Robotic Operating Model (ROM)

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This community covers the Blue Prism Robotic Operating Model (ROM®)

  • 1.  Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-16-2021 10:22
    Hi all

    I was having a discussion earlier around the best approach to sending emails from digital workers. My thought is that its usually better to use SMTP for sending emails as it more reliable and doesn't require installation of outlook to do it but others tend to prefer using outlook which seems simply just because thats an application their familiar with rather than any real benefit.

    What are everyone else's thoughts on which is the better approach?

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    Michael ONeil
    Technical Lead developer
    NTTData
    Europe/London
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  • 2.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-16-2021 11:18
    Hello - My observation on working on SMTP and Outlook VBO.

    Mail sent from SMTP will not be visible in your sent item of Outlook and it will be difficult to trace when failure comes.

    Sometime queue start building in SMTP and sending of mails got delayed plus there are restriction on mail size on organization level ( highest being 10 MB) which you can sent from SMTP.
    SMTP do not ask for authentication of username password only port and address.

    Outlook VBO is having all other function as well like replying etc while from SMTP you can only send a fresh mail.

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    Neeraj Kumar
    Software Engineer
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  • 3.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-16-2021 13:33
    Hi,

    SMTP is very fast (we've found it much faster than using Outlook). We have found that sent emails appear when using O365 as the email server however this may be different for other email services. There are some downsides though, for example you cannot use email folders when using SMTP.

    Be away though that Microsoft are changing the authentication for SMTP later this year from username and password to OAuth2.

    Have you considered using MS Graph? This may be the best long-term solution. This is something I'm exploring at the moment and it appears to give the best of both simplicity and speed of SMTP/POP3 with the features of Outlook, all via an API.

    John

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    John Wilding
    Robotic Architect
    ReAssure Ltd
    Europe/London
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  • 4.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-16-2021 15:25
    I'd say use Exchange Web Services if you can. 
    Outlook is your option if you need to read mail and can't use EWS.  
    SMTP is the fastest obviously, but it is only for sending mail - works fine if it is all that you need and don't care about mail ending up in Sent folder. Also harder to debug if something went wrong.
    MAPIEx is terrible, keeps crashing randomly - just don't...

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    Andrey Kudinov
    Project Manager
    MobileTelesystems PJSC
    Europe/Moscow
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  • 5.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-16-2021 17:10
    Yeh I agree I would much rather use something thats fast and reliable compared to outlook and use this as a last resort. I usually stick to SMTP for exception handling emails and only use outlook for get mails or reply to a specific email if thats required. @John Wilding I didnt know that about the changes to smtp I'll have a look at MS graph and see what it offers thank for the info.​

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    Michael ONeil
    Technical Lead developer
    NTTData
    Europe/London
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  • 6.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-17-2021 13:35
    We tried using Outlook and MAPiEx but found it difficult to manage mailboxes due to it relying on the default outlook profile on the machine and our OU setting forcing that to be the personal email for the account the bot was using.
    We switched to using POP3 for receiving email and SMTP for sending email and have found it much more stable, and significantly faster however (as mentioned my @Andrey Kudinov) it can be harder to debug as you can't actually "see" the emails unless you have separate ​via outlook. Here's link to the microsoft which contains links to the documentation regarding OAuth2 authentication - ignore the reference to Feb 2020, it was postponed to October 2021 last I checked); https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/clients-and-mobile-in-exchange-online/authenticated-client-smtp-submission

    Since we've got to build the OAuth2 connections to O365 anyway, I'm planning to do a full switch to MSGraph next year which should be even faster than SMTP/POP3, and have the same options as Outlook/MAPIEx.

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    John Wilding
    Robotic Architect
    ReAssure Ltd
    Europe/London
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  • 7.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-17-2021 15:04
    @Michael ONeil, @John Wilding,

    Not sure if you're aware, but there are some MS Graph integrations available on the Digital Exchange - including Outlook (aka Mail). It's not a 1:1 mapping of the regular Outlook VBO, but new features are being added.

    Cheers,
    ​​

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    Eric Wilson
    Director, Integrations and Enablement
    Blue Prism Digital Exchange
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  • 8.  RE: Send Mail outlook or SMTP?

    Posted 12-20-2021 15:31
    Hi Eric

    I think i'll have a look at this outlook vbo i think isnt the best approach for email automation so if there are faster and more reliable alternatives its definitely worth getting familiar with them. Thanks

    ------------------------------
    Michael ONeil
    Technical Lead developer
    NTTData
    Europe/London
    ------------------------------



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