David Lemson's WebLog

Product Unit Manager, Exchange

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How are you using the Windows 2003 POP3 Server?

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I saw a link on the “hellomate“ MS Exchange blog to a post singing the praises of the POP3 Server that comes in Windows Server 2003 and it reminded me that I wanted to write about this and ask people to comment or write, and tell me what you are using the POP3 server for, and how you like it. 

For Exchange admins, the POP3 server can be confusing, because the “Manage Your Server” wizard that comes up when you install Windows 2003 offers to let you select the “E-mail server” role for the server, and when you do that, it installs the POP3 service and the SMTP service.  Unfortunately, the POP3 service is incompatible with Exchange, so Exchange 2003 setup will tell you to remove the POP service before it allows you to install Exchange. 

If you are using the POP3 server, what do you wish it did, and how would it change how you use it?  My team is responsible for the future of this service (among other things), so you're getting an opportunity to talk directly to the right person!

Comments
  • My biggest issue is looking at the log of failed connects or errors at the end of the transfer as reported in the Server reports.

    How do you look at them and see if there is something you need to fix. Simple rules would be cool too (if To: = some email address go here)

  • We would find IMAP support more useful than POP3 - as this provides the ability to have the clients connect from multiple workstations and roam more.

  • We spend significant funds on a 3rd party mail server, that provides pop3/smtp services. I'd love to not have to spend that anymore. The primary feature missing from the W2k3 pop3 server is webmail. It would be really nice if webmail functionality was available.

    Secondly, and a much lower priority for us, would be IMAP support (very few of our users want IMAP capability).

  • I use the Windows 2003 SMTP/POP3 servers. I find them to be very stable. The only addition I would like to see would be the ability to authenticate users against the SMTP server using their POP3 login when you are using the Encrypted Password File. It seems only natural to login to the SMTP server the very same way using the same account you use for your POP3 mail.

    What would the possibility of this be?

  • I'm also interested in hearing about the context in which people are using the Windows 2003 POP server. Do you run an ISP with it? Are you using it for your personal mail? Feel free to send me personal mail with the answer if you like, too.

  • The features I would most like to see are:
    1. Distribution list
    2. Alias support
    3. webmail

  • I'll second Rick's opinion. Add IMAP and (of course) SSL/TLS support for all protocols and I would replace my sendmail server at home immediately. I would use it for personal/small business use. At work of course Exchange is the best solution.

  • using it as it should. although you should add a function that would allow the server to send email directly and try it indirectly.
    my ISP blocks doing it directly in on a few cases.

  • I like the pop3/smtp combination in windows server 2003...but it seems really odd to me that I cannot create a 'forwarding address' (whereby email sent to me@my.com is redirected to me@myOther.com).

    Either I'm mistaken, or the software doesn't support the feature...? Email forwarding is a very common task (isn't it?)

  • I second Dave's comment on forwarding - I think a Win2k3 server out of the box should be able to what a simple Unix share on a hosting service can do, and forwarding is always a part of that. I switched to a dedicated server and got a reduction in service by going to windows.

  • I think that its very stable, but is missing a few features. I also want mail forwarding and the ability to set up a "catch-all" mailbox on each domain (unless this can be done already, i haven't been able 2 do it yet?)

  • I need a forwarding function.

  • Let me add to the laundry list:

    Aliases
    Forwarding
    Mailing lists

    For webmail, I'm kinda torn. That's getting into Exchange/OWA. I think most of us are looking for something light here. Exchange is heavy duty.

    Better management
    The ability to add plugins (virus/spam scanners)