By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-08-09 Print this article Print

Gordano Ltd.s Gordano Messaging Suite 10 combines a robust set of messaging and collaboration tools for companies that want to use Microsoft Corp.s Outlook on desktops without giving up the collaborative capabilities of Microsofts Exchange.

GMS 10 began shipping last month with an updated GMS Collaboration Server, Version 3.0, and is priced at $32 per user for 1,000 users. The full suite unites e-mail, group calendaring, anti-virus, anti-spam, Web mail and IM (instant messaging) capabilities in a single server. Gordano has done an excellent job of tying together the elements of the suite, from user and administrative perspectives.

While the suite performed well in eWEEK Labs tests, wed like broader client support on the desktop for IM. IM runs only on the Web browser.

The core of GMS is the mail server, formerly know as NTMail. With the mail server, companies deploy an IMAP or a POP (Post Office Protocol) server that manages messaging basics. The suites other components make the product a more sophisticated groupware platform, adding e-mail security, Web mail, group calendars and folders, IM, and archiving. Companies can also purchase these components separately.

Our tests showed Gordano has built a server that ties together elements such as e-mail and IM while sharing calendar data with a wide range of clients, including Apple Computer Inc.s iCal and Mozilla Calendar. For example, we could configure the server to notify users of new messages and calendar events via IM, pager or SMS (Short Message Service) device.

Gordanos iCal support gives companies additional options for providing groupware features without requiring users to run Outlook on the desktop. Administrators will need to configure the server to publish calendar data on the Collaboration Servers private free/busy server and provide users of other clients, such as Apples iCal, with the servers location.

Gordanos WebMail component also works well, with three interface options available. We liked that users can pick the interface they want at log-in. The rich client requires Java and provides a user-configurable view of calendar and message data with an Outlook-like four-pane view .

Users on slower connections can opt for GMS text-based view. GMS also supports a mobile device view that provides the most streamlined menu of fast options for checking e-mail and sending new messages.

The Web-based IM client is efficient but not particularly powerful; we couldnt use it to launch other collaborative applications such as desktop or presentation-sharing applications.

The server elements are managed from a single Web interface using a Java-enabled browser. Overall, we found GMS relatively easy to manage.

Wed like to see better reporting options on the server. While the server has several canned reports, creating custom reports is cumbersome because most data cannot be exported or published in a standard format from within the console. Administrators will need to distribute, install and configure an Outlook plug-in to give users groupware functions such as taking e-mail offline or accessing shared calendars.

Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at michael_caton@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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