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Matt Gilbert An attempt at techy stuff

We have a ticketing application deployed to BizTalk which helps automate the workflow around customer updates and the sending of emails. One of the functions the application performs is to handle returned emails (out of office and non-delivery) and update the ticket with that information. However, the implementation has caused us some issues.

Right now, emails sent from the application are sent from the support mail account. In order to get any returned emails, all emails arriving in the support mailbox are copied to a second mailbox which BizTalk polls. Rules called from within an orchestration built to process these returned mails determine if an email is an Out of Office message or a NDR and if so, updates the originating ticket. If the email is neither of these, the message is discarded.

This has historically caused many issues. All spam and non-ticket related email hitting the support mailbox is copied and processed by BizTalk. On top of that, many messages cause decoding errors (S/MIME or MIME type problems for example) and the POP adapter itself can even bomb due to an error receiving badly formatted messages (causing a bottleneck until the offending email is cleared out the mailbox). Others have had this error too ("The POP3 adapter received a response line from a server that contains more than 512 characters" http://www.biztalkgurus.com/forums/t/5992.aspx). Running some stats on the emails BizTalk was having to process, we figured that less than 1% of the messages we were getting were the OOO or NDR ones we were interested in.

I have proposed we move where the rules are executed and put them into the support mailbox itself. Instead of having a blanket copy-all rule to the secondary mailbox, we should only copy over OOO and NDR messages. The rules will execute in an environment designed and optimized for handling and routing emails (Exchange) and processing and errors will be dramatically reduced on the BizTalk server. Being able to change rules without recompiling code is great but being able to move where they are executed is nice too.

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:11 AM BizTalk | Back to top


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