Third-party support

Alternative messaging platforms have a considerable array of built-in features, but many offer plug-ins for third-party products.

Critical Path Inc., for example, offers Symantec Corp.'s antivirus software and Brightmail Inc.'s spam filter as integration options for its Critical Path Communication Platform product.

Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java System Messaging Server includes application program interfaces that enable the integration of such third-party applications as Brightmail, ActiveState (a division of Sophos Plc), Trend Micro Inc., and SpamAssassin, among others, said Patrick Dorsey, Sun's director of product marketing for communication and collaboration products.

Suse Inc.'s Linux messaging product, Openexchange Server, ships with the open-source SpamAssassin built in, but has a plug-in on the virus-scanning side for Trend Micro, noted Jay Migliaccio, channel development manager at Suse Linux.

Mirapoint Inc., meanwhile, links to a range of third-party applications including portal solutions, billing systems and unified communications services, says Jeff Brainard, Mirapoint's senior product marketing manager.

And while the messaging vendors seek to unseat Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange on the server side, most will work with the company's Outlook e-mail client.

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