Another call for improvements

Stephen Swaney steve.swaney at
Wed Jul 19 17:43:37 IST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mailscanner-bounces at [mailto:mailscanner-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Ken A
> Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 11:56 AM
> To: MailScanner discussion
> Subject: Re: Another call for improvements
> Julian Field wrote:
> > I misunderstood your requirements. Currently I cannot do different sets
> > of SA rule scores for different people. Sorry.
> > All the SA calls are done as the same user (the "Run As User" user).
> > Doing this any other way would slow things down too much, and this is a
> > rare requirement.
> Okay, that makes sense. It was just a thought for a possible future
> improvement, though I do see how it would slow things down.
> I've seen ISPs who offer customers SpamAssassin web interfaces with
> checkboxes to activate/deactivate groups of rules, some individual
> rules, dnsrbls, etc. It's always about features and ease of use. End
> users don't care about speed issues on the server side... That's our
> problem! :-)
> Thanks,
> Ken A
> Pacific.Net

We have added this feature to DefenderMX, our Commercial implementation of
MailScanner and it's far from trivial to implement. 

You first need to provide an authentication methodology to validate the
users and since MailScanner can scan email for multiple domains, the
validation method specified may vary for different domains. Also you don't
want to create a process where the administrator of each domain needs to
maintain the state of user accounts on the gateway. When a user is added on
a mail hub, they should be able to access their settings and quarantine
directly on the Gateway(s) simply by logging into the web interface using
their email address and mail hub password. 

The next step is to setup a hierarchy for checking spam scores, white lists
and black lists. The order in which lists and settings should be examined
and applied is:
	User preferences / lists
	Domain preferences / lists
	Site preferences / lists

You also need to provide a mechanism that allows users and domain
administrators to access only their messages and settings.

Hopefully you can understand why I say this is not trivial to implement and
it does slow things down a bit. We also have the luxury of only supporting
one Operating system and database. This would be very difficult to build
into MailScanner given the wide range of platforms that Julian supports.

We have all of these features working in the current version of DefenderMX
but there is still one missing piece that we believe we will be able to
implement in the next version of DefenderMX. This is the ability to apply
the correct User preferences and quarantine rules to all the email destined
for a specific user including their aliases. Also not trivial to implement
if you want to support different back end mail hubs and not manually
maintain user state on the gateway :)

I hope this puts the "Feature Request" into perspective,


Stephen Swaney
Fort Systems Ltd.
stephen.swaney at

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