Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maximum E-Mail Message Size

Here is one that never seems to fail or always seems to fail. The customer requirements are to limit the maximum message size to 50 megabytes in all the various places it needs to be set (for simplicity). The consulting that sets it up enters 50000 kilobytes, a little short.

The customer complains that 50 meg messages don't make it through, they bring in the senior consultant who reviews the requirements and sets the maximum size to 512000 kilobytes per the customers requirements.

It seems that there are too many consultants out there that can't convert megabytes to kilobytes, but while that is often the complaint, another issue is harder to explain to the customer. I'll go on.

The customer complains again and claims that the contract has not been fulfilled. As proof, they sent themselves an e-mail with exactly 25 2 megabyte jpeg files from their digital camera. The original consultant is on the case, and knows exactly what the problem is, 25*2 = 50, but they didn't take into account the size of the rest of the message, you know, a few k for the header, body, etc.

The customer complains again, they tested with 24 2 megabyte files and a 1 megabyte file, surely the header and empty body isn't a full megabyte, and it still gets rejected. Senior consultant gets involved and explains to the customer in words he hopes he understands, "Some attachments must be converted to text format and this conversion increases the size of the message." The customer still doesn't get it, so, as the consultant, I recommend that they change their system requirements to support 67 megabytes (and that the actual setting should be 68608, since it is in kilobytes) to allow for up to 33% content conversion overhead and advertise their maximum message size as 50 megabytes.

This is often a failure at the requirements gathering phase. As a consultant, you want to build the system to meet the customer's requirements, but what the requirements say, and what the customer really wants are often two different things.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Outlook 2010 Shared Mailbox Sent Items

My customer had a common problem that was once solved in Outlook 2007.

By default, when a user has full access to a shared mailbox and permission to send as the shared mailbox sends a message from their default profile with the shared mailbox in the from field, the message is placed in the sent items in the user's mailbox.

With Outlook 2007 SP2 (not sure if this dates back to SP1 or RTM, but I know it works in SP2) a registry value could be set to change this behavior and place the sent message in the sent items of the shared mailbox. HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Preferences\DelegateSentItemsStyle DWORD:1

I tried this with Outlook 2010, replacing the 12.0 with 14.0 in the registry key, but it did not solve the problem. When researching the issue, a forum reply indicated the Hotfix KB2459115,, but after reading the detailed description of the hotfix, I didn't think it would fix the issue, as no where in the description of the hotfix was this problem documented.

After seemingly running out of possible solutions, I turned to the Exchange Microsoft Certified Master distribution list where someone replied indicating that KB 2459115 would fix the issue. This being the second source citing that hotfix, I figured it was worth putting in the lab. My control test worked as expected, both messages sent in the user's profile one from the user, and one from the shared mailbox ended up in the user's mailbox sent items. After applying the KB2459115 hotfix, and adding the registry setting DelegateSentItemsStyle with a DWORD value of 1 to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences\ sending in the user's profile from the shared mailbox resulted in the message ending up in the sent items of the shared mailbox.

Problem solved! Well, mostly. As this setting is not publicly documented by Microsoft as a feature of Outlook 2010 it isn't likely a supported feature. Hopefully Microsoft will come out with an official technet or support article on this feature.