Banyan updates client software

Banyan Systems Inc. announced the next version of its BeyondMail electronic messaging client that adds a host of new features including full support for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and new tools for mobile users.

BeyondMail 3.0 for Intelligent Messaging which will be added to the General Services Administration schedule comes with full 32-bit Windows 95 client support and a new user interface. The new release replaces Version 2.2 of the product now a year and a half old which only supported 16-bit Windows clients.

One of BeyondMail's strengths is its BeyondRules technology said Arthur Souza product line manager for Banyan's messaging products. This technology including new rule functions and customizable forms allows users and developers to automate frequent processes such as project approvals or vacation requests. BeyondMail also supports ActiveX Automation and a new debugger that will help isolate problems with complex rules.

Greg Edwards director of federal sales at Banyan said the new product should do well in the government and position the company more favorably against Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes. "Rules-based technology opens up a new market for workflow applications " Edwards said.

"There are all kinds of applications that can be developed [for example] messaging boards and paging services " he said. "And with Banyan Systems' consultants expertise available off the GSA schedule we can go on site and develop and customize these applications."

Support for ActiveX Automation and the addition of a debugger are also important said Glenn Gabriel Ben-Yosef president of Clear Thinking Research Inc. "It's important because BeyondMail can be used by developers to integrate with business applications " he said. "It's important for government because BeyondMail can be used as a front end to older mainframe-based applications. Anywhere in government where you can cut costs and make it easier to do things is a big boon."

Version 3.0 also supports hierarchical folders that allow users to place folders within folders making it easier to manage large number of messages and mailboxes. Folders can be customized by sort order and users can format messages with fonts and colors. Expanded directory support provides access to multiple directories.

Remote Functionality

Additionally BeyondMail incorporates technology that makes it easier for users to work remotely. Banyan added the technology - previously part of a stand-alone product - because more and more users need access to their mail on the road Souza said.

With Version 3.0 users can read delete and create new messages while disconnected to the network by using a local message store. Messages are then sent when the user reconnects to the network. Users also have full access to a replica of the Banyan StreetTalk network directory when disconnected to the network. "So users have full direct access to the directory whether they're connected to the network or not " Souza said.

Laura Ventura market analyst at The Radicati Group said the improvements in mobile support are probably most significant. "About 50 percent of the users we talk to need to access mail from outside the office " she said adding that the government figures are probably close to that. "Not all products support the disconnected use like BeyondMail."

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