Going the Other Way
Although most integration between Windows and open source apps involves using open source in the Windows environment, it goes the other way as well. Sometimes you have to integrate Windows applications with Linux or another open source environment. This proposition is generally easier for two reasons:
- The open source community has a lot of interest in providing Windows compatibility.
- Many open source products, especially at the desktop level, will integrate directly with Windows.
For example, OpenOffice.org can read Microsoft Office file formats, and even comes with a document converter utility that can convert batches of Office files to OpenOffice.org files and vice versa. However, because of the detail problems of the sort discussed earlier, it’s a good idea to check all documents after conversion to make sure that the conversion was completely successful.
Open source products are available to help with this type of integration. For example, Novell has released its Evolution email product as open source in order to allow Linux users to work with Microsoft Exchange Server to manage email, calendars, group schedules, address books, group folders, and tasks from their Linux desktops.