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Different boundary in email header and body

Posted on 2012-04-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-01
Hi,
We are working on reading emails and then store their data in database.

Our email read function working fine but we face problem when email contains different boundary in header and body. In that case the body content is not saved and garbage value is displayed in place of email body.

like in one sample email the boundry value in header is:
"\tboundary=\"----=_NextPart_000_0023_01CD164E.F0EDAA20\"\r\n"

and in body is:
"\tboundary=\"----=_NextPart_001_0024_01CD164E.F0F01B20\"\r\n"

Can you please suggest me to understand why email contains different boundaries and how we handle this problem.

Please find that sample email attached.
FW--font-7-5.msg
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Question by:ziorinfo
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37825760
I don't know what that file is but it is Not an email message.  Emails typically have more than one boundary because they have been forwarded and each email client that formats the message as an HTML email adds their own boundary codes.
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Author Comment

by:ziorinfo
ID: 37831992
Hi DaveBaldwin,

Thanks for the answer, but can you plz tell me how do i handle this problem as the mail header contains one boundary and body is seperated by other boundary.

The attached file is a .msg file which can be opened in microsoft outlook.

Thanks
Heeralal
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 37832191
It is pretty common for mails to contain more than one boundary - but in each case, there will be a boundary header that lets you know the grouping for which the boundary is the marker.

in your case, you have a nested structure which I have diagrammed in the attached file.

in text though, the "outer" layer contains the nest plus an attached file.
the "middle" layer contains a nest plus a gif image
the "inner" layer contains a text and a html body as alternatives.
MIME-Structure.txt
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37833762
You could make your program more sophisticated and able to recognize multiple boundaries.  But the problem is that it would be very difficult for your program to know what is important enough to be saved.
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Accepted Solution

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Dave Howe earned 450 total points
ID: 37836766
Email is pretty complex, once you start dealing with inline images and the like. This is so complex because it has three phases
1) an attachment
2) an inline graphic
3) alternate text and html bodies.

if you start quoting emails,  you can get as many as 15 or 20 layers of boundary markers. you might be (unless you need search capability) better served to store the entire mail as a blob, headers, attachments and all.
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