SCOoffice Mail Server
This is SCO's Mail Server product. Originally introduced on
Linux, but now (due to the lawsuit, of course) only available on
OSR5 (there will probably be a Unixware version later).
Unlike many other Mail Server products, SCOoffice is not sold on
a subscription basis. It uses Open Source virus protection (Clam)
and SpamAssassin for junk mail, so there are no on-going fees
unless you optionally subscribe to other virus scanning. There's no
support either: you buy it, you own it (you can buy support
separately, of course). The pricing model is a bit confusing: a
five user OSR5 version is $299.00, which isn't bad at all, but a
one hundred user license staggers in at a whopping $2,399.00. SCO's
pricing problem is that they think their competition is Exchange.
Yes, this is cheaper than Exchange, but who cares? That's not what
it will be judged against.
Assuming that there is much interest at all, of course. The
problem right now is that there are some very big shoes still to
drop in this lawsuit. I can't imagine too many people would shell
out money for this right this minute. Once the lawsuit is done and
over, if SCO is still a viable company, sure, this might be an
option. The rest of this review will ignore the political aspects
and simply look at the tech side.
However, as this is basically a repackaging of the Bynari product, which
does run on Linux, I have to openly wonder why you'd want to run
this on SCO unless you were already running a SCO server for some
other reason. If that were the case, I'd then question why you are
mixing an important application like mail with some other app: mail
should really run on a separate server as it normally has much more
serious security issues than other internal servers. So, overall, I
don't see a bright future for this.
Installation is with the standard SCO "custom" tool. No
surprises, though custom may get confused and want to tune the
system for the SCOoofice user count. If you see that question,
As you would expect, any mail system relies heavily on DNS. SCO
has never seen the need to provide any help in configuring DNS, so
you need to drop out to the command line and get this done if it
isn't setup already.
After installation, you manage this with a web browser. That has
its pluses and minuses: on the plus side, it means you can easily
get at it from any desktop, but the negative side is that browser
interfaces are often slower and more clumsy than dedicated
Your first task is to define a domain. As part of its
definition, you set whether or not users can create aliases. Once
you have a domain, you add users to it. Interestingly, you create a
login name (which is strictly login to the mail server, nothing to
do with user accounts on the OSR5 itself), but that's not
necessarily the email name. In other words, I can have an account
called "tony", but the email is "firstname.lastname@example.org". You can send mail to
either one; it just creates an instant alias.
You can also migrate from Exchange, earlier versions of this
product, and Bynari Insight server or import from an /etc/shadow
file. Additonally, you can off-load authentication to an LDAP
This uses Apache, Cyrus IMAP, OpenLDAP, Postfix, and Proftpd.
You can do quite a bit of detailed configuration for each of these
through the browser tools, and of course you could also drop to a
command line and edit configurations manually.
At the SCO demo of this, I asked how much SCO modifies the
source of these Open Source products. My concern was whether or not
a user would have to wait for SCO to distribute new versions in the
event of security discoveries. I don't know if I got an
authoritative answer, but was told that you would have to wait. You
might wait a long time: if SCO depends on Bynari and then adds
their own seasoning, patches could take a while to ripple
User Preferences Interface
This is a browser based app where users can set preferences, add
spam rules (global spam rules can be defined by administrators),
manage their address book information, change passwords, etc. Some
of these things can be done either in Outlook with the Outlook
An Outlook Connector allows Outlook to treat this like an
Exchange server and make use of shared calendars, free/busy
scheduling, etc. These features are also available with the webmail
client. The installation of the Outlook Connector is made easier by
having it as an option in the browser application.
As this is basically all well documented Open Source tools,
customization should be relatively easy. My only concern would be
whatever mods SCO has made, though I bet these are minimal.
As I said at the beginning, I don't know that very many people
would use this. If you already have a SCO server, you might
consider adding this, but I'd advise running mail on a separate
system. If this were part of a chain of servers passing mail
through each other, it might make sense as it could add another
layer of virus scanning, but at it's present pricing level, I think
it's a bit costly for that. Overall, I just don't see it.
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