Introducing Hurricane MTA Server Version 2.1

At SocketLabs we strive to provide cutting edge technology for delivering bulk email. Our flagship Hurricane MTA Server continues to lead the market with innovative functionality that you can’t find in any other SMTP MTA server.  We are pleased to announce the availability of Hurricane MTA Server version 2.1, a new release that introduces some exciting features.

New Injection API

A great feature included in the 2.1 release is our Injection API.  This new Hurricane MTA Server interface enables the injection of email without having to assemble an email message and establish an SMTP connection.  This new injection method brings email assembly capabilities to the Hurricane MTA Server for the first time.  Through the Injection API email messages are defined by either JSON or XML and injected into Hurricane MTA Server via an HTTP POST operation.  The Hurricane MTA Server assembles a fully formed email message from the JSON/XML data, places it in queue, and delivers the message to its intended recipient(s).

The Injection API fully supports custom email headers including the x-headers MessageID and MailingID.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of the Injection API is the ability to perform inline mail merges within a single request. This is accomplished by defining variables with the desired field or fields within a request, and then defining the merge values either globally or for each individual recipient. Through the use of inline mail merging, a single injection can send a completely customized SMTP message and header to many recipients at once. Subject lines, header meta data, message body, and more — there is no limit to the customization that can be performed through such a merge.

The Injection API is simple, efficient, and can work with any programming language on any operating system.

IIS Integration

Up until this 2.1 release Hurricane MTA Server has always leveraged an embedded web server called Cassini. Now you have the option to run all web functions of Hurricane MTA Server, both the admin console and open and click tracking, using IIS: Windows Server’s built-in web server.

IIS is a more feature-rich web server and also operates external to the HMS. Some of the benefits of using IIS are:

  • Significant speed improvement over Cassini
  • Ability to fully customize web application settings through the IIS Manager utility, installed alongside IIS
  • Additional security features provided by an enterprise web server, such as SSL support

You can switch back and forth between using Cassini or IIS by simply re-running setup for Hurricane MTA Server.  You may want to stick with Cassini if any of the following are true:

  • IIS cannot be used due to security requirements or concerns
  • Wanting to avoid optional configuration changes to an existing HMS instance
  • Wanting to avoid having a fully featured web server running on the MTA’s server

For additional information on installing and configuring IIS for use with Hurricane MTA Server version 2.1, see our knowledgebase article.

List Unsubscribe Header

Hurricane MTA Server now provides an option to automatically insert a list unsubscribe header in every email message. This header will provide an unsubscribe link within most providers’ email clients.  When a recipient clicks the unsubscribe link a message is sent back to the originating Hurricane MTA Server, which treats the unsubscribe message like a typical bounce.  These messages can then be gathered programmatically through one of the API options within Hurricane MTA Server.

Account Level Throttling

An account or virtual MTA with Hurricane MTA Server has traditionally provided several ways to throttle email messages to a specific domain through delivery rules.  SocketLabs has expanded that throttling capability to include account-wide throttling across all domains in the mail stream.  Customers can chose a throttle value and whether that throttle is per minute, 10 minutes, hour, or day.

Automatically BCC an Address or List

It can sometimes be useful to send copies of some or all messages being delivered through an account to one or more addresses. This functionality may be used for auditing purposes, data retention, message consumption, or many other reasons. The Hurricane MTA Server contains an Auto BCC feature that allows multiple such configurations. Each configuration checks for messages with matching recipients where the matching can be against specific addresses, domains, or all mail.

To learn more about configuring the Auto-BCC feature within Hurricane MTA Server 2.1, please refer to this knowledgebase article.

The Auto BCC feature of the Hurricane MTA Server is not only useful for sending copies of specific messages to other addresses, but also for replacing specific recipient addresses or addresses matching a pattern with a predefined list of addresses, effectively creating a recipient alias.

To learn more about configuring the Auto-BCC feature for a one-to-many recipient configuration, refer to this knowledgebase article.

Email Delivery Whitelist

It is often useful to separate different types of outbound messages between multiple accounts on a Hurricane MTA Server. Some accounts may only deliver to specific addresses or domains, depending on their purpose. For example, an account may be configured to specifically handle messages for internal consumption within a company. Accounts such as these can take advantage of the Recipient Whitelisting feature to prevent the processing of messages to unintended recipients, either inadvertently or through malicious intent. This feature can be particularly useful for preventing compromised machines that are generating spam messages from using an MTA account to deliver messages to random addresses, greatly restricting the amount of damage done before such activity is detected and stopped.

To learn more about configuring this option within Hurricane MTA Server refer to this knowledgebase article.

Inbound Email Whitelist

Similar to the delivery whitelist, the inbound email whitelist feature enables the restriction of the MAIL FROM address or domain on whose behalf the MTA will accept messages.  By restricting the addresses or domains from which the Hurricane MTA Server will accept messages, you can run a tighter, more secure email server and eliminate any damage caused by malicious email activity toward recipients served by Hurricane MTA Server.

To learn more about configuring this option within Hurricane MTA Server refer to this knowledgebase article.

Hurricane MTA Server version 2.1 is available now for new customers and current customers under a support and maintenance contract.

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