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Format of email content changes when sent between Domino servers on the same LAN

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
When sending mail to other users on the same LAN, but homed to a different server, most of my formatting is stripped, especially colors and fonts.  My Lotus Notes client (version 7) has preferences for sending Internet email in HTML or Plain Text, but nothing for non-internet mail.  

I can receive text formatting from other users, just can't send.

Is there a server configuration variable that I am missing?
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Question by:csarratt
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by:fgrushevsky
ID: 21877030
What are the other users setting for "format preferences for incoming mail"? Also what type of routing (Notes NRPC or SMTP) is enabled between server?
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Author Comment

by:csarratt
ID: 21877316
I believe all my users are set to "No Preference" in that field in the Public Name and Address book. I checked the few that I've been testing with to verify that it was the case.

You may be on to something with the routing. Of the 10 servers in our company, only 2 are actually set to "Mail Routing, SMTP Mail Routing" in the Routing Tasks field on their server documents. I'm going to set them to "SMTP Mail Routing" and retest....

I'll let you know
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by:fgrushevsky
ID: 21877384
You need to take a look at the server configuration documents, Router/SMTP-Basics tab and check settings for "SMTP allowed within the local internet domain:" and
"Servers within the local Notes domain are reachable via SMTP over TCPIP:"
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Author Comment

by:csarratt
ID: 21887172
Wait - are you indicating the messages are formatted differently, depending on their method of delivery? i.e. via Notes, as opposed to via SMTP?
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by:fgrushevsky
ID: 21899695
Yes. More accurately, the message format can be changed (converted) depending on the method of delivery.

This is the quote from Admin help, mail section, Supported routing, format, and access protocols  :

Domino transports and stores messages in both MIME format and Notes rich text format. The transit format of a message depends in part on the routing protocol used, and can differ from the format in which the message is stored in the destination mail file. When transferring messages over Notes routing the Router handles messages in either MIME or Notes format. Messages sent over SMTP are always sent in MIME format.
The format used to store a message depends on the storage preference specified in the user's Person document. A mail file can store messages in MIME format only, Notes rich text format only, or in both formats, accepting messages as is, regardless of format. Administrators should ensure that each user's Person document specifies the format preference appropriate to their mail client. For example, because IMAP clients require messages in MIME format, the Person document of a user who always accesses mail from an IMAP client should specify MIME as the format preference for incoming mail.
To ensure that users receive messages in the format best suited to their chosen mail clients, Domino converts messages between formats as needed. The Router may convert a message during transfer between servers or when delivering the message to a user's mail file. Conversion during transfer occurs when a message in Notes format must be sent over SMTP, or when routing a MIME message to a Notes user that is set to Notes Rich Text in their Person document. For example, The Domino IMAP and POP3 services also convert messages, as when an IMAP or POP3 client needs to retrieve a message stored in Notes format.
Because Notes routing can transport messages in MIME format, on networks that support both Notes routing and SMTP, a MIME message may travel over both protocols enroute to its destination.
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by:csarratt
ID: 21899792
Interesting. I have spent the weekend trying to verify that all servers are on the same Notes Named Network, and am attempting to get them to all transfer mail via the same protocol. My thought is to have them communicate via TCPIP, but to disable the SMTP task on each server hoping to force Notes Rich Text. Currently, I believe this will solve the problem of different users seeing different formatting on the same message. Do you think this is an appropriate way to get the desired result?
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by:fgrushevsky
ID: 21899886
You might but don't have to disable SMTP server task (you might the task need it to accept mail from non-notes clients such as IMAP or POP3).  IMHO, it is less important then "SMTP allowed within the local internet domain:" setting. Check that it is disabled for all server, this way all mail between servers will be routed over NRPC .
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Author Comment

by:csarratt
ID: 21900217
Thanks for staying with me on this one.

Wouldn't it be more desirable to send all internal mail via SMTP? Wouldn't that increase the chances that mail sent outside the company would look as the users intended?
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fgrushevsky earned 2000 total points
ID: 21900299
In my experience, it is not very desirable to send all internal mail via SMTP.

I see at least two reasons not to send all internal mail over SMTP:

1) Messages sent over SMTP are always sent in MIME format.  So if the message was prepared on the client as Notes RichText Message it will be converted by the router to MIME. The conversion could cause lost of message integrity

2) There were (still is?) some issues when "SMTP allowed within the local internet domain:" was enabled.   One of the issues is described here:

http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21108473

I think the were some other possible complications, but can't recall them at this moment
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Author Closing Comment

by:csarratt
ID: 31470724
Thanks again for staying with me. I uncovered some Notes Named Network errors during the course of this, so hopefully my network is running smoother than before - PLUS, when I flame in RED text, everyone sees it!
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