When will it be possible to test MAPI support in a v.17 beta?
Question asked by Gabriele Maoret - September 1 at 1:53 AM
Answered
So we are in september...
According to previous SmarterTools announcements, SmarterMail v. 17.x will be released this month, but there is still no trace of MAPI support in any beta version.
When will it be possible to try it?

40 Replies

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0
echoDreamz Replied
This is what I am waiting for...

Christopher

0
Gabriele Maoret Replied
Hi echoDreamz! This is what WE ALL are waiting for...
0
Matthew Leyda Replied
It's looking more and more like V18 or later.
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1
Gabriele Maoret Replied
No news?
0
Gabriele Maoret Replied
Bump!
2
kevind Replied
We're seeing most business customers who are committed to Outlook switching to O365 because the software is bundled together. Microsoft is making it a simple financial decision -- get the Office/O365 bundle for a monthly fee.
 
So, maybe SM should focus on making the webmail client more powerful so that it has the look and feel of Outlook, so people can ditch the email client. This seems like a better direction. MAPI would have been great 10 years ago, but now it's not needed because anyone upgrading their Office suite is going to bundle O365.
 
Just stating the trend in the marketplace. I'm sure others will have different opinions.
 
Now if MAPI could be used by smartphones instead of licensing ActiveSync per user, it might be a whole different story and we would be all in.
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Gabriele Maoret Replied
This is not completely true...
Many customers wants a on premise solutions AND wants to have their Outlook WITHOUT cloud solutions, or they wants their own cloud solution and not to rely on Microsft.

So MAPI in SmarterMail is a great solution for that customers.

There are many type of customers and markets, don't watch only the one that's the only one that you konw...
5
Thomas Lange Replied
in my humble opinion it does not look good for MAPI... :-(
SmarterMail v17.x is coming September - but still no beta available including MAPI :-(

Customers are waiting for MAPI... almost around March/April 2018 at beta-start... then they were disappointed because the v17-beta started in "phases"... and MAPI is scheduled for the last phase - which until today not even being started yet :-(

In my eyes any newly added protocol-support/implementation will need at least four weeks in beta-testing (better eight  weeks!). So if MAPI will not be available on Friday this week I do not know if it would be a wise decision to switch to the new protocol for production usage right at official release of v17 (three weeks for beta-test is not much testing-time at all!)

I suppose SmarterTools is kind for "forced" to release SmarterMail v17 at the end of September,
so probably MAPI-support will be included in v17, but perhaps kind of v17.1 oder v17.5
or they will state that MAPI is included in release-version but until further notice this protocol is still as "in beta state".

But due to some issues occured during last weeks with released builds (v16 / not stated as beta-builds!) it does not really make much difference if we are running a release version/build- it does not really differ from beta builds/versions.

I really hope that SmarterTools will make it better now... (they always promise... next version we will make it even better!). I was always "pro SmarterTools" and their products/solutions... but during the last 12-18 month I do not know how long I can still stick to SmarterTools,

and to be honest: in my opinion v16 was and is never really out of beta state! just have a quick look at the hundreds of entries/changes stated in the release notes for v16.... it shows they are working/fixing on it - but hundreds of issues needed to be fixed.... I do not believe that many people are interested in switching over to SmarterMail/SmarterTools-products.

SmarterTools must find their way back to their customers.... and I really, really hope they will find their way back to the right path!
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Thomas Lange Replied
there is kind of trend/growing market for "Online/Cloud"-MS-Office (Office365) for small business probably - but bigger companies (>50 employees) often prefer a local (or hosted) Mailserver (most prefer MS Exchange, for MS Office connection preferrable by MAPI).

and concerning "data security", keeping your data/emails etc. secured at your own place - some companies do not like Cloud storage or any other kind of external services/products.

and most companies prefer MS Outlook for Email, Calendar, Tasks, Notes.... and right now best support/implementation/integration for Outlook ist with an "original" MS Exchange-Server!

at offices of bigger companies use of an Email-Client is essential and important, Webmail is only an extra "AddOn" - sometimes needed/used for "external" access (but for bigger companies ONLY secured by OTP/2FA (that is finally coming in SmarterMail v17).

Implementing/adding MAPI-support in SmarterMail is a good way, but overall stability and reliablitity of SmarterTools-products must be really optimized!
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Paul Blank Replied
Re: Office 365
 
It seems that many businesses are heading for Office 365.
 
If you have Exchange Server, you can do a hybrid configuration between Exchange and Office 365 on the same email domain.
 
If you have a 3rd party email server that supports it, you can do something similar with that server and Office 365. The name "hybrid," in Microsoft terms, is reserved for Exchange + Office 365, so this would be probably be known commonly a "split domain" configuration. Smartermail (I think since later versions of v12 and onward) supports this, and I'm testing it now with success on SM v15 and a temporary domain.
 
Probably putting the live configuration online this weekend. I understand that others are using this scheme successfully.
 
 
 
2
echoDreamz Replied
If there is no MAPI in SM 17, we are going to have to call it a day. We've suffered through 16 and all its never-ending issues with hopes that SM 17 will bring better integration with Outlook that our customers have been asking. As well as a hopeful replacement for EAS on Outlook, since that integration is absolute garbage.

Christopher

1
echoDreamz Replied
All we have paid for this year with our upgrade protection is reporting the never-ending stream of issues with SM 16, it feels like thus far we have paid for a beta product.

Christopher

1
echoDreamz Replied
Hundreds of changes? Try over 1200 bug fixes, almost 200 changes, almost 40 efficiency improvements and only 4 security fixes.We are nearing 1500 changelog items for SM 16 alone (and still counting).

Christopher

1
echoDreamz Replied
I love bug fixes and improvements, dont get me wrong, but 16 was clearly no where close to ready for primetime and we've been running beta software now for over a year.

Christopher

3
echoDreamz Replied
It would be great if ST could chime in and better monitor their own community (look at last week's failure). Would be great if there could be an open discussion about what is going on with the future of the product, is MAPI dead for the initial release of 17, is it coming in 17.1, 17.5, 18.2, 19.7... MAPI was really going to be the saving grace for a lot of our big clients that have stuck around simply for this. We keep saying better Outlook integration is coming, just hold on, they keep waiting and nothing is coming out about it. We cant even say we are beta testing it internally to calm their nerves.
 
You'd think in a week, we could at least (for the money we are all paying) a "We are working on it!" or a "Sorry guys, wont make it until 17.1", any sort of response is better than nothing. I get the devs are busy fixing SM 16 and preparing 17, but one of the sales people, Derek or Tim could pop in and drop a response outlining the current state of the beta.

Christopher

1
Paul Blank Replied
Are you blue in the face yet?
0
Gabriele Maoret Replied
Guys, this post is for asking SmarterTools a real timeline, any other question I would ask you to write it in other posts!
 
By the way...
 
No news on MAPI support?????
2
Thomas Lange Replied
I do not have a good feeling at all concerning MAPI. :-(

SmarterTools asked for beta-testing - but currently they stay very, very silent. It would be fair to give us a quick status-update concerning release-timeline, especially the long awaited/requested MAPI-support - will it be included in the 'September v17' release?

The 'actual issue' that beta-testers at community are asking again and again and again is just because SmarterTools posted a Blog entry with 'SmarterMail 17 coming in September' - and almost at the end of July announcing kind of two big beta-steps/phases to go - und then in September release... thats was almost impossible already at announcement/posting.

Please be so "Smart"(erTools) enough to give us an update concerning MAPI-support and release timeline of SmarterMail v17. Just no words at all by ST is not the best solution at all - sorry.... you could be losing customers that currently stick to your company and products - you are making customers more and more 'angry' right now.
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Gabriele Maoret Replied
I agree with Thomas... We need to have answers, even if they are "sorry, v17 and MAPI will be delayed to 2019..."
2
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
A no fluff response….

We have been slammed with this release because we want it perfect. The extra hours have been intense!

As most of you already know through the community and blog posts, the entire backend has entirely changed.  The conversion process was incredibly difficult and we have been testing with customers privately and others who have tested in the community.  Thankfully, we have moved past this phase!

In a recent blog post, we explained that our team was in Redmond meeting with their protocol teams.  This resulted in significant insight into how we were approaching all protocols: EWS, EAS, WebDAV, and MAPI!

Once they were back, we decided to rewrite all the protocols to use similar synchronization processes and include ALL the properties that Exchange support for emails, calendars, tasks, notes, etc.  In turn, this caused us to include even more data in the backend which we want to be done in the most efficient ways possible.

So, we have decided that we are releasing MAPI with a .2 release of SmarterMail 17. This way, we can focus on making the upgrade process from previous versions to SmarterMail 17.x and ensure that all the backend changes and protocols are perfect for customers without introducing MAPI and its intricacies.

So, what will SmarterMail 17 look like on release day...

It will be faster at boot up and while running, it will use less memory, it will use less disk i/o, it will have significantly higher performance and more capable protocols along with many other features and functionality.

The .1 release will be all about any issues that customers have seen after the upgrade, etc.

Within a couple months after release, we will have a .2 version that will include MAPI!

The main takeaway is that we KNOW MAPI support needs to be perfect and have all the functionality of Exchange, and we’re working hard to ensure that, once released, it’s exactly that.

Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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echoDreamz Replied
Thank you Tim! Appreciate the honesty and transparency! This is what we assumed ST was doing, but just wanted the confirmation.

Christopher

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Gabriele Maoret Replied
Oh, finally an honest answer!

So what can I expect right now (if I understand correctly):

1 - an initial release 17.0 in September (maybe October? ...)

2 - a consolidation release 17.1 in October (perhaps November? ...)

3 - a 17.2 release with support for MAPI in November (maybe in December as a Christmas present? ...)

thanks Tim for the updates!!!
0
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
Gabriele,

All our answers have been honest as of the time they have been written.  There is no value in anything but being honest. My post yesterday was a no frills where we are at.  I replied similarly when we discovered issues with the database backends.

After we got back from Microsoft and we started incorporating some of the new data elements we realized they could apply to all protocols and that if we re-wrote all protocols to use all similar data elements and synchronization ID's and methods we could have a single code base and drastically reduce the risks of bugs in any one protocol.

We will be releasing the next BETA on September 20th.  This will have most of the protocol changes we have made which we have been putting through EXTREME testing!

I now expect our Final Release of 17.x to be mid October with many minor releases of .1 so that we are being responsive to customers and starting .2 release in December which will include MAPI.

Tim
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Ben Rowland Replied
I think that this sounds like a valid approach. I'd rather see two stable releases than one buggy release. Keep the developers focused on perfecting the initial migration, because system stability is of paramount concern. Then they can focus on supporting an entirely new MAPI feature.
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echoDreamz Replied
Tim, you stated "STARTING" .2 release in December with MAPI, does this mean you guys are just starting work on MAPI or are we looking at December as the time for a MAPI release?

Christopher

2
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
MAPI was nearly completed prior to our team going to Redmond.  But, Microsoft  made us aware of many more data elements that Exchange had and how sync keys and methods could be shared across all the protocols.

This was awesome timing and very exciting because we were just finishing the data backend and could incorporate all this new data without impacting customers in a future release and we we could drastically reduce disk I/o and memory via shared tracking information for all protocols instead of individually.

We really have spared no expense on 16.x and 17.x and have had a hard time balancing everything we want to do and getting the product to our customers in a reasonable timeframe.

I will go into more detail in the near future about all the technical things we have done as well to prepare us for us for SmarterMail 18.x, .NET Standard, and being cross platform.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
2
kevind Replied
Just wondering, is Outlook 2013+ for Windows the only thing that can use MAPI?

Unfortunately, we're seeing many Outlook customers move to O365 because Microsoft is bundling O365 with the Office suite.

With all the protocol changes in v17, maybe EAS could be enhanced to be more affordable and easy to use? We see more opportunity with EAS as it can be used on all mobile devices which is a much bigger market than Outlook for Windows.

Here's an old article that discusses an increase in mobile, decrease in Outlook, and a bunch of other stuff. There may be some more recent info somewhere.

Kevin
2
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Yes, MAPI is for Outlook specifically.

Microsoft made EAS specifically for mobile and its supported by all manufactures etc.   EWS is  used on Mac Mail,  Outlook for Mac, and Windows emClient to give a similar experience to MAPI.

We don't control EAS licensing.  That is a Microsoft thing and we make it as cheap as possible.  It breaks down to about 8 cents a user per month?  Can't look it up right now.

Office 365 is a nice bundled solution but its expensive.  I am owner of an IT Solutions company in Arizona and many of our local companies freak out when they have to pay Microsoft's monthly for 50 employees etc.  We don't attempt to cross sell SmarterMail installation and encourage Office 365 or G-Suite to simplify our IT management.  Sometimes we end up putting them on a hosting company using SmarterMail and they pay 1/15th the price for mail than they would on Office 365 etc.

Competition is good.  Definitely lights a fire under our ass to make sure we are feature rich etc.  Some don't mind about the price and want to be on Microsoft.  Some love Google Docs and then live with Gmail (which they don't like)... some want SmarterMail because of the price etc.  We do whatever!

We work with ISP's, Hosting Companies, own IT Companies and so we have almost every perspective and try to make each and every product or service as cost effective and provide as much value as possible.  Just want to meet the needs of customers and develop win/win scenarios.  Lot less headaches that way!


Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
echoDreamz Replied
Yeah, Outlook 2013 and higher. We have 10s of thousands of customers on Outlook and more coming. We just need a reliable protocol to support with. IMAP is not tthe answer, EWS isnt supported with Outlook on Windows, EAS does not handle large mailboxes well and Microsoft says no with Outlook. We need a solution to this and MAPI is it.

I assume they are not doing older than 2013 since older Outlook installations are RPC-based. Exchange/Outlook 2013+ are MAPI over HTTP(S). While I believe there is a hotfix for it, why bother.

Christopher

1
echoDreamz Replied
Tim - Yep! That is why we have had 2 major companies move to us in the past year and more companies coming to us from O365, it is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Though, the reliability issues we've had with SM 16 has hurt a little, but getting better. MAPI will be our savior once it is available.

Christopher

0
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
Also agree with you that Mobile is taking over Desktop in all cases.  Browsing, Email, Facebook :).  We have been monitoring these trends for a long time via SmarterStats and SmarterMail utilization and reporting as well as Google Analytics across a variety of properties.

We use this data to  prioritize devices for QC internally etc.  We give more time and priority to browsers, devices, and platforms based on usage.  

With the recent iPhone announcements I think phone manufacturers are understanding their importance and feel as they can increase prices at a rapid rate.  The highest end iPhone XS Max with Apple Care exceeds $1,700!  Its insane.

On the flip side I love what Samsung is doing with S9 / Note 9 and Dex.  Where you can plug your phone in via HDMI and a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse and nearly have a functional workstation.  Its almost at a point where I might give my kids only a Note 9, monitor, keyboard and they could do everything they need!
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ljubo Srnic Replied
kevind

First, I do not agree with your conclusion.
I do not think any serious company should have anything in the cloud,
unless the cloud is on their own infrastructure.
Any company or a larger user who cares about his data should not have used the cloud outside his own infrastructure.
The moment when Office will be only in the cloud, of course I will replace immediately, even if it is worse.
I honestly have nothing so secret but the thought of giving the information voluntarily I do not think so.
0
Gabriele Maoret Replied
Thanks Tim, we are looking forward to december to be able to use MAPI!

We ar every excited for the new v17 and are waiting for it.


0
Paul Blank Replied
I created a reply about split domains, but replaced it with this. I'm instead creating a new thread.
2
kevind Replied
Because "Delete Reply" doesn't work? Just tried it for this reply and it doesn't do anything. Maybe a bug in SmarterTrack 15 beta...

So to keep this thread on topic, are there any MAPI clients for smartphones?
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echoDreamz Replied
None that I am aware of. Outlook on Windows is the only client that is MAPI. Though, most mobile email clients support EAS, so no need really. EAS is a mobile designed protocol, so it fits the mobile bill.

Christopher

0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Kevin and Paul, 
The Delete Reply button will be fixed on our next update of SmarterTrack 15.0, which is currently in Alpha testing on our portal. We're sorry about the inconvenience. 

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

2
kevind Replied
Andrea, sounds good!

Christopher, thanks for reply. Yes, EAS works well on mobile devices. Unfortunately, it's:
Since use of Outlook for Windows is decreasing while mobile device use is increasing, it would be nice to see more effort put into EAS. Unless, of course, there was a MAPI client for mobile (hence the question).
0
echoDreamz Replied
Difficulty is eh, we have fully automated systems, where the user purchases x licenses and they are automatically assigned to their hosting account, then the user can enable / disable EAS on whatever accounts he/she desires.

Setup on the device is easy, 99% of the time, it just works, they supply their email address / password and walla it goes. We've had almost no issues out if EAS as far as account setup goes.

As for licensing, this is not up to SmarterTools. Microsoft handles how the protocol is licensed, which is per account. Honestly, I dont want to pay to have our entire server and ever single user licensed under it. We have many many 10s of thousands of users, paying for that would cost us massive $$$$.

Outlook may be decreasing on your end, but for us, desktop clients are growing and growling quickly. Mostly Outlook, but we see a growing number of Apple Mail and TBird clients.

Christopher

1
Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
Chris,

Your results (ease of use, implementations and client utilizations) are spot on based on all our statistical data from tens of thousands of installations and customer feedback.

A clarification I would provide to one of my previous replies... Desktop really isn't decreasing in utilization ... its  Mobile increasing at a significant rate and creates the perception that Desktop is decreasing...  but in reality Desktop is staying about the same and slightly ticking higher in utilization and we are seeing a slight shift in Desktop utilization as MacOS increases marketshare resulting in Mac Mail becoming more common and the updates to Thunderbird has sparked interest from many users.

Hope this helps.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

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