Fax from almost any type of server

If you manage an IS department that uses multiple platforms (e.g., LAN-based PCs, UNIX midrange systems, and IBM mainframe systems), you probably don't have a multiplatform fax server. You can use traditional NT-based fax servers only with other Intel-based PCs, or sometimes on limited platforms such as Alpha, Macintosh, or Intel-based UNIX systems. Teubner & Associates' FAXGATE for Windows NT solves this problem.

FAXGATE lets several clients on different platforms send faxes on an NT-based fax server. Using one of several APIs and through Advanced Program-to-Program Communications (APPC), FAXGATE can connect to UNIX, mainframe, Source Access Point (SAP), and PC-based servers running on TCP/IP AS/400 systems. FAXGATE can also connect to mainframe systems through APPC, remote job execution, or 3270 communication protocols.

FAXGATE requires minimal work to install. You must complete some preinstallation steps, which vary depending on your software. You need to install a GammaLink or Brooktrout fax board (the software does not support fax modems). Then, you need to create a fax user that can log on as a service for the software to function with the operating system (OS).

After preinstallation, you must answer a few questions about the components you want to install. During installation, FAXGATE sets up a special print driver, so you can print to fax from other software packages (e.g., Microsoft Word). You can also install optional components such as the Exchange connector. You must reboot your computer before you can use the software. As Screen 1 shows, an interactive administration program lets you monitor and change your system's configuration as necessary.

Enterprise-Level Features
FAXGATE includes the features you expect in enterprise-level fax software. For example, the software lets you maintain a core set of fax numbers that users can access. FAXGATE also performs least-cost routing operations. Through the fax board, the software can automatically route faxes to users' mailboxes using Direct Inward Dialing (DID) or dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) routing. FAXGATE includes full support for integrating with Microsoft Exchange and supports email packages such as Lotus Notes, cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), GroupWise, and HP OpenMail.

FAXGATE's electronic forms provide tremendous flexibility, especially in non-PC environments in which generating graphics is difficult (e.g., IBM mainframes). With this feature, you can generate a basic text file that the electronic forms component automatically paints on a preconfigured electronic form. The software then faxes the resulting combined output to the recipient. In addition, an NT-based template designer helps you create forms that you can quickly program into your fax environment.

If you install the Exchange connector, you can fax directly from any Exchange-aware client software (e.g., Microsoft Outlook). If you don't have Exchange or another email package, you can use the special client software (FGWin) included with FAXGATE to send and receive faxes.

My FAXGATE test was successful. After I installed the software and Exchange connector, I faxed documents from Outlook, FGWin, and Microsoft Word. Using the Brooktrout TR114's DTMF routing capabilities, I automatically routed inbound mail to my mailbox. However, I couldn't use the template-designing capabilities because the base package doesn't include the electronic forms overlay.

A Good Buy
FAXGATE's list price is comparable to other enterprise-level fax servers. The software's pricing structure is set up so that you can select the components your environment requires and not pay for features you don't need or want. Other components, such as licenses for additional ports or an AS/400 link, are available and are priced separately.

FAXGATE for Windows NT
Contact: Teubner & Associates * 405-624-2254 or 800-343-7070
Web: http://www.teubner.com
Price: $2500 for a Windows client, email support, and single-line license
System Requirements: Windows NT Server 4.0, Pentium 90, 32MB of RAM, 800MB of hard disk space, Brooktrout or GammaLink fax board