Lyris -- E-mail list server for online discussion groups
Each day, our lives shift as the world of technology finds more and more ways to integrate itself into our everyday lives. Years ago, people made coffee the hard way; now we have Mr. Coffee at home and in the office. Copies of office documents were once made via carbon copy on a typewriter; now they are not even on paper but rather are a formation of ones and zeros on a disk somewhere in the IT ether.Lyris' List Manager is one of the most robust and well-known list manager servers on the market today. The features in its recently released List Manager 5.0 are vast, and its uses are almost limitless. Lyris List Manager implements the big three factors of server software (speed, usability, and security) almost flawlessly.Communication itself has also changed. It has always been customary for the human race to gather and share vast amounts of information. In the past, this job was almost strictly the purpose of libraries and trades; now, with the advent of instant global communication, it occurs anywhere an electron skips through a wire.
IT administrators witness this first hand every day, and not just by the people that use what they watch over. Like most IS professionals, I participate almost daily in some form of an e-mail mailing list. Such lists are all over the Internet, and one of the biggest players that provides the software to make it all possible is Lyris.
Lyris' List Manager is one of the most robust and well-known list manager servers on the market today. The features in its recently released List Manager 5.0 are vast, and its uses are almost limitless. Lyris List Manager implements the big three factors of server software (speed, usability, and security) almost flawlessly.
List Manager uses three database engines to store e-mail address and miscellaneous configuration data: Microsoft SQL/MSDE, PostgreSQL, and Oracle 8i/9i. Each database engine provides varying levels of security and performance depending on the platform on which it is run. List Manager itself will run on almost any major server platform in use today including, Windows NT, Solaris, FreeBSD, or Linux. Because List Manager supports an external database server, the combination of setups for it is quite large. This makes it very adaptable for whatever server environment it will be run on.
Before version 5.0, List Manager used older FoxPro-format databases. List Manager now not only exists on its own in a varying degree of ways, but it has also been tested and proven that it co-exists nicely with other well-known e-mail servers such as sendmail, Exchange, and Lotus Notes.
In terms of sheer speed, List Manager can send up to 300,000 unique e-mail messages per hour (depending on the hardware it is running on, of course). That is a little more than 83 e-mail messages per second! It was also programmed to be multithreaded in the very terse, and very well-known, language of C++.
The only are where List Manager may be lacking is security, which is frequently described as the most important of the three factors mentioned above. All administrative functions are password protected, just as all software packages should handle administrative functions. To protect against security breeches in the List Manager site, it can be set to refuse connections from outside of a LAN (IP filtering). Although List Manager provides measures to prevent security breeches, in many circles it is not considered the most secure e-mail list server, due in part to its capability to run on Windows NT.
Pros: Fast; Runs on almost any platform
Cons: Not as secure as it could or should be
Version Reviewed: 5.0
Reviewed by: M.A. Dockter
Last Updated: 2/7/02
Date of Original Review: 2/7/02