Modify an SMTP/POP or SMTPS/POP3S (external) transport

After you create an external SMTP (or SMTPS) pickup or delivery, you can view and modify the fields that define the object.

This topic provides information for completing fields in the maintenance pages.

SMTP/SMTPS settings tab (delivery only)

  • Email address – The email address for sending messages to a partner.
  • Use the global external SMTP server / Use the global external SMTPS server – Selecting this means the system’s global external SMTP or SMTPS server is used to send messages to the partner. A link is provided to configure the system’s external SMTP/SMTPS server. See Configure the global external SMTP/SMTPS server.
  • Use a partner-specific SMTP server / Use a partner-specific SMTPS server – Selecting this means you can specify an external SMTP/SMTPS server to send messages to the partner that is different from the system’s global external SMTP/SMTPS server.
  • SMTP server / SMTPS server – Enter an SMTP or SMTPS server for sending messages only to this partner. Enter a fully-qualified domain name or IP address for the server. If you leave this field blank, the system inserts its external SMTP/SMTPS server.
  • Port – The default port for sending mail is 25 for SMTP and 465 for SMTPS.
  • This server requires a user name and password – Select this if a user name and password are required to connect to the server and then complete the name and password fields. SMTP servers usually do not require user names and passwords for sending.
  • Clients must use SSL to connect to this server – SMTPS only. If this is selected, it will be grayed-out and cannot be changed. To switch this exchange from SMTPS to SMTP while using the same port, you must delete the SMTPS delivery and add an SMTP delivery instead.
  • Note: Activator supports the use of both secured and non-secured SMTP/POP transports in the same implementation. You can create an additional SMTP exchange on a different port without deleting the SMTPS exchange.
  • Enable host name verification – SMTPS only. If selected, Activator compares the name of the SSL server to the name in the server’s certificate to ensure they are the same.

Advanced tab (delivery only)

  • Maximum concurrent connections – Default = 100. The maximum number of connections Activator can open to an external SMTP server in order to upload files.
  • For example, if the value is 100 connections and there are 150 messages to upload, Activator opens only 100 connections to that partner. The remaining 50 messages are queued until connections become available.
  • The default value is suitable in most cases. However, if a partner reports that your Activator configuration is overrunning the receiving system, decrease the value.
  • Retries – This is the number of times Activator will retry connecting to the partner’s transport if the initial attempt to connect and send the message failed. The following are common reasons for triggering retries.
    • The connection attempt failed immediately for a reason such as host not found.
    • The host was found, but the connection process took longer than the connect timeout interval specified on the Advanced tab.
    • The connection was successful, but the partner’s HTTP server took longer than the response timeout interval to return a 200 OK response indicating the message was successfully received. A 200 OK response is a transport response, separate from a message protocol response such as an AS2 receipt.
  • Note that in the last case, the 200 OK response also will include the receipt if synchronous receipts were requested. Otherwise, it will be a simple 200 OK response with no payload. And if an asynchronous receipt was requested, the partner will connect later to send it.
  • Retries occur according to an algorithm that starts at 5 minutes. The interval between retries increases with each subsequent retry in this pattern: 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes. The interval plateaus at 60 minutes. This means if the retry value is greater than 5, the fifth and each subsequent retry occurs at 60 minute intervals.
  • For example, if retries is 3, the system will try connecting again in 5 minutes if the initial connection attempt fails. If this retry attempt also fails, the system attempts a second retry in 10 minutes. The third retry attempt is made 15 minutes later. If the third retry attempt fails, the message is given a failed status. So after four attempts (the first attempt plus 3 retries), the message fails. You can search for and manually resubmit failed messages in Message Tracker.
  • Retries do not occur precisely at these intervals because each connection attempt takes some seconds, which varies by computer. So retries actually occur after the connection attempt time plus the interval.
  • This control applies only to retrying to send messages, not receiving. It applies only to retrying to send related to transport issues. It does not apply to successfully sent messages for which receipts have not been received as expected. Another control, resends, determines how many times the system will resend a message when a receipt is not received from the partner. For information about resends, see reliable messaging in the collaboration settings chapter.
  • Connect timeout (seconds) – Interval in seconds Activator waits for a connection to the delivery exchange before the attempt times out. Although the default value is 30 seconds, this may be longer than the interval allowed by your operating system (OS). For example, Windows XP by default allows a maximum timeout of 20 seconds. The actual connect timeout interval is the lesser of the OS timeout and the value set in Activator.
  • Read timeout (seconds) – Time in seconds Activator waits to read data from the delivery exchange before terminating the connection.
  • Override SSL and TLS cipher suite - Select this to limit the available ciphers. The list of all of the ciphers will appear. Select one or more and click Add to move them to the Selected column.
  • Back up the files that go through this transport – Indicates whether the system backs up copies of the messages it retrieves from integration or receives from partners.
  • Backing up files is strongly recommended. This is required for the system to perform fail-over operations such as attempting to send messages again (retries) in case of a transport connection failure. Without backups, a message in process cannot be recovered if the server stops or restarts. Backups also are needed if you want the ability to resubmit messages to back-end applications or resend messages to partners.
  • Backup files are stored in \<install directory>\common\data\backup, unless you specify otherwise.
  • Post-processing script – The full path to an executable file that contains post-processing commands. This field is available for community integration delivery exchanges and partner trading delivery exchanges.

POP settings tab (pickup only)

  • POP server – The name of the POP server that Activator polls for messages sent by your partner. This must be a fully qualified domain name or IP address.
  • Port – The POP server port. Default = 110
  • User name – The user name for connection to the POP server.
  • Change password – Select this option to change the password of the user who connects to the POP server. Then complete the password fields.
  • Authentication type – Select the authentication type to use for the POP server:
    • USER/PASS – Select this option to use standard POP authentication (user/password transmitted in plain text).
    • APOP – Select this option if the server you are connecting to supports APOP (Authenticated Post Office Protocol). APOP is an extension of traditional POP that enables user passwords to be encrypted while being transmitted over networks, including the Internet.
  • Clients must use SSL to connect to this server – If this is selected, it will be grayed-out and cannot be changed. To switch this exchange from POP3S to POP while using the same port, you must delete the POP3S delivery and add a POP delivery instead.
  • Note: Activator supports the use of both secured and non-secured SMTP/POP transports in the same implementation. You can create an additional POP exchange on a different port without deleting the POP3S exchange.
  • Enable host name verification – Appears only if the above option is selected. If this option is selected, Activator compares the name of the SSL server to the name in the server’s certificate to ensure they are the same.

Accounts tab (pickup only)

Select an option for authorizing the reception of email from a sender:

  • Identify the sender using partner delivery defined e-mail addresses - (Default) When you select this option, Activator consumes email on this transport only if the sender email address is well-defined and configured in a partner SMTP delivery.
  • Identify the sender using partner associated e-mail accounts – Select this option if you want to create a list of authorized sending-partner email accounts. Use this feature, for example, if you want this pickup to allow multiple members of a remote partner organization to send email, without a validation of the complete sender email address.
  • You can create the list of authorized senders by selecting accounts that already exist on pre-existing partners, or you can enter accounts directly to the list for this pickup.
  • The local element of the email address is case sensitive. For example, myaccount@organization.com is evaluated as a different address than MyAccount@oragnization.com.
  • See the rules sections below, for additional configuration details.

Rules for the use of wildcard characters

The list of authorized senders can include entries composed with wild-card characters.

  • "*" may be substituted for zero or more characters
  • "?" may be substituted for any one of the 36 characters, "A" through "Z" and "0" through "9

Examples of accounts using wildcards:

  • *@domain.com
  • *@*.*

When Activator parses the user account name, it ranks specific characters over wildcard characters. For example, " partner1@domain1" is selected over " partner?@domain1".

Rules for sender identification on a single pickup

If a single pickup consumes email from an external POP3 server, the Activator partner (from the list of authorized partners) with the most specific rule is selected first.

Example – We define the following addresses on an email trading pickup:

  • Partner1 = partner1@myPartner.com
  • Partner2 = @myPartner.com
  • Partner3 = *@*

When receiving a message from partner1@myPartner.com, Activator identifies the sending partner as Partner1.

Rules that apply on multiple trading pickups

When two or more email trading pickups point to the same external POP3 server, the same email account or pattern can be associated with different Activator Partners. For example, one pickup may indicate that the a@a.com email account resolves to PartnerA, while another may specify that the same email address resolves to PartnerB.

In this case, the trading pickup that consumes the message determines the partner with whom the user account is associated, based on the accounts specified in its Accounts tab.

Advanced tab (pickup only)

  • Connect timeout (seconds) – Time in seconds Activator waits for a connection to the delivery exchange before the attempt times out. Although the default value is 30 seconds, this may be longer than the interval allowed by your operating system (OS). For example, some Windows platforms by default allow a maximum timeout of 20 seconds. The actual connect timeout interval is the lesser of the OS timeout and the value set in Activator.
  • Read timeout (seconds) – Time in seconds Activator waits to read data from the delivery exchange before terminating the connection.
  • If you handle files larger than 200 megabytes, it is recommended to set this to a minimum of 150 seconds (2.5 minutes), but preferably to 300 seconds (5 minutes).
  • Override SSL and TLS cipher suite – This allows you to restrict the available ciphers. Once selected, the list of available ciphers appears. Select one or more ciphers from the Available column and click Add to move them to the Selected column.
  • Include attachments only – This option is applicable when you have partners who send messages using a mail client such as Microsoft Outlook. The control lets you eliminate extraneous message fragments. This control is available under the generic email message protocol, but not AS1.
  • When a partner uses a mail client application to send a trading document as an attachment to an email message, Activator actually receives two or more documents. These can include the MIME header, the text of the email message and the document attachment. Activator tracks and processes the incidental MIME body parts just as it does any document. Although such processing does no harm, it can cause confusion.
  • Selecting this check box causes the incidental MIME body parts to be ignored while preserving the important document attachments.
  • Back up the files that go through this transport – Indicates whether the system backs up copies of the messages it retrieves from integration or receives from partners.
  • Backing up files is strongly recommended. This is required for the system to perform fail-over operations such as attempting to send messages again (retries) in case of a transport connection failure. Without backups, a message in process cannot be recovered if the server stops or restarts. Backups also are needed if you want the ability to resubmit messages to back-end applications or resend messages to partners.
  • Backup files are stored in \<install directory>\common\data\backup, unless you specify otherwise.
  • Restrict maximum file size for this transport – Optionally lets you specify the maximum size of files a transport can handle.
  • If Activator receives a file larger than the maximum, the file is rejected and a message is written to the events log. If received via HTTP, a 413 response also is sent and the connection is closed. A 413 message is Request Entity Too Large.
  • The maximum size must be expressed in bytes. Do not use commas. For instance, a kilobyte is 1024 bytes, a megabyte is 1048576 bytes, a gigabyte is 1073741824 bytes.
  • The smallest maximum allowed is 1000 bytes. On the opposite extreme, you can enter the largest number the field can accommodate.
  • This control is available only for transports used for picking up messages from integration or receiving messages from partners.
  • Maximum files per polling interval – The highest number of messages the system can retrieve each time it polls.
  • Specify preferred nodes – If there are one or more nodes for Activator, you can select one or more as the preferred nodes for consuming messages. If the preferred nodes are running, these are used to process messages. If the preferred nodes are stopped, work is distributed among the remaining running available nodes. Selecting preferred nodes lets you manage work distribution among nodes.
  • This option is available for integration pickup and trading delivery exchanges that poll for messages.
  • In general, this setting should not be used. Usually it is best to let Activator automatically determine which node should be responsible for initiating the polling of which exchange point.

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