapter 8, Mail Services.

Before you wade into turning on these services, think about why you’re doing so, since contact sharing can in many cases be done more simply with a secondary iCloud account, you can more easily share calendars via iCloud (or Google Calendar), and Apple’s iMessage service is generally the easiest way to trade instant messages back and forth. If you’re setting up OS X Server for your family, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages may be overkill.

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