Entry-level/Mid-range mail server for WinNT and Unix platforms

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


Post.Office is designed as an entry-level/mid-range solution for ISPs, intranets, and Web site use. The server is designed for single server installations and can support up to 250,000 mailbox accounts. For large ISPs and enterprise-level use Software.com offers four additional solutions in the InterMail line of mail servers -- InterMail Standard Edition, Web Edition, Consumer Advantage Edition, and Business Advantage Edition. The InterMail line offers scalability for users of Post.Office -- as your organization expands and you need to support increased message traffic, a larger number of users, or a more advanced architecture, you can move up along the migration path and chose one of the more advanced InterMail products. Office is designed as an entry-level/mid-range solution for ISPs, intranets, and Web site use.

The four high-end InterMail servers offer unlimited scalability, extremely high performance, and a host of advanced features designed to insure reliable operation, uninterrupted access, smooth administration, and customized integration with other systems and services. The Business Advantage Edition also offers additional features like SMTP authentication, SSL security support, IMAP4 storage and retrieval options, and support for the LDAP protocol -- all of which are features not available in Post.Office.

Post.Office itself is an easily administered mail server solution with a forms-based user interface. To configure the system itself or to add accounts, you simply need to request, complete, and return fill-in-the-blank forms to the system. This is accomplished via the Web or e-mail and doesn't require any knowledge of unfamiliar syntax or programming skills. The operation of Post.Office can also be performed remotely from any machine; for example, an Internet Service Provider can manage several mail hosts from home or from the office.

The server supports POP3, SMTP, and finger services, but it does lack support for some of the newer Internet mail protocols like LDAP and IMAP4. Enhanced security technologies like SSL and S/MIME are noticeably absent as well. Post.Office can support multiple domains, but user names must be unique across the domains in order for this feature to work properly. The Windows NT user database can be utilized instead of or in addition to Post.Office's own user database. Additional features include message filtering capabilities, extensive anti-SPAM support (with Relay SPAM Curbing features), and built-in auto-reply capabilities that allow you to set up automated reply accounts in a matter of minutes.

Post Office also offers a new add-on List Manager application that allows for quick creation and efficient administration of mailing lists. The List Manager allows list owners to set a wide range of subscription and posting policies, moderate messages, and modify most of the attributes of the mailing list or lists. As with the rest of the Post.Office system, all of the List Manager's operations can be handled through the Web interface, e-mail forms, or a combination of the two.

Post.Office runs on both the Intel and Alpha versions of Windows NT (although the 3.12 release will be the final supported version for Alpha) and a wide variety of Unix platforms including IBM AIX, HP-UX, SGI IRIX, Solaris, SunOS, and Digital Unix. A customized version for BSDi is also available from Berkely Software Design. The latest release of Post.Office, v3.5, offers a number of performance enhancements and new features, but it currently is only available for Windows NT (Intel version) and Sun Solaris.

The evaluation release of Post.Office is a 10-account version of the server but is fully functional and even offers limited e-mail support. The release also includes an evaluation of the List Manager add-on with 2 free lists of up to 100 users each. The commercial version of Post.Office is available in 100-account packages for $495 each. The List Manager can be purchased separately for $495 (for 100 lists), or both the mail server and the List Manager can be purchased together for $795.

In addition to the 30-day e-mail support provided with the free evaluation release of Post.Office, Software.com (the developer of Post.Office) offers a Standard Support Package with e-mail and limited phone support for 30 days after purchase and installation of the server. A variety of professional and corporate support packages are also available for those in need of support beyond the initial 30 days or in need of more personalized support than is available from the standard package.

Pros: Solid performance, impressive add-on List Manager, various tech support options available
Cons: Lacks LDAP/IMAP4 services, advanced security, and NTMail's add-on Robots
New: Anti-SPAM support, improved interface; integrated into InterMail family

New in v3.5: Performance enhancements, redesigned Web interface, alert notifications, SOS tool
Upgrade Meter: 5

New in v3.5.3: Bug fixes, minor interface changes; Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 1

New in v3.5.4: One bug fix for IBM AIX and HP-UX editions only. The fix corrects a situation when sending a message larger than 1MB, the SMTP connection was being lost before the message could be accepted by the server. Release Notes
Upgrade Meter: 1

Version Reviewed: 3.5.4
Date of Review: 2/15/99
Reviewed by: Forrest Stroud


Operating Systems / Latest Versions:

Windows NT: Intel - v3.5.3, Alpha - v3.12 (final release for Alpha).
Unix: IBM AIX and HP-UX - v3.5.4. SGI IRIX, Sun Solaris, and Digital Unix - v3.5.3; SunOS and BSDi - v3.12



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