With regards to our roadmap, we will be providing more information in the next month or two with a blog post on our direction and plans.
Over the last six months, there have been significant number of changes that have affected the world of email and I will try to explain where we have been spending a majority of our time.
The client world is moving very rapidly with dozens of companies updating clients:
In the mobile world, Gmail and Mobile Outlook have been changing rapidly and there have been MANY issues as a result. These clients currently have bugs that affect users of Exchange, Office365 and SmarterMail, but they can’t be worked around. Microsoft will have to release fixes for them. We created a community post about Gmail awhile back and recently created a community post about known issues in Mobile Outlook and Windows Mail.
In the desktop world, em Client has introduced a Mac client and they have had some growing pains so we have been working with them on a number of issues. This hasn’t been a SmarterTools problem but EWS implementation issues on their side as well as issues with different authentication methods.
There are a number of smaller clients and companies we have been working with as well. And we have also been adding calendaring and scheduling companies into our QC process like Calendly, Acuity, Haromizely, etc. which use different protocols but often don’t follow RFCs, etc.
Microsoft and Google have been changing authentication methods for integration and third parties which have been extremely restrictive, almost to the point of making them (primarily Google) utterly impossible to work with. The upshot of these changes is that it makes it harder for customers to leave those platforms. It doesn't help that Google is almost impossible to contact, which is very frustrating and disappointing, so we are working on alternative methods for migration from these services.
Many of these changes have required us to implement the latest EAS and EWS versions, which has been a three month project. However, we are nearly done. These changes will help us overcome some of the bugs in various clients that didn’t focus on backwards compatibility when the newer protocols were implemented. This has caused a lot of confusion for our customers.
TLS has been a huge problem as well. As companies remove support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1, we have been seeing more and more TLS failures. But we are also seeing more and more failures to negotiate valid connections with TLS 1.2 and higher. In our forthcoming update, we have included timeouts in these cases but we are still working to see why some destination servers, more than others, can’t negotiate TLS (randomly). This has less to do with SmarterMail and more to do with how some destination servers and environments are configured. In addition, customers who have neglected to update their Windows Server versions (moving off 2008, for example) have been needing to update to more recent versions of Windows Server and SmarterMail as the overall internet continues to evolve.
DKIM issues have spiked as companies continue to lockdown their environments with new firewalls and IDS systems. We believe this is also contributing to TLS issues. We are finding that 9 out of 10 support issues relating to DKIM are the result of networking equipment modifying packets or seeing packets as suspect. That means that when the mail server gets the message it has been changed, which is causing those messages to fail DKIM.
In the last few months, we have had many, many issues with customers with max message size in SmarterMail set to "unlimited". This has caused a number of customers' servers to have serious issues. SmarterTools will be imposing 500mb MAX size on messages moving forward, which matches the max message size in Microsoft Exchange. We are also modifying SmarterMail to allow more than 2 GBs per day of email per folder! We never thought this would be a real limitation since we offer File Storage for linking large (or any sized files) as opposed to sending them as attachments. Regardless, these issues have required some underlying architecture changes and will also be available in the next release.
As SmarterTools products become more and more popular around the world we have spent the last six months working on different encoding issues supporting ALL languages. This was a big undertaking and requires us developing many different environments in-house and needed to be added into our QC process. In addition, we have been cleaning up all languages across all products and working with professional translators. Much of this has been released but we have about 25% more work before we can call it done and make it all part of our process moving forward.
Lastly, we have now transitioned into our monthly full release schedules for all our products which means we can also provide customers with hot fixes for just their issues.
So, this is just some of what we have been working on in addition to the frequent releases. We are hoping to finalize a lot of this “behind the scenes work” and focus on features and functionality our customers and your customers see and use on a daily basis.
Wanted to provide an update for now with more info to come.