Setting Up An IMAP-Based Email Solution, part 5
Stew Benedict's article serialized on CrossNodes over the past month has dealt with a roll-your-own approach to running IMAP services on *NIX servers, but of course, you can always look for an out-of-the-box solution. Fortunately, there are a number of well-regarded entries in this vendor space.
The most obvious disadvantage to purchasing software as an IMAP solution is money. The methodology as presented by Stew is free -- after you factor in your time commitment, of course. Additionally, while you will be able to find support in the form of gurus who lurk within Usenet news groups and similar resources, you won't have a specific vendor whose job it is to get you out of a jam should one occur.
Another way of handling IMAP under *NIX is with software that add functionality to already existing services. For example, Courier IMAP is a server that provides IMAP access to systems using Maildirs -- the directory-based mail storage format. Issued under the GNU General Public License, you can't beat the price.
However, by purchasing a ready-to-roll package, you can save yourself some time, and ease the configuration and interface issues; making it easier for less advanced administrators to implement and maintain. Selecting a hearty, feature-laden package can provide one-stop shopping for your communications needs.
One of the most popular of these is Stalker Software's CommuniGate Pro. CommuniGate Pro can run on any number of *NIX variations as well as Apple's OS X, Windows, and BeOS. More than an IMAP solution, the product also supports POP, LDAP, SMTP, HTTP, Domain Name Resolution, mailing lists, and more. Trial versions are available at Stalker's Web site.
Probably the favorite among the guru crowd is Sendmail, the original version of which which defined the way messages are sent through the Internet. The company has grown over the last 20 years now offers commercial packages such as the Single or Multi-Switch Consoles or the Sendmail Advanced Message Center targeted at enterprise and ISP-level networks.
What follows is a listing of the primary packages available to provide IMAP services under *NIX:
Product Name: CommuniGate Pro Vendor: Stalker Software email: email@example.com phone: (800) 262-4722 or (415) 383-7164 Trial Version: Yes Product Name: Courier-IMAP Vendor: Inter7 email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (847) 492-0470 Free Version: Yes Product Name: Cyrus Vendor: Carnegie Mellon University Free Version: Yes Product Name: DC-Mailbox Vendor: Data Connection Ltd. email: email@example.com phone: +44-208-366-1177 Product Name: Domino Vendor: Lotus Development Corp. email: see www.lotus.com/contacts phone: (617) 577-8500 Trial Version: Yes Product Name: Groupwise Vendor: Novell phone: (801) 861-7000 Trial Version: Yes Product Name: IntraStore Vendor: Control Data Systems email: firstname.lastname@example.org Trial Version: Yes Product Name: M1000 Vendor: Mirapoint email: email@example.com phone: (408) 517-1300 Product Name: Netscape Mail Server Vendor: Netscape Communications phone: (415) 937-2555 Trial Version: Yes Product Name: MD Store Vendor: MessagingDirect Ltd. email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: (800) 850-0114 Product Name: PMDF-MTA Vendor: Innosoft International email: email@example.com phone: (626) 919-3600 Trial Version: Yes Product Name: Sendmail Advanced Message Server Vendor: Sendmail, Inc. phone: (510)-594-5400 Product Name: Sun Internet Mail Server Vendor: Sun Microsystems email: see http://www.sun.com/smi/contacts.html Trial Version: Yes Product Name: University of Washington IMAP Server Vendor: University of Washington (Seattle, WA USA) Free Version: Yes