Product Information

Policy Patrol

starstar

June 01, 2004
Vendor:

Red Earth Software

Product:

Policy Patrol (Anti-spam group test)

Website:

http://www.redearthsoftware.com

Price

$325 for ten users

RATING BREAKDOWN

  • Features:
    starstarstar
  • Ease of Use:
    starstarstar
  • Performance:
    starstar
  • Documentation:
    starstarstar
  • Support:
    starstarstar
  • Value for Money:
    starstarstarstar
  • Overall Rating:
    starstar

QUICK READ

  • Strengths:

    Good integration with Microsoft mail environments.

  • Weaknesses:

    Bugs in the test build caused severe performance problems.

  • Verdict:

    Disappointing but we will expect more from this one next time.

This application works alongside Exchange and can be installed either on the same machine or on a separate server. We installed the software on the same machine as recommended on the quick-start guide.

For some reason that we cannot fathom, the installation appeared to stop Exchange working at all. Email was sent but not received.

Uninstalling and re-installing on an identical Exchange image seemed to rectify the situation. This was an early build of version 3 so we expect that glitches are going to be fixed. As a result, the product has been penalized in scoring, but it is not unrealistic to expect a more polished performance the next time around.

The main amount of work is carried out via the console, which is a snap-in to the MMC management console. In setting up the test, we created a rule that used Bayesian filtering to decide whether or not an incoming message was spam.

Rules and filters are set via wizards which are very easy to use and overall the GUI was attractive.

The filters include Bayesian analysis and pattern matching. They allow the maintenance of whitelists and blacklists to be delegated to the users, complete with strong Outlook integration.

Unfortunately, after resolving some configuration problems, the test mail server almost ground to a halt with the CPU working at full tilt and only one email getting through every three minutes.

Calling the help line, we got through to a very knowledgeable representative who explained that there were indeed problems with the software build we were testing. The representative also explained that a later version would indeed solve the problems with the slow mail processor in the software.

Overall, the application looks very good and can be configured in many ways to suit the individual organization.

We hope that the problems have been fixed with the latest build so we can re-test this product in the future. It is software with great potential and if the vendor can iron out the bugs, it could be a strong contender.

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