Most, if not all, small and medium businesses as well as large multinational corporations require an effective, efficient and responsive email and collaboration software systems as part of successful management of the organisation while web hosts consider these systems as value-added services for their clients. All of these software tools are also based on the effectiveness and efficiency of Microsoft Exchange Outlook systems – truly, the most popular of its kind in the wired world today.
What exactly is email server software in the first place? It is a computer within a network that acts as the virtual post office. It consists of several parts including:
* A storage area for storing emails for local users
* A set of rules defined by the users in the determination of the email server’s reaction to the destination of the messages
* A database for user accounts
* Several communications modules handling the transfer of emails to and from other mail servers and clients
Suffice it to say that the best email server software is a must for all organisations relying on emails as part of their information and communication systems.
The Microsoft Exchange server is arguably the most prevalent collaborative and messaging servers for good reasons. It is the power behind all of the effective and efficient – more than a few users will say amazing – features and functions of Microsoft Outlook and, in consequence, of the wonderful benefits of Outlook collaboration systems. It is, in fact, used widely since majority of individuals, businesses, and organizations use Microsoft infrastructure solutions in their daily lives.
First developed in 1993 with new editions released in 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010, the Microsoft Exchange server performs two main jobs, namely:
* Support POP, IMAP and web email clients on Microsoft Outlook; and
* Allow users to exchange information and to communicate using either Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access
The Outlook collaboration with Microsoft Exchange on board is at its best! Features like improved assistant, instant search, and email scheduler as well as improved preview pane views and security measures, among others, reinforce the server’s importance in the wired world.
The Open-Xchange Server is a partially open source project used in the development of collaboration software including emails, calendars and tasks. Aside from said name, the email server is also marketed under other names including Network Solutions, 1&1 MailXchange, and Business Mail, to name a few, but all of these are part of the Lisog open source stack program.
Its features include:
* Portal view with integration of RSS feeds and widgets
* Team Calendaring
* Contact Management
* Document Management
* Task Lists
* Outlook and Mac OS X plugins for commercial offerings)
* Microsoft Outlook Connectivity
* Synchronisation of Mac OS X applications via CardDAV and CalDAV
* Central editing of external E-mail accounts and synchronisation of social business networks
As with the two other email servers, the Open-Xchange provides for Outlook collaboration, thus, its prevalent use among businesses and organizations. Web hosts enjoy benefits like complete business file sharing, email, contact, and calendar management that, in turn, allows for maximum scalability and performance, optimum use of hardware resources, and multi-tenancy, among others.
Google obviously provides for Google Apps, a service that provides for independently customisable versions of Google products using a custom domain name. Web applications with similar functions and features as traditional office suites like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Groups are featured in Google Apps, too, which means that users will have an easy transition using the email server.
Google Apps come in two versions, namely, Google Apps for business that requires a monthly $5 per user account subscription – the first 30 days are free –and Google Apps for Education. Both, however, provide the same amount of storage space albeit with different features and functions to account for the differences in needs and wants of their users.
The best thing about Google Apps: It provides for technical training and reseller support as well as sales tools and training, among other benefits, for webhosts aside from the standard Outlook collaboration feature.