Version Information:

• Current commercial multiline version: 2.33.mL (DOS+OS/2)
• Current shareware version: 2.26 (DOS+OS/2)
• Author: Joaquim Homrighausen (


Features and Technical Specifications

  • The FrontDoor system contains a Mailer, an Editor, a Terminal, a serial port device driver, and configuration utilities.
  • Its strong security management allows system administrators to retain the integrity of vital information and enable password protection on most user-functions. Up to 512 session passwords can be configured to automatically verify the authenticity of calls.
  • There is no need for servers or expensive equipment, but FrontDoor supports multi-taskers and LANs.
  • FrontDoor supports a virtually unlimited number of destinations, names, and telephone numbers (the theoretical limit is over 1.2 x 1020 entries, but DOS has a 4 GB, or 4.3×109 bytes, limit on file size).
  • File transfer protocols used by FrontDoor are Zmodem, Zmodem/CRC-32, Telink, SEAlink, SEAlink Overdrive, and Xmodem/CRC. Transmitted file size is limited only by DOS.
  • FrontDoor’s integrated environment provides comprehensive mail management and editing facilities, yet simple to use despite its sophistication. Ease of use in creating, storing, and forwarding mail and files to other systems means increased productivity.
  • A temporary DOS shell can be accessed from FrontDoor at nearly any time, and it can swap itself out (all but 4 kB) of conventional RAM to free up memory for your activities in the shell.
  • The Editor has 20 (24 on enhanced keyboards) configurable macro-keys with a powerful script language. The Mailer has 20 (24) configurable function keys for launching external applications. The Terminal supports over 65,000 sets of 20 (24) macro-keys.
  • A maximum of 400 message folders can be installed to hold messages sorted on type and topic. The system netmail folder (main inbound and outbound folder) can contain up to 2,500 messages, other folders can contain over 3,000 messages each.
  • Folders can be used for conferences where several systems and users are participating. TosScan, FrontDoor’s companion program, facilitates electronic mail conferences between two or more systems.
  • An attached printer can automatically print new (incoming) messages. Newly arrived mail is easy to find, read, and reply to. Replies can contain quotes of original text to remind recipient of issues.
  • Messages can be selected on one of several different criteria; selected messages can easily be copied, moved, removed, printed, and exported to file.
  • Outbound messages can be marked with one or both of two receipt requests, the handling of which depends on the capabilities of the software used at the destination. One receipt request is for when the software at the destination receives the message, and the other is for when the addressee is viewing the message for the first time.
  • Files can be attached and requested with or without cover message. Update requests allows for a system to only send files when the receiving system has older or no versions of the files.
  • Carbon copies and blind carbon copies (the latter are copies of a single message to several destinations without an indication that the message is copied to others) can easily be created, also with attached or requested files. Destinations can be entered manually or read from a specified file. Messages can be cross-posted in two or more folders with a simple command.
  • Up to ten markers can be inserted in a folder, which allows for rapid movements between marked messages.
  • DOS text files can be imported to messages.
  • Custom screen modes can be specified separately for the Editor, the Mailer, and the Terminal. It enables FrontDoor to change the number of columns and rows displayed on the screen for each of the applications to any values supported by the hardware in text modes.
  • Any DOS text file can be edited in a full-screen editor, and all system text files are loaded into the editor using simple function keys.
  • FrontDoor is developed with support for and has been successfully tested in the following multi-tasking and multi-user environments:
    • DR Multiuser DOS 5.0
    • Novell NetWare (/286, /386, /ELS, and Lite)
    • LANtastic
    • POWERLan
    • MS LAN Manager
    • DESQview
    • PC/MOS-386
    • DoubleDOS
    • OS/2 2.x
    • Windows 3.x
  • Command-line parameters can be used to force the Mailer to terminate with a given errorlevel as soon as there are no remaining calls to make.
  • The Mailer includes features which makes it suitable as a front-end to databases; service requests allows external applications to consolidate current reports while the remote system is waiting to receive the results.
  • Calls from users with terminal emulators are detected by the Mailer and can be passed on to an external interactive host.
  • The Mailer includes a flexible scheduler, which can be used to launch external applications. It also defines the Mailer’s behavior on treatment of calls and mail routing during specific times of the day.
  • The Mailer can automatically re-configure its modem with special handling for the modems at selected destinations.
  • Separate tasks of the Mailer can either share or have individual mail routing definitions, events configuration, and special modem handling configurations.
  • The Mailer can receive inbound fax calls from ZyXEL-1496 compatible modems. The received fax documents can then be viewed from within the Editor by invoking an external fax viewer.
  • The Terminal emulates TTY, VT-52, VT-100, ANSI X3.64, and AVATAR/0+. It accepts an optional external file transfer protocol, and features auto-Zmodem downloads.
  • Other features of the Terminal include translation tables between seven and eight bit characters, capture buffer with scroll-back, logging of received data to a printer or file, split-screen conversation mode, command history, upload of DOS text files, and a way to load the Terminal after a session with an interactive host has already been established.
  • The Terminal can be configured with over 65,000 different IEMSI- profiles for automatic login to interactive hosts which support the IEMSI specification. Automatic login to other hosts can be achieved by using the extensive script language.
  • The Terminal can hold up to 400 entries in a special phone directory with individual defaults for line settings, macro-key set, IEMSI- profile, and script.


Minimum hardware/software requirements

  • • An IBM PC, AT, i386, i486, PS/2 or 100% BIOS compatible.
  • A hard disk with at least 1 MB available disk space.
  • An asynchronous modem capable of sending alphanumeric messages such as CONNECT 2400.
  • A DTE (computer-modem) interface that supports CTS/RTS handshaking (most cables/internal modems do).
  • A monochrome or color monitor.
  • 384 KB of system memory.
  • MS or PC DOS 3.10 or above.
  • A FOSSIL driver such as X00, BNU, OpusComm, cFos, VX00, DGFossil, or VFD.
  • EMS memory for overlays and EMS/XMS memory for program image swapping (optional).
  • EGA/VGA extended screen modes such as 80×43/50 and 132×28 (optional).
  • AT-style (extended) keyboard (optional).

Interesting stories

You can read an interesting story about FrontDoor’s role in the 1991 Russian coup attempt here.

Order / Register

The latest version of FrontDoor Commercial can be ordered in one of the following ways:

  • Download our order form, fill it in and send it to our sales department.
  • Fill in our online order form

The latest version of FrontDoor Shareware can be registered in one of the following ways:

  • Download our registration form, fill it in and send it to our sales department.
  • Fill in our online registration form.


Please notice that it is not allowed to use the shareware version of FrontDoor in a commercial environment! FrontDoor Shareware may only be used by physical persons with a taxed income in a non-commercial environment.


The latest version of FrontDoor Shareware can be downloaded in one of the following ways:

  • Via the download page on our website.
  • By accessing our FTP-server directly.
  • Logon to our support BBS 24 hours a day.
  • Request the magic name FD from our Fidonet node at 2:284/800 or 2:284/801.


Please notice that it is not allowed to use the shareware version of FrontDoor in a commercial environment! FrontDoor Shareware may only be used by physical persons with a taxed income in a non-commercial environment.