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Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I have spent the better part of 4 hours trying to get an email or sms notifier to actually send something out. I have tried at least 6 valid smtp servers that I use successfully with Mac Mail for different emails and not one of them worked to get a notifier message delivered. I have tried every port possible and tried configurations with and without SSL. I entered all of the valid authentication information exactly as it is used in Mail and still no results.

I'm running OS X v10.6.3 on an Intel Mac Mini that I'm using to run Simon to monitor my client's websites. Without notifiers it pretty much defeats the purpose of using the software. At this point I'm glad I only bought the Standard Version instead of the Enterprise (which if this ever works I will need).

I have turned on the email debugging per other forum posts but this is the only console messages I get when using the Notify Now feature is:

5/9/10 7:43:19 PM Simon[563] Pantomime: Connected!
5/9/10 7:44:14 PM com.apple.WebKit.PluginAgent[333] Debugger() was called!
5/9/10 7:44:14 PM com.apple.WebKit.PluginAgent[333] Debugger() was called!

No email messages are bounced back, I just get nothing. I set up a test using an email notifier with a bogus address to force a failure and the test fails, the log says a notification was sent, but it is never sent out.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I'm sorry the email features are misbehaving for you. They are the most troublesome area of Simon, unfortunately.

What you should get is:

2010-05-09 21:53:31.054 Simon[29538:a0f] Pantomime: Connected!
2010-05-09 21:53:33.170 Simon[29538:a0f] Pantomime: Sending the message...
2010-05-09 21:53:34.198 Simon[29538:a0f] Pantomime: Sent!
Closing the connection.
2010-05-09 21:53:34.270 Simon[29538:a0f] Pantomime: Connection closed.

Have you tried using the Automatic transport? It tries to connect directly to the mail server specified in the From address. Sometimes it'll work better than the Pantomime framework.

The hidden preference to use to recipient server instead of sender is used by the Automatic transport, too — it simply connects to the To: address' server instead. which sometimes helps.

If all else fails, you could use a different email account, e.g. me.com, which I know works with the Automatic transport.

I've recently heard of a new mail delivery framework, so I might try that in version 2.6, to see if it is more reliable. I wish Apple provided a way to send mail in the OS. They used to, but deprecated it.

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I did try the Automatic transport with exactly the same results.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

The Automatic transport will give more comprehensive logging (instead of the Pantomime logging quoted above), so should identify what the cause of the problem is.

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

In fact, trying the Automatic transport with a .me or .mac email address causes Simon to hang...

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

Hmm, yes, it is hanging for me now too. I think 10.6 may have changed the behavior of the low-level communication stuff used by the Automatic transport. I definitely need to investigate that more modern mail delivery framework.

I'm really sorry for the inconvenience. I wish I had a better solution for you. All I can suggest it trying other email accounts with the non-Automatic transport, or perhaps call a PHP script on your site to do the mail delivery there. (I'm tempted to provide a script on my server, but that probably wouldn't be a good idea; too easy for spammers to abuse it.)

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I would be happy to test any new builds/betas to get a solution to this problem...I need to have a monitoring solution in place by the end of June.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I will have beta releases of 2.6 during June, so will try to address this early in that period.

I may be able to fix the hanging sooner... that really isn't acceptable.

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

My problem is bit strange. I have a standard email failure notification. It works. When I click "notify now" it always works. It works on all the tests I use it on but one. It was working on that one as well but I think a Simon upgrade might have hosed it. The test has 3 notifiers in the following order, email failure, restart app, email recover. The test does the restart and recover but never the failure. I deleted the notifiers and recreated them. That did not work. I deleted the test and recreated it from scratch. Still no email failure. I only noticed this happening after some Simon upgrade started apparently enforcing a properly formatted email return address. I changed the return address on all my notifiers and that seemed to solve the problem for all of them except this one test. The thing is that I use the standard email failure notifier on every test and the email failure>restartApp>email recovery on several tests.
I cannot figure out why this is happening. Leopard server 10.5.8 Simon Version 2.5.7 (2053). I do the same test, on an identically configured failover server without problem.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

That does sound like a strange one. Does this problem test ever get into a failure state? Does it get listed in the Failures log?

If the exact same notifier works fine with other tests, that suggests there's something specific to this test that is causing the issue. But recreating the test should fix that. I'm not sure what else I can suggest. If you like, you could email me your data, along with info about which test it is, and I'll see if I can recreate the problem.

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

The truly interesting thing is that BEFORE I recreated the test, when I would select the test and look at the notification history, it indicated that it WAS sending the failure message. Now, after deleting the test and creating a new one from scratch, it indicates that it is only sending the restart and recovery notifier. The only reason I noticed this was because BOTH my servers connect to an Oracle server and I monitor the process at my end that maintains the connection. That Oracle server is old and is having problems. On one server, for an identical test I do get the normal falure-email, restartNoemail and recoveryemail messages. On the server in question, I get just the recovery email. If I look at the console log I only see attempts from Simon with timestamps corresponding to the recovery message.
I have seen references in the forum to turning on debug mode. How do I do that?

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

You can turn on debug logging for the Email notifier via this Terminal command:

defaults write com.dejal.simon2 EmailDebugMode YES

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I use Simon 2.7.5 on a Mac Mini with 10.6.4
I created an alert which works perfectly when I click "Notify now" but never when it is supposed to with my test. However the notification windows says that the email has been sent.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

Check to see if there's some variable that could be causing problems — placeholder values are used for Notify Now, but real values might be problematic?

Re: Email/SMS Notifiers Never Work

I erased all the variables and it works perfectly. Thank you.