Gordano Messaging Suite 15.01

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2008-10-29 Print this article Print


Gordano Messaging Suite 15.01

While Gordano may not be a household name to most, the company has deep roots in the messaging and e-mail business. The Gordano Messaging Suite is descended from the NTMail server of the mid-1990s, and the company knows its business when it comes to developing messaging platforms that can compete with Microsoft Exchange Server.

For many, that might be the main attraction of the Gordano Messaging Suite, as it works very well as an Exchange replacement system. And Gordano's autoporting tools make it relatively easy for IT managers to migrate users to its Messaging Suite. Outlook users will see little difference when using Gordano as their server instead of Exchange, and tools are available that provide extra collaboration features.

That said, Gordano Messaging Suite 15.01 is more than just an Exchange replacement server. The server portion of the suite can run on Linux and Unix systems, as well as on Windows. In addition, in this newest version of Messaging Suite, the Web mail client also has been greatly boosted to be a true Web 2.0 interface, both in the richness of the client and in its support for standard Web development languages.

In fact, for companies already using the Messaging Suite, the new Web mail client will be the biggest change they see upon upgrading. The new AJAX-based interface provides a much more interactive and full mail and collaboration experience, with drag-and-drop capabilities and most of the functionality that one expects from a desktop client. In general, I found it to be superior to the current Exchange Web mail client.

As in the previous versions of Messaging Suite, there are three Web mail clients to choose from when logging into the server: the Professional version, which provides full functionality; the Express version, which is geared for use on older browsers and systems; and the Mobile version. Not surprisingly, much of the look and feel of the Web mail client is designed to work as much like Microsoft Outlook as possible.

However, the most interesting aspects of the new Web mail client are in the ability to extend and customize it. The interface can be changed and templated through the use of standard CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), making it possible for companies to easily rebrand the interface and make it fit with company applications.

Also new in the interface are Gizmos-essentially, classic JavaScript-based Web 2.0 applications that can be easily created by anyone and plugged into the mail client.

Included with the Messaging Suite are Gizmos for tasks such as dictionary look-ups and accessing the Google translate service. To use the dictionary Gizmo, I simply highlighted a word in a message and clicked the dictionary button, and full dictionary information was provided.

Along with the Gizmos included with the application, I could download additional Gizmos for things such as Skype integration. Source code for all the Gizmos also is provided, which is useful for writing your own Gizmos.

The Web-based administration interface for the Gordano Messaging Suite hasn't changed much; it still looks somewhat gray and boring, but it will be effective for accessing the many options and settings that the suite exposes for administrators.

An interesting new feature for administrators makes it possible to access a user's account without obtaining or changing log-in details. When viewing a user's account information in the administration interface, I can click a switch button that automatically logs me (the administrator) in as that user.

Along with these new features, there are the features that were added in previous versions of the Gordano Messaging Suite that help to make it an interesting option for businesses. These include: the integrated anti-virus and anti-spam features; support for multiple authentication systems; secure Web mail; and built-in instant messaging and presence.

Pricing for the Gordano Messaging Suite in the full suite configuration that I tested starts at $153 per user for 25 users or fewer; over several volume tiers the price drops to $21 per user for 10,000 users or more.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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