Can you get read receipts when using groupwise?

Posted on 2007-04-02
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I am running Groupwise 5.5 and was needing a way to receive a type of read receipt or confirmation that someone from another domain has received our emails. Is there a configuration or maybe a third party solution that will do this?  If not, do newer versions of groupwise have this feature?
Question by:jmpearce
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 18838004
Most normal e-mail clients have the feature to "request" a receipt from the recipient of a message. However, it is totally in the hands of the recipient if he/she wants this receipt to be generated/sent. Some even let their mail client reply automatically. It's totally unreliable and tells you nothing, unless you have a confirmed procedure set up with the recipient(s) you're interested in. Ayway, I would have thought GroupWise included this feature.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 18878300
Depends on EXACTLY HOW you're trying to do this.

Historically, there have been three mechanisms for message tracking across the Internet.

First, there was RRT, or Return Receipt Requested. This was never a formal specification (there's no RFC) and was never widely implemented. Most modern E-Mail systems, including GroupWise, do not honor it.

Next, there is Delivery Status Notification, DSN, described in RFC 1891. This is handled at the MTA level (in the case of GroupWise, as the GWIA).

>> Modern <<   GroupWise (v6.x and later) does support DSN.

Unfortunately, the Asker is still running a version of GroupWise from LAST CENTURY. GroupWise v5.5 dates to about 1998 and is no longer supported. I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think that the v5.5 GWIA included DSN support.

The other message tracking standard is Message Delivery Notification, MDN, described in RFC 3798. This is a client-level protocol. The E-mail client must support MDN, it is ignored by servers (altho I suppose a server could be programmed to pay attention to it). The GroupWise client, even as late as v7.0.1, does not include MDN support.

Author Comment

ID: 18878454
The reason behind my question is for proof of communication in a legal standpoint.  If we send emails to a recipient we need to prove in court that they received the email.  A copy of our sent message from our server is not good enough.  We need a receipt that shows the email was actually received at the recipients end.  But so far from the two comments provided, it looks like there is no set standard or reliable means with any current solution other than find some way to make the recipient cooperate with us. Any other thoughts in regards to this?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 18878553
Any sort of e-mail receipt seems to me very poor grounds for legal action. How can anybody prove that the actual recipient in fact was the one getting the mail? Depends on the situation, of course, but it isn't too hard imagining that a workstation may be left unprotected or somebody uses weak password(s) or similar for computer or mail accounts. There have been cases where login data have been stolen from ISP's, just as an example.

The only way I can see is if you have full cooperation with the recipient and he/she can give proof of identity with a set of prearranged codephrases or similar.

Author Comment

ID: 18878617
My thoughts exactly.  I was just trying to make sure there wasn't something that I wasn't aware of.  We are just running into a problem where a trustee claims that they haven't received an email by the court date and the day after court the email turns up.  
Thanks for the comments. I will leave this open for a few more days to see if any other suggestions come in.
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

steveoskh earned 250 total points
ID: 18878665
I think 5.5 did support the DSN, however, most systems have it turned off so it is unlikely to be a solution for you.
You can also do some type of HTML tracking where you send an image in the email and then track access of that image.  If you search on "email receipt tracking" you will find a bunch of companies offering this service.   They make some bold claims along the line of what you are looking for.  I have no idea if it works.

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