Stalker Beefs Up CommuniGate Pro to Rival Exchange

Stalker Beefs Up CommuniGate Pro to Rival Exchange

June 23, 2003

Stalker Software unveiled CommuniGate Pro 4.1 Monday. The latest point release of this messaging server with groupware functionality builds on the feature set introduced in 4.0 and now offers full integration with Microsoft's Outlook client as well as a beefed-up WebMail interface.

CommuniGate Pro v4.1 with Groupware enables Microsoft Outlook in full workgroup mode, enabling enterprises to support e-mail, contacts, shared folders, calendaring, and group scheduling features for users who prefer the Outlook interface.

Joanne Menapace, product marketing manager at Stalker told ServerWatch that the driving force behind this release was to make CommuniGate Pro "a more viable alternative to Exchange."

And according to Aberdeen analyst Tim Sloane, Stalker has succeeded. "... Now with support for Outlook's capabilities and a groupware-enabled Web client, it [CommuniGate Pro] is a credible replacement for Microsoft Exchange."

"CommuniGate Pro v4.1 provides excellent support for Outlook calendaring functions and adheres to the calendaring standards, creating interoperability, and efficient communication regardless of the user's client," Sloane explained.

In addition to stepping up its efforts to attract Exchange users, the 4.1 release extends the groupware functionality introduced in 4.0 to beyond the desktop, providing collaborative functionality via the Web interface, and any other client or device adhering to current or emerging Internet calendaring and groupware standards.

The Webmail interface now offers advanced calendaring, scheduling, and contact management capabilities. It supports standards-based mail clients, such as Eudora and Netscape, as well as clients like Evolution that adhere to emerging calendaring standards. Users can configure the software so that they use Outlook on their desktop and the Webmail client on the road, Menapace said.

She added that while the Webmail client ships in a default HTML interface, enterprises can alter it to their specifications. Stalker also plans to make Outlook-like skins available later in the summer.

Also new in version 4.1 is a fully customizable wireless WML interface. This is the first release in which it has been part of the actual server, Menapace told ServerWatch.

In addition, a spell-checker and multilanguage support have also been added.

The integrated data store now supports a wide variety of protocols and standards, including SMTP/POP/IMAP for e-mail and iCalendar/iTIP/iMIP for calendaring. The server software runs on over 30 OS/hardware combinations, including Unix, Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and AS/400. The messaging server also includes a LDAP directory, personal Web pages, mailing lists, and spam/virus protection.

Menapace said that CommuniGate Pro 4.1 is scheduled to begin shipping in early July. Pricing remains unchanged from the previous version, and enterprises that purchased 4.0 can upgrade to 4.1 for free.