Exchange gets makeover

Users will get a good look at the future of Microsoft Corp.-based messaging this week when the company rolls out Beta 3 of Exchange 2000.

Users will get a good look at the future of Microsoft Corp.-based messaging this week when the company rolls out Beta 3 of Exchange 2000.

At its Microsoft Exchange Conference in Atlanta, the Redmond, Wash., company plans to unveil the new name and features for the messaging platform, which has been known by the code name Platinum.

Exchange 2000, tied closely to Microsoft's Windows 2000, is expected to ship in the first half of next year, said sources close to the company.

The platform will boast increased reliability and scalability features due to integration with Windows 2000.

Other improvements are based on user feedback from Beta 2 as well as an added data conferencing feature.

A number of software vendors will pledge support for Exchange 2000 at the conference and unveil product upgrades taking advantage of new features.

For instance, Latitude Communications Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., will demonstrate integration of its MeetingPlace conferencing system with Exchange 2000, adding voice conferencing capabilities to the messaging server.

"The integration between messaging and voice is a step in the right direction," said Jeff Andersen, messaging services manager for Denver-based J.D. Edwards & Co., which supports more than 6,000 Exchange users worldwide and has been evaluating Beta 2 since it was released in June.

On the document management front, Eastman Software Inc. is coming out with Version 2.5 of its Work Manager Suite, a set of tools for document imaging, workflow and management built on top of Outlook and Exchange.

Enhancements include Web access, dynamic HTML capabilities, and improved backup and restore functions, according to Eastman officials in Billerica, Mass.

Work Manager Suite Version 2.5, which is available now, is priced at $995 per server and $99 per client.

For its part, Sybari Software Inc. will show new features of its anti-virus application that works with Exchange 2000, such as the ability to scan multiple information stores for malicious code.

Officials of the East Northport, N.Y., company also will preview the ability to scan with multiple virus engines, a feature that will be in the next version of its offering. Sybari Antigen for Exchange 2000 will cost $4,995 for a two-year license for 250 users.

In addition, GFI Fax & Voice Ltd., of St. Julians, Malta, will be showing Mail Essentials for Exchange 3.0, which adds remote management and configuration, user-based content checking, and the ability to configure supervisors for groups of people.

Mail Essentials is available immediately starting at $250 for a 10-user version.