Lots of exciting things happened at SpamExperts even during the hot summer months. In this blog post, we highlight the most important updates from Q3 2017. For a comprehensive list of new features and improvements, please visit the changelog in our knowledgebase.
Incoming & Outgoing Filtering Service
There are rare situations when customers encounter issues regarding message delivery on destination servers (applied for both proprietary with the incoming filter as well as third party with the outgoing filter). While you’re able to see information about delivery attempts and the error messages received via the log search, at times it is useful to simulate an actual message delivery to diagnose these issues. Customers can perform the simulation from their own server, however, it’s often necessary to do it from the filtering server itself. This way you can identify network issues between the filtering server and the destination server.
SpamExperts developed a new Network Tools page (located in the “Others” section, previously called “My Account” from Spampanel), that has an SMTP check tool that can be used to do a diagnostic SMTP connection(e.g open-relay, a sender or recipient callout, or a catch-all check).
Customers are able to specify the envelope sender to use, and select which outgoing IP is used (including the ones that are part of servers outside the control panel server).
In addition to doing various types of SMTP test, customers can check if a server is reachable, check for network issues on the way to the server, and do DNS lookups on this page. These may be useful in diagnosing networking issues with their cluster.
Preview of new log search pages
By enabling the “features preview”, customers can use the new log search pages (incoming and outgoing filter). Compared to the older versions, the new pages have multiple advantages:
- Far more powerful filtering functionality
- A cleaner view, so that customers can see the filtering that has been done as well as the results, without a lot of noise
- The ability to filter on message size and the message’s From:, To:, and CC: headers
- The ability to filter on, and add as a column, the outgoing IP used for delivering (or attempting to deliver) the message and the (geo) location of the sending server (based on the IP address)
- More detailed information about the message classification, both as a filter (e.g. to see messages the filter was least certain about) and as a column.
Note that there are functionalities that we’re still working on for this page, most notably actions for messages (e.g. releasing or training), and the ability to export results to CSV. Until the new update, users with “features preview” enabled will see both the old and new log search pages.
Interactively construct custom filtering rules
We’ve made it much easier to develop and maintain custom filtering rules (currently only available to super-admins that have “features preview” enabled).
- Easier to add flags for the regular expressions (such as making the rule case insensitive)
- Help ‘cheatsheet’ is always visible (on screens that are large enough)
- Super-admins can manage their domain’s rules without having to switch to “domain level”
- A new match type, “decoded message”, is available, to better match message content, and the “header” match type can be used to match only a specific header more easily
- New preview panel available, where customers can enter some example text (or use the provided examples), and see how the regular expression matches against the text, allowing them to interactively build up the expression that fits their needs.
Preview of new sender & recipient whitelist & blacklist pages
Users that have the “features preview” enabled in the control panel will see the new whitelist and blacklist pages for senders and recipients. You’ll see the same extended filtering functionality that’s available on other recently updated pages, and super-admins as well as admins are able to manage the whitelists and blacklists for their domains directly from the dashboard, rather than having to switch to “domain level”.
Outgoing Filtering Service
Support for Office365 with the outgoing filter
In the past, using the outgoing filter with Office365 used to be a challenge, as customers were unable to authenticate with a username and a password, but only a single user could add IP authentication.
We’ve added a new functionality that makes it far easier to use Office365 with the outgoing filter, by adding the IP authentication under a cluster-wide administrative domain and setting outgoing filter domains to permit “re-authentication” from that IP, based on the envelope sender. For more details on how to configure this, please see our knowledge base.
Removal of the “Contact Us” link, and addition of a “Support URL”
The “Contact Us” link that was previously available to all user levels has been removed. It has been replaced with a new “Support URL” link, which is more prominently located at the top of the page next to the language menu. The destination for the link is configured in the “Settings” page in the “Server” section from Spampanel, and values from the old “Contact Us URL” setting have been migrated to this new setting.
As well as being more noticeable, the new setting has more flexibility:
- Users can configure whether the link is accessed via GET or POST
- Users can configure the link to include the user’s username and/or email address, in user-selected parameters/fields.
However, unlike “Contact Us”, the link is not available to email or domain users. It will be only displayed for any admin whose direct parent admin has a Support URL configured.
Import from and Export to CSV
The ability to export query results to CSV files and to import new data from CSV files was added to many pages in Spampanel:
- Whitelist/Blacklist IPs (both incoming and outgoing filter)
- Whitelist/Blacklist filtering rules (both incoming and outgoing filter), available if “preview features” is enabled
- Whitelist/Blacklist senders/recipients, when “preview features” is enabled
- Manage outgoing delivery IPs
- Manage identities (export only)
- Brute-force blacklist (export only)
- Log search (both incoming and outgoing filter, export only), when “preview features” is enabled.
To export to CSV, simply add the query rules that you need to narrow down your results (or use no rules to get all data), select the columns that you wish to include in the output, and then:
- Select “Export … as CSV” at the top of the page to get all matching results; or
- Select “Show results” and then choose “Export as .CSV” from the action drop-down for one row to get just that row; or
- Select “Show results” and then select the rows that you want and choose “Export as .CSV” from the action drop-down at the end of the results.
To import from CSV, select “Import … from CSV” at the top of the page, and you can then use the “CSV file structure” button to get an example of what your CSV file should look like (i.e. the required header row, and example data for the columns) – you can also download a CSV, edit it, and then upload it, to be sure you have the correct format. When you have a CSV file that you are satisfied with, simply add it in the import window, select “Import file”, and the rows will be processed. If there are errors in the file, you will get a notification of the problems.
Thank you for reading! Until our next quarterly technical update, keep spam away. We invite you to drop us a comment in the section below.