Announcing the BETA release of SmarterMail 16.x! We've put a lot of thought, time and effort into this release and we think you'll like what you see. Take a look, below, at some of what's coming in the latest and greatest from SmarterTools! Be sure to visit the SmarterTools Community and join in the discussions with other BETA participants!
SmarterMail 16.x - Redesigned for the future!
When we set out to build SmarterMail over 13 years ago, we made a pivotal decision: build the product so that it is 100% browser-based. At the time, this was a revolutionary concept because competing mail servers only offered Windows-based applications that required remote desktop to manage the server. Today, we are announcing another pivotal decision, one that surpasses the decision we made so many years ago:
SmarterMail 16.x has an entirely new architecture that is 100% API-driven!
That means that EVERY aspect of SmarterMail, moving forward, will be exposed via API, allowing companies to build upon our platform however they want. Whether it’s an integration with a customer service platform, billing system or a completely new client someone builds for SmarterMail, anything will be possible.
But we didn’t stop there. SmarterMail has a completely redesigned web interface for system administrators and webmail users. The new web interface uses a number of the latest web technologies and utilizes the new and powerful API-driven architecture within SmarterMail!
When designing the new web interface, we focused on making the interface:
- Clean appearance and powerful performance
- Custom login pages with gorgeous backgrounds or you can add your own
- Faster than any previous version
- Compatible with all the latest browsers and technologies
- Work across mobile devices and tablets with all the capabilities of the desktop version
- Customizable for easy skin creation or complete interface redesign
- Built to be flexible enough for future development
- And so much more!
Your new Unified Communications Platform
We just couldn’t stop ourselves with SmarterMail 16.x and are extremely excited to introduce SmarterMail as a Unified Communications Platform.
What is a Unified Communications Platform? It’s a product that can solve a multitude of communications needs. We started with what we believe is the most important: Web Conferencing!
We are determined to help customers avoid paid services such as GoToMeeting or AnyMeeting and integrate all communications through SmarterMail. Web conferencing includes live video chat, screen sharing, group meeting workspaces and much more, and it’s very easy to use. In some areas we’ve integrated third parties into SmarterMail, and over time we will be replacing certain integrations with our own, custom-built solutions.
Getting started with a web conference is simple: a shareable link can be sent to others in your existing chat, or you can copy the link and send it to anyone outside of your organization. Within the video conference, each participant has the ability to use their webcam or go “audio only”, participants can mute themselves, any participant can share a desktop, PLUS it’s possible to start a live chat right inside the web conference interface.
Messaging for teams
We have also completely re-written our XMPP server to provide a better overall group chat experience. This allows us to add features like web conferencing while also improving the more standard group chat functionality. If you’re using third-party services like HipChat or #Slack, you’ll recognize some of the new features:
- Image and video link previews. Paste a link to an image file or video and see what you’re clicking on BEFORE you click on it.
- Initiate a web conference from anywhere within SmarterMail using a shareable link.
- Create a document together. Whether working on new website content or a press release, document collaboration and working with team members is key. Simply click the document icon in your chat window to start a collaborative document. Just like with web conferencing the link is displayed automatically for anyone in your group chat or you can send it to any outside parties who need to work with, or review, what’s been created!
- Set up Meeting Rooms. Create a Meeting Room and invite participants, then work together using live chat or video chat and
- Use third-party group chat clients like Adium or Pidgin. SmarterMail’s group chat easily ties into your favorite chat application, allowing you to continue using the products you’re familiar with so you can continue using the built-in features you’re accustomed to.
- ALL of this is fully archived and saved. All image or movie links, web conferencing links, document collaboration links and all chat text is saved and archived for later use, as needed. Even the information contained in a collaborative document can be retrieved and reviewed at a later date, complete with versioning and changes!
Looking at all of these changes, it should be possible to eliminate the expense of using third-party products and/or services and move to SmarterMail for your group chat needs.
Customize, Automate and Integrate using the API
SmarterTools has always included an API for many of the most critical functions. Now, however, every featue and function within SmarterMail is entirely exposed. What does that mean?
- Customers can fully customize any aspect of SmarterMail. This is especially beneficial to companies looking to fully brand, or even completely redesign, the webmail login page. If an existing system is in place for customer management, like an existing or custom-built control panel, it’s simple to add a custom login area for webmail access! Want to completely overhaul the entire interface? Even that is possible!
- Every aspect within SmarterMail can be automated: from setting up domains and managing mailboxes to adding and/or updating abuse detection rules. Any feature or function within SmarterMail will have an associated API call! Technically, a company can build their own app, for desktop or mobile, for SmarterMail management since it’s ALL there!
- Integrations with existing systems is much simpler. If a company has a custom CRM or billing system, integrating SmarterMail with those existing systems is easier as everything is open and available via web service. That includes mailbox size limits, adding, and charging for, add-ons like Exchange ActiveSync or premium antispam products and more.
- Faster processing of requests and access to information. Since the product now USES the full API as well as making it publicly available, we no longer need a legacy architecture for the product: no more frames, no more separate pages, no more time and processor-intensive calls, etc. Now, SmarterMail is a single-page application, with data being called and presented directly from our API. This means faster load times and simple organization and presentation of your information.
Multi-lingual support, at a whole new level
SmarterTools has developed an entirely new language system that allows users and companies to manage languages for any SmarterTools product. We have some exciting news on a new offering in the near future as well. For now, suffice it to say that it is going to be incredibly easy for SmarterTools products to be translated, and translated quickly, with new languages being automatically downloaded to our products, behind the scenes.
Everything is NEW, including the installer!
SmarterMail included a very limited default web server to ease users into the installation process. However, we always recommended that customers uninstall the web server for security reasons once SmarterMail was up and running within Internet Information Server.
Today, the installer is SMARTER and more POWERFUL and helps you through a new installation, an upgrade of an existing product and different scenarios you may run into IIS. In addition, we have reduced the size of our installer and improved all setup wizards once you’re in SmarterMail. SmarterMail is easier than ever to get up and running!
SmarterTools is ready for the FUTURE!
It isn’t often an established company will take products that are already considered leading edge and re-invent them. But we love what we do and we love new technology!
We spared no expense and decided no effort was too big! We re-evaluated all the latest technologies available and where technologies might be the future! We then implemented these technologies in products that are currently supporting tens of millions of users all over the world!
We are very excited about our releases and hope our customers appreciate the investment we are making into the products and the commitment we have to you, our customers!Thank you for all the support and look forward to working with you for a long time to come!
Getting Started with the BETA
Once you've received your BETA key, visit the SmarterMail 16.x BETA category in our Community! There, you can communicate with other testers (as well as the SmarterTools development team), view release notes for the most recent BETA releases and stay up-to-date with any additional BETA news and announcements.