Like most of the Samba team, I attended SambaXP in Goettingen again last week. This year we were able to announce a couple of big leaps forward:
Julien's talk about OpenChange was probably the most interesting and surprising one this year. After three years of hard work (I remember spending a lot of time in front of a beamer looking at network packets in 2004 when they started), the OpenChange team has figured out the enough bits of the MAPI (Exchange/Outlook) protocol that they can fetch and send emails using an Exchange server.
At the moment, there is a simple command-line client that can fetch into a mbox file and send mails in a way somewhat similar to the "mail" command. There also is a highly experimental plugin for evolution.
Most work will now have to focus on the most interesting bit - providing a Free Software implementation of a MAPI server.
Metze announced that he's been able to work out how the directory replication protocol that is used between DC's in an Active Directory environment works. This is very important, because we need that protocol in order to be able to live as a DC in an Active Directory environment that has more than one DC.
Halfway through preparing our (now yearly) talk about the status of Samba 4, Andrew and I realized we're actually not too far away from being able to do the first alpha of Samba 4. We hope we can release one in the next few months.