We come out of the BBS experience and have used some software from there
that answers all of our needs.
Galacticomm used to make MAJORBBS, they upgraded that to Worldgroup
(www.gcomm.com) . There is another company that has a fine Radius server
for the Worldgroup platform: Vircom www.vircom.com.
The nice part is that there are multiple add-ons to Worldgroup. Accounting
is very strong. You can get POINT OF SALE software that automatically
processes credit cards. Email notifiers when accounts are to expire,
"class" limitations (3 hours/day, 40hours/month, etc, 56K only, etc.) and a
variety of other functions (see www.addons.com) One nice thing is the
ability to automatically create the users websites and control their access
for the site by "locks and keys".
Everyone authenticates off of the Worldgroup (WG) server and all of the
accounting occurs there.
WG is now a NT product (although a DOS version is available - runs on 16
meg of ram and pentium) and Vircom is expanding the Radius vehicle to
provide access to new services on various machines (see
http://www.vircom.com/vop.htm) using the same radius server but allowing
the concept of classes and giving roaming access to any group of VOP
servers that exist (national service, etc). They also make a fairly decent
SMTP and Webserver.
I know there are those who scoff at the old BBS world but who cares? Keep
an eye out for them, I know of many people using PM3s running over 175
lines using this setup. (Just talked to one person yesterday - 2,000
customers and it is a one man show. Things work so smoothly he doesn't need
additional staff - although he could probably use one)
There is an interesting sidenote regarding the BBS software: Worldgroup.
Their new product has a java interface allowing email to be sent off a web
page via java, and threaded messages for a local forum, locks and keys on
web pages allowing limited access via user name/password, etc. It is a
great way to create a "local system" in addition to the global internet
system many of you are providing.
Anyway, it works for us!