Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

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pick
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Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-16 11:15

Really pleased to have found hMailServer and this forum — it was easy to set up and use. From what I understand, hMailServer requires a specific .NET version. On a server with .NET 4.6 already installed, the hMailServer installation indicated that it needed .NET 3.5.

I'm not an expert on .NET but I've seen over a period of time that Microsoft (as is its wont) removes the availability of some versions, by changing the download links to them, causing a detrimental impact on support. To complicate further, in Microsoft's worldview, version 4.6 does not mean it will do everything expected from 3.5, as bizarre as that seems. How can we be sure that Microsoft will not remove access to .NET 3.5 in the future and if so, what happens with hMailServer? Yes, we have an offline installer still, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will work on future versions of the O/S.

Something occurred recently which caused concern — we develop using a database product called jBASE. Unfortunately jBASE's weakness, despite being a legacy environment, is that it is not self-contained and relies on an ever-changing Microsoft SDK. The SDK has always been automatically downloaded as part of jBASE's installation. During a late-night install, the latest version of the jBASE installation stopped because Microsoft had removed access to the SDK version jBASE expected. It also wouldn't support the later SDK.

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by RvdH » 2021-09-16 12:28

hmailserver doesn't require .NET at all, it's the additional tools that do, eg: hMailServer Administrator, database syncronizer
  • 5.6.* -> admin and other tools require net 2.*
    on Windows 10 and later server version this can be installed trough either: Control panel -> additional Windows Components or Server Manager -> Add Roles and features, .NET 3.5 (this includes 2.0)
  • 5.7.* -> admin and other tools require net 4.* (installed by default on Windows 8/Server 2012 and up)
CIDR to RegEx: d-fault.nl/CIDRtoRegEx
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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-16 14:07

RvdH wrote:
2021-09-16 12:28
hmailserver doesn't require .NET at all, it's the additional tools that do, eg: hMailServer Administrator, database syncronizer
  • 5.7.* -> admin and other tools require net 4.* (installed by default on Windows 8/Server 2012 and up)
Thanks @RvdH that sounds good, where can we download 5.7.* ? The download page shows 5.6.7 and 5.6.8. —
Latest version
Download hMailServer 5.6.7 - Build 2425

Betas & other downloads
Download hMailServer 5.6.8 - Build 2538 (BETA)

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by RvdH » 2021-09-16 14:14

5.7.x is ALPHA, that said there quite a few running it.
I would not advice to install it on production server "yet", unless you have a good reason(s) to do so (.NET 2 requirement in my opinion is not one of them)

https://build.hmailserver.com/ (login as guest, download latest artifact, eg: last column)
CIDR to RegEx: d-fault.nl/CIDRtoRegEx
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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-16 14:33

RvdH wrote:
2021-09-16 14:14
5.7.x is ALPHA, that said there quite a few running it.
Thanks, understood. It was more a question of being concerned that there might be a reason the software could not move to .NET 4.x but I can see now that's not the case. Thanks again.

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by SorenR » 2021-09-16 16:22

RvdH wrote:
2021-09-16 14:14
5.7.x is ALPHA, that said there quite a few running it.
I would not advice to install it on production server "yet", unless you have a good reason(s) to do so (.NET 2 requirement in my opinion is not one of them)

https://build.hmailserver.com/ (login as guest, download latest artifact, eg: last column)
I just made an experiment seeing that all the csproj files in the 5.6.8 project cover .NET from 2.0 over 3.5 to 4.5 ...

I changed the csproj files for hmailserver/source/tools from <TargetFrameworkVersion>v2.0</TargetFrameworkVersion> to 4.5.

I then recompiled them with no issues and verified hmail administrator to be working as expected. (very quick test!)

I then selected Windows 10 settings, programs, ,programs and functions, turn windows functions on/off ... and uninstalled NET.3.5 ...

Rebooted the server ...

Verified that the "normal" version of hmail administrator did not work - it actually requested I installed NET.2.0.

The NET.4.5 modified hmail administrator still is able to manage my servers...

I take this as an indicator that it should be fairly simple to loose the NET.2.0 dependency.
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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-17 18:33

SorenR wrote:
2021-09-16 16:22
The NET.4.5 modified hmail administrator still is able to manage my servers...
I take this as an indicator that it should be fairly simple to loose the NET.2.0 dependency.
I also carried out a test last night — we obviously have inquisitive minds :) . It appears that .NET 4 can be used, even for hMailServer 5.6.7-B2425. It wasn't what I was expecting, as it seems .NET 4 doesn't include .NET 2.0.

The O/S, an old virtual machine running Windows 7 64-bit with only .NET 4 installed. During installation it doesn't show the required dependency for .NET, whereas for systems without .NET installed at all, or with 4.6 installed, it asks for .NET 3.5. I don't understand why it works, but thought I would throw-in this finding anyway!

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by RvdH » 2021-09-17 20:14

pick wrote:
2021-09-17 18:33
SorenR wrote:
2021-09-16 16:22
The NET.4.5 modified hmail administrator still is able to manage my servers...
I take this as an indicator that it should be fairly simple to loose the NET.2.0 dependency.
I also carried out a test last night — we obviously have inquisitive minds :) . It appears that .NET 4 can be used, even for hMailServer 5.6.7-B2425. It wasn't what I was expecting, as it seems .NET 4 doesn't include .NET 2.0.

The O/S, an old virtual machine running Windows 7 64-bit with only .NET 4 installed. During installation it doesn't show the required dependency for .NET, whereas for systems without .NET installed at all, or with 4.6 installed, it asks for .NET 3.5. I don't understand why it works, but thought I would throw-in this finding anyway!
Windows 7 64-bit already has .NET 3.5 installed by default i think
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Fram ... on_history
CIDR to RegEx: d-fault.nl/CIDRtoRegEx
DNS Lookup: d-fault.nl/DNSTools
DNSBL Lookup: d-fault.nl/DNSBLLookup
GEOIP Lookup: d-fault.nl/GeoipLookup

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-17 20:49

RvdH wrote:
2021-09-17 20:14
Windows 7 64-bit already has .NET 3.5 installed by default i think
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Fram ... on_history
Ah okay, good point, yes that explains it then.

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Re: Future of .NET 3.5 and how hMailServer is affected by it

Post by pick » 2021-09-21 17:21

RvdH wrote:
2021-09-17 20:14
Windows 7 64-bit already has .NET 3.5 installed by default i think
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Fram ... on_history
I just wanted to add to this discussion to say, as a test I uninstalled .NET 3.5 from Windows 7 64-bit by unticking it within Wiindows Components and rebooting it. Remarkably hMailServer 5.6.7 and 5.6.8 still install and run regardless of that! So it does seem that although .NET 3.5 is included, and ticked by default, the bare components of .NET in Windows 7 somehow remain. The shell command dotnet is removed, but it doesn't bother hMailServer. Just an interesting finding really, perhaps not that relevant, but I was curious regarding exactly what is needed.

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