The Mercury Mail Transport System is another development of David Harris. It is a standards-compliant donationware mail server, supporting all major internet mail-related protocols. It is a program that sends and receives mail on behalf of users on a machine or local area network. The mail from the outside world is received first by Mercury, and then it will be placed in the addressee’s mailbox, where the user can access it anytime. In return, messages sent by the local users to the outside world are passed to Mercury. Afterwards, it will do the necessary steps to deliver these messages that remove the burden from the users’ workstation and allowing them to continue with other tasks. Mercury is slightly more complex to install than a simple mail client, but only moderate experience is required to connect it to the internet because it is intended to be largely unobtrusive and will only need little ongoing maintenance. The advantages of using Mercury as a mail server to handle e-mails are:
- Centralization: All mail services can be centrally managed and controlled.
- Efficient use of resources: Individual workstations will not need their own modems and internet accounts. You can simply connect using a dial-up connection, and then the mail server will be able to access that connection.
- Continual availability: Even when the client workstations are turned off, the mail server can continue processing mail. It allows functions that depend on a continuously available service like automatic replies and auto forwarding.
There are two versions of Mercury. First is the Mercury/32 or written as a Win32 application running on all 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows. It includes Windows 98, NT4, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows Server 2003 but the most recommended is the XP or Server 2003. This version can act as a mail server for either NetWare or non-NetWare LANs. It also has special features designed for use in dial-up environments. The second version is written as a set of Novell NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs), which is designed to run on all versions of the Novell NetWare network operating system (NOS). It includes Novell NetWare 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, 6.x file servers. Both of these versions can act as a mail server for a LAN, and have special support for Novell NetWare local area networks. With its extremely rich feature, both versions have special powerful support for managed mailing lists because it allows users to install support for differing mixes of internet protocols as required.
Although Mercy is integrated with Pegasus Mail, it is a fully independent product that can provide mail service to other e-mail programs, such as Eudora or Microsoft Outlook. It was originally developed to handle mail, both internal and external, on NetWare servers in either bindery or NDS mode. If you choose to integrate Mercury with Pegasus Mail, it will have similar aspects like the Microsoft Outlook/Microsoft Exchange Server. It can run on MS-DOS or Windows workstations.
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