Stands for electronic mail; any system for sending and receiving messages over a network. E-mail originated in the early 1970s with ARPANET and is now the primary method of business communication today.
Many vendors and organizations have developed electronic messaging standards and formats, including the IBM mainframe host-based PROFS and SNADS messaging systems, Microsoft Mail, Lotus cc:Mail, and Novell GroupWise. The two most popular messaging formats used today are the Internet Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and X.400 mail systems.
X.400 is a popular messaging format that is used throughout much of Europe, but SMTP mail, which was developed in the United States as part of the ARPANET project, enjoys worldwide popularity and acceptance. Both systems are based on a client/server architecture, with messaging clients sending e-mail to mail servers that act as message transfer agents by routing messages through a backbone of mail servers to their final destination.
Microsoft Exchange Server is Microsoft’s premiere e-mail messaging server software, and combined with the Microsoft Outlook client, it makes a full-featured messaging and collaboration system. Microsoft Exchange Server supports interoperability with most existing messaging systems, including SMTP, X.400, Microsoft Mail, and Lotus cc:Mail.