On January 24, Apple announced that fundamental changes are coming to macOS Server in the spring 2018. The following services will be deprecated: Calendar, Contacts, DHCP, DNS, Mail, Messages, NetInstall, VPN, Websites, Wiki. In an unspecified future release, these services will be removed. It appears that Profile Manager, Open Directory, and Xsan will remain.
Even though many customers will be upset, Apple’s new focus makes business sense. The Server development team can now focus on system management and storage, areas where the Server provides unparalleled bang for the buck. The deprecated services had tremendous value as a whole, but alternatives are much more popular in the marketplace. As an example, I’ve worked with a grand total of one client who uses the Server’s Calendar service. Cloud services have completely eliminated the need for many of the Server’s offerings. Most small and medium-size businesses use other products for DHCP, DNS, and mail. Apple’s decision to drop these services is analogous to its decision to cease router development. Other companies have good products and Apple’s current offerings are not best-of-breed.
I’m a big fan of Profile Manager. Let’s hope that Apple continues to invest in it, as well as Open Directory.