Blank Blank
Blank Blank Blank Blank Blank Blank
Navigation Bar
OfficePower/Exchange Mail Interworking
This item was originally published on the OfficePower web site on
12th August 1999


OfficePower/Exchange Mail Interworking

Mail can be exchanged (no pun intended!) between OfficePower and Microsoft Exchange, using either an X.400 link between the two mail systems, or an SMTP link in conjunction with OfficePower/Xtra's Internet Mail Gateway. This page gives guidance on a number of issues when establishing mail links between OfficePower and Exchange.

Considering the balance of benefits offered by the two types of link, TeamWARE Group normally recommend the use of SMTP via the OfficePower Internet Mail Gateway in preference to X.400. It is also strongly recommended that any OfficePower server which will interwork with Exchange is upgraded to OfficePower/Xtra V4 or later, regardless of the type of link used.

(We also publish a white paper on this subject, which discusses the choice of X.400 or SMTP link, and describes the facilities for Directory Synchronisation in more detail.)

  1. Attachment Handling

    If using an X.400 link, attachments to messages sent from OfficePower to Exchange will be received as "unknown" files - they have names like att0001.dat, are not associated with any PC application, and the system relies on the SENDER telling the recipient, in the text of the message, what the attachment(s) is/are.

    With the Internet Gateway, messages are sent with the correct filename extension - so the Exchange user gets files named att0001.txt, att0002.doc, etc, and can just click on them in his mail client to read them.

    For mail sent FROM Exchange TO OfficePower, the autorecognition of attachments means the user gets the correct "type" information regardless of whether the message came via X.400 or Internet Gateway.

  2. Attachment Conversion

    The administrator can configure OfficePower's X.400 email to select conversions carried out on attachments of various types on a per-domain basis. So you can select that OfficePower-Word documents are converted to RTF, or Microsoft Word, or another document format - even having different conversions for mail sent to different Exchange servers - and you can specify conversions for spreadsheets, for example.

    With the Internet Mail Gateway, conversion is only available for OfficePower-Word documents, and just about everything else gets MIME-encoded and sent in its original format. OfficePower-Word documents normally get converted to flat text, but the gateway can be configured to convert to Microsoft Word, for example, instead - a single conversion choice which applies to all messages, regardless of their destination address.

  3. Delivery Reports, etc

    X.400 mechanisms such as delivery reports and view acknowledge all work when an X.400 link is used. When the Internet Mail Gateway is used, the gateway will return a delivery report itself when a message requests this, but you will not get delivery reports or view acknowledgments from the final recipient.

  4. RFC1006

    To connect OfficePower to Exchange via X.400 you require "RFC1006" (OSLAN over TCP/IP) software on the OP server. Unless you have already purchased this software for your existing system (it is not needed for two OP servers to communicate via X.400), this represents an added cost, if it is available (check with the supplier of your servers and UNIX software - TeamWARE Group cannot supply RFC1006 software). The Internet Mail Gateway (which is bundled with OfficePower/Xtra at no extra cost) does not require RFC1006.

  5. Known issues with X.400 links

    If an Exchange user sends a message with an empty subject then the mail item will fail to be delivered at the OfficePower user's mailbox, if the OfficePower system is running OfficePower/Xtra V3 or earlier. This is due to Exchange sending a subject field containing NULL characters (which are not permitted by X.400). Receipt of such a message will cause the OfficePower mailbox to become blocked and no further mail can be received until the Exchange message is removed from the users mail queue. OfficePower/Xtra V4 has been enhanced to allow these messages to be delivered.

    If a message follows the following route then the message will fail to be delivered at the final recipient:

    • OfficePower user sends to Exchange user who has Alternate Recipient set and defined as an OfficePower user.
    • Exchange then redirects the message to the specified OfficePower user.
    • The OfficePower user will recieve the message successfully. However if this message is then forwarded to another OfficePower user a non-delivery for reason Content Syntax Error will result.

    An Internet message in an Exchange mailbox is forwarded to an OfficePower user. When the OfficePower user views the forwarded attachment, the from field shows the name of the Exchange server rather than the address of the Internet message sender.

  6. Exchange 5.5 and the upload.tmp file

    In order for Exchange to use the internet address and also for OP users to be able to download the X.400 address via the LDAP it is important that the last 3 lines of the upload.tmp file read as follows:-


    If the X400TYPE5 line appears after the other 2 then Exchange users are given the X.400 address instead of the smtp address when fetching the name. The address entry in the Exchange directory is also corrupted as it appears that some of the information from the other lines are retained resulting in the X400 address having the SMTP: value at the beginning of it.

    The "*"s are still important as this forces the OP internet address into the Exchange directory and also ensures that the default address is the SMTP address.

    The SMTP: in the target address ensures that the Internet gateway is the first route attempted instead of the internal routing.

  7. General Exchange Issues

    If you previously used the fact that OfficePower mail messages, once sent or recieved, cannot be altered by the user as part of an audit trail or legal requirement, be aware that using Outlook as a mail client into Exchange allows users to change sent and received messages.

    Typically, Exchange mail account authentication takes place at the Windows Network level so closing your Outlook mailbox will not prevent other users of your PC from opening your mailboxes. This may be an issue if users share a PC for various tasks.

    Exchange cannot handle a domain name which does not contain a '.' . So user@op is not acceptable - it must have user@somewhere.somewhereelse as a minimum.

  8. Directory Synchronisation

    Getting mail messages from OfficePower to Exchange and vice versa is just the first step in establishing a viable mail network supporting these two mail systems. Synchronising the directories (and/or distribution lists and address books) so that users on either of the two systems can address mail to users on both systems is the next stage.

    OfficePower/Xtra V4 includes a set of tools for directory synchronisation with both X.400 and Internet Mail Gateway links.

Top of page Return to the top of this page.

Home | Support | Download | Guide | Fact Sheets | User Group

Page last updated 31/May/2004 All rights reserved. Copyright © Brightkite Limited 2004