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'Pickup' directory plays myriad roles

The Exchange Internet mail pickup directory has a number of applications, including troubleshooting, as this tip explains.

Exchange 5.5. and higher provide a directory into which RFC821/822 or RFC2045-RFC2049 (MIME)-formatted messages can be deposited, by a program or a script, for delivery. This directory is referred to as the "pickup" directory, and there are a number of possible applications for it, including compatibility with third-party mailers.

The pickup directory is in Exchsrvr\Imcdata\Pickup. Messages placed in this folder do not need to have a particular extension (.txt should work fine), but they do need to conform to the proper RFC protocol for a mail message. Here is an example RFC822 message:

To: target@otherdomain.com
From: sender@domain.com
Subject: Message subject

Text of message

There must be a blank like between the headers and the body of the message or the message will not be considered compliant with RFC821/822 and not be delivered. There also must be a trailing period on a line by itself at the end of the message.

X-type headers are also allowed, and in fact the Internet Mail Service prefers to get its sender and receiver information from X-Sender and X-Receiver headers rather than To: and From: headers (although it'll certainly work with the latter).

Also note that the Internet Mail Service must have permissions to move or delete the message before it can be delivered. If this is not the case, an error will be logged and the message will be left as is to prevent the same message from being delivered multiple times. Any script or program that wants to write to the pickup directory must also have the proper permissions to do so.

For more details, see http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;201314


Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.

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