Light Mail

Testing Notification Services

Just in the middle of developing a proof of concept for a customer that is heavily human workflow focussed and so has a need for lots of email notifications to fly around.  The challenge is how to test this without the need for a heavy EMail setup.

Requirements

Here are what I see as the requirements
  • Lightweight mail server, my machine is already running database XE, SOA Suite with BAM, JDeveloper and browser so CPU and memory are at a premium.
  • Easy to install client and server
  • Lightweight mail client for the same reasons as above.
  • Easy to administer mail server, particularly creating new accounts
  • Easy to install multiple accounts into mail client.
  • Ability to switch mail client between different mail accounts easily.  Should also be easy to see which mail account you are using.
These requirements are dictated by a desire to have different users participate in the human workflow and receive their own EMail notifications.

Lightweight Mail Client

And the winner of the lightweight mail client category is .... Microsoft Outlook Express.  It comes pre-installed with Windows so installation is non-existant.  It is not a memory hog, much smaller than Thunderbird (my personal preference for day to day use) or Outlook.  Finally it has an ability to switch users with the File->Switch Identity ... option.  This lets me switch between users when testing and demoing without having to shutdown and startup a mail client.

Lightweight Mail Server

The winner of the lightweight mail server is MailEnable.  This is easy to install and get running and administration is trivial.  Adding a new mailbox takes about 2 minutes at most.  It provides standard POP 3 services swo setting up an additional account in Outlook Express is just a matter of providing the e mail address and setting the POP3 and SMTP host names.  Adding a new account in MailEnable and then providing an additional identity in Outlook Express again only takes 2 minutes.
Best of all the base edition is free for persoanl and commercial use as explained on the web site.

MailEnable Standard Edition provides robust SMTP and POP3 services for
Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 systems. Simple to install, with powerful
administration software means that your mail server will be up and running quickly. This edition is FREE,
contains no
spyware or adware
, for both
personal and commercial usage, with no time or user restrictions.

Running with Human Workflow

Once I had installed MailEnable and set up OutLook Express to use it all I needed to do was configure the EMAil notification service as described in the documentation and I had a lightweight EMail notification service hooked into BPEL Human Workflow.  Great for development and handy for demos.

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About

Musings on Fusion Middleware and SOA Picture of Antony Antony works with customers across the US and Canada in implementing SOA and other Fusion Middleware solutions. Antony is the co-author of the SOA Suite 11g Developers Cookbook, the SOA Suite 11g Developers Guide and the SOA Suite Developers Guide.

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