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Several questions about transitioning to The Bat!, I'm trying to move to away from an old email client, and I'm not sure of some basic recommended practices
Hi -


I've been using Forte Inc's Agent for about 25 years, mostly for email (it's known more for usenet).  That software seems to be no longer supported for some time now.  I've been focused on probably moving to Thunderbird or paid-for Outlook, but now I'm wondering if I should have another look at The Bat!

Some of my initial questions:
- Has The Bat! published any sort of statement about continuity in the event that company management loses interest or passes away?  Would the software and upkeep be passed along to managers who would remain committed?  Is there a way to overcome the lack of strong revenues that comes with making stable secure software that does not require frequent paid upgrades?
- How does The Bat! do with MS Outlook email invites that seek to Calendar things?  Is there a Calendar feature?  (I always had this issue with Agent).
- Is there a recommended best practice as to where to keep The Bat! program and where to keep The Bat! data? Are there important dos and don'ts as to The Bat! backup practices so that no email or attachments are lost?  (I recently had a very rare computer restore situation and I lost my thunderbird setup, but not my agent setup, because I had better practices in place for the Agent.  That's why I want to ask now about The Bat!).  
- Is there a preferred import or export or email migration method to get old emails and other matters over from an old email program to The Bat!  I tried aid4mail to get from agent to other programs, but I am concerned now that this contributed to the rare crash I had.  (The aid4mail hung for a long time and ultimately didn't work, .... it seems like there was some sort of issue there.)

I prefer to pay for software, if it will get me a bit of support and some promise of upkeep.  That's part of why I'm considering The Bat!
I am not technically proficient, and I don't plan on becoming that way, so the more fool-proof the software, the better.
I don't think a company's forum should be used to recommend competing products. For that reason I've hidden a message by DrTeeth.
This notification is not an invitation to discuss moderation.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
My first suggestion to you is to experiment with the trial version. TB! is unbelievably complex, compared to other email clients because of its many features. I've been using it for three years and routinely discover some feature I had never heard of. My second suggestion would be to convert to IMAP to prevent future data conversions. You asked many questions, so I'll just share a few thoughts:

The product is well-supported on functionality, but that does not mean it is supported well. If you read back through the posts on the forum, you will see that the upgrade to version 9 omitted many features that were in version 8. Tech support says they will be reinstated, but why removed? You will also see that when Google did an unanticipated change to Gmail. version 9 quickly had the fix, showing that basic functionality is a high priority. But there is frustration that previously enjoyed features are still absent. I accept that as a growing glitch; TB! gives impression of new features in future and I'm patient.

The company appears to be small, somewhat of a 'family' environment between staffers and users. All good. Tech support is prompt and always responds. Being a small organization, there is always risk of its ongoing stability, but it seems strong in its customer base. Like you, I believe in being fully involved, installing all paid upgrades to help ensure ongoing development and support.

The mail structure is fairly straightforward: all user data is in one folder with subfolders, separate from the software. I keep mine in a folder off the root drive and TB! can do backups on a predefined schedule. I also do daily backups of the folder to an online service. To aid that, I created a simple utility, available at that I find helpful.  

Conversion is never easy. I used Agent 20 years ago, but don't remember format. My suggestion is to investigate whether Thunderbird and the import/export addon might assist, because if you can migrate to Thunderbird, you can from there easily move folders from POP to IMAP, a feat that I don't think other clients can do. That would ease the transition.

BRIEF UPDATE: I noticed this morning that the major developer is leaving the company immediately. I have my opinion on why that happened, but it relates to one of your questions on company stability. Something to consider. This might be a window on a great new future, or it may not. We will know in time.

Good luck.

Edited: david kirk - 26 May 2020 19:16:04

Where did you see that a developer is leaving? I can't seem to find an obvious page that shows this.
Maxim posted his farewell message in the TBBETA mailing list for beta testers.
I volunteer as a moderator to help keep the forum tidy. I do not work for Ritlabs SRL.
Daniel van Rooijen wrote:
I don't think a company's forum should be used to recommend competing products. For that reason I've hidden a message by DrTeeth.
This notification is not an invitation to discuss moderation.
I could not find a way to send a private email or message to you. I would just like to apologise for putting you in a position of having
to hide a post of mine. I was not aware of the rule and will not break it again.
Edited: DrTeeth - 28 May 2020 16:05:59
Daniel van Rooijen wrote:
Maxim posted his farewell message in the  TBBETA mailing list  for beta testers.
I thought Maxim owned the company!
UPDATE:- The timing of his leaving is strange and points to a very sudden decision. I base that on his VERY recent post (20th May) asking for testers whose CPU supported Intel SHA extensions. One would not make such a post if one was to be leaving in a few days.
Edited: DrTeeth - 01 June 2020 12:01:25
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