Mid-range/Enterprise-level list server for Macintosh platforms
June 5, 2002
ListSTAR follows in the steps of other StarNine products like WebSTAR and StarNine Mail Server in that it has the goal of being the most powerful and flexible server of its kind for Macintosh platforms. ListSTAR will allow you to create and maintain standard Internet mailing lists, intranet/LAN-based mailing lists, and automated e-mail response systems ("EMail-on-Demand"). The EMail-on-Demand capabilities are a cross between e-mail auto-responders and Fax-On-Demand/Fax Back services in that you can have text messages and/or binary files sent to users automatically when they reply to a specific address.
The server backs its impressive performance up with a solid feature-set. Among ListSTAR's features are easy to use templates to help you get up and running with mailing lists, timer services, Apple Events and Classes features, support for up to 100,000 addresses per mailing list, a variety of pre-defined variables (particularly useful for automatic replies), configurable access restrictions, and digest options. Applications for the server include distribution of e-zines, product price lists, technical support documents, classroom schedules, brochures, and just about anything else you can think of.
Another of ListSTAR's cool features is its support for extensions, which operate like plug-ins and add additional functionality to the server. One extension included with the server is a utility that will interface with a WebSTAR Web server so that you can offer your users the ability to perform subscribe and unsubscribe list tasks via the Web. A variety of add-on ListSTAR extensions are available from the Web site including tools for automatic backup, remote administration, list sorting, and paging (via PageNow! software package). Some of the tools are freeware, while others carry a nominal shareware fee.
ListSTAR can be evaluated as a 30-day trial release, or it can purchased over the 'net for $295. The package itself contains two versions of the server. The ListSTAR/SMTP release functions as an independent SMTP mail server and is recommended when you will be operating with a full-time Internet connection. This only downside is that this version will not run when another mail server is active on your system. The second release, ListSTAR/POP, performs its mailing list services as a POP mail client and is targeted more towards users with dynamic 'net connections.
ListSTAR stands out as the ultimate list server for Macintosh platforms (both 680x0 and Power Mac systems are supported). Windows and Unix users will of course need to look elsewhere, but for those operating in multiple platform environments, ListSTAR should definitely be given consideration. Depending on your usage needs, NTList may be a less expensive solution. NTList (and the NTMail server it's packaged with) also offers better performance and overall functionality. If you're going to be serving more than ten mailing lists, however, ListSTAR is the more cost effective alternative.
Pros: Impressive performance, optimized for Macs, solid set of features, relatively inexpensive