A separate service application, the CopiaFacts SMTP Gateway is required to process incoming E-Mail: it does not come in to the main COPIAFACTS server engine.

The Gateway runs as a Windows service application, either on the same machine that is running a CopiaFacts instance or on a separate machine.  The Gateway can be configured to validate incoming connections, mailservers, senders and recipients.  For information about setting up and configuring the Gateway see the CopiaFacts SMTP Gateway topic.

The principal output of the Gateway is a standard CopiaFacts FS file, created from templates which you can configure for each class of incoming e-mail.  This means that all messages received and accepted by the gateway are routed through the CopiaFacts engine for delivery and/or custom processing, and all of the features available through the CopiaFacts engine, including custom pre-processing and post-processing, may be used to handle these messages.

Thos provides a powerful and yet easy to use scripting language available to process messages received by the gateway. The scripting language, which is part of the CopiaFacts server, provides arithmetic operations, comparison operations, looping, branching, file i/o, system functions, date and time operations, database access, and the ability to call custom dlls and external Windows programs passing parameters derived from the message and CopiaFacts functions and data. The CopiaFacts server and the CopiaFacts SMTP gateway provide a powerful platform for automating message processing and delivery from incoming E-Mails.

Typical uses and features of this scripting are:

E-Mail to Fax Applications

The Gateway allows you to send a fax in the same way you would send an email using your favorite email client software. The email is no different from any other email you send except that you address the email using the fax number of the recipient instead of his or her mailbox, and attach the documents which you wish to fax.  The 'display-name' part of the address (in double-quotes in the example below) will be added to the header line of the transmitted fax.

The gateway receives this email message and generates a fax message that is delivered by the CopiaFacts Fax Server. Allowable formats for the attachments will be specified by the administrator of the gateway and configured for conversion by CopiaFacts.  The gateway may even be connected to your company’s Microsoft Exchange Server or SAP system to handle messages sent to fax recipients.

Since this is the most common application for the SMTP Gateway, most of the scripting required is effectively built-in to the Gateway application, and merely needs to be enabled.  See the E-Mail to Fax topic for more information.

Broadcast Job Launching

The Gateway can accept incoming e-mails which contain, as attachments, documents to be broadcast and lists of numbers or e-mail addresses to which the documents are to be sent.  Contact Copia support for sample scripts to implement this application.  Jobs are launched into the Job Administration environment and can be monitored and controlled there.

Opt-Out Applications

The Gateway is also capable of handling special email messages that trigger custom processing. One of the most common uses for these types of special messages is to remove a subscriber from a list. The gateway includes a script that performs this task by adding the sender’s email address or specified fax number to a global do not send list used by the CopiaFacts fax and email server. The same script can be easily modified to update your existing subscriber database. Since the gateway provides access to the entire email message in script variables, the type of processing you can perform with a received email message is virtually unlimited. You could create a script that processes orders received by email and another script that handles requests for information received by email.

Each sender may have his or her own template that customizes delivery of their fax messages or performs custom processing of messages from the sender instead. Sender domains may have default templates that apply to all senders from that domain who do not have a unique template. You may also specify passwords for senders or for any email messages sent to the special mailboxes used to trigger custom processing.  This allows the availability of custom tasks such as Opt-Out to be controlled and monitored.

Secure E-Mail

With the optional E-Mail Security feature, the gateway can process S/MIME signed and encrypted e-mail, verifying signatures and decrypting as necessary.  Encrypted e-mail normally requires the use of the recipient's public key, so you will need to set up a special recipient e-mail address to receive incoming mail, rather than using the 'faxnumber@domain' syntax for e-mail to fax operations. After decoding S/MIME encoded e-mail, a variable is set to indicate whether the mail was signed, encrypted, or both, so later processing can decide whether to continue handling it.  The E-Mail Security feature can also verify DKIM signed mail, which can help to reduce incoming spam if your acceptable senders are able to DKIM-sign their mail.