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Need anti-spam for Domino? Here's a good open source alternative -- and they even discuss Domino on the site!

By Andrew Pollack on 11/09/2005 at 03:27 PM EST

Take a look at ASSP. For geeks, its all you need. For the rest of the Domino world, put SpamJam in front of it and you've got a dynamite solution. Though nothing will replace SpamJam when it comes to end users interacting with their anti-spam tool in Notes, SJ is more and more becoming a front end interface to a variety of other back end solutions. People are using appliances and service oriented solutions for front end processing more and more. I've talked to Mark about this and he also sees a very viable market for SJ on the consumer side even where a lot of the tools that handle initial processing are in the back end.

ASSP is essentially an anti-spam smtp proxy written in perl. I set it up on my linux based Domino server. It took me about 4 or 5 hours to really figure out all the things you need to do to make Domino work well with it. At some point I'll document it in more detail and it should take only a few minutes once you know.

Essentially, on my system ASSP listens for mail on port 25 and acts as a proxy in front of Domino -- which I've configured to listen on port 125. ASSP then performs the RBL, SPF, Bayesian, and other filters as well as white listing and key words that allow mail to be filtered efficiently. It also handles anti-virus checking based on an open source set of signatures. For outbound mail, Domino is set to relay outbound messages through ASSP so that it can pick up whitelist information on the way out. ASSP then needs a transfer agent, so I've set up sendmail on this linux box for that. ASSP dumps the outbound message to sendmail which then handles getting it out to the world.

Sound complicated? Well, I suppose it is a little at first. There are advantages though. On the inbound side, ASSP is doing an excellent job already and I'm just no dumping 30,000 known spam messages and about as many known good ones into it to give the bayesian filter more to work with. SPF and graylisting is helping alot as well, as is the virus control. On the outbound side, I've wanted to dump to sendmail anyway for a while. Sendmail is really good out outbound mail processing. Its very efficient, very fast, and very configurable. This way, Domino off-loads the outbound message almost immediately and sendmail takes over. It means my Domino server isn't working as hard and I can send more mail out at once because of the efficiency of sendmail.

There are a lot of options with ASSP in terms of what to do with spam. If you have SpamJam, you can set ASSP up to put the data it collects in header options on the message then let SpamJam go ahead and handle the user notification and logs and dumps. Sweet!

I'll report back more as I've grown accustomed to this new toy.


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