Netscape Messaging Server -- High-end mail server for WinNT, Unix, and Novell Netware

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002


Netscape Messaging Server is an enterprise-wide messaging system that integrates seamlessly with the Netscape Communicatior browser for reading, posting, and administering e-mail. The successor to Mail Server 2.0 (Netscape's initial messaging system), Messaging Server delivers the latest in Internet mail standards, and with its support for HTML mail the server can quickly deliver e-mail with embedded sound, graphics, video files, HTML forms, Java applets, and desktop applications.

While the server works best with the Netscape line of browsers, it certainly isn't restricted to Navigator and Communicator in terms of supported e-mail clients. Whether you're looking for a quick and painless mail server solution or an advanced server that can meet all of your enterprise-level needs, Netscape Messaging Server is bound to satisfy. Netscape Messaging Server is an enterprise-wide messaging system that integrates seamlessly with the Netscape Communicatior browser for reading, posting, and administering e-mail.

Among the server's best selling points are its cross-platform compatibility, outstanding performance, overall robustness, scalability, advanced security, and rich set of features. Features include support for authenticated SMTP, S/MIME, and encrypted security (with 128-bit encryption technology available to users in the U.S. and Canada); open standards support including HTML mail, IMAP4, LDAP, HTTP, SMTP, POP3, and MIME; tight integration with the Netscape SuiteSpot line of servers; platform-specific enhancements (an example being support for the Windows NT Event and Performance Monitors); facilities for safe administration (including multi-level password security, user management of accounts, user access to mail without the need for login accounts, etc.); server management via online HTML forms; and facilities for extending the functionality of the system beyond traditional SMTP (examples being automatic vacation notifications, company news distributions, etc.)

Netscape Messaging Server supports thousands of users per system and is designed primarily for large organizations. The server offers remote connectivity with support for controlled downloads on slow modem connections, confirmation of delivered messages, flexible security, and automatic e-mail response capabilities. With optional anti-SPAM, mail-to-fax, and mail-to-pager packages available for the server, there's not much more one could ask for in an enterprise-level mail server.

But with a starting price tag of $1295 for 50 users (additional 10-user licenses are available for $250), in most cases the server is not the best solution for smaller organizations. Overall, while a minimum investment of $1295 prices the server out of the entry-level range of use (and some mid-range use as well), Netscape Messaging Server has every feature necessary to please those in need of an advanced, high-end messaging server.

Pros: Solid feature-set, advanced security technology, seamless integration with Communicator
Cons: No Mac version available, expensive price tag relegates the server to (mostly) high-end use
New: IMAP4 support, LDAP directory services, improved performance and scalability; Features

New in v3.62: Includes expanded support for Internet Service Providers and other customers with high scalability requirements.


New in v3.62 SP2: Bug fixes to v3.6.


New in v4.1: High Scalability, Advertising enabled, Core Webmail service feature support, Messaging Multiplexor support of SSL, Available only for the Solaris 2.6 platform. Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 3


New in v4.15: Support for multiple platforms; US domestic security support with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140a; Messaging Multiplexor support of SSL, enabling offloading SSL handling from a Messaging Server to an MMP; a stress-testing tool that lets system administrators determine Netscape Messaging Server capacity by testing how the server performs under heavy loads; support for Korean and simplified Chinese character encodings; an integrated e-mail interface to Netscape Messaging Server; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 3


Also Recently Released: v4.1 Patch 1 - Fixes many bugs from v4.1 including: Anti-relay plug-ins causing smtp daemon problems; sendmail replacement growing in process size; MTA log failing to log external MTA and DNS errors properly; Mail Multiplexor's lack of timeouts; messages sent by Messenger Express failing to contain a Date:header; restart services for SMTP don't always start service; "save changes" causing the appearance screen to show the account summary screen; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2

New in v4.15 Patch 1 and Patch 2: Configurable security and privacy fixes for Messenger Express; Netscape 6/Mozilla access fix to Messenger Express; MTA refresh enabled for specific configuration parameters; Store Recovery checkpoint enhancements; Updated Console for supporting Simplified Chinese; personal address book support on Solaris; authenticated SMTP for Messenger Express; Mailstone support for Messenger Express; an improved UI for Mailstone; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 3

New in v4.15 Patch 3: The deliver command now delivers mail directly to the message store; Netscape console recognizes the mailautoreplytext attribute; various bugs fixed; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 2


Version Reviewed: 3.62
Reviewed by: Forrest Stroud
Last Updated: 11/20/00
Date of Original Review: 12/9/98


Operating Systems / Latest Versions:

UNIX: HP-UX, IBM AIX, SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris, and Digital Unix - v3.6.
Windows NT: Intel, Alpha - v3.62. Novell Netware - v3.01



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