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TRANSLATION: OpenMail at Linux World: Q&A

Mar 05, 1999, 00:15 (2 Talkback[s])

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Richi Jennings writes:

I got some well-deserved butt-kicking about this. Let's cut the cr*p.

Q: What is OpenMail?
A: OpenMail is a pretty cool server product that does mail and more. Well, we think it's cool anyway: you decide. It comes from Hewlett-Packard, and it's based on Internet and ITU standards. It has an installed base of 10 million seats. Check out www.hp.com/go/openmail for more.

Q: Why is HP exhibiting OpenMail at Linux World?
A: We are demonstrating a Linux port of OpenMail 6.0, looking for feedback. We are close to announcing a new Linux messaging/collaboration product, based on OpenMail technology.

Q: Is this a product announcement?
A: Not yet.

Q: What sort of feedback do you think you'll get?
A: We think that many people who'd use Linux as a server would like OpenMail. A Linux product based on OpenMail 6.0 would be a great alternative to 'generic' Internet e-mail servers. In addition to robust Internet standards support, a Linux edition of OpenMail would include OpenMail 6.0's new Web client, plus support for M*cr*s*ft Outlook, and other 'clients-of-choice'.

Q: 'Clients-of choice'? Huh?
A: We designed OpenMail to work well with many different desktop mail clients. OpenMail's 'clients-of-choice' shims provide high-fidelity communication between diverse desktops. It means that customers do not require evil gateways. We support popular mail clients such as Outlook and Lotus cc:Mail. Of course, OpenMail also supports ESMTP, IMAP4, POP3, LDAP, MDNs and DSNs.

Q: But any 'generic' IMAP server can talk to Outlook, can't it?
A: Yes and no: there are several flavors of Outlook. The full, 'corporate' Outlook clients use a set of APIs known as MAPI. Only OpenMail can connect corporate Outlook to a UNIX server with this level of functionality. Developed in collaboration with M*cr*s*ft, it does all the additional Outlook shared calendars, public folders and address book stuff.

Q: Is there any other way for end-users to connect to an OpenMail server?
A: OpenMail also has a cool Web client. This was recently demonstrated at the France '98 World Cup soccer tournament, where one single small OpenMail server was successfully used to provide communications for thousands of journalists and officials across the France '98 wide-area intranet. Even Jimmy Hill and John Motson?

Q: Is your target market ISPs or enterprises?
A: Both. OpenMail's classic market has been enterprise, or 'business' messaging and collaboration. However, service providers that are interested in providing higher functionality services than just 'generic' Internet e-mail find OpenMail very attractive. Linux has always been an important platform for ISPs.

Q: So OpenMail is very scalable then?
A: Yes, the new version of OpenMail (6.0) is designed to support thousands and thousands of simultaneous business users on a large UNIX server. Note: we're HP. We're not so stupid as to lie about scalability.

Q: On which operating systems is OpenMail available today?
A: HP-UX, AIX and Solaris.

Q: So will you be opening up the source code to OpenMail?
A: No, sorry.

Q: You say you're 'looking for feedback' about a possible Linux OpenMail product, so how can people get their feedback to you?
A: We have some booth drones here at Linux World for people to talk to, or they can send e-mail to linux@pwd.hp.com.