Ximian and SuSE Linux recently agreed to more closely tie their respective desktop environment and e-mail server software. The two companies are also linking together Ximian's Red Carpet Linux software management tool with SuSE's Linux client and server operating systems.This move makes end users happy by creating a more tightly integrated groupware application; IT managers could benefit from backend servers and client PCs that are easier to manage.SuSE's Openexchange groupware server will now work with Ximian's Evolution groupware client, which is integrated tightly into Ximian's GNOME-based Linux desktop environment. The combined server and client products provide users with e-mail, calendar, scheduling, address book, and to-do list applications. The company says Evolution desktops are similar in function to the market-leading Microsoft Outlook product, but can be installed at around half the cost per desktop.The melding of Ximian's Red Carpet software with SuSE could allow IT administrators to automate the patching and updating of Linux server and desktop machine software. The Red Carpet product allows for the automated distribution of patches to Linux servers while synchronizing with a centralized, up-to-date patch database and patch distribution system on Ximian's customer support Web site.SuSE will begin shipping the Ximian software with its servers and desktop Linux distributions, which could allow for one-stop shopping for Linux users interested in this product package.