Email Calendar & File Sharing. A discussion about why these things are important, how they can integrate and a suggested solution. This article is part of a larger whole for setting up and maintaining an Opensimulator server and grid. However, much of it is relevant to many businesses.
Email is so ordinary in modern life it is hard to imagine how any business could survive without it. For an online business, it is essential. Opensimulator Grids are no different to any other company in this way. It is frequently necessary to communicate with customers outside the virtual world. Using an email address that has the same domain name as a website aids in looking professional. It is possible to run an email server on both Linux and Windows servers. Unfortunately, this approach is complex and has many potential pitfalls. Generally, it is more advisable to use a more significant email provider.
Many large companies offer email services, including those that use a business name linked to its domain name. Only considering the ability to send and receive emails, most of the offered solutions are similar. The difference becomes more apparent when looking at other services they provide as part of a solution package. Additional things to consider include authentication methods, API availability and the companies record with security.
Firstly, one of the most common reasons a user joins an Opensim grid is social. Unless the grid has a specific purpose, it is almost sure the grid users will run events. Being able to display and share those events has many benefits, including advertising.
Secondly, considerations exist for virtual events when compared to a tangible world equivalent. For example, if an event has a physical location, those attending will likely share the same time zone. Differently, in a virtual event, those attending will probably live in many different time zones. Therefore it is crucial to be able to display the event in multiple time zones. Whether a calendar system is coded internally or by a third party company, most will avoid managing time zones. Instead, they will wish to use an API provided by established providers.
Finally, using services such as those offered by Microsoft and Google, it is possible to seamlessly add grid events to the calendar of a subscriber.
Firstly, a common desire of new customers to an Opensimulator gird is to upload a backup of an inventory to their new avatar. Inventory backups are significant; even relatively small versions frequently exceed 5GB, while larger files can be over 100Gb. Secondly, similar customer desires for region backups exist. Unfortunately, files of this magnitude can not be sent via email. Subsequently, it is necessary to provide another method of dealing with them. Historically the common approach among Opensimulator grids has been to use FTP. However, FTP is notoriously insecure and should not be used to transfer data across the internet. Additionally, most standard service users are not familiar with FTP.
Many well known file-sharing systems exist, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive and Dropbox being among the most well known. However, the size of the files that need handling excludes most of the offerings. For example, one Drive has a file size limit of 100Gb. Dropbox will support larger files with an extension but doesn’t come with the other facilities offered by Google Workspace.
Additional considerations exist, such as connecting to the file-sharing directly from a console only server. When putting all the above together, Google Workspace is an attractive proposition. Finally, Google is a brand almost all internet users are familiar with. Consequently, offering services through them helps with user familiarity and confidence.
Google Workspace – Email Calendar & File Sharing
Visit the Google Workspace page, where there is a free trial available. Click get started, then enter the number of employees.
Next, add your name and current email address, followed by the domain name for the grid.
Keep filling in the signup form. Once registration is complete, it is necessary to add some records to the DNS records for the domain, so google can validate domain ownership. Google provide full instructions for this here. Readers using Hover as their domain provider can find details of adding DNS entries in Buying A Domain Name & DNS.
Setting Up Google Drive for the rest of this Article
After successfully setting up a Google Workspace, open Google Drive and create a new Shared Drive called OpenSimGrid and another called OpenSimCustomers.
Next, add three folders:
Inside each of the folders created above, create a subfolder for each server. The folder name is the IP address for the server.