11-24-2008 08:45 AM
I'm trying to understand more about email attachments in order to bottom out an occasional problem we have with email attachments being un-openable ("there was an error opening ....." "it may have been deleted ....."). Sometimes another remote user can't open the attachment which has been attached by a first remote user, sometimes it's even the first remote user who can't open it. The 'msg' files that can't be read are not actually present in the attachments directory (which explains the error message).
We always attach the full email from Outlook, which I can see gets stored in the attachments directory as an Outlook message, with a filename extension .msg, and the whole attachments directory gets updated during our synchonisations.
It had been suggested to us that rogue characters in message title can make it un-openable and we have seen this occasionally. But it's not the whole story. I also saw a Sage knowledgebase article which talked about 'outlook-flagged' emails failing to attach to ACT properly. But I've tested that without seeing a problem.
We have lots of old version ACTemail attachments, but it looks as if recent Outlook attachments are given a name of the type <tmpE29.msg> and that (for some reason) any subsequent attachments withe same name (why??) are modified to be of the form <tmpE29 eb8e2442-7628-478c-906c-56364fe63059.msg>. Even more oddly, Outlook attachments earlier in the year were given a name of the type <bfea563.msg> - ie no <tmp> text. I don't know if this is significant, I'm just trying to understand what the methodology is.
I just can't find a common thread which might give a clue as to where to look for a reason for our core problem. Are there any warning signing in the file naming conventions? Of course, if anyone does know exactly what circumstances cause this, please let me know!!
11-24-2008 02:32 PM
Are you using ACT! for Web? (It doesn't matter too much, but I am currious.)
The tmp file name is generated by the OS. If the OS changes how it generates the temporary file names, the format of the names will change. Also different machines and OS can name their temporary files differently. This could explain the difference between tmp1234.msg and 1234.msg.
The file name issue is simple:
Mutliple histories with attachments with the same name.
For example, if you send an email to 10 contacts, it looks as if 10 separate histories are created for those 10 contacts. The first history will have the temporary file name (tmp56e34.msg), the other 9 will have a guid appended to the name. (This is as opposed to a single history with 10 contacts associated with it.)
I know that ACT! for Web 11.0 does this, and I think that 10.0.1 probably does as well (which is why I asked.)
I have never seen a character in a MSG file in the subject or body which prevents it from being opened, and I've seen some pretty odd characters so I would be very suprised if this could be a problem.
This should answer some of your questions, but unfortunately does not address the base problem, the missing files.
Unfortunately, if you do not have a file at all in the Attachments folder with the file name in a history record, I do not know how that would happen.
11-25-2008 02:11 AM
Thanks for your response, RealNobody, I'm glad you understand what I am talking about. For the record, it's NOT ACT! for Web that I am using. And as you say, nothing is getting me to the root of the problem, but your comments are interesting.
I totally understand what you say about different OS's generating different temp file names. This makes sense. Maybe a change to our XP system starting the generation of different types of temporary filename. So, maybe it's a random process and, when it hits on a duplicate, it generates the extra guid.
NOT so sure about what you say about about generating 10 histories when you send and attach an email to 10 folk. Firstly, it would be a horrible waste of storage but, secondly, by quick inspection I don't find this is so in my system. A single tmp file seems to be associated with each and every contact to which the email is attached. Further, any given tmp file name (eg tmpFE.msg) in my attachments directory which also has others with the same basic filename (eg tmpFE b9b9929b-598c-4206-b762-8f9e7b28380a.msg) can be different in date stamp by many months and have totally different content.
And just to carry the point one more stage further (and to use the same filename examples), I looked at a history record which says it had the attachment file tmpFE.msg but the 'matched' filename in the attachments directory was the long file name above. So I still don't really understand how it all works!
I'll see if I can find a reference to the point about rogue characters in an email title preventing its attachment. I believe I was told this by our UK ACT support guys....