AtMail Launches Open Source Exchange Alternative

Last week, an open source variant of AtMail's commercial Webmail offering was released to the public. The new AtMail Open solution, available under the Apache 2 license, works in combination with a server backend. The open source Webmail solution is based on AtMail's existing Web platform that is in use by more than 15 million users, according to the company.

AtMail Open offers a lighter alternative to Microsoft Outlook/Exchange and has other advantages, such as streaming video mail. Its standard AJAX functionality supports dynamic Web applications and makes features such as spell checking and address books possible.

AtMail Open is written in a combination of AJAX, PHP, JavaScript and Perl. Files can be easily modified by development teams. It offers integration and customization capabilities for companies that wish to modify or brand the software to create a more seamless solution.

"With AtMail Open, organizations can expand the value of their email offering at no additional cost and fully brand or OEM the tool to meet their specific needs," said Corey Bissaillon, AtMail's vice president of sales, in a prepared statement. "Providing this sort of flexibility is at the core of our philosophy."

AtMail Open has two user interfaces. One is a rich, full-featured Web application for modern browsers (such as Firefox) while the other UI provides a toned-down interface for other browsers.

Video mail is the most promising feature in AtMail Open. Users with Webcams and microphones are able to create video messages and then stream them to other users. Instead of sending massive video files through the mail, AtMail allows video to be embedded in a message with fully automated playback. Even non-AtMail users are able to use this feature, although they will only be provided with a download link. In either case, the video is stored on a remote server and is streamed to all parties in real time.

AtMail Open can be downloaded here. A live demo (featuring video mail) is available at this link.

About the Author

Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at Also, check out his blog at


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