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Messenger Setup and Administration

Overview

The Messenger enables Tasks and processes to send email alerts, reports, etc. to recipients via the SMTP protocol. The Messenger reads from a message queue table, retrieves messages to be sent and attempts to send them. To enable the Messenger for use it must be configured and tested.

Configuration and Setup

To configure the Messenger, select Administration > Manage Settings from the right-side menu, then Settings on the top menu. Select the Messenger tab on the left edge of the Settings page.

The settings are as follows:

  • Messenger On/Off - Controls whether the Messenger will pick up messages and attempt to send

  • Poll Loop - Will check for new messages every this many seconds

  • Retry Delay - If a message send attempt fails, wait this number of seconds before retrying

  • Retry Max Attempts - Will attempt to retry sending a failed message this number of times

  • SMTP Server Address - FQDN or ip address of the SMTP server

  • SMTP User Account - For authenticating with the SMTP server

  • SMTP User Password - For authenticating with the SMTP server, saved encrypted at-rest

  • SMTP Password Confirm - Same as above

  • SMTP Server Port - Port on the SMTP server to connect

  • Use Legacy SSL - The current standard for SMTP utilizes TlS for encrypted traffic. If your SMTP server utilizes SSL and not TLS, check this box. More on this below.

  • SMTP Connection Timeout - Number of seconds to attempt connection

  • From Email - Email to appear in the From header of the email, will also be the reply to

  • From Name - Name to appear in the From header of the email

  • Administrative Emails - A list of email addresses, comma delimited, that will receive automated system alerts

SSL vs TLS

As mentioned above, the newer SMTP standard uses TLS for encryption. The Messenger will check to see if the server supports TLS and will use it if it does (as opposed to sending it unencrypted). However if the SMTP server does not use TLS but SSL you will need to tell the Messenger to use "Legacy SSL" when communicating with the server.

Typically, if your email server communicates on port 587 then TLS will be used and you can leave Legacy SSL unchecked. If the port is 465 then this is usually SSL and you will want to check the Legacy SSL box. Most enterprises internally use port 587 for SMTP.

Gmail

Many of our users use GMail for testing purposes. Here are the appropriate settings for Gmail:

  • SMTP Server Address - smtp.gmail.com

  • SMTP User Account and Password - your GMail email address and password

  • SMTP Server Port - 465

  • Use Legacy SSL - checked

  • From Email - your GMail email address

Messenger Server Process

The Messenger service will typically be setup to start automatically. To view the status of the Messenger, select Information > View System Status from the top menu.

You can view all of the running processes and their heartbeats, including the Messenger. A link to the Messenger logfile appears on the right. Below you will see a list of the email message attempts made by the Messenger and any errors that may have occurred.

To start a stopped Messenger process on the server, login into the server via SSH and run the following command (assuming the CONTINUUM_HOME environment variable is set properly.

ctm-restart ctm-messenger

Messenger Logs

All logfiles for Continuum processes are usually located in /var/continuum/log. If the default location is not used, this location can be found in the /etc/continuum/continuum.yaml file with the "system, logfiles" setting.

The most recent Messenger logfile will be named "ctm-messenger.log" with archived logfiles with the name "ctm-messenger.log.1" etc.

Messenger Table

The Messenger picks up and processes messages found in the message database table. If your system sends a large amount of email messages, over time this table can grow large and may need to be purged.

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