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Everyone knows that e-mail is the lifeblood of modern business. Alas, keeping e-mail flowing in a large or medium-size office is a tedious chore that grows rapidly with the user population. CE Software's QuickMail Office 2.0 lends a helping hand to harried e-mail administrators: It delivers a streamlined, browserlike client; server-stored message retrieval via IMAP; enhanced filtering to block annoying spam; and a Web-accessible address-book server that integrates with any Mac-based Web server. QuickMail Office still lacks two features commonly found on other mail-server platformsWeb e-mail access and remote administrationbut the client delivers functions never before seen in any Web-based mail interface.
QuickMail Office 2.0 offers one-stop shopping for enterprise e-mail. The bundle includes the QuickMail Pro 2.0 mail server, a license for five QuickMail Pro clientseither Mac or Windowsand the new QuickMail Pro directory server.
Installing the server takes just seconds, and configuration requires only that you know the e-mail domains you wish to serve. Once you've installed the server, you create a mailbox for each user. You can also set default user preferences and organize users into groups.
Client installation is equally straightforward: users copy the client installer from the file server and run it, providing their user names and passwords when prompted. The client then retrieves the users' account profiles and configures itself. This feature greatly reduces the work required to roll out QuickMail for the first time and lets users move from one computer to another without administrative intervention.
The QuickMail Pro server supports the most popular Internet mail protocolsSMTP, POP3, APOP, IMAP, and UUCPover either a dedicated or dial-up Internet connection. The server application displays the status of all available protocols, as well as bar graphs showing the volume of traffic for each. Message filtering lets you block spam and sort incoming mail based on header content, or trigger AppleScripts to perform automated chores such as e-mail responding. Built-in gateway interfaces for Mark/Space Softworks' PageNow and 4-Sight PLC's 4-Sight fax sender let you route e-mail to alpha pagers or fax machines, and a built-in mailing-list server gives you standard mail-reflector functions.
New with this release are shared folders, which offer a bulletin-board-like central repository for general messages; IMAP support, allowing mail storage on the QuickMail Pro server rather than on users' desktop computers; and support for multiple e-mail addresses per user. This last feature lets users change their online "persona" to fit the situation; a customer-service clerk, for example, can become firstname.lastname@example.org when replying to messages addressed to that e-mail alias.
One of the nicest new features is a separate Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server, which maintains centrally managed address books. A Web-server CGI plug-in lets you put your address books on the Web, complete with search capabilities and e-mail URLs, making directories accessible to off-site users.
QuickMail Pro's server has some rough edges, however. IMAP support isn't complete, for exampleusers can't create or rename folders, archive messages, or search message contents. Alas, these are the very IMAP features that users most want when giving up control of their mail to a central repository. The server also has no Web-basedor any otherremote administration capability, making the server inconvenient to maintain from a distance. And QuickMail lacks Web-based mail access for end users, at a time when this feature is appearing in competing Mac mail servers.
Users can read mail from the QuickMail Office server with any Internet-compliant e-mail client. However, QuickMail Pro's client offers features not found in most other clients. A new browserlike message viewer organizes incoming mail as a hierarchical listyou can automatically file those messages using mail filtering, but you can still find unread mail easily. A built-in contact manager stores a user's own local address book merged with LDAP directories, providing a convenient single point of lookup.
QuickMail's venerable forms featurestill a unique capabilitylets users store data-entry forms as templates for collecting and distributing information in a standardized format. Return receipts let users know when the recipient has read their outgoing mail, and a lifesaving Unsend feature lets you reel in that ill-considered resignation notice.
QuickMail Office 2.0 provides one-stop shopping for e-mail serving and client software. The absence of Web-based e-mail and the limited IMAP support may inconvenience mobile users, but if your users primarily access e-mail from their desksand you want consistent e-mail handling throughout your organizationQuickMail Office is all you need.
RATING: PROS: Streamlined client; LDAP directory server with Web-enabling plug-in; built-in bulletin board; antispam controls. CONS: Incomplete IMAP support; no Web-based mail access; no Web-based or other remote administration. COMPANY: CE Software (800/523-7638, http://www.cesoft.com ). LIST PRICE: Five users, $346; 10 users, $656; 25 users, $1,326.
November 1999 page: 60