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CommuniGate's CommuniGate Pro 5

CGPro offers solid e-mail, but IP PBX applications must mature.

CGPro 4 introduced groupware support by providing Web-based group calendaring and a custom MAPI connector that lets Microsoft Outlook users connect to CGPro as if they're connecting to a native Exchange server. The MAPI connector lets Outlook users gain access to the same group calendaring features available to CGPro Web users.

Don't Gulp, SIP

CommuniGate Systems started adding some SIP functionality into later releases of CGPro 4 by providing support for authenticated access to collaboration through Microsoft's SIP-based Messenger 5. (I'm talking about the Messenger available for download from Microsoft, not the messenger that ships with Windows XP.) I tested CGPro with Messenger 5.1.0701 and found seamless operation for instant messaging, video and voice conversations both for users attached to the same CGPro server and for those connected to different CGPro servers. Although Messenger uses SIP, Microsoft uses nonstandard packet signing in Messenger. The programmers at CommuniGate Systems wrote code to compensate for the packet-signing problem as well as a couple of other undocumented Messenger "features."

Good

• Scalable and standards-based
• Includes a presence server and an IP PBX
• Customizable PBX features

Bad

• Limited documentation for call setup
• Short list of compatible hardware and software
• Less-than-perfect PBX functionality

*CommuniGate Pro, single server starts at $699 for 25 users. CommuniGate Systems, a division of Stalker Software, (800) 262-4722, (415) 383-7164. m www.communigate.co

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