Address Book Software
February 26, 2004 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for shared, distributed address book software for a small company that hopefully works read/write on the web. Suggestions? (more inside)

We're a small organization with a lot of business contacts. Currently we're using a shared php webcalendar app for calendaring but we need an address book solution that works for all (without public access, just for employees).

We're on different platforms so web-based is probably easiest. We don't need a giant MS Exchange setup just for the address book, but I guess we could run an LDAP server if that was the easiest way.

Ideally we'd want all employees to be able to freely view, add, and edit a giant address book that was searchable and useful. Is there any open source project or commercial software that does that? I can't seem to find anything that fills the bill.
posted by mathowie to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
There's really no good open source solution for this, or even commercial (that's not Novell, Lotus Mail groupware) solution for this. I've been looking on and off for about 9 months for my company. LDAP looks like the only way and I just haven't had time to look how to set it up.
posted by geoff. at 12:56 PM on February 26, 2004

How would you use LDAP? Would you write a front end for it? Or find a commercial one?

ACT! has a web product -

But it might be a bit pricey for what you are looking for (250 bucks a user, I think)

What about something like - it's pretty basic, but free.
posted by drobot at 1:04 PM on February 26, 2004

What about something like SilverOrange's Intranet? It does a lot more of course, and always felt a bit pricey ($100/month for 10 users) for small orgs.

It's to bad basecamp's contacts aren't searchable, I could've recommended it twice in one day (Hi JF!)
posted by rschroed at 1:24 PM on February 26, 2004

Matt, I've never found a good web calendar as well, so I used Movable Type. I setup a small address book for my small business, and used the mt bookmarks to enter my data. Use the various fields as title, address, phone, etc,. The template I used, was just a table with the data. You could also set the categories as the alphabet....

Just give each person their own login and password and it's multiuser.
posted by mkelley at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2004

i used .. let's say "know a guy" who worked for a company that promoted a product called OP, which for various reasons I won't link to with html (

also for various reasons I can't tell you my opinion of it, but if you really want to know, email me. was one of their competitors (i can't think of any open-source ones), and I remember that my friend actually used salesforce instead of their own product for contacts/leads.

these sorts of things are definitely begging to be open-sourced, but right now are a little niche, and thus, what people in the biz call "hella fucking pricey".
posted by fishfucker at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2004

I was just getting ready to set up something like this using MT. Make the categories A, B, I can let people browse by letter, use the title for the name, and the entry for the address/other info. I figured I could format a text file of our current addresses so it would import easily.
posted by frykitty at 2:55 PM on February 26, 2004

Turba is the contact management component of HORDE, which is a suite of productivity software projects available under GPL. I've never used it, but their Imp MUA is pretty nice.
posted by majick at 2:58 PM on February 26, 2004

posted by seanyboy at 3:59 PM on February 26, 2004

I haven't used Plaxo, but it might be worth a look. It appears that multiple users could access the same account via the Web (albeit with only one log-in).
posted by ajr at 4:31 PM on February 26, 2004

Turba looks great, I've used horde for email before and it looks familiar. There are so many windows apps, and barely anything cross platform that it seems like moving to LDAP is the way to go. Thanks for the links everyone.
posted by mathowie at 5:21 PM on February 26, 2004

I use Plaxo and love it.
posted by Macboy at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2004

I also think Plaxo is the bee's knees, but probably not what you're looking for. The only downside (which apparently they've rectified by creating a web-only option) is the local installer stub, which phones home annoyingly often, looking for updates.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:37 PM on February 26, 2004

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