By Eric Hall – Globalscape Channel Engineer Executive
What does Mail Express integration really mean? What benefits does it offer to those looking for both a back-end automated MFT solution as well as a solution to make available large or sensitive file sharing between people via email? Might it make sense in some cases to combine EFT Server with Mail Express? I’ll address the Top 3 key points below.
1) Reporting – All the information required by IT personnel on their users’ activities is already available in the Mail Express database. Mail Express includes some reporting and auditing capabilities out of the box. However, those reports are more suited to drilling down to individual packages for auditing and spot-checking, and if you have EFT already, then it’s an additional place you have to go to for reports. Many of our existing EFT customers voiced that they preferred EFT’s Auditing and Reporting Module (ARM) reporting style and capabilities, especially as integrated with EFT’s ability to generate reports on a scheduled basis and either store them in PDF format or embed them as HTML into an email sent periodically to the appropriate parties. So we expanded Mail Express to communicate its activities to EFT so that they can be recorded to ARM and reported on in the same set of reports already available for SAT. If you have EFT 6.5 with ARM, and you add Mail Express 3.3, you can optionally integrate the two together for consolidated reporting. These reports are all available under the list of built-in reports as “Activity – Ad Hoc …” with the various flavours supporting it. If the customer has not completed the upgrade to Mail Express and is still running SAT somewhere in their organisation, these reports will be combined, ensuring a smooth transition.
2) Automation – One piece of functionality not offered out of the box by Mail Express on its own is the ability to automate processes on files being sent via Mail Express. Unlike EFT, where files tend to be moving through EFT to their final destination on, files sent via Mail Express are effectively parked in the Mail Express storage, waiting for the recipients to authenticate themselves and retrieve the individual files or complete package. This makes it well situated to allow antivirus and Data Loss Prevention solutions to passively scan the files on writing or reading from disk.
However, not all storage systems are so conveniently configured. Therefore you now have the ability to leverage EFT’s simple and powerful Event Rule system to automate processes as required by company or regulatory policy. Do files need to be retained for a period of time? Copy them to an eDiscovery or archival storage area. You can even encrypt and sign them to compress the files for long-term storage and ensure the file integrity to both protect the contents and avoid tampering. Do AV or DLP scans need to be run? Use EFT to call the appropriate utilities either directly via command line using a Command or invoke their DLLs programmatically with the Advanced Workflow Engine (AWE).
Whatever the requirement, you can now leverage EFT to make sure that need is fulfilled. And of course all such automated activity will also be recorded by EFT to the auditing database with ARM. For example, as in the screenshot shown here, I have:
- Created an “On File Uploaded Rule”
- Added the condition so that it is only triggered if the upload has occurred where the Protocol is “Ad hoc Over HTTP/S Protocol” which is how it defines an upload through Mail Express
- Execute a “DLP Scan” command invoking a command line DLP tool
- As long as the scan does not fail, copy the uploaded file to an archive directory
- Encrypt (and compress) the archive copy
3) Configuration – In the spirit of avoiding the duplication of effort, having to make the same changes multiple times or in multiple places, Mail Express can now synchronise its configuration with EFT, if desired. You do not have to do this at all, of course, but it’s available for those who find it valuable.
NOTE: Only 32-bit Mail Express installations can communicate with EFT. Mail Express is now included in the EFT installer, and that included version is the 32-bit version for precisely that reason. There are three key configuration areas that Mail Express can synchronise with EFT: SMTP server details, DMZ Gateway connections, and SSL certificates. These configurations may be synchronised wholesale, or the administrator may pick and choose the specific aspects of the configuration that will be appropriate. For example, for the SMTP settings, you may wish to synchronise the host address, port, and so on, so that if it ever changes for EFT it will automatically change for Mail Express, but you may want to modify the “From” address so that email notifications sent by Mail Express do not appear to be sent by EFT. Or for another example, the DMZ Gateway configuration may need to use the same host address that EFT is using but use a different port in order to attach to the Mail Express specific DMZ Gateway profile. Each aspect of the various configurations is available to be synchronised or not, as desired. See the Mail Express help page for more information.
This integration helps make Mail Express and EFT even more complete and powerful duo when implemented together, and we intend to continue expanding this integration and leveraging the dynamic capabilities of Mail Express to increase the value of our solutions.
Have any questions? Would you like some further clarification? Please don’t hesitate to let Pro2col know on 0333 123 1240.