Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Notes" from the field... Send Connectors

Lotus Notes, that is.... You see, I recently headed up a project to assist a subsidiary company of ours who had requested help with a migration from Lotus Domino/Notes to Exchange/Outlook. This was very interesting for me, especially as I'd never really used Notes or worked on a Domino server. But it felt very good to assist these folks in getting off of that platform and migragting them over to Exchange 2007.

To do the actual mail migration we ended up using a combination of the Microsoft Transporter and then BinaryTree's CMT Universal product. Both products work, and work very well. The only reason we had to go beyond MS' product was because some of the users had items with problems that Transporter just couldn't get past and would fail on. CMT would hit the items and just skip them and move on. For our case this was ok, as most of the problems were with very old calendar appointments anyway. If anyone would like more information about these products please leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

What I really wanted to talk about in this post wasn't so much the actual Notes migration itself, but a rather interesting side item regarding message size restrictions on Send Connectors..... To get to that I need to let you know that as part of the overall project, we also had to setup a new network fax solution as well. To this end, I chose to go with GFI Faxmaker. This was essentially another first for me as I've not dealt with a fax server product since about 1997 which was RightFax and it was running on NT 3.51.... So in setting up GFI Faxmaker (which I must say seems like a pretty good product, thus its' many customer choice awards) to work with Exchange 2007, I had to create two send connectors for Exchange to route faxes to the fax server. And don't get me wrong, that all worked like a champ.

The issue came when everyone was back to work and started trying to send emails (normal SMTP emails, NOT faxes) with attachments. Anything over 10MB wouldn't send. So of course I start looking at message size limits. I check the mailbox settings for the user in question and there are no limits imposed. I then check the default Internet SMTP connector in the Exchange Management Shell and notice that of course the 10MB default setting for MaxMessageSize is what it's showing. So I bump that up to 150MB and try sending again. Still doesn't work. From there I start bumping any maximum sizes for messages or attachments in receive connectors and at the organization level. Nothing works. I'm stumped. So, as I do when I find myself in that situation, I call in to MS Support. I finally get connected to the support engineer who starts going through all of the settings that I previously mentioned with me, to which he says "It should be working, but hold on and let me check on this." When he gets back on the line he recommends that we now also go and change the MaxMessageSize on the send connectors that I had setup to work with GFI Faxmaker. And don't you know that as soon as I upped those settings as well, the attachments started flowing.

I was aware that whole time that the fax connectors had the 10MB setting, but I just didn't see how they could be affecting trying to send out to the Internet, or even to another local Exchange user for that matter. I now understand this is the default behavior and know how to work around it. And knowing is half the battle....

Hope this helps someone else oneday. And if not, then I at least hope it kept your interest....


ProudGeek said...

Your post kept me interested:) I'm doing some research on a migration project which led me to your post. My company is wanting to migrate from iis to domino for funding reasons. I know little about domino haven't worked with it or even read about it in years. Having a hard time finding good up-to-date info. You have any suggestions on pros and cons for this migration???

Lee Owens said...

To proudgeek,
I don't know if I'd be your best source of info to actually talk about Notes/Domino as a system. I'm definitely not pro lotus in any way. I would encourage you to get your company to look into using Exchange before going that way. But if you really want to get up to speed on Domino, then I'd say see if you can find a book or two on it and then go out and demo the eval code, which you could probably run on a desktop PC your not using. Or, if you just want to kick the dicsussion around a bit more, leave an email address and I'll follow up with you.
Thanks for checking the blog!