MS Mail, Exchange Server

I feel like an idiot asking this question, but I’ll ask it anyway.

I’ve been a Linux/BSD user for 4 years, so I know very little about Windows servers. But I’m trying to find out what the Windows equivalent of Sendmail/Postfix (that is, a mail transfer agent) is. OK, I did some Googling, and I’ve come up with Microsoft Mail and Microsoft Exchange Server. I’m not sure if these two are the same, or different, or just what is the difference between them. Can anyone enlighten me? I’m not planning on running a Windows mail server, I only need to know because I’m writing an article and I need to make some comparisons to Windows (not comparing performance, just need to mention the Windows equivalents to Linux software).

And since I don’t even have Windows installed, I’m not in a good position to experiment with this.

Thanks in advance,
Robert

[quote=“robert_storey”]I feel like an idiot asking this question, but I’ll ask it anyway.

I’ve been a Linux/BSD user for 4 years, so I know very little about Windows servers. But I’m trying to find out what the Windows equivalent of Sendmail/Postfix (that is, a mail transfer agent) is. OK, I did some Googling, and I’ve come up with Microsoft Mail and Microsoft Exchange Server. I’m not sure if these two are the same, or different, or just what is the difference between them. Can anyone enlighten me? I’m not planning on running a Windows mail server, I only need to know because I’m writing an article and I need to make some comparisons to Windows (not comparing performance, just need to mention the Windows equivalents to Linux software).

And since I don’t even have Windows installed, I’m not in a good position to experiment with this.

Thanks in advance,
Robert[/quote]

The “mail transfer agent” would be MS Exchange Server currently at version 2003. Microsoft Outlook is the mail client.

Microsoft Mail was the mail client before Outlook and Outlook Express. I don’t remember too much about how mail was before NT4 and Exchange 5.0.

Exchange does offer POP, IMAP, it’s own protocol for mail and shared calendaring, and contacts, and LDAP. It’s had a web interface that works with IIS since at least 5.5 or 5.0. Since Exchange 2000, there’s also been enterprise IM but I haven’t messed with it and I think there’s a separate server now.

Remote Exchange access works very well now with Server 2003 since it uses XML-RPC.

Windows Server has a built in SMTP server.

There are a lot of unique things about servers like Exchange or Lotus Domino that make them different from mail servers. You might want to read up about them.

There are lots of other mail servers from windows but Exchange is the only one for Microsoft.

How are you going to write a comparison article when you are completely unfamiliar with Windows (not to mention applications that you want to write about)? That way you can only write biased articles - but then again, if you write for a Linux-focused site, I guess that’s what the readership wants.

Microsoft’s own MTA is SMTP Service and MS Exchange (which works as MTA). But there are many alternatives, some are very cheap.

MTAs like Postfix and sendmail, as the name says, are only MTAs and cannot be compared to groupware, forms, scheduling, MTA, MDA and other features (such as dedicated groupware client MS Outlook) of Microsoft Exchange.

[quote=“username”]How are you going to write a comparison article when you are completely unfamiliar with Windows (not to mention applications that you want to write about)? That way you can only write biased articles - but then again, if you write for a Linux-focused site, I guess that’s what the readership wants.

Microsoft’s own MTA is SMTP Service and MS Exchange (which works as MTA). But there are many alternatives, some are very cheap.

MTAs like Postfix and sendmail, as the name says, are only MTAs and cannot be compared to groupware, forms, scheduling, MTA, MDA and other features (such as dedicated groupware client MS Outlook) of Microsoft Exchange.[/quote]

Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I didn’t want to go into all the complicated details at the time. Anyway, I wasn’t writing an article to compare MS Exchange with Linux MTAs. I was writing an article about SPF, a new add-on protocol for SMTP. The purpose of SPF is to identify spoofed addresses, and thus control spam. In order to use it, a system administrator needs to patch the MTA. I know that patches are available for Postfix, Sendmail, Qmail, Exim and Courier. I was trying to find out if there was a patch available for all Microsoft MTAs, so I needed to know the name(s). Anyway, some further research revealed that yes, there is a patch for MS Exchange, but it’s not free (why am I not surprised?). The Linux patches are, of course, free.

Future versions of Linux will probably include the patch already built-in, eliminating the need to install it. I’m very doubtful that Microsoft will do the same because they are pushing their own “alternative” to SPF named “CallerID”. And of course CallerID is patented by Microsoft, so Linux users can’t use it. However, the ISPs are pretty cool to Microsoft’s proposal, so I don’t give it much chance of being accepted. SPF only works if everybody supports it, and MS Exchange has less than 1/3 of the mail server market.

If you have any interest in SPF, you can read about it on their web site:

spf.pobox.com/

best regards,
Robert

SPF also seems to have been fast-tracked in the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). The following links are for the 14 May 2004 draft for SPF, it goes into the nitty-gritty details, the June 2004 draft on the rationale behind the system, and the July 2004 SPF testing protocol information:

ietf.org/internet-drafts/dra … spf-01.txt
xml.coverpages.org/draft-ietf-ma … ale-00.txt
ietf.org/internet-drafts/dra … col-00.txt

It appears as if Microsoft also published a competing draft for a similar system on 20 May 2004 – instead of storing the SPF data in TXT records within the DNS system, there is a separate XML database. The Microsoft method is also incumbent, meaning there a couple patents that Microsoft holds that could influence the IETF decision in favor of SPF.

After this thread I started reading much more about the SPF/Caller-ID. Looks like M$ may get their Caller-ID into the IETF standard called Sender-ID, which is a combination of the original SPF and M$'s caller-ID. M$ is working to make the licensing on their software patents “more open-source friendly.”

newsforge.com/article.pl?sid … 24/1710240

insideid.com/id_management/a … hp/3390451

I am not sure if anyone is still interested, but according to IT press, the IETF is rejecting the Sender-ID with Microsoft characteristics. A couple articles:

theinquirer.net/?article=18419

smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/14/1 … click=true