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Introducing FirstClass


Introducing FirstClass
FirstClass objects

Introducing FirstClass
FirstClass is an easy-to-use, advanced communications and information system. Here are some of the things you can do with FirstClass:
• send and receive electronic mail (email), phone messages (voice mail), and faxes
• transfer files so that other users can access them
• browse through and send messages to common areas that other users can also use
• maintain online calendars, through which you can set up meetings with other users
• maintain contact databases, where you can store information about your personal contacts
• engage in instant messaging sessions with other users who are online
• organize items for easy access
• publish information on the World Wide Web (web).

About the FirstClass system
The FirstClass system consists of two parts: a server and a client that connects to it.
A server stores all your messages and documents, and the Mailbox, conference, and folder structure that contains these items. It also contains information about all the users known to the server.
Your organization may have multiple servers, and you may be able to connect to some of these servers as well. On each server, you will see the objects that the administrator for that server has given you permission to see. The server to which you normally connect is considered your home server.
Client software runs on your computer. It connects to a server, and provides the interface (such as toolbar buttons) that lets you work with FirstClass objects.
You can use one of the following clients to connect to a server:
• a standalone client that comes with FirstClass and runs on Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X, or Linux, and which you install on your computer
• a web browser (this is what this help assumes you are using)
• a client-like plugin for Internet Explorer
• a phone
• a handheld device.

FirstClass objects
These are the basic objects that you'll work with when you use FirstClass.
Messages are pieces of email that are sent through FirstClass. Messages may be sent:
• locally on the same FirstClass server
• through a
gateway that connects another FirstClass server or another messaging system
• through the Internet to anyone who can receive email.
You can create documents in FirstClass much as you do messages. These are the differences between a message and a document.
A message:
• is intended for mailing to someone electronically, and therefore includes space in the header for address information
• cannot normally be edited after being sent (although FirstClass does let you unsend a message)
• expires after a certain period by default (FirstClass automatically deletes expired objects)
• is automatically named with the name of the sender (for mail received) or recipient (for mail sent).
A document:
• is intended for posting directly to an area where others can see it, and therefore can't be mailed
• can be edited after it has been posted
• never expires by default
• must be named explicitly.
Uploaded files
You can upload files such as word processing and graphics files so that they are available to other users. These files can be attached to messages or placed directly in containers.
FirstClass folders work just like other folders you are used to on your operating system. You can create and name folders, then put messages and documents in them to organize your work area for easy access.
The folder My Documents is a place to put private documents, files, and so on. My Shared Documents is a place to put objects that you want to share with other users.
In addition, your administrator may create
external folders.
At first glance, FirstClass conferences look like folders. A conference serves the same purpose of putting items with a common topic into one place, but there are some important differences.
A folder:
• is intended mainly as an organizational aid
• doesn't have directly controlled access; the folder's container determines its access
• can only hold messages that have been moved there
• doesn't indicate that it contains unread mail when it's closed.
A conference:
• is intended mainly as an online forum for the exchange of information
• has controlled access; you need to be given certain
permissions to be able to see and work with it
• can be the recipient of messages
• is flagged when it contains unread mail.
FirstClass includes online calendars that record time commitments, such as meetings, and tasks that you need to complete. In addition to your own personal calendar, you may have access to public calendars that let you schedule meetings at mutually convenient times.
Contact databases
You can store personal addresses and mail lists in contact databases, to simplify addressing messages. You have a personal contact database, called your Contacts folder. In addition, you can create public contact databases for sharing personal addresses and mail lists.
Instant messages
Instant messages are real-time, online discussions with other users who are currently connected to your server.
Your Desktop
Once you are connected to a FirstClass server, your Desktop opens. It contains your Mailbox, plus any containers that you or your administrator have placed on your Desktop.
Your Mailbox
Your FirstClass Mailbox contains:
• messages that have been sent to you
• all messages that you have sent
• messages that you have created but not yet sent.

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