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After GW 7 upgrade from GW 6.5, some messages are illegible on external mail clients

Posted on 2007-10-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
I manage a Windows 2003 network running Exchange 2003 for a division of another much larger company. They are a primarily Novell shop and run Groupwise for email. I know little of the Novell side of the house but am part of that organization so we are working on this problem together. Here is the scenario:

They upgraded their Groupwise email server from 6.5 to 7. While the version change went well, we are now experiencing problems with emails sent from GW to our Exchange server and clients running Outlook 2003. This is also happening to other businesses/customers/vendors that run Outlook 2003 for the client application. Apparently the bodies of some of the emails are getting either corrupted or not decoded properly and frequently the To/From fields show up empty. I found an article that smells like our problem but did not provide a fix:

http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.exchange.admin/browse_thread/thread/6323931bfbd2871f

Is this a problem with MIME somehow, or maybe a malformed header? I know that GW changed to UTF-8 as well. There are hot fixes we can apply to our Exchange server that assist with this but Im not sure it is the problem. Additionally, I don't want to fix something on our end and not have an avenue to test any attempted resolutions on the GW side. Remember , this is happening on external companies to our own and it's not like we can just call them up and say "fix your mail server".

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here is a message header from one of the emails:

From:
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject:

X-Mailer: Groupwise 6.5
Message-ID: <20071009T170836Z_AB9000040000@ourgroupwiseserver.com>
From: "Chelsie" <ChelsieS@groupwiseemail.com>
Subject: RE: AP INVOICE
To: "Chris" <Chris@ourexchangeserver.com>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="____KNARURPLBSLFYKFKBBHS____"
Return-Path: ChelsieS@groupwiseemail.com
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 09 Oct 2007 22:08:55.0835 (UTC) FILETIME=[FC069EB0:01C80AC0]


--____KNARURPLBSLFYKFKBBHS____
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Language:
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

VGhhbmsgeW91IHNvIG11Y2ggZm9yIHlvdXIgaGVscC4gU29ycnkgSSBkaWQgbm90IGhhdmUgeW91
ciBuYW1lIHRvIGNvbWUgdG86KQ0KSGF2ZSBhIGdvb2QgZXZlbmluZy4gDQoNCkNoZWxzaWUgU2No
dWx0eg0KQ0NDIEdyb3VwLCBJbmMuDQpBL1AgRGVwdC4NCjIxMC02NjItNDUzNyBPZmZpY2UNCjIx
MC02NjItMTYwNCBGYXgNCkNoZWxzaWVTQGNjY2dyb3VwaW5jLmNvbQ0KDQoNCj4+PiAiQ2hy
MC02NjItMTYwNCBGYXgNCkNoZWxzaWVTQGNjY2dyb3VwaW5jLmNvbQ0KDQoNCj4+aXN0
aW5hIE9waGFuaW0iIDxjb3BoYW5pbUBhaXJjb250cm9sc2NpZW5jZS5jb20+IDEwLzkvMjAw
aW5hIE9waGFuaW0iIDxjb3BoYW5pbUBhaXJjb250cm9sc2NpZW5jZS5jb20+NyA0....................................................
Q2hlbHNpZVNAY2NjZ3JvdXBpbmMuY29t
--____KNARURPLBSLFYKFKBBHS____
Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="____OCWUZBXJOPTSURTKJFTX____"


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Question by:jefferybush
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ShineOn earned 2000 total points
ID: 20052005
I believe this is a problem that has been resolved in the current support pack for GW7.   However, the header you're displaying says the mailer is GW6.5.  Did they not upgrade their GWIA (the SMTP server component of GroupWise?)  

Anyway, there was a problem where if you reply to an html message and your client isn't set for html and plain-text in both read and compose "views" it screws up the mime going out.  

Alternatively, it's a problem with your Exchange server.  Did you apply the Base64 patch?
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by:jefferybush
ID: 20053777
Thanks for responding, Shine. The header takes on the properties of the user's client as I was told by the support staff at the corporate office. I will ask them about the GWIA as well.

I know that the Exchange server can be patched to rectify the Base64 and I already have the hot fix from MS. However, since our division is part of the same organization and some of our external customers/clients/business partners have the same problem, I need to keep the problem determination avenue within our company. If I patch our Exchange server we have no way to test the fix on the GW side. Make sense?

At any rate, I will pass this information along. Again, I thank you for your response and will let you know the outcome.

Jeff
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by:ShineOn
ID: 20054082
Have them check the default views for the clients too.  I recall there was something about replies to an HTML email get garbled if your default views don't match - if the default compose view is plain text but the default read view is html, or vice-versa.  Don't remember, but it's worth recommending the corporate groupwise admins look into that.
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by:PsiCop
ID: 20055894
They HAD to update their GWIA.

GroupWise 7 *required* an update of all GroupWise system components at the same time. In many previous versions of GroupWise, it was possible to run a back-level Post Office or Gateway (like GWIA) as long as the Domain (MTA) was upgraded first. Not so when moving from GroupWise <7 to GroupWise 7. A GroupWise v6.5 GWIA would not be able to operate in a GroupWise 7 Domain.

My experience is that Exchange does a really lousy job with MIME in general. Probably has something to do with Redmond's general disdain for standards they didn't write. GroupWise, for whatever reason, seems to be more than a little sensitive to MIME anomalies (deviations from standards).

I'd try ShineOn's suggestion to try setting the Default Read View in GroupWise to Plain Text instead of HTML. Even more effective would be to have the Exchange environment switch to Plain Text as their default Compose mode. I never understood why people need to send E-Mail using green text on a purple background with animated dancing hippos in pink tutus as a message border.
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by:ShineOn
ID: 20057389
I remember someone else on e-e asked about garbled messages from GroupWise a couple of months back.  The curious thing was they had the problem with their Ex 2003/Outlook 2003 reading the emails, but the same emails sent to a hotmail account would be perfectly readable.


That tells me:

1)  Microsoft doesn't use Exchange for their Hotmail service
2)  It's probably not a problem with GroupWise, but as PsiCop said, a problem with Exchange.  Problem with that is, there are too damn many people that have swallowed the blue pill, so because they can send between themselves OK they assume it's a GroupWise issue and not a problem with Exchange - even though it's only Exchange that seems to have this issue with email from GroupWise.

Hmm.  If I had a tinfoil hat, I might think it's another example of M$ breaking compatibility in order to undermine the competition.  Could that be?  Naaah, those folx at Redmond are just a bunch of nice guys. ;^)
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by:jefferybush
ID: 20066052
Thanks, PSI and Shine. Just to clarify, this problem is happening to Outlook clients within the Novell network who are using it to access GW, not just going through an Exchange server. They will be updating the GWIA tomorrow to see if it resolves the problem. I will keep you updated.

Jeff
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by:jefferybush
ID: 20066136
BTW, the GW7 server is running with 6.5 mailer. Does this mean the MTA wasn't updated either?

Jeff
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Author Closing Comment

by:jefferybush
ID: 31408110
Psi and Shineon-

This turned out to be a problem with GW clients on the Novell network running outdated client versions. Once all the clients were updated to version 7 of GW, we have had no more issues.

Thanks again for your help.

Jeff
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Author Comment

by:jefferybush
ID: 20502035
This turned out to be a problem with GW clients on the Novell network running outdated client versions. Once all the clients were updated to version 7 of GW, we have had no more issues.

Thanks again for your help.

Jeff
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