What's New in FirstClass 8

November 13, 2003 - Attendees at last week's Live LinkUp meetings in Orlando received a preview of the new features coming in FirstClass 8 and it is an extensive list. There were also hints of some things that may still be included, which we won't repeat here yet.

This message lists some of the new items but for the complete list click here to view or download the 26 page pdf document with the complete announcement (requires Acrobat Reader).

Here's a short list of the major features:

- Removal of server imposed limits wherever possible including upping the mailbox to 4096 items in this release, higher later, removal of the 25 rules and actions limit on Rules, use of longer names for users and conferences in the FirstClass Directory.

- Resource handling - the FirstClass server will recognize new items such as icons and graphics from the Resource Registry folder and automatically download them to the client when they are changed.

- FCRAD 3.0 will move to a separate Application Services module similar to Internet Services and Voice Services. This will allow RAD to work with any FirstClass Server including Mac OS X and the forthcoming Linux server. RAD Applications will be available through the web interface.

- Automated Post Office (to be renamed Network Store) and Directory repair by the server rather than the separate FirstClass Tools.

- Batch Admin to be renamed FirstClass Scripting and includes new features

- For large sites, subAdmin's can be restricted to working with specific User Groups

- New security features including S/MIME and client-server encryption using CAST-128 protocol

- Calendar enhancements include better printing, "snooze" reminder, mini-month pane on month view and several others

- Address Book renamed to Contact Manager includes vCard support, several new view options, shared contacts between users and more

- New view options in lists such as Mailbox and conferences

- Support for tables in message body

- Embedded helper client to use in IE for Windows browser uses Active-X, provides near identical look to client for IE for Windows users.

- Presence Management - any document which shows a user list such as mail or conference items will show the name in bold if the user is currently online. From this name, you can start Instant Messaging

- Chat is renamed Instant Messaging and has many new features including archiving, styled text and graphics in the Chat window, moderated discussions, etc. A future version may be able to connect with AOL or Yahoo IM.

- Virus scanning incorporated into Internet Services - you will be able to hand off internet mail attachments to a separate scan engine for virus checking. The initial support will be for the Symantec AV Scan Engine

- Improved performance for Internet Services, S/MIME, support for new tags to use with screen readers for the visually impaired and more

- new capabilities in the SPAM control documents

- New FirstClass Directory Services (probably extra cost) will provide support for single sign-ins using an LDAP server. FirstClass can also function as the LDAP server for other applications to verify against.

- Telephone User Interface will give users access to their mail, calendar, address book, etc. from a telephone and will not require a full Unified Communications package. No specific telephone switch will be needed.

After FirstClass 8.0 is released, there will shortly follow FirstClass Student Services (extra cost), a new package to manage students to include student records, courses, student testing, and reports.

For the full report including numerous screen pictures, visit the website shown above and down load the pdf document yourself.

News Service © 2003 Acorn MicroSolutions Inc.
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