Wednesday Apr 18, 2007

Comms Suite 5 MEM - It's a Front End...No, It's a Back End...No, It's Gone Completely...No, It's Still There

Sometimes we're are own worst enemy, creating confusion rather than developing understanding that makes deploying Communications Suite easier. Case in point: In the Messaging Server 6.3 docs, we've communicated that the Messaging Express Multiplexor (MEM) is "no longer used." We could have done a better job describing what this means. For example, in the Release Notes we wrote:

The webmail server, also known as mshttpd (Messaging Server HTTP Daemon), provides email services to the Messenger Express and Communications Express clients. Now, the webmail server accesses the message store through the IMAP server. This provides several advantages:
  • Messenger Express and Communications Express clients are now able to access shared folders that are located on different back-end message stores.
  • The webmail server no longer must be installed on each back-end server.
  • The webmail server can serve as a front-end server performing the multiplexing capabilities previously performed by Messenger Express Multiplexor (MEM).
  • MEM is no longer used. See Deprecated and Removed Features for Messaging Server.

Also, in the Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide:

Webmail Server or mshttpd daemon. Provides email services to the Messenger Express and Communications Express clients by using HTTP. In previous versions of Messaging Server, the Webmail Server accessed the Message Store directly. Now, the Webmail Server accesses the Message Store through the IMAP server. Such an architecture enables Messenger Express and Communications Express clients to access shared folders that are located in different back-end Message Stores. Additionally, there is no longer a requirement to install the Webmail Server on each back-end server. The Webmail Server can act as a front-end server performing the multiplexing capabilities previously performed by Messenger Express Multiplexor (MEM).

So, what's really going on?

Let's see if we can put this together more clearly. Prior to the Messaging Server 6.3 release, the MEM served as the HTTP proxy for Communications Express and Messenger Express. That HTTP proxy is the part that has been removed in Messaging Server 6.3. As a result of reengineering mshttpd as an IMAP client (instead of accessing the store locally), you no longer need to install mshttpd on the back end. Thus, you don't need need MEM. However, other than that, the Webmail Server is still the same. One could then say that the MEM functionality is now part of the main server. But it's really the MEM that's gone.

In retrospect, then, if MEM had been separate from the mshttpd daemon, like the mmp and httpd daemons are, this would have all been clearer that it's the proxy function that has been removed.

Deployment implications:

  1. You run Webmail Server on your front-end machines (rather than back end).
  2. Communications Express can now communicate to mshttpd on other systems.
  3. You should typically (recommended from an operational deployment standpoint, rather a functional standpoint) combine Webmail Server with Comms Express on the same machine on the access layer.

Friday Mar 02, 2007

Communications Suite: Drat that winmail.dat

Q. My Communications Express users are getting winmail.dat attachments to email received from sender's on Microsoft Exchange. Is this a Communications Express issue?

A. No, the Microsoft Exchange server needs to be properly configured. For more information, see:

How to Prevent the Winmail.dat File from Being Sent to Internet Users

(It's always nicer when the problem is another vendor's.)

Wednesday Feb 28, 2007

Communications Suite Users - Check out Jhawk's Blog

Heads up: Jonathon Hawkins, Sun Unified Communications Architect, has some great new posts up on his blog, including:

  • Directory Scalability at Telcoms
  • Communication Express: Authentications Between Components
  • Communications Express Deployments in 6.3

Monday Feb 12, 2007

Communications Express Browser Support

With the proliferation of browsers and versions of specific browsers, it's only natural that we get the question, and quite often, which browsers does Communications Express support? As always, start with the Release Notes to find out. For the current version, that is, Communications Express 6 2005Q4, the "supported" browsers are Netscape 7.2, IE 6.0 SP2 or later 6.x version, and Mozilla 1.4.

Though this is the "officially supported" browser list, we are always working to certify the most commonly used browsers over time.

Wednesday Dec 20, 2006

Messaging Server & Communications Express: Improved Migration of Personal Address Books

As I wrote about previously on this blog, I've been working on a Sun BluePrints article on how to migrate the Messenger Express Personal Address Book to the Communications Express Address Book Store. This BluePrints article is now available here:


The Messenger Express Web-based email client includes a Personal Address Book (PAB) application for storing and managing user's personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers. Sun Java System Communications Express, the unified Web client introduced in Sun Java Enterprise System 2004Q2 supersedes Messenger Express and Calendar Express. Communications Express also includes Address Book Store (ABS) that provides all of the functionality of PAB and is better integrated with mail and calendar components.

When upgrading from Messenger Express (also known as Webmail) to Communications Express, you need to migrate users' PAB entries to ABS. (This migration does not occur automatically as part of the upgrade process.) A new tool,, has been made available that provides improved performance over the earlier migration tool, This article describes how you can use the tool to either migrate a single or a few users, or to migrate your entire PAB database.

Friday Nov 10, 2006

Migration: It's Not Just for Caribou Anymore (Migrating Messenger Express PABs)

I'm currently working on a Sun BluePrints article, for the moment titled "Migrating Sun Java System Messenger Express Personal Address Book: Using the Utility." Some background: when you upgrade from Messenger Express, with its own personal address book (PAB) to Communications Express, you get a new address book (Address Book Store, or ABS). And of course, we make you migrate the PAB entries (that is, the migration doesn't happen automatically.) Turns out that the script provided since Communications Express 6 2004Q2 has, shall we say, some issues with large PAB databases. So one of our engineers has come up with a new tool that uses Java System Directory Server bulk export and import (as opposed to modification or creation of entries over LDAP), which much improves (speeds up) the process.

Look for this Blueprints article and new tool to appear very soon.


Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.


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