An enterprise-level application server with an e-commerce emphasis
With a high price tag and a primitive user interface, Seattle Lab List Server is an old-fashioned list server similar to Majorodomo or Listserv. However, opt-in e-mail marketing is becoming a priority in the corporate world, and the current market emphasis is on tools that make e-mail management for users as easy as possible, which quickly renders tools like Seattle Lab List Server obsolete.
With a high price tag and a primitive user interface, Seattle Lab List Server is an old-fashioned list server similar to Majorodomo or Listserv.
State-of-the-art list servers present a Web-based interface to end users, giving them the power to connect via a Web browser to the list server and make changes to their e-mail set up on a form. The two leading list servers, Lyris and UnityMail, do this Seattle Lab List Server does not.
This drawback is perhaps because Seattle Lab List Server is written more for the convenience of system administrators than for end users. An example of this can be seen in Seattle Lab List Server's primitive Web interface. The Web interface is available solely for the benefit of system administrators. As far as Web-based administration tools, Seattle Lab List Server's is limited, giving system administrators the power to create mailing lists, as well as to start and stop them.
If a user wants to make changes in his or her e-mail setup, he or she must send an e-mail to the list server with cryptic instructions: To unsubscribe from a list, he or she must send an e-mail address to the list administration address with a subject line of UNSUBSCRIBE and the name of the list. For those who have been around the e-mail and Internet worlds for a while, this may not be a big deal. For new and casual users, however, this is not the most intuitive way to go about business. Users should not be forced to remember obscure commands like "FLAG" and "STATS" to perform routine mail list actions.
There is really not a lot to the Seattle Lab List Server: It consists of a POP3 router and a list processor. The POP3 router sends out the mail, while the list processor manages the mailing lists. The stated point of Seattle Lab List Server is to create mailing lists and deliver newsletters, announcements, and discussion groups to users. It can send messages out in digest form, individual form, or both.
Administrators can split up mail to be sent out in more than one mailing. This is designed to be easy on system overhead. Duties can be delegated to other administrators.
We believe Seattle Lab List Server is far overpriced at $499 per server. It does not do anything more than what less-expensive and comparable list servers, such as Listserv do, and it does far less than a comparably priced tool like Lyris. In terms of bang-for-the-buck, Seattle Lab List Server comes out among the worst of the list servers we have reviewed.
Seattle Lab List Server is a product that perhaps should not have been released: The documentation is unfinished, the server is woefully lacking when compared to competing list servers, several important pieces are missing, and it is overpriced in many ways. In most situations, we believe Seattle Lab List Server not worth investigating.
Pros: Can be downloaded for evaluation
Cons: Lacks key components documentation is unfinished expensive unfriendly user interface