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OfficePower and Exchange Coexistence
White Paper
This item was originally published on the OfficePower web site on
10th April 2000


Mail Interworking

Typically, connecting the two mail systems is the first choice to begin interworking.

There are two options, X.400 or Internet, both with plus and minus points, so choosing the most appropriate method is a compromise between the two options.

X.400 Mail

Firstly, let us consider connection via X.400. Both OfficePower and Exchange support X.400 using the RFC1006 protocol to transfer messages. RFC1006 enables the X.400 connection to be passed over the TCP/IP network between the two systems. Once the connection is made, messages and attachments may be transferred.

To connect via X.400, the following is required:

  • OfficePower/Xtra V4 or above on all OfficePower servers in the network.
  • MS Exchange 5.5
  • RFC1006 (an optional package for the OfficePower server directly connected to the Exchange server)

The advantages of the X.400 approach are:

  • Messages and attachments can be transferred including Delivery Reports and View Acknowledgement messages.
  • Full handling of Forwarded messages is available.
  • Mail discussions can be reviewed.

The disadvantages are:

  • Attachments arrive at the Exchange user in an unidentified form leading to difficulties in viewing and extracting.
  • RFC1006 is an additional cost and may not be available on all platforms.
  • All the OfficePower servers in the whole organisation must be Xtra V4 or above.

The X.400 option is viable but does have the two major drawbacks concerning attachments arriving at the Exchange user and the need for all OfficePower servers to be running the latest software.

Internet Mail

The second approach is to use the OfficePower Internet Gateway (available as standard with OP/Xtra V3 and above) to act as the main transfer mechanism between the two mail systems.

In this scenario, X.400 messages generated from OfficePower users are converted into MIME/SMTP messages which are then sent into Exchange. On the return route, Exchange sends MIME/SMTP messages to the OfficePower gateway server which generates an X.400 message for onward delivery to the OfficePower user.

The following is required:

  • OfficePower/Xtra V3 or above at the gateway server. Other OfficePower servers may be an older version although pre-Xtra versions will not show the original Exchange users shortname in received mail messages.
  • MS Exchange 5.5

The advantages of the gateway approach are:

  • Attachments are identified correctly when received at Exchange enabling users to easily view and extract.
  • Pre-Xtra OfficePower users can view/extract attachments.
  • No additional software (such as RFC1006) required.

The disadvantages are:

  • Delivery reports are only available from the gateway itself rather than the end Exchange users. Non-delivery reports are supported.
  • View acknowledgement messages are not available.
  • Items are identified as Forwarded when received at the OfficePower user but do not have the full X.400 structure.
  • Pre-Xtra OfficePower users are not shown the correct Exchange shortname (but can still reply etc).
  • No support for mail discussions.

The Internet Gateway interworking method is the recommended approach due to the attachment handling capabilities (objects are autorecognised at the gateway) and the need to only update a single server in the OfficePower network. However, the lack of support for mail reports/acknowledgements/discussions may influence the connection method adopted.


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