A Better SMTP Development Server
Looking for a way to test the email sending functionality of your application? There’s no need to install a full-blown SMTP server – not as long as you have Antix SMTP Server for Developers in your bag of tricks.
I happened to catch my friend Chris Love’s latest blog post on testing email functionality. In this post, he talks about a tool called Neptune, developed by Donavan Brown at Notion Solutions.
Quite frankly, I hadn’t ever heard of Neptune, so I popped on over to check it out. It appears that a lot of folks have taken to this neat little utility. While I have no doubt Neptune gets the job done, there’s another SMTP development server I’ve been using for a few months that I think offers several advantages.
Like Neptune, Antix SMTP Server for Developers isn’t a “server” in the true sense of the word. It merely runs as a background process and emulates the functionality of a real SMTP server – without actually sending any emails, of course.
Antix can be deployed on any machine on your network. Once launched, it sits quietly in the notification area, waiting to snag any email sent from an SMTP client running on that network. When it does, it persists the email to a directory of your choosing, It also lists all of the emails in a little window. Double-click on any email in the list, and it opens for viewing in your email client! This lets you check formatting and content, as well as resend or forward the messages to other developers on your team.
As far as I’m concerned, the ability to persist and view the results are essential features (neither of which Neptune offers).
Another neat touch is that Antix uses ClickOnce deployment, so it automatically checks for the latest version each time you close the application.
And oh… did I mention that Antix SMTP Server for Developers is open source? Yep, you can download the source code right from CodePlex.
If you’re looking for a really great, totally free, open source SMTP emulator, you definitely owe it to yourself to give Antix SMTP Server for Developers a try.
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