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Description of OFSMIME

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OFSMime Package V2.1.1


WHAT'S NEW:

Version 2.1.1 adds:

  • Attachment logging
  • VCard options (discard, append, save as file)
  • External options file for more flexable configuration
  • Attachment file types can be preserved by generating unique file names.
  • Attachments can be saved to any SFS directory or r/w minidisk.
  • EQUOTE XEDIT (contributed by Wayne Resnick) can be used to create OV replies with the conventional ">" quoting style.

E-mail is not just text anymore. The Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (mime) standard allows information in just about any digital format to be sent as an attachment to a note. OFSMime is a mime add-on for OfficeVision/VM. It requires no modifications to your OfficeVision environment to function, and only minor customization to fully integrate it for your users.

Receiving Mime

Native support for complex mime objects is a well known OV requirement, but still not available. OFSMime is designed to be used just before you use the normal OV OPENMAIL command to convert mime objects that OV would skip into notes that OV will add to the in-basket.

OFSMime will also receive UUEncoded attachments (sent by old mailers that don't speak mime).

By default OFSMime will rewrite all Internet mail so your users never have to wade through lines and lines of RFC822 header info looking for the start of the message.

OFSMime has a simple attachment viewer that allows your OV users to read and erase attachments sent as files, and to save attachments sent as inline text to files.

OFSMime checks the reader for items that appear to be notes (form=QUMAIL) and scans each note body for attachments. It will decode the standard mime BASE64 and Quoted-Printable transfer encodings and any UUEncoded parts, then rewrite the note in a form OV will accept. You get the message as a normal note when you open your mail, and any attachments are saved to your A disk or other location you specify.

Of course, often these attachments will be MS Word documents, spreadsheets, or other binary objects that are unusable on VM. These can be downloaded to the user's PC as binary files and used there. With OFSMime, you don't need to have e-mail on your PC to receive PC files via e-mail.

To use OFSMime just run it before you open the mail. The recommended production implementation is to insert a call to OFSMime near the start of OV's OPENMAIL exec (see OFSMIME INSTALL). In a production environment you may want to compile the OFSMIME EXEC and/or include it in a shared segment, but all these steps are entirely optional.

Sending Mime

For sites that have IBM's "OfficeVision Enhanced Mail Addressing" (OEMA) installed, OFSMime can send files as attachments to OV notes addressed to RFC822 (Internet) addresses. This code works with the exits in OEMA, so once again no modifications to your base OV code are required. A new command, "MIMEATT", entered on the command line of the standard OV note editor, will bring up a window for the user to enter the id of the file to be attached. It will even automatically select binary or text mode. You may wish to assign MIMEATT to a PFKey in the note editor to make it easier for your users.

OFSMime will also send UUEncoded attachments (use this when you have to communicate with someone with old e-mail software that doesn't speak mime).

Features:

  • Transparent receive operation. No messages are issued during normal processing. The user sees the results as new notes in their inbasket. Overhead is kept to a minimum so you can include it in the normal OPENMAIL processing for everybody.
  • By default OFSMime will rewrite all incoming RFC822 notes to cleanup the headers. Most users do not want to see half a screen of "Received-by:" tags!
  • OFSMime can be used by any CMS user to read mime e-mail; OV is not a requirement. (Sending Mime format requires both OV and OEMA)
  • When an attachment is saved, the file type will start with an underscore if it isn't on the "safe" list. "WIDGET.TXT" becomes "WIDGET TXT A", but "WIDGET.EXEC" is saved as "WIDGET _EXEC A". If "WIDGET.TXT" already exists, "WIDGET_1 TXT A" will be created instead. Attachments never overwrite existing files.
  • Three options are provided to help with problem solving. KEEP will leave the original note in the reader after rewriting it, DEBUG will provide lots of information on internal processing, and FULLHDR will cause the full RFC822 header from the original mime object to be copied to the new note.
  • It is common for PC e-mail client software to send plain text attachments as binary. This results in an ASCII text file on an EBCDIC machine. The A2ETEXT exec provided will translate the file back to readable text.
  • The command to attach a file will work in line mode as well as the dialog box. Tags are added at top of the note which are processed at send time. The user never sees the encoded attachments or RFC822 headers. The tags are saved along with the text of the note, so if the note is resent the attachments will again be included.
  • Compatable with L-Soft's LMAIL for VM.
  • Includes EQUOTE XEDIT (contributed by Wayne Resnick) which can be used to create OV replies with the conventional ">" quoting style.
  • OFSMime rexx code and pipelines are commented to assist you should you need to change something to suit your environment.
Known limitations:
  • Since the entire note is storage, large attachments require more virtual storage. A 5M virtual machine could handle a an attachment of over 200KB, but 1.2MB was too big. An 8M machine had no problem. YMMV. If OFSMime cannot handle a spool file it is placed in HOLD, an error message is issued, and OFSMime moves on to the next reader file of the correct type.
  • Not all products use the same ASCII to EBCDIC translation tables. The A2ETEXT exec uses the "XLATE A2E" pipe stage. I downloaded a file to my PC as text, then sent it to my VM account as an attachment. After A2E the REXX "or" bar was not translated back to the correct character.

OFSMime uses 64ENCODE REXX and 64DECODE REXX, which are pipe filters written by Melinda Varian, available from Princeton University on the World Wide Web at http://pucc.princeton.edu/~pipeline/

Questions? Call or E-mail Victor Strasser

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Victor Strasser                                 Phone: (916) 263-5354
VM Systems Support
Teale Data Center
syvictor@vmmail.teale.ca.gov           Personal e-mail: strasser@gvn.net
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