Free site offers Y2K scoop on e-mail

E-mail administrators have a new one-stop source of regularly updated year 2000 information that covers dozens of major messaging products from 19 vendors.

Called the Messaging System Y2K Readiness Centre (http://www.messaging2000.com), the site's free service is provided by Infoliant, which sells a superset of the e-mail-only database. The larger database features about 27,000 desktop and network products.

While certain e-mail products, such as Microsoft Mail and older versions of cc:Mail from Lotus, are known to be non-Y2K-compliant, there are also minor Y2K issues with newer versions of today's messaging systems. The new Web site is searchable by vendor or product and includes the most recent compliance information and vendor recommendations for fixes.

Users of the site may also register to receive e-mail updates whenever new information arises regarding the products they use. According to Infoliant, this tracking service is important because vendors frequently update their Y2K assessments in the wake of new test data or problem reports.

For example, Microsoft only recently acknowledged that its Exchange Server 5.5 requires a service pack to achieve Year 2000 compliance if it is used with Exchange Connector for Lotus cc:Mail, Exchange Wizard for cc:Mail or Microsoft Mail DirSync.

One e-mail administrator sees value in the new online service.

"This site offers important information," says Mike Dunn, manager of network services at Boston University. "However, organisations should test their own e-mail environment for Y2K compliance, even if the vendor says it is compliant."

Dunn also believes e-mail vendors should be proactive about informing customers of changes in Y2K compliance status, rather than waiting for the customers to discover that information themselves.

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