VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Bob Wille » Mon, 05 Jan 1998 04:00:00



I know there has been quite a bit of interest lately regarding faxing
solution under SCO UNIX.  So I wanted to give a brief report of what we
recently switched to with VSI-Fax Gold 3.0.
We are not affiliated with V-Systems (VSI-FAX) other than being a satisified
client and also a reseller.

When we recently upgraded out inhouse system to SCO OpenServer 3.2v5.0.4 we
decided to take the plunge and upgrade virtually everything on our server.
We did a direct SMTP connection to our ISP and replaced our old UUCP e-mail,
brought our web server inhouse (http://www.ccs.com) and upgraded all of the
software we use to latest and greatest versions.

We have used VSI-FAX 2.1 for a long time and had been very happy with it,
although we had our gripes about it.  We just got finished upgrading to
VSI-FAX Gold 3.0 and the differences are immense.  Whole new interface (nice
GUI X-windows version for those so inclined - we don't use this much).  We
have it now configured so that all incoming faxes to CCS get routed directly
to our HP LaserJet 5 (networked printer) so we effectively have plain-paper
fax.  We also configured the vsiterm so we can fax from the unix host, even
built a master phonebook of clients and also vendors and others.  We then
built an attachment library so our common support documents as well as
commonly used documents are all available for faxing.  We then bit the
bullent and tried the client-server version (VSI-WIN for WIN95).  This is
really slick.  It uses TCP-IP to connect to the host (security within
VSI-FAX).  It then finds the UNIX system phonebook and even the attachments
library on the UNIX side, along with the coversheet library on the main
system.  This has worked flawlessly.  I know several commented that they
have not used the client version yet, I recommend that you try it, it is
awesome, very friendly (and not as kludgy as the vsiterm UNIX host version).
But uses all the resources available on the UNIX side, then all the faxes
get routed to the UNIX host, and you have a status screen to see the UNIX
host status of the fax server, and can cancel and move requests around from
the WIN95 graphical desktop.  Quite nice.

Tech Support at V-Systems  (http://www.vsi.com) has been very good.  Very
timely answers, even though our questions were very pointed and technical,
since we were trying to duplicate features we had under the old version and
things were very different on the new version Gold.  We got timely responses
back on problems we encountered, and suggestions for workarounds for
anything that they were able to recreate on their inhouse systems.  I have
been very impressed!  (Since we have been working on the UNIX environment
for many years, we don't impress easily).

Thought this would be of general interest for the group, since this has been
a frequently asked question.  We are not trying to sell anything, just
report on some software that you might want to look at.  If you don't like
this sort of post, please disregard, and you have my apology for
interrupting you.
(CYA above for those quippy-answering types)


CCS Enterprises, Inc.   http://www.ccs.com
P.O. Drawer 1690      Easton MD  21601
(410) 820-4670       FAX: (410) 476-5261
Personal: http://www.intercom.net/user/consult

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Mark A. Davi » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00



> I know there has been quite a bit of interest lately regarding faxing
> solution under SCO UNIX.  So I wanted to give a brief report of what we
> recently switched to with VSI-Fax Gold 3.0.
> We are not affiliated with V-Systems (VSI-FAX) other than being a satisified
> client and also a reseller.

We have the upgrade to 3.0 but still don't use it because the X viewer
program has serious serious flaws which the previous version do not.  It
is impossible to visually tell when a new fax has come in.  Printing is
a nightmare.  It loves to create hundreds and hundreds of files
collected in user's home directories, which I find totally unnecessary
and annoying.  Otherwise it looks very good.  We might have to wait for
them to fix these problems.  I contacted them and they agree with me
that these problems need to be fixed- I have not heard from them, since.

--
/--------------------------------------------------------------------\
|   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

|Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
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VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Bob Wille » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00


You could create a route command for incoming faxes.  It can be site
specific or user specific.  You could then do anything you wanted for
incoming faxes.  We created our own commands for what do all outgoing faxes,
and routed all incoming faxes directly to a printer.

As for the X-Viewer, I can't comment, as I stated, we really don't use this
at all.  We use VSI-WIN (WIN95) and it has a pretty good system to show the
status of faxes for us, even shows progress as it is happening on the
server.


CCS Enterprises, Inc.   http://www.ccs.com
P.O. Drawer 1690      Easton MD  21601
(410) 820-4670       FAX: (410) 476-5261
Personal: http://www.intercom.net/user/consult

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Monday, January 05, 1998 8:54 AM

Subject: Re: VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise


> I know there has been quite a bit of interest lately regarding faxing
> solution under SCO UNIX.  So I wanted to give a brief report of what we
> recently switched to with VSI-Fax Gold 3.0.
> We are not affiliated with V-Systems (VSI-FAX) other than being a
satisified
> client and also a reseller.

We have the upgrade to 3.0 but still don't use it because the X viewer
program has serious serious flaws which the previous version do not.  It
is impossible to visually tell when a new fax has come in.  Printing is
a nightmare.  It loves to create hundreds and hundreds of files
collected in user's home directories, which I find totally unnecessary
and annoying.  Otherwise it looks very good.  We might have to wait for
them to fix these problems.  I contacted them and they agree with me
that these problems need to be fixed- I have not heard from them, since.

--
/--------------------------------------------------------------------\
|   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

|Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
\--------------------------------------------------------------------/

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Mark A. Davi » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00



> You could create a route command for incoming faxes.  It can be site
> specific or user specific.  You could then do anything you wanted for
> incoming faxes.

We have too many destinations for incoming- more than 20.  The X client
does not allow easy printing to multiple destinations.  We have to have
a single person screen all incoming faxes and decide which printer to
direct the fax.

Quote:>  We created our own commands for what do all outgoing faxes,
> and routed all incoming faxes directly to a printer.

It would be easy if we wanted all incoming to go to a single printer.

Quote:> As for the X-Viewer, I can't comment, as I stated, we really don't use this
> at all.  We use VSI-WIN (WIN95) and it has a pretty good system to show the
> status of faxes for us, even shows progress as it is happening on the
> server.

We don't use MS-Windows.

--
/--------------------------------------------------------------------\
|   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

|Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
\--------------------------------------------------------------------/

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Joe DeBis » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00


I also use the VSI-FAX Gold product.  We love it and so do our clients!  We
do not use the X viewer.  We strictly use the windows 95 clients and
integration with our custom applications.  Switching from 2.14 to Gold was
a nightmare the first time, but now that we've done a few they almost
always go without a hitch!

Joe DeBiso
Plantrol Systems, Ltd.




> > I know there has been quite a bit of interest lately regarding faxing
> > solution under SCO UNIX.  So I wanted to give a brief report of what we
> > recently switched to with VSI-Fax Gold 3.0.
> > We are not affiliated with V-Systems (VSI-FAX) other than being a
satisified
> > client and also a reseller.

> We have the upgrade to 3.0 but still don't use it because the X viewer
> program has serious serious flaws which the previous version do not.  It
> is impossible to visually tell when a new fax has come in.  Printing is
> a nightmare.  It loves to create hundreds and hundreds of files
> collected in user's home directories, which I find totally unnecessary
> and annoying.  Otherwise it looks very good.  We might have to wait for
> them to fix these problems.  I contacted them and they agree with me
> that these problems need to be fixed- I have not heard from them, since.

> --
> /--------------------------------------------------------------------\
> |   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

> |Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
> \--------------------------------------------------------------------/

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Mikhail Kuperbl » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00


For what it worth, v3.2 is out. At first glance it doesn't look
any different, but hopefully bugs are gone.

ftp://ftp.vsifax.com/pub/releases/v32/unix/gldsco32b23.tar

--mk


Quote:> We have too many destinations for incoming- more than 20.  The X client
> does not allow easy printing to multiple destinations.  We have to have
> a single person screen all incoming faxes and decide which printer to
> direct the fax.

> >  We created our own commands for what do all outgoing faxes,
> > and routed all incoming faxes directly to a printer.

> It would be easy if we wanted all incoming to go to a single printer.

> > As for the X-Viewer, I can't comment, as I stated, we really don't use this
> > at all.  We use VSI-WIN (WIN95) and it has a pretty good system to show the
> > status of faxes for us, even shows progress as it is happening on the
> > server.

> We don't use MS-Windows.

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Dan Sta » Tue, 06 Jan 1998 04:00:00




> > You could create a route command for incoming faxes.  It can be site
> > specific or user specific.  You could then do anything you wanted for
> > incoming faxes.

> We have too many destinations for incoming- more than 20.  The X client
> does not allow easy printing to multiple destinations.  We have to have
> a single person screen all incoming faxes and decide which printer to
> direct the fax.

Would using DID function of phone line and modem solve your problem for
most of routing?

Dan

 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Mark A. Davi » Wed, 07 Jan 1998 04:00:00



> For what it worth, v3.2 is out. At first glance it doesn't look
> any different, but hopefully bugs are gone.

> ftp://ftp.vsifax.com/pub/releases/v32/unix/gldsco32b23.tar

Indeed I just noticed that also, since we were sent a fax.  I glanced it
also and did not see anything which addresses our problems.  I suppose I
will call them again and see what is happening.  I sent a detailed fax
to them on Dec 2, 1997 as a followup to a phone call and never got a
response.  Normally I would not post such information, but it might be
useful to someone else in this group, and V-Systems has been given a
long time to respond and has not.  It reads as follows:

--------------------

To:  Sue Mathews

Well, needless to say, your previous fax has me very upset.  We paid
money for an UPGRADE to a product, and what we get is a product which is
much *LESS* functional than the old version [for us]:

The old version would clearly notify the operator of new faxes, the new
one does not.

The old version had icons when the program is minimized, the new one
does not.

The old version had the ability to centrally setup printers, the new one
does not.

The old version had the ability to prevent non-root or administrative
users from controlling their environment (such as printers).  The new
one does not.

The old version had a print icon on the toolbar for easy printing, the
new one does not.

The old version did not litter user's home directories with unnecessary
files, the new one does.

The old version could control starting and stopping the scheduler and
enabling /disabling fax devices through the X program, the new one does
not.

I have barely even investigated the program and have already come up
with quite an extensive list of problems.  I am most disappointed and
unsure how to proceed.  Some of the issues are severe- like printer
configuration and lack of visual fax notification, and lead me to want
to return the upgrade for a refund based on it being unusable.  Yes, I
would like to talk with your management and development staff- I am very
interested in learning why these problems exist and why they have not
already been solved or at least fixed in the next update.  I will offer
my services for testing and feedback if your company is interested.

Thank you for your help.

Mark A. Davis,
Director of Information Systems

------------------

I am happy that people are pleased with the MS-Windows version of the
fax viewer.... but I would think that since this *IS* a Unix product,
the Unix/X version of the viewer should be at least as functional and
debugged as the MS-Windows one; and certainly as much as the 2.X
version.


> > We have too many destinations for incoming- more than 20.  The X client
> > does not allow easy printing to multiple destinations.  We have to have
> > a single person screen all incoming faxes and decide which printer to
> > direct the fax.

> > >  We created our own commands for what do all outgoing faxes,
> > > and routed all incoming faxes directly to a printer.

> > It would be easy if we wanted all incoming to go to a single printer.

> > > As for the X-Viewer, I can't comment, as I stated, we really don't use this
> > > at all.  We use VSI-WIN (WIN95) and it has a pretty good system to show the
> > > status of faxes for us, even shows progress as it is happening on the
> > > server.

> > We don't use MS-Windows.

--
/--------------------------------------------------------------------\
|   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

|Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
\--------------------------------------------------------------------/
 
 
 

VSI-Fax Gold & SCO OpenServer Enterprise

Post by Mark A. Davi » Wed, 07 Jan 1998 04:00:00





> > > You could create a route command for incoming faxes.  It can be site
> > > specific or user specific.  You could then do anything you wanted for
> > > incoming faxes.

> > We have too many destinations for incoming- more than 20.  The X client
> > does not allow easy printing to multiple destinations.  We have to have
> > a single person screen all incoming faxes and decide which printer to
> > direct the fax.

> Would using DID function of phone line and modem solve your problem for
> most of routing?

Yes, indeed it would.  But the main problem with that is the incredible
expense that we would have to pay to Bell Atlantic for DID services :(
It is more than we can justify spending as a recurring charge for the
number of incoming faxes we have at the facility per day (which is maybe
12 - 20 faxes).  (We still have several other ACTUAL fax machines also,
which have high load- like Admissions, which I don't feel comfortable
with routing through VSI-FAX; besides, they have need for OUTGOING
originals also, which VSI-FAX can't do, necessitating an actual fax
machine and phone line in that area anyway).  Plus, the screening does,
at least, allow me to throw away all the junk faxes (perhaps 25%)
without wasting paper and ink.

--
/--------------------------------------------------------------------\
|   Mark A. Davis,  |Lake Taylor| Voice: (757)-461-5001x431 8-4:30ET |

|Information Systems|Norfolk, VA| from USENET remove anti-spam "yy." |
\--------------------------------------------------------------------/