PostCast SMTP Server
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Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an SMTP server?

An SMTP server is a program that receives e-mail messages from the e-mail client program and forwards them to their destination. When you send messages from your e-mail program, they are not delivered directly to the recipient. Instead, they are first downloaded by an intermediary, i.e. an SMTP server, which then ensures that they are sent to the right recipient. Every time you send a message, there are four factors involved in the exchange:

  1. Your e-mail program in which the message was generated
  2. SMTP server which forwards the message to its correct destination
  3. Remote server that receives the message from the SMTP server and from which the recipient will subsequently download it
  4. E-mail program of the recipient which downloads the message from the server.

PostCast Server is an SMTP server which can operate on any Windows-based computer.

Why do I need it?

PostCast Server can replace your ISP's server and send messages in your regular e-mail communication, as well as efficiently distribute newsletters and deliver messages to different mailing lists. It is particularly optimized for distribution of a large number of messages and its performance is on an enviable level even with the slowest modem Internet connections. What are its advantages? Here are some:

  1. Faster message delivery
  2. Increased privacy of messages
  3. Maximum flexibility in the sending process
  4. No dependence on the availability of your ISP's server

For more information, see this page.

Who can use it?

PostCast Server operates on any Windows-based computer. It does not utilize much of the computer resources and performs all its tasks in the background, without disrupting the normal work on that computer. Here is an example of who can use it and for which purpose:

  1. Any person using e-mail on the Internet. If the ISP's SMTP server is replaced with PostCast Server, the benefits will be numerous. For more details see this page.
  2. e-Commerce companies - to send notifications to their customers and subscribers.
  3. ISPs - to enable delivery of messages to users from their Windows NT/2000 servers.
  4. Companies and individuals who require fast delivery of their newsletters.

Is PostCast Server a 'SpyWare'?

No. The program does not jeopardize your system in any way. 'SpyWare' is any program that collects and sends information from your computer without your explicit permission. Many 'freeware' programs supported by displaying banner ads transmit information about the user's Web surfing habits back to the software company.

There is a free program called OptOut which removes detected SpyWare programs from your computer. You can download the program and find many valuable security related information at the Steve Gibson's web site.

You can find a complete list of free anti-spyware tools at this location: http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/security/fwantispy.html

There are also a number of applications that let you monitor TCP and UDP network activity on your computer. I can recommend TCPView Pro, available from Winternals Software.

The program connects to remote ports 53 for DNS resolution and 25 for SMTP communication. It also uses standard HTTP connection if you enable 'Automatically check for updates' check box in the Settings window to connect to the postcastserver.com server and check for updates. It periodically downloads a text file which contains information about the latest version from: http://www.postcastserver.com/html/updates/upinfo.ini

How much time does it take to get the program ready for operation?

You can easily start sending messages using PostCast Server very soon after its installation. The program supports all e-mail programs, so that it is not necessary to change the way you are working with e-mail. You can still do the same things with your favorite e-mail program.

All you have to do to get your program ready for operation is to change the SMTP server address in your e-mail program. For more information, see this page.

Is any previous knowledge necessary?

No. If you know how to send messages with the e-mail program you already use, you will also know how to use PostCast Server. No additional knowledge is required.

Can the server be accessed from the Internet or LAN?

The program can accept connections from the Internet or LAN, thus opening up a number of possibilities. If you install it on your company's server computer that is directly connected to the Internet, all employees will be able to send e-mail messages through it.

The program can also send messages to LAN addresses in which case every e-mail must be addressed using the following format: User@IP or User@Computer.

How to send messages to my mailing list and which option in the program to use?

PostCast Server is a server program. It is not intended for generating and sending messages to mailing lists. The program has been designed for stable, secure and fast delivery of already prepared messages directly from your computer without the help of your ISP's mail server.

To generate and deliver messages to PostCast Server, you should use some external e-mail program designed for such purpose. I would warmly recommend the use of PostCast, my program that preceded PostCast Server. This program will automate the entire process of sending messages, creating a subscriber database from your mailing list, importing order information into your database, as well as many other things. The program is specially designed for sending personalized messages to recipients from your list, and when used in combination with PostCast Server, it provides an excellent solution.

See this page for more information about sending messages to multiple recipients.

Do I need a permanent Internet connection to use the program?

No. PostCast Server works with any Internet connection. It will also work if you are connected to the Internet via modem and dial-up networking. In that case, it can, if necessary, connect to and disconnect from your ISP automatically.

Do I need Windows NT or Unix to be able to use PostCast Server?

PostCast Server is a Windows program that can operate on any Windows platform. For a complete list of supported operating systems, see this page.

If the program can completely replace ISP's server, why do I have to enter the DNS server address?

PostCast Server does replace the SMTP server. The DNS server, however, has nothing to do with the process of message delivery. It just serves to turn the IP address into the domain name and vice versa. That is all. You do not jeopardize your ISP's DNS server in any way when you enter its address in the program. The DNS server is used by your web browser and by every other Internet program you use. The Professional Edition of the program has a DNS Caching feature that caches all DNS requests locally and greatly improves the sending speed.

How can I programmatically access PostCast Server messages? Are any third-party programs able to work with PostCast Server database?

You can use Microsoft FoxPro, CDBF or BaseNow to open the DBF files the program uses to store messages. You can also programmatically access the data using ADO or ADO.NET and the connection string in this message.

To connect BaseNow to a FoxPro database:

1. Press the Open button on the toolbar.
2. Click the Connection tab in the "Data Link Properties" window.
3. Select "Use connection string" option.
4. Enter this value:
Provider=MSDASQL.1;Persist SecurityInfo=False;Driver={Microsoft Visual FoxPro Driver};UID=;SourceDB=[DATABASE];SourceType=DBF;Exclusive=No;BackgroundFetch=No;Collate=Machine;Null=Yes;Deleted=Yes;

Replace [DATABASE] with the location of the folder that has the .dbf files you are trying to open. You can now access and modify the data. The program cannot change the structure of dBase and FoxPro tables.

Please note that a computer running BaseNow must have a "Microsoft Visual FoxPro Driver" installed. This driver comes with Visual FoxPro and many other development tools. You can also download the driver from the Microsoft's Visual FoxPro web site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro/downloads/updates/odbc/default.aspx

CDBF is one more product that can open DBF files. For more information, please visit this web page: http://www.whitetown.com/cdbf/

BaseNow web site: http://www.basenow.com/

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