Exchange Server 2010 with Oracle Workflow Mailer

Posted in: Technical Track

Almost all Oracle E-Business Suite DBAs will run into this problem if they are using exchange server as their Workflow IMAP server. Workflow is a important component of Oracle E-Business Suite, and its mailer component adds a biggest oracle EBS feature of inbound mail processing of workflow approval and rejection email replies from end users.

The issue with exchange server is that by default, it doesn’t enable the plain text login mechanism for IMAP, and Oracle Workflow Mailer requires this authentication mechanism to work.

Here is a quick way to verify if your exchange server has the required authentication method enabled. Just telnet to the imap port of exchange server, type “a1 capability” and press enter. If you see LOGINDISABLED in the output, then it means the plan text authentication is not enabled for exchange IMAP service.

$ telnet exchange.pythian.com 143
Trying 10.23.10.101...
Connected to exchange.pythian.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
* OK The Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service is ready.
a1 capability
* CAPABILITY IMAP4 IMAP4rev1 LOGINDISABLED STARTTLS UIDPLUS CHILDREN IDLE NAMESPACE LITERAL+
a1 OK CAPABILITY completed.

If the authentication method is disabled, ask your admin to enable the plain authentication feature using this MS technet note. There is one thing that this note is missing: restart the Exchange IMAP service for the changes to come into effect. Typical Microsoft way of fixing things :).

I am interested to know your experiences with Oracle Workflow Mailer. Please post in the comments section! I’m all ears!!!

email

Interested in working with Vasu? Schedule a tech call.

About the Author

Vasu Balla’s colleagues call him “Eagle Eye” for a reason – his diverse technical background enables him to view his clients’ systems from a 360-degree angle, giving him a higher level of understanding. Vasu is well known for being approachable, and he truly enjoys helping people. Even former colleagues reach out to Vasu when they are really stuck on an issue. When he isn’t working, Vasu can be found in the kitchen trying new recipes.

8 Comments. Leave new

nice info… specially I Like the statement.. “Typical Microsoft way of fixing things :).”

Reply

Thanks for your feedback !

Reply

If you mean typical is secure, then yes you are correct Exchange 2010 is secure out of the box and does not use plain text basic authentication out of the box.

Reply
Rajesh Dayal
April 3, 2014 3:39 pm

Are there any other known issues with Mailer on Exchange 2010. We got past authentication problem but still Mailer Doesn’t process the incoming emails. The emails just stay unread in the inbox. They do get processed if the mailer is restarted.
Thank you for any help.
Rajesh Dayal.

Reply

Hi Vasu,

I am in need of your help. I have checked telnet 993. Afterwards I typed a1 capability
and it gave me a message
CAPABILITY IMAP4 IMAP4rev1 AUTH=NTLM AUTH=GSSAPI AUTH=PLAIN STARTTLS UIDPLUS CHILDREN IDLE NAMESPACE LITERAL+
a1 OK CAPABILITY completed.

Which means, it is good to use. But Can you please tell me what value I should be giving for Inbound Server Name, User and Password at step3 of Workflow Mailer so that Workflow Mailer logins to Server and checks response for a notification. I have one email address and its password but I am confused because my DBA this email address is not on a specific server it is on Exchange 2010 server which has concept of load balancer and has multiple exchange server associated with it. can you please help. Thanks.

-Sunil

Reply

You don’t have to worry about how many exchange servers are behind the load balancer. Just use the IP or hostname you used in your telnet command used for testing.

Reply

I’ve run across an issue where PLAIN text authentication is enabled on the Exchange server, but I’m still getting an error when testing the Mailer. It turns out there are two IMAP commands used to connect to the Exchange Server; LOGIN and AUTHENTICATE. It seems that the Mailer uses the AUTHENTICATE command instead of the LOGIN command to connect (AUTH=PLAIN vs LOGIN=PLAIN) but Exchange 2013 can only be enabled to use one or the other. Unfortunately, in our instance, we have our Exchange servers set to use LOGIN (which is more widely used by other applications) and therefore are having issues with the Workflow Mailer. I’ve raised an SR with Oracle to see if there is some config or properties file that might be able to modified to change the Authentication command, but haven’y received a reply. Would anyone here know if such a file exists?

Reply

@Gary Hampson
Hi,
Did you get any response from Oracle regarding the issue, how you solved the issue?

Do you use SSL for inbound processing? I’m having the same issue after exchange upgrade to from 10 to 13.

Regards

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *