SmarterMail 16 - Pros/Cons?
Question asked by Todd Graf - October 20, 2017 at 1:43 PM
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We are contemplating moving to SM 16, so I thought I would pop this question in here to see what people think about it that are currently using it.  How has it changed from a user/administrator perspective?  What do you like/dislike about it?  What kind of things do we need to be aware of before making the switch?  Did you inform your clients or did you just make the jump? Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2
Don't do it. You will be sorry. Wait for Version 17
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2
I advise staying with v15 (or lower), and carefully reviewing all feedback on v17 (when it's available) before upgrading to that.
6
This is disturbing to me on SEVERAL levels. I feel as if I am reliving Windows ME/Vista all over again. Why is ST stating that the solution to the "problem" that we created is v17. Why is it those of us who have upgraded are being punished? I can say we talked all of our clients into v16 after they wanted features and better email. We waited 6 months after and we still have fundamental core problems. Why not say SCREW v17 (for now) and FIX v16? Why create a version that should be based off of a broken product? v15 was stable and true. Dump all the EXTRAS and let's have an email system that is just email and leave the CHAT and other fancy customer service stuff in SmarterTrack? You don't see Microsoft putting chat in Exchange Server. That's what Skype is for (a separate product). Let's make SmarterMail solely for MAIL (email, calendar, notes, tasks, etc.). Keep the features 100% the same as what Outlook has, rock it, and gain customers from Office 365 rather than the current migration. 
 
And here is the solution to achieve this:
  1. Pull that stuff out as we will understand as we are all reasonable adults
    1. Add the native MAPI
  2. For those that WANT chat and those bells and whistles give a FREE first year license to SmarterTrack
  3. SmarterTools then gains more residuals going forward
  4. SmarterMail users gain a system that now is an Exchange replacement (as promised)
After ALL of the above then let's talk v17. A version number is a version number. The plumbing in v16 has been completely re-written so if you want to keep major number to major re-writes consider this part of the major re-write to make us users finally happy.
 
Okay, done with rant. We are on v16. I do see things getting better but we want a true Exchange replacement that works on-par (or better) than Exchange. 
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>> Okay, done with rant. We are on v16. I do see things getting better but we want a true Exchange replacement that works on-par (or better) than Exchange. <<
 
Well said indeed. And the "basic" features - email, calendar - matter the most. But of course "we" are NOT on v16 and are not going there (OR to v17) until the UI/UX performs as well or better than it does in v15. In other words: interface, stability, speed, and reliability.
 
2
Thanks everyone for your responses.   We will be staying with 15 for the foreseeable future.
 
4
As everyone else has said. Stick with v15 and below. v15 was ROCK solid and had a damn near perfect interface that our customers loved. We went to v16 and immediately, calls, backlash, upset customers, our ticket load went up over 800% within 3 days of deploying v16. I wish we could time travel, I'd go back to before we upgraded and not do it. SmarterTools really needs to sit down and think about v17. As far as I am concerned, no one was asking for a new interface, we have over 20k users and not one of them was asking for a new interface, though many many other feature requests have gone unheard or simply ignored / declined by ST. We lost customers after upgrading to v16 with complaints about the interface, said SM was now confusing to them etc.
 
Even managing the spool (for example, we had a spool backup due to Cyren going down) trying to manage ~20k+ emails in spool turned my Chrome into lagged mush, v15 never did this. We've had complaints from customers about it making their browser feel slow or use tons more memory. Still get complaints till this day infact.
 
We are almost 6 months into SM v16 and still no documentation etc. on this fancy new API that v16 was pumped up for and a brand new interface that frankly is a massive leap backwards. IMO and most of our users, the only good thing about v16 is the new meetings system. I fear the API simply will not get any documentation done on it since ST is so busy with bug reports and *HOPEFULLY* a good mapi / outlook connector solution.
 
Just look at the differences in the changelogs...
 
v16 has 675 "fixes", 52 "additions", 102 "changed" and 22 "efficiency" for a total of 851 changes
v15 has 258 "fixes" 42 "additions", 20 "changed" and 5 "efficiency" for a total of 325 changes
v16 so far is more than v15, v14 and nearly v13 combined in terms of total number of "changes".
 
Of course with the new interface, it is to be expected, but we are only six months in and v16 is still getting fixes and improvements so the number will continue to climb. We will stick it out and upgrade to v17 when it comes out, as really, we cannot go backwards from where we are now!
 
Stay where you are for now Todd :)
 

Christopher

1
It is one thing to have so many complaints (I believe I've detected some actual howling as well), changes, and bug fixes while the product is in beta (or before), but another when it's called a production version, and is aggressively pushed upon email admins and users - especially when the previous release version was accepted so well.
 
 
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We upgraded to V16 and have been really happy with the results as have our 00's of customers.
The improvements have meant that customer companies with Outlook report very few problems now in comparison to 15.
I am sure there are issues that we have missed but we can only report how pleased we have been with the update.
 
2
It seems that folks who do not use the UI for email (for webmail and other GUI modules, that is) experience fewer issues with V16. But thousands of other users are accustomed to using SM webmail; as such it doesn't seem to be a good idea to switch to V16 just yet. 
 
So if they are using Outlook on SM V16, and have fewer problems than folks using Outlook on SM V15, email admins are between a rock and a hard place if they have users on both webmail and Outlook. Nice.
 
1
I have only used V16 and only had a few issues, they were all bug related.
 
Most of my clients use outlook due to having multiple account and have had little complaint. The customers using the webmail have all been fine with good feedback compaired to the last software I used to use which wasn't responsive.

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0
I tried to install 16 but could not. The installer said it was installed but there lacked the usual Default.aspx, Login.aspx files in the MRS directory. Anyone else have the same experience?

I'm on a clean Windows 2016 Server.
 
V15 installed and I am seeing the expected files so maybe my good karma is trying to prevent the frustration of V16 :-)

When this wonderfully sorted V17 expected to be released?
5
My team and I have been using the web interface.  It all comes down to the preview pane.
 
Right - This is bearable (My Current Setting)
Bottom - Wasted Space on Desktop
None - Massive Wasted Space on Desktop
 
Responsive table data would fix the user experience with SmarterMail 16.
 
I can see 31 e-mails on my screen in Gmail.  Switch over to SmarterMail and I see 11.
 
We have no complaints with mobile on SmarterMail 16!
 
Ron
0
1
There is this old but true statement among software developers:
A bad or non-functioning application is often the result of an update to a previous version that worked just fine.
1
"...the drive was for better ActiveSync (calendars/syncing etc, ie; Exchange like behaviour)/Management functions, not a replacement UI. I don't see why the UI isn't just an abstracted wrapper that can be swapped in / templated & tagged for others to easily modify." -  Bradley Higgs
 
This is indeed the crux of the matter. Even my clients are astute enough to understand this concept (Thanks, Bradley).
 
I have been accused on here of being "negative." But it isn't just me - my own feelings don't mean much. Read what others are saying here - they don't need my encouragement. And my clients have also seen the v16 UI / functionality and are horrified. We are still weighing our options regarding what to do next.
 
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Now we have the below change in v16, which was never an issue in v15. Clearly this interface is a resource sucking pig. Load up a few hundred emails into the grid and watch Chrome struggle.
 
  • Changed: Lowered the maximum number of viewable table grid items from 500 to 200 to increase performance and responsiveness of browser pages.
 

Christopher

0
Was just replying to a similar thread and the entire thread just disappeared. 
 
Not sure what's going on there. 
2
Well it just got worse. Updated to the December 1st update and.... SPF checks are useless, instead of checking on the email address, it is now doing random checks on things like "Microsoft Security Team" then complaining that the domain is malformed. Doing checks on the sender's name instead of their email. Greylisting has COMPLETELY stopped work. Customers are complaining that a few hours before the upgrade they could send mail with attachments, now, they cannot even do a 10KB attachment without SM saying it is over a limit.
 
It has gone from stable (ish) to what the heck is going on....

Christopher

1
Does everyone still recommend staying on 15.x or is 16.x now ready for primetime? 

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