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Thread: Address book, subscribe to a remote VCard .vcf file

  1. #1
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Question Address book, subscribe to a remote VCard .vcf file

    Hi everyone

    Just wondering what everyone thinks of the idea of having remote .vcf support.
    The ability to create a new Address List in Zimbra, but it actually syncs with a .vcf. In terms of the Zimbra interface, it could operate in exactly the same way as subscribing to remote calendars.
    I think that would be mega-cool

    Anyone else think that would be cool?

    I posted about this in /etc (Remote .ics, check! Has anyone thought about remote VCards/.vcf?) but thought I'd put in a proper feature suggestion here.

    At the moment we have a few .vcf files that we periodically download to refresh various address lists. The .vcf files are generated from our company contacts database on our intranet server (PHP/MySQL), and this works really well because you can store many individual contacts within a single .vcf
    The connection to our intranet is obviously SSL and protected by HTTP basic auth.

    dkarp made an excellent point in my other thread though... there's no unique ID in the VCard spec. Which would mean the entire address list would have to be cleared and re-loaded from the VCard file.
    Whereas with .ics you can update specific events because each event contains its own ID.

    I think remote .vcf files could be a really cool feature. It would be cool for us anyway , having our various company email lists stored in Zimbra and periodically refreshed with new data.

    Comments/suggestions?

    Thanks, B

  2. #2
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Not such a popular suggestion then eh!?

  3. #3
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Anyone else think this would be a mega-cool feature?
    Then you could set up a shared address list, which Zimbra syncs a few times a day!
    I've made an entry in bugzilla Bug 31410 – Subscribe to remote VCard vcf as address list for everyone to vote for

  4. #4
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Any thoughts or further interest/support for this sort of feature?
    It would be absolutely amazing for us if this feature existed!

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    storm is online now Advanced Member
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    I support fixing this bug.

    Though, Bug 22008 - Add support for CardDav addresses some (not all) of this bug. Bug 22008 – WebDAV: Add support for CardDav

    CardDAV (part of the GroupDAV protocol) is effectively a .vcf implementation, but using UIDs so each contact can be dealt with consistently - before that was difficult.
    Last edited by storm; 04-24-2010 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Add bug link

  6. #6
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Thanks for the reply on this.
    But how would CardDAV apply if you're looking for a use-case such as ours?

    Have our intranet machine as a CardDAV client with permissions to overwrite the contents of an address book on the Zimbra CardDAV server?

    What direction sync would the CardDAV solution support?
    Would the Zimbra server being "pulling" the data in from our vcf source?
    Or would our intranet machine need to be "pushing" the data to the Zimbra server?

    Hope that makes sense!

    Cheers, B

  7. #7
    storm's Avatar
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    I'll think about this more, but CardDAV is not import/export in the same way as .vcf/vcard files, even though it utilises these files it is a form of sync.

    So, I suspect that it would sync changes both ways in the same way that Zimbra would between ZCS server and a mobile client via activesync, or ZCS server and an Outlook client.

    The most recent changes on one would get synced to the other, as long as your Zimbra server and your CardDAV client are syncing regularly there shouldn't be a problem.

    Does that make sense and answer your question?

    Cheers
    Last edited by storm; 05-18-2010 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Misread original post - so amending response as appropriate

  8. #8
    batfastad is offline Elite Member
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    Mmm I'm not sure that it works for me really. I don't want any changes from Zimbra synced back to the client in this case.

    I was looking for a way to set up an address book/list which syncs from a vCard source (in this case, a php script on our intranet database contacts system).
    Would be even better if that address book/list could be shared amongst multiple users.

    I thought the most intuitive way would be to have it work in the UI similar to subscribing to a remote calendar ics file.

    Guess I'll have to wait and see what I can do with full CardDAV support
    Last edited by batfastad; 05-26-2010 at 07:50 AM.
    My Zimbra Bugs Wishlist: 16411, 24567, 35676, 36430, 37770, 41872, 43733, 44384, 46383, 47759
    And a way to associate mailto: handlers with a Zimbra Prism webapp

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