Review: Antix SMTP Server For Developers

[UPDATE: 2/29/2013] This project is now called SMTP Impostor, and is hosted on codeplex.

If you are a developer using Windows Vista, you are may be a tad annoyed by the lack of a built-in SMTP server. I was too, but after I found Antix SMTP Server for Developers (download mirror), I was actually grateful that Microsoft didn’t deliver a built-in option.

The Antix SMTP server has become one of those utilities that I just “can’t live without” and it is a whole lot better for developers than any other SMTP server I’ve ever used.

The reason may suprise you though…. it’s because the Antix SMTP server can’t actually send emails.

Confused? Read on…

The Antix SMTP server is a just a simple little .NET application. You launch it manually and it runs as a user process, so it really isn’t a “server” in the classic sense of the term.

I like this because it isn’t sitting there when I’m not using it putting my system at risk or using up resources like a real SMTP server would.

The Antix SMTP server cannot actually send emails. It sits there listening for local apps to try and send mail then fools them into thinking they succeded. It just grabs the email and dups it to a file. It can’t actually route or deliver the email though. This means you can’t accidentally send emails from application you were debugging to your real customers by accident!

As an applicaiton goes, it is excessivly simple. It minimizes to the notification area, and when open it just has a little window that displays the list of emails that it has recieved. You can double click the emails to open and view them in your email viewer.

And the new version uses Microsoft’s ClickOnce so it keeps itself up-to-date if new versions come out… very cool! I wish ALL those tiny little utilities I use did that!

Anyway… while it has no use as an actual email server, but for developers the Antix solution is far superior to a real local SMTP server.