Build 8025 may be one of the best SmarterMail Builds we have ever released. We spent that last couple months of 2021 evaluating the environments of about 25 companies, distributing custom Build after custom Build to them, and improving their overall performance and stability until we literally saw nothing else we could improve.
The reason we did this is because SmarterMail saw significant user growth in 2021, primarily from Enterprise organizations trying to leave Microsoft Exchange due to various vulnerabilities and the direction Microsoft is heading with Microsoft 365. Many of these companies said they didn't want to spend large sums of money upgrading older Exchange environments (software and hardware) and didn't want the increased costs of Microsoft 365, etc.
Prior to these large Enterprise moving to SmarterMail, many of our MAPI users were smaller companies that have the ability to easily make these moves and/or hosting companies, service providers or ISP's enabling MAPI on their SmarterMail servers for existing customers who want to pay a premium for MAPI/EWS, etc. In most cases, these servers see gradual growth with new features or functionality in SmarterMail.
But, with the recent additions of enterprise organizations enabling 1,000 or 10,000 MAPI/EWS or EAS accounts overnight, we started seeing issues that we could only see once in a while with other customers.
These issues weren't being caused by normal activity, but we discovered SmarterMail did not gracefully handle clients that were in bad states. For example, we do not support Microsoft Outlook 2013 because Microsoft does not update it anymore and it has a number of severe issues that can cause Outlook 2013 clients to go bad and almost DoS a server.
Well, when you have 1,000+ clients (Outlook 2013 or higher) that have sync keys or data from previous Exchange versions and these clients/accounts don't get deleted and re-added to connect to SmarterMail as a new connection, Outlook will use older sync keys and information related to the previous Exchange against SmarterMail. That breaks the protocol. Although we did anticipate this happening and/or clients breaking for unkown reasons, we had no idea how many ways it could attack SmarterMail and cause issues for other users.
The improvements found in Build 8025 are the direct result of companies absolutely destroying SmarterMail servers with incredible amounts of bad data and bad clients. We also implemented logging for companies to look at MAPI and EWS clients that may be improperly configured and are hitting the servers in ways that are now handled MUCH better, but may be stuck because the Outlook client was working with a different server and needs to be re-connected and re-added with the new server so that they have all the proper sync information.
There are a number of other fixes and improvements in this build as well. We spared no expense or time to find absolutely everything we could improve. SmarterTools technical support is already at an all time low due to how stable our products have been and results we made at the end of this year, should give us even more bandwidth.
Happy Holidays Everyone!