21
Ship .cfg .grp parsing / viewer / repair? tools with Smartermail
Idea shared by Sébastien Riccio - 5/26/2021 at 11:52 PM
Proposed
Hello SmarterTools,

We often had and recently have to deal with users having problems with their mailbox structure or e-mail content.
For exemple recently some different users reported they have e-mails in their mailboxes that have lost their headers. The From/To/Subject everything is gone for these e-mails. Only the message body remains.

When the problems are related to a corrupt json file we can more or less troubleshoot it ourselves and come quickly with a fix for the customer.

However when it is related to corrupted GRP of CFG files, we have no way to troubleshoot anything as these seems to be in a custom format and we have no idea of the specs for these files.

I strongly suggest (not to say we require but we're almost at it) that specs for these files are given so we can build an integrity check for these custom file formats to be able to adress issues, fix issues and prevent future issues BEFORE customers are notifying us of problems.

I know there is for example a File Viewer tool for cfg grp that we were once given, and that helped us a lot in the past. But the format has evolved since and the tool is probably not compatible anymore with the files.
Also I think I remember there was a user folder checker at some point, but I don't remember where to grab it and it is probably also incompatible now.

Please tell me why aren't these shipped directly with the product so that their version matches the changes to these files in the different builds.

As a system admin I find this unacceptable to be given no troubleshooting tools for such an important product. That would not be a problem when files are in a common format, but for closed source custom formats it's a real pain for us!

Please do something about it to make our sysadmin work on SM easier!

Kind regards
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

14 Replies

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2
A very good suggestion!
3
I agree. This would be a handy tool to have for troubleshooting. Plus it would probably cut down on the number of support tickets we need to open and/or give us better info to provide, resulting in faster resolutions.
2
+1
3
Very good suggestion, a real need !
2
I agree too.
I find smarteremail a great product but lacking on the sys admin side

I take this opportunity to also mention a previous post that highlights further shortcomings in the logs in real time always by the sys admin

https://portal.smartertools.com/community/a94141/logging.aspx
4
non news on this ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT topic?
1
no news from the team about this :/ ignored
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

0
Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post
Hello Everyone, 

Thank you all for your posts and suggestions. We have discussed this with our internal team and the main reason that we do not do this is we would have to maintain the tools as well as maintain SmarterMail. In the past we had tools that were supported by the SmarterMail team however, it became hard to keep them up to date as all the developers are working on issues with SmarterMail itself. If you would like I can submit this post as a feature request and we can discuss doing this again since this post does have 13 upvotes at this time. Looking forward to feedback.

Best Regards, 
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
2
First of all, I would like to thank the Smarter team for their respective quick and competent support. I understand that such a tool must of course be created first and that this also represents an effort. However, I suppose that there are problems or errors which are always recurring. Therefore, such a tool would probably also mean a certain reduction of the support workload. Of course, Smartertools knows best what such a tool could check or repair. So from our point of view (I think I speak for Sébastien and the others), it would really be a help if we had more control possibilities to detect "simple" problems early or even better to be able to repair them. In this sense, it would be welcome to forward this input as a feature request.
4
Hello,

Yes I second Dave with this. There are some recurrent issues that need to be checked/fixed manually and a tool that at least checks for these issue and even better provide a fix function is really needed.

I don't know for sure but that is also probably issues SmarterTools have to deal with when their customers open tickets, so it is probably also useful for them to have such a tool available.

We're at a point where I had to code our own tool (with python) that uses SmarterMail existing dll functions (that I had to reverse engineer) to open cfg, grp files and do some checks for issues we had in the past and still have, for example to detect mailboxes with issues and fix them in a semi-automatic manner.

At some point I'll publish the tool when I'm confident it has no remaining bugs.

Still, this is really something that should be provided by ST without the need to code our own having to reverse dlls to have a clue about how some of these files are constructed to be able to check and fix them...

Kind regards.
Sébastien Riccio
System & Network Admin

1
Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post
Hello Everyone, 

Thank you for your quick feedback. What kind of tools exactly are you looking for functionality-wise? Please give me some examples for the feature request. But if you could make a list of the top three tools what would it be?

Best Regards, 
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
3
@Zach: here my first thoughts concernig SmarterMail admin-tools

.grp-check+repaiir tool:
due to the fact that the .grp-file is in a proprietary format and includes all emails of porbably one day for each user it would be nice to check these files for consistency and even have a "repair"-switch for trying to correct/fix any detected issues.
It would be great to export emails from the .grp to .eml format, at least all emails that can be exported, skipping the emails that are unable to export due to issues (if not included in repair-tool include it in grp-viewer). So that in case of difficulties at least some emails could be exported/recovered for all checking/reparing it would be nice to issue specific filename or even a date-range and/or username to check or repair.

it would be nice to start this even in batchmode/scheduled and results/protocol being reported to the admin.


.grp-viewer (+export .emails to .eml):
A viewer for all the content of the .grp-files would be nice, so that we see a listing of all emails and even details/contents of each email. with options to export one or marked emials to .eml-format

config-files check+repair utility:
Check/repair-tool for .cfg-files (like folders.json, settings.json and so on), for example check for non-existing/not-anymore-existing paths/names - showing issues and if possible with options/questions if this should be "repaired/fixed".
0
Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post
Hello Thomas, 

Thanks for giving your input I will check back in a couple of days and see if anyone else responds. I will then create a feature request for this post. 

Best Regards, 
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post
Hello Everyone,

I'm going to go ahead and submit this thread as a feature request. 
I hope everyone has a good weekend. 
Best Regards, 
Zach Sylvester
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

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