Client-Server Based EMR Or Web Hosted EMR – Which is Better?

What Is An Exchange Server? The Best Email Server, In My Opinion

What is an Exchange Server? Many questions similar to this question have flooded the minds of many aspiring system administrators. The fact that you are searching for information on this software, lets me know that you are probably new to electronic email servers, but not new to the field of Information technology.

Whatever your reasons for finding out more about exchange server, I can assure you that once you have mastered this technology your value to any establishment would tremendously be increased. You would be envied by many of your peers, working in the same department.

Exchange servers are normally managed by exchange system administrators. Exchange administrators are generally trusted by upper management because of the confidentially, and nature of the systems that are being managed.

Exchange administrators are also called upon by executives to perform many confidential tasks that the normal employee would never be asked to perform.

You do not need a degree in computers to learn exchange technology, but specialized training is more often required. All you need to do is have the willingness to learn, and an open mind. Aspiring exchange administrators normally learn about exchange by attending evening institution, or using a self-study guide.

Exchange was designed specifically for the purposes of email. This technology has been used extensively for many years by many large and medium size corporations. I can assure you that this technology is here to stay, and should only get better as time progresses.

Exchange, at times has been referred to as Microsoft Exchange Server. This software was developed specifically for the purpose of business electronic email in an enterprise environment. The product is client-server in nature. This means that a client is required to collect email from the server. It also means that most of the heavy processing of the email, is done by the client. This server product also works in collaboration with other Microsoft products like Outlook, and Eudora.

Even though exchange was designed as an enterprise solution, if you have between five and ten employees, you would still be able to benefit from this software.

Exchange also includes a calendaring feature to organize meeting, and contacts. Wireless synchronization of contacts, and email functionality are available using mobile phones, and other technical gadgets.

Exchange also has a feature that allows employees to read their voice mail directly within their outlook, or compatible email client. The software is so smart that it translates voice to text. There are so many other valuable features available in this software, to mention here in this article.

Many companies are presently using other email technologies like Lotus Notes, and other email programs, but exchange server is used by more companies around the world than any other mail technology software.

Exchange has evolved from many versions, to the present version of Exchange Server 2010, as of the writing of this article. I can assure you that there will be many other versions in the future. Other older versions of this software included Exchange Server 2003, and Exchange Server 2007.

The earlier version of Exchange 5.5, even though it was introduced over ten years ago still exist at many companies today, because of their stubbornness to upgrade to the latest version of this server software. Exchange 2007 is also widely used today by many companies.

Cautious system administrators will never upgrade, or install any new software unless the old was broken. Maybe you have heard the term, “If it is not broken, you should never try to fix it”. In other words, as long as a program or a system was doing the job that you intended it to do; there should be no need to change it. This is a common term that is used on many occasions in the field of Information technology.

The only time an exchange administrator, or system administrator would move to new software platform would be when their software had reached its end of life.

End of life is a term that had been used to let users know that they would no longer be able to receive support, for a particular version of software.

Many software developers would announce the end of life for different versions of their software in an attempt to forced users to purchase a newer version of their software. If no technical support for any particular software was available, then it makes no sense using that software.

Exchange software had to be installed, along with the windows operating system to work. This operating system was also created by the same company that created Exchange.

Operating systems are installed on personal computers, and servers alike to assist in the communication of hardware to software. Without an operating system, a personal computer would be considered a, “dead piece of equipment”.

Exchange software is also used by Internet Service providers to give free email accounts to their subscribers. If you have a hotmail, or even a Gmail account, then you may be attached to an Exchange Server, on the back-end.

When I used the term back-end, I am referring to the computer infrastructure that had been setup by a company, to offer services to their clients.

While I am on the topic of computer infrastructure, I would like to make you aware that Exchange Server does not run entirely on its own, as a separate system. Another program known as Active Directory has to be installed first, for Exchange Server to work. The topic of Active Directory is out of the scope of this topic, but since it is an integral of the functioning of exchange server, I have to briefly mention it.

Active Directory was developed for the sharing of computer resources like printers, fax machines, and any other devices that needed to be shared amounts employees.

Active Directory is also known as the security boundary of a company’s network. No user would receive access to resources, including access to Exchange Server, unless they were authorized by Active Directory.

When Active directory is installed on computers at a company, a domain is created to form the basis of a company’s network.

Active Directory and Exchange Server may be installed on the same computer, if resources are limited. Best practices dictates that you would experience better performance of your email environment, if all installed software has its own dedicated computer, or server.

Many companies around the world have dedicated Exchange Server administrators employed. So, learning Exchange Server will give you an advantage, over other administrators. That is what makes Exchange Server software a good option to learn, by aspiring administrators.

In fact the company that developed the software has many annual seminars dedicated to this technology alone.

Client-Server Computing and Its Benefits

There is little disagreement that the implementation of client/server computing can result in current and future savings, but this new technology usually cannot be justified on cost/benefit analysis alone. The other major benefits are intangible and hard to quantify.

Dollar Savings:

Mainframe environments are costly to maintain – the hardware, software, and staff required to maintain and develop applications are very expensive. Fewer staff is required to maintain client/server platforms and maintenance contracts are moderate in cost. Significant cost savings on hardware and network expenditures relative to mainframe-based environments can be identified. When more power is required of a server, it can easily be expanded instead of replaced, as is often required in mainframe-based environments.

Client/server technology allows organizations to protect current investments by using existing equipment and protect future investments by using scalable, expandable products. Client/server applications are usually developed on the client machine, and these applications can be developed in less time than mainframe-based applications.

Increased Productivity:

Both users and developers are more productive using client/server tools. Users are more involved in the development process and in control of the application, once it is operational. They have transparent access to the data they need to do their jobs and have a standard, easy-to-use interface to that data.

End User Productivity:

Flexible data access for end users was first provided by fourth-generation languages, although early versions only provided access to their own proprietary databases. Later versions included transparent access to other data sources as well. But the interface was command-line driven. The user had to know the commands and their arguments. Although the languages were not procedural, they had an inherent degree of syntax.

Developer Productivity:

Developers can be more productive using client/server development tools. Applications may be designed, implemented, and tested in a client/server environment much faster than in a mainframe environment. Most client/server development tools make use of object-oriented technology. Most of the user objects, including those controlled by windows, can be customized and used in multiple applications.
The development platform is the desktop machine. All phases of application development – designing, coding, testing, executing, and maintaining- can be performed from the desktop machine.

Flexibility and Scalability:

By segmenting the application tasks, an organization can easily migrate to new technologies or enhance existing technologies with little or no interruption. An application does not have to be redesigned to use new interface software or be moved to a new platform. An upgrade to a server should have little impact on the applications themselves.

For client/server computing to be effective, multiple environments must be supported. When applications are right sized, it is important that there be connectivity among the components of the platform.