ActiveFax is actually a wrapped version of LightningFax that's had some special modifications made to interact with Unity. Most notably the rasterization process has been modified such that it wont conflict with the call processing capabilities of Unity when it's running on the same box. In short, the differences are:
If you want to install Lightning Fax as a stand alone 3rd party fax server, you must buy a full license from Interstar (the manufacturers of Lightning Fax) which is somewhat more expensive per port than the Active Fax version.
For the extra money youll get some more features with the full Lightning Fax version (notably least cost routing, support for multiple cover pages via groups, access to their proprietary desktop Print to Fax client).
The Full version of Lightning fax cannot be run on the same server with Unity. It must be run on a stand alone server. ActiveFax, of course, can run on the same server as long as the port densities are low enough.
Active Fax adds a couple of built in reports you can run from the Unity administrator.
Active Fax adds the ability to see the outbound fax queue for the entire system (via the status monitor) or for each individual user (via Active Assistant).
Active Fax allows you to change the cover page information and template via the Unity administration console.
Active Fax wraps the setup and configuration of the system in the Unity install. In most cases the only interface youll have to deal with is the Fax Monitor. The stand alone version requires you setup and configure the system on your own using their administration interface.
Active Fax allows you to adjust the fax ID (the routing number to deliver incoming faxes) via the Unity console. With the stand alone version of Lightning Fax youll have to do this via their administration interface.
We can support any fax server that has an Exchange/SMTP gateway and a unique message class messages routed to a user's inbox (I've laid out the details on how inbound/outbound faxing works in a couple of posts elsewhere in the forum here).
Cisco doesn't currently have any ability to take an inbound fax and route it to a mailbox based on DID and/or analog digits on the incoming call. When that's there we should be able to support it as a 3rd party fax integration as we do with a number of other packages.
The print to mail client is a printer driver provided by Interstar that we distribute with our VMO install (it can also be installed by itself if you want).
This simply takes what would normally go to a printer and stores it in a TIFF file which you can email to the fax gateway.
The proprietary Print to Fax client that you would have access to with the full Lightning Fax version is a bit of a different beast. It makes a direct connection to the fax server and allows you to send stuff out which the server then renders on box before faxing out. It has it's own little faxing address book and some other bells and whistles. Clearly doing the rendering on the server chews up a lot more resources, so for the ActiveFax one box configuration we require folks use the Print to Mail driver to do the rasterization on the client box instead.
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