Simply Accounting Email PDF issue

Posted on 2013-06-04
Last Modified: 2013-11-25
My client is having an issue sending invoices via the email button on Sage 50.  Sometimes the pdf is received as a pdf, but then it is received as jibberish.  This happens with different clients that she sends the invoices to.  She did some testing with me and I got it fine once and not the next.
If this could help, the subject of the email for the jibberish one looks like this:  =?Windows-1252?Q?Facture_34214_de_M=E9tal_APS_inc._Test_1

Right now, I am having my client print the invoice in PDF and send it from there, but this adds steps to the process and she has to enter the lot and invoice numbers manually in the subject.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Thank you

Question by:data-informatique
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 39223430
Interesting.  The consensus would seem to be that the original subject line had unusable, unsupported characters, or it is simply too long and it's getting munged during delivery.

Any chance your client has control over the subject line used?  Excessively long subjects and apostrophes were singled out as likely culprits... but I suppose it could be any other character that might not be supported by the Windows-1252 character set.

Author Comment

ID: 39226543
The entire PDF is jibberish, instead of being attached to the email, we get the following in the text (I just copied the beginning):
Date: Thu, 30 May 2013 12:10:54 -0400
Message-ID: <001901ce5d50$433c1160$c9b43420$>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook 14.0

This is a multipart message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Si vous =EAtes incapable de visualiser la facture ci-jointe, veuillez
communiquer avec nous imm=E9diatement.

Content-Type: application/pdf;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment;


However, we did a test, she sent me the same invoice a second time and that time I got the pdf file and everything seemed fine.

- The version used is Sage 50 Comptabilité Supérieur (Version 2013 Lancement 2)
- The operating system is Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 2 (English)
- They do not have customized Sage form
- They do not have a logo on any custom form
- When I click on setup / company / email / invoices, the Crystal report attachment is on PDF

Please let me know what can be done to resolve this issue
Thank you
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 39227553
This would also be consistent with corruption.  Are the emails going through a firewall on the outbound trip, or some other SMTP aware application before they are delivered?  Do you have any anti-malware software which scans emails before they are sent out from the system?  Are all the emails sent to a single SMTP host which forwards them to the appropriate remote host?  I'd be tempted to either test with (1) a different SMTP provider temporarily to see if the problem remains, if there isn't an SMTP aware firewall between you and the SMTP server, or (2) setting up a local SMTP server on which you can capture a copy of the messages before they go out to make certain the account software is generating the messages correctly.

Doing a little more reading, it would appear Sage doesn't allow the user to modify the subject line, so the previous line of reasoning isn't helpful.

At this point, the problem tree works out to be that the problem is either:
  1) With the email generation from within Sage, in which case I'm afraid the best solution will be from the vendor itself.
  2) Something fairly close upstream in the network is damaging some messages before they're delivered.
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Author Comment

ID: 39228545
thank you for your replies, I would like to ask one question, however, wouldn't the email issue be for all emails if it was firewall or smtp related?  I had my client do a test with me where she send me the same invoice twice, the first time it was jibberish and the second time it was fine
Thank you for your help
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Rich Weissler
ID: 39228614
Possibly.  I suggest checking the way the firewall checks emails because once upon a time, the company I worked for had a Cisco PIX firewall.  Before encountering that PIX, I considered firewalls a fairly innocuous device that would protect me from traffic outside network, but allow my traffic out more or less undamaged.  The PIX firewall had a feature to make email more secure.  In practice, it would sometimes simply mangle messages, especially messages it didn't understand, and MIME messages certainly increase the complexity of the message.  I've heard there have been other folks who have had somewhat similar experiences with other firewalls/IDS solutions.  Could also be a virus protection solution that munges the message...  but to be honest, I'm trying to guess what could be wrong, and toss out some ideas I might try to narrow down the problem.  At this point, we're looking at a fair number of low probability causes.  I don't think it's REAL likely it's a firewall, unless you do tell me there is an old PIX involved.  

I think there is a significant probability that it's some device that is handling the mail after it leaves the computer though.  If you wanted to look over the headers of the two messages you received, and check to make certain the two messages followed the same path... any difference in servers that handled the messages?

But to the underlying question: if the client sent the identical message to you twice, and if the message followed identical paths, would I expect them to arrive in the identical condition?  Yes.  Given that they haven't, the question is why haven't they?  Again, I'd want to start by breaking the problem into pieces, and I think the easiest place to start is capturing the message as soon as possible after it leaves the Sage software.  If you can capture several messages, and confirm they aren't corrupted, you can start sending copies of a single known good message out to network and see if any get corrupted there.

Author Comment

ID: 39230712
My client does not work on Friday so I was unable to do any tests with her as she prefers to not have anyone access the accounting system without her supervision.  I have asked her to send the same invoice 4 times to 2 different email addresses.  When she does so, I will check the header and get back to you
Sorry for the delay

Accepted Solution

data-informatique earned 0 total points
ID: 39267914
My client has decided to stay with the workaround I gave her which is to print the file as pdf and send from there
Thank you for your help

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39674037
My client has given up trying to find a solution, everything seems too complicated for her

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