January 24, 2013 1 Comment
We’re excited to announce the BETA of the next version of our popular Windows mail server: SmarterMail 11.x. Over the last few major releases we focused on providing an incredibly powerful and user friendly Web interface that users would enjoy. With this latest release, we kept the same look and appearance but rewrote the underlying architecture with the latest Internet technologies to dramatically improve the speed, reduce the size and increase compatibility with all the latest Internet browsers and tablets.
In addition, SmarterMail 11.x brings several new features, server side optimizations and fixes that continues to make SmarterMail compatible with the latest Internet trends. As with all releases, we worked closely with customers and partners and while we couldn’t incorporate everyone’s ideas into this release, we prioritized our users’ wants to create a new version of SmarterMail that we think you’ll really like.
So let’s take a look at what’s new…
Tremendous Performance Increases
We spent a great deal of time benchmarking SmarterMail and then making changes to increase the level of performance across the board. In many instances we’ve seen increases of 70% or more in the speed and responsiveness of the SmarterMail 11.x interface. We’ve also seen huge decreases in memory and CPU usage, even under extremely heavy loads. All of this means that the product runs much quicker and much more efficiently than previous versions. Some of the changes we’ve made include:
- CSS files have been converted to LESS, making stylesheets much smaller and more efficient.
- The button bars were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The context menus were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The date pickers were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- The tree view controls were re-factored to be lighter weight controls.
- Greatly increased the performance of the Web interface.
- Replaced the message editor control with a more lightweight control.
- SmarterMail Service memory has been drastically reduced using SpamAssasin.
As we mentioned in a blog post late last year, we feel efficiency IS a product feature, and SmarterMail 11.x really proves that point.
Simple Customization of the Webmail Interface
SmarterMail 11.x introduces a much simpler way for users to customize the look and feel of their webmail experience. Now, rather than having to access system files to create custom styles, users can simply override existing SmarterMail styles with their own variables or, more simply, by modifying the overall color scheme of the primary, secondary and hyperlink colors. Users can even drastically revise the look of the webmail interface. For example, by moving the navigation icons to a horizontal position versus their default vertical position. Of course, if the Domain Admin prefers the defaults, customization at the user level can be disabled, thereby preserving branding and corporate identity.
Significant Improvements to Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
Customers using the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) add-on enjoy the industry standard in syncing technologies for all mobile devices and will be ready for the next version of Microsoft Outlook for Windows that’s coming in Office 2013. With SmarterMail 11.x we’ve made some significant changes in how SmarterMail integrates EAS, including better handling of the most popular devices from Samsung, the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, and seamless integration with their native email clients.
Changes to how SmarterTools products work with add-ons are often only available with major upgrades due to the agreements we have with our vendors and partners. Customers who stay current with Upgrade Protection are able to take full advantage of these changes and modifications, not to mention receive full version upgrades at no additional cost. In addition, with SmarterTools, you can reinstate your Upgrade Protection at any time and still receive a discount. And unlike our competitors, SmarterTools doesn’t force customers to purchase each incremental upgrade that’s available when reinstating Upgrade Protection.
IPv6 Now Available
With the dwindling availability of IPv4 addresses, more and more hosting companies and service providers are moving towards utilizing IPv6 addresses. In addition, there will come a point where businesses of all shapes and sizes need to begin using IPv6 addresses as well. SmarterMail 11.x is here to help ease that transition. In fact, implementation of IPv6 with SmarterMail 11.x is just as simple as IPv4 – there’s no learning curve, no hassles and essentially the same functionality is available for IPv6 addresses as for legacy IPs. End users won’t even be able to tell the difference!
Greater Calendar Control
In SmarterMail 10.x we greatly increased the functionality of our calendaring, and with SmarterMail 11.x we’re continuing that trend. In this latest version, users can not only set the default view for their calendars in the Web interface (either daily, weekly, monthly or all appointment views) but users can also automatically clean out old calendar entries. Domain or System Administrators can also default the auto-clean feature for calendars, making it an ideal solution for those admins who want to keep their mail servers manageable and running as smoothly as possible.
Improved Spell Checking
No one likes to send emails with spelling errors. With SmarterMail 11.x we completely revised how spell checking works, greatly increasing the accuracy and adding in grammar support. In addition, the new spell checking ignores things like URLs and email addresses and users can select an option to force spell checking before their email is actually sent, which should help with those awkward misspellings and grammar mistakes. You can also add your own words to your own dictionary to further customize and simplify your communications.
Personalize Your Contacts
With the growth in popularity of social networks, people are used to see whom they’re talking to when typing up messages. SmarterMail 11.x allows users to add pictures to their contacts, thereby putting a face to a name, as it were, when typing up emails or using the included live chat. Contact pictures will even carry over to third-party live chat clients like Adium or Pidgin so users always see the person they’re communicating with, regardless of medium. In addition, ActiveSync and CardDAV will synchronize contacts with your choice of Third-party applications.
New Features for System Administrators
As if the incredible performance increases won’t make their jobs easier enough, we’ve also included several new features, tools and improvements for System Administrators. Some of these include the ability to utilize an abuse detection rule that allows blocking of IP addresses that exceed a set number of authentication failures over a variety of protocols, the ability to delete IP address that no longer exist right from the IP address bindings page and the implementation of the UIDPlus extension for IMAP. System administrators can even search log files written to the MRS\App_Data\Logs folder from within the management interface and much more.
17 Different Spell-check Dictionaries Included
In addition to the improved spell checking, SmarterMail also includes dictionaries for 17 different languages. The languages supported include:
- English (US+UK Combined) – DEFAULT
- English (US), (Australia), (Canada), (UK)
- German/German (Switzerland)
- Portuguese/Portuguese (Brazil)
Greater Support for International Customers
SmarterMail is a truly international product. With customers in well over 120 different countries, support for languages other than English is a priority. In addition, as SmarterMail’s adoption across the globe continues to rise, support for non-Western character sets is also essential. With SmarterMail 11.x we’ve not only included support for right-to-left languages in our Web interface, but we’ve also gone through the entire product and greatly simplified our language strings to make things much easier for automated translations and for customers who create their own translation files.
Is that it?
Of course not! SmarterMail 11.x has many more features and improvements. You’ll find them in the release notes we’ll post in the SmarterMail 11.x BETA forum, but here are a few more that might be of interest:
- A new content filter action was added for flagging messages and setting their priority.
- Print preview now includes a list of attachments, perfect for regulatory compliance.
- Users can now set start dates and end dates for their auto-responders.
- Status messages and tip text now drops down from the top of the page and no longer disrupts page flow.
- Language strings have been simplified so that they are much easier to translate.
- In the webmail interface, the message grid now adds a color to the subject of unread messages to better distinguish them from messages that have already been read.
- The ability for SmarterMail to detect missing attachments when they should be present. For example, when a message contains the word “attachment” but no files are attached or the subject is empty.
Getting started with the BETA
To get your hands on the BETA simply visit the SmarterTools BETA release forum, where you’ll see how to:
- Sign up for the BETA
- Get a special BETA license key
- Download the latest BETA release (we update it regularly)
- Communicate with other BETA testers and the SmarterTools development team
- Stay up-to-date on the latest release note and BETA news