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SM 8531 WARNING ENCODING BUG !!
Question asked by Brian Bjerring-Jensen - 5/12/2023 at 3:43 AM
Answered
Hi
Anyone tried the update?? I am thinking of doing it over the weekend but I am little hesitant.


41 Replies

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Roger S. Replied
yes me and until now no problems.
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Seph Parshall Replied
What version are you on Brian?
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SmarterMail Enterprise 100.0.8517.37042 (apr 27, 2023)

Havent had the balls to upgrade yet.
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Christian Schmit Replied
We see a lot of Base-64 errors in administrative log since the upgrade to build 8531. This error did not exist with build 8510.

[2023.05.12] 12:26:35.180 USER xxxxxxxxxx@xx.xx The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64 character, more than two padding characters, or an illegal character among the padding characters. 
[2023.05.12] 12:26:35.383 APOP xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx 676a0dd9c3c1254671wc18997085c The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64 character, more than two padding characters, or an illegal character among the padding characters. 
[2023.05.12] USER xxxxx@xxx.xxx The input is not a valid Base-64 string as it contains a non-base 64 character, more than two padding characters, or an illegal character among the padding characters.     at System.Convert.FromBase64_Decode(Char* startInputPtr, Int32 inputLength, Byte* startDestPtr, Int32 destLength)
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I have seen this error elsewehere many moons ago in another application. It was due to the encoding used by the enduser/s.
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Christian Schmit Replied
This seems to affect Mac Mail users using POP with authentication type password. Changing authentication type to APOP seems to solve the problem.
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Jumped in....
Getting the server clock warning again despite clock is in total sync.


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Ron Raley Replied
To SmarterTools credit, I believe we are getting closer. Still waiting. 
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Stefan Replied
after update:
already restartet service, restarted server ;(

EDIT: had to clear the cookies, now working
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Michael Replied
We're seeing strange issue where our outbound Outlook emails are missing images and contain question marks "?"
Most users use an image potentially this is causing it? Didn't happen in previous versions. Opened support ticket on Thursday night. No action yet. Smarter Tools closed on Fridays.

Upset a lot of our power users who feel like they sent VIP's junky looking emails.
Hopefully the support ticket brings a fix ASAP.

Curious if anyone else sees this?

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Seph Parshall Replied
@Michael - Are the users on a Mac? Can you post a screenshot?
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Michael Replied
Windows 10. Outlook 2016 is sending the message. 
Gmail. Mobile and other Outlook users (2016 and 365) see funky question marks everywhere.

Pardon the redactions of names etc. But here is sample.

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Seph Parshall Replied
Ok. That doesn't look like the stuff I've seen people referring to online.
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Michael Replied

Seph Parshall  Right. New issue we're seeing just since deploying 8531

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This is what the mail looked like
This is what the clients see



This smiley come out like this &##128522;


This is NOT good if they cant use inline images in the mail.

Version is Office 2021 LTSC

I feel like a beta tester right now....
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Changing to Windows European Encoding in Office inserts the questionmarks in the emails.
Changing back to UTF-8 removes the questionmarks.
No way to insert images inline in Outlook. They always show blank and as attachments.
2
Trydon Lancaster Replied
Hi all,

I too can see the issue with images becoming attachments, this is especially not good for signatures.

Has anyone noticed double line spacing when only using single line spacing?

Also, does anyone have the issue of the recepients email address missing from the To or CC lines when sending internally? This also happens between different domains on the same server.
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I am downgrading to 8517. I cant afford this kind of hazzle on every upgrade.

Downgraded and everything is fine with encoding and inline images and signature images as well.
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Howell Dell Replied
I am getting this issue as well and I have an open ticket. This issue definitely started with 8531. I know this because I have an eMail at 12:21AM sent before the upgrade without the question mark issue then an eMail sent at 8:52AM after the upgrade using Build 8524 then eMails are littered with question marks.

The first case I looked at was if you write "customer"; then apostrophe; followed "s" then our version of Outlook (Microsoft® Outlook® for Microsoft 365 MSO (Version 2304 Build 16.0.16327.20200)) the eMail Editor (HTML) inserts ’ which is the HTML escape code for the apostrophe which is really a right single quotation mark sometimes called a curly apostrophe. Older version of Outlook use ‘ BTW which is the left single quotation mark. This escape code gets replaced with a question so that is part of the brokenness.

In reviewing the RAW HTML from an eMail between what was sent and what was received it seems that SM Build 8531 is trying to reduce the Outlook HTML vomit and SM folks may have gone too far in the filtering or they have some code that needs fixing. This is what is likely causing the blank lines with question marks as well. Another aspect of this is SM has fully removed the Office Schema Definition along with MSO Style Sheet completely as well.

In Outlook the HTML for a blank line is written as <p class=MsoNormal><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>, however, post-delivery you get: <p>?</p>.

4
Ron Raley Replied
So basically Build 8531 is dead in the water. Still awaiting a stable version.
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Michael Replied
Ron Raley I'd agree.

Nearly hours after Build 8531 being made available, we downloaded and installed. We were desperate to solve the high CPU/Memory and Outlook MAPI issues that we've been having. 

As we do with all installs, first thing we do is send an outbound message from a domain to Gmail. We check for DKIM/SPF/DMARC passing and we verify message formatting. That's how we found this formatting/encoding issue. We right away opened a ticket with Smarter Tools on Thursday night hoping perhaps a quick fix would come Thursday night or Friday. But we haven't heard back yet on that ticket. 

We're going to roll back to Build 8524 (May 4, 2023). While server memory and MAPI has been a nightmare in that build, our team has decided its better than this message encoding problem. Fingers crossed that Smarter Tools can get a quick patch up on this. Perhaps this weekend would be awesome.
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If I were SM I would work 24/7 to get all of these issues fixed for their userbase... nothing less would be appropriate.


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Howell Dell Replied
One possible reason for the high CPU/Memory is the size of very active JSON files that are store certain kinds of Outlook data. Scan the SamrterMail eMail Stor and look for JSON files that are greater than 4MB. With that you can isolate the user that is potentially causing the problem. One can also can observe this issue in Resource Monitor by selecting the Disk then sort I/O by Total B/sec. Then this will can also give you an idea of who the culprits are. This is how I got onto the problem.

In our case we had a single user with +38K Contacts in Outlook that was being sync-ed from a SQL Database; which in turn that Data had to be sync-ed via MAPI to SmarterMail. SmarterMail stopped syncing at ~9000 Contacts. Of course, neither SmarterMail nor Outlook can support that many contacts -- maybe 5000 would be a more reasonable max although Microsoft Exchange Online or Microsoft 365 -- what they call these days -- it lists 1000 I believe.
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Hello everyone! I just wanted to note a quick update on this thread as we're digging into various issues this morning. I was able to replicate issues with question marks showing up in outbound messages (Outlook MAPI) and am also seeing inline images showing damaged image encoding in the same scenario. I've escalated this and associated the community thread and any tickets we have open on this with that task. Development should be digging into that one soon and we'll reach out with updates as we get them. Thanks everyone!
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Thomas Lange Replied
@Kyle: thanks, we really need some fixes.... already received complaints by our employees
Outlook/MAPI, inline-images not working anymore :-(
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Michael Replied
Sounds like the encoding issues have been identified. We're just waiting on an ETA for the new build.
Meantime, we've rolled back to Build 8524.
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Brian Kropf Replied
We are also experiencing this issue. Any updates on a fix?
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Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post
Hi everyone, 

I wanted to let you know that we have a custom build available (Custom Build 8536) that resolves this issue. I've sent it to everyone on this thread. However, if you haven't already received that build, please submit a support ticket. 

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

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Hi Andrea.
Just installed on my test customer's small server... Finger crossed!!!!
Gabriele Maoret - Head of SysAdmins at SERSIS
Currently manages 3 SmarterMail installations (1 in cloud for SERSIS which provides service to a few hundreds 3rd party Mail Domains + 2 on premise to customers)
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
We got numerous responses back an hour after we sent it to a few customers.  It seems resolved.  We were being overly aggressive cleansing HTML to reduce the overall size of things.  
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Stefan Replied
when will this build be generally aviable?
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
Thursday. 
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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I want to follow up after the installation of custom build 8536: at the moment I have no reports of malfunctions.

I hope it's not too early to celebrate, so I'll keep you posted on what's going on today...
Gabriele Maoret - Head of SysAdmins at SERSIS
Currently manages 3 SmarterMail installations (1 in cloud for SERSIS which provides service to a few hundreds 3rd party Mail Domains + 2 on premise to customers)
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Howell Dell Replied
Hello.. I have updated to 8536 and the basic HTML Encoding is much improved and the questions marks are GONE!

However, my customer's company use ACT CRM. ACT is designed to leverage Microsoft Word and Outlook to send out Template eMails whereas field names in the template (really a MS Word File) are replaced with data stored in the CRM. My customers has some +10 years of invested time into ACT by multiple Employees so they NEED SmarterMail and ACT to get along!

SmarterMail is still not treating resultant Outlook eMails correctly, as we are still getting missing spaces and blank line when there was NONE before the SmarterMail HTML "Compression".

I think SmarterMail has kicked over a support beehive in that Outlook HTML "code" can be written in a lot of ways to generate the desired rendered output has a lot of variability and is going to cause a lot of support issues to dial this in....

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What encoding are you running on ACT emails??
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Hi Howell - glad to hear things are running better at this point! Can you get a ticket submitted on this ACT CRM issue and include a copy of the EML before it gets handed off to SmarterMail? I'm not sure if you can capture it prior to it leaving that server or not, but that will allow us to look at the original encoding and test how SmarterMail handles it directly. Thanks Howell!
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Howell Dell Replied
To Brian Bjerring-Jensen: I was not that consistent in my writing, when I refer to HTML Encoding or Compression, I refer to the process that SmarterMail has implemented, likely during eMail delivery, that takes the verbose HTML elements and reduces it. We know the Microsoft Word, Outlook and other similar applications generate a overabundance HTML content that can be optimized.

As to the Ticket for ACT CRM, I've already open one yesterday AM with Samples for review.
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Stefan Replied
shouldn't be the best option to have a setting "optimize / compress email-content" yes/no?
1. if problems arise, you can disable and compare
2. customers that rely on unmodified content would be well done with it

should be easy to implement ;)
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Everything seems OK with the custom build 8536, at least for my tests...

Now I go to update to the official new build 8538...
Gabriele Maoret - Head of SysAdmins at SERSIS
Currently manages 3 SmarterMail installations (1 in cloud for SERSIS which provides service to a few hundreds 3rd party Mail Domains + 2 on premise to customers)
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Howell Dell Replied
The next official Build 8538 is out and includes changes to help end customers who use the enhanced formatting capability from Outlook. Fixes Double Spaced line is the message I believe.

Given the variability in HTML I would not be surprised if we have a couple more rounds of this issue. I am hoping to upgrade to the latest Outlook later in this year so I will add testing with SmarterMail as part of my testing plan.
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Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post
Hi all,

I wanted to make you aware that Build 8538 addresses this issue. If you continue having trouble on this build, please contact the Support Department so we can investigate further. 

Kind regards,

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

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