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List Server Selection

In making our list server selection, the primary criteria where ease in integrating the list server with the web site and web site security. Features were less important but the suitable products were high end products with rich feature sets.

While on the legal publisher's host, ATLA had twenty some lists which were nominally private but ATLA staff never had administrative access to these Majordomo lists. Though the publisher provided no web interface to these lists except in the ATLA NET area, any experienced user who knew how to use Majordomo commands could learn the list names and join via e- mail commands, effectively making ATLA's lists public. ATLA needed a high quality list server that provided both a web and email interface and had the ability to be integrated with web site security which would be based on codes in the member records.

Only to two full fledged products appeared to be available on NT in late 1996 when we were making the decision. They were Lsoft's Listserve and Lyris. The fact that Lyris' web interface was done in Perl where Listserve had a configurable executable pretty much settled the issue. Lsoft's product simply did not appear to have the necessary security flexibility. Lyris was available in a trial version that was limited only by the number of users who could participate in a list. Work with this version confirmed that Lyris had the necessary flexibility to easily tie it into the standard appearance of the ATLA NET while retaining Lyris' standard functionality.

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