Before we roll over what could be extracted from the title, let us first put some definition on CardDAV.

Here it is.CardDAV Server

CardDAV Server

CardDAV is essentially a method for syncing contacts, more like it functions to enable the connection.

It is an Internet protocol created especially to allow users to share and access data on a server. ‘

It was developed by Internet Engineering Task Force and was later on published in 2011. It is based on the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and uses vCard for contact data.

Tell you what, it is not all coins that are two-faced. CardDAV also is! It had a client-side and server-side. We will be focusing first on the latter.

Various products integrate the server-side protocol of CardDAV.

CardDAV Server Integrations

  • Apple Contacts Servers
  • Communigate Pro which anchors CardDav protocol
  • DAVical which has supported CardDav since its version
  • Fruux which offer a synchronization service
  • Gmail and Google Contacts which allow users to users address book thru CardDAV
  • Group-Office which is a CRM application and an open-source groupware
  • Horde Groupware which is supported by both CardDAV and CalDAV and a complete web-based group solution
  • MDaemon Email Server
  • Meishi, a lone Ruby and Rails based on CardDAV server
  • Nextcloud which has supported CardDAV protocol since the very first version
  • ownCloud which has supported CardDAV since its version 2.0
  • Radicale
  • SabreDAV which since CardDAV version 1.5 has supported and which is a framework
  • WebDAV framework for PHP
  • SOGo which supported CardDAV access to its address books
  • Zimbra 6 which allowed access to its address books as well
  • Xandikos which is a lightweight CardDAV and CalDAV server

From our initial research, it looks like Radicale is a great option for operations looking to spin up and maintain their own CardDAV servers. The benefit of this open source, free cardDAV server implementation are fairly obvious.

The code is open source, so it is free to use, re-use, and extend. Your team can freely implement the code without reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

radicale free carddav server

Radicale’s CardDAV server logo is a Radish. Don’t ask us why.

The pitfalls of this setup are that you need an engineer or two to plan, setup, and maintain your custom free CardDAV server implementation.

In the near future, the team plans on adding managed CardDAV hosting to enable our customers to easily spin up CardDAV server instances that are cost-effective on all fronts.

If you’re interested in this option, please reach out to us an let us know your interest. Our team will review your inquiry and get back to you quickly. If budget allows, our team may also be able to spin up servers for your needs.

While there are many existing servers, it is important to note that they all function to serve the clients. Some of the most notable clients of CardDAV include:

List of CardDAV Server Clients and Applications

  • MailFence is a server-side implementation of the CardDAV protocol. Learn how they implement CardDav here.
  • Apple Contacts beginning from Mac OS X Snow Leopard and higher
  • Apple iOS beginning with iOS 4
  • Blackberry products which are running QNX (Blackberry 10+ phones, Playbook OS 2.0 tables
  • Davdroid which is an open-source CalDAV and CardDAV sync app for Android and supporting VCard 4)
  • eM Client
    An evolution that has a built-in support for CardDAV and CalDAV
  • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 that features client support of CardDAV that is due in 2010. It became available to use by Kaddressbook, part of Kontact PIM suite. It was provided by Akonadi, a PIM server which has made the data available for other applications.
  • Kerio Connect
  • Outlook CalDAV Synchronizer
  • Sailfish OS, the operating system of Jolla phones and tablet
  • Thunderbird via the SOGo connection


The fact that there are lots of clients that grow over time is a testament that CardDAV servers function to satisfy the demands to monitor contacts.

It allows us to have multiple devices and not to have to worry if the contact data we have will be lost or stolen.

Photo Cred:
Austin Distel