Beware of the impact of the January 11, 2007, IMF update on BES Enterprise Activation messages

A couple weeks ago, I started having a problem where BES users who were using Enterprise Activation were getting "Operation timed out" messages when activating.  Existing users still worked fine, as did users who activated via Desktop Manager.  Restarting BES services didn’t change anything; neither did rebooting.  Event logs didn’t show much, and the application logs didn’t show anything except one line item for when the timeout actually occurred.

A RIM article for troubleshooting EA failures listed several things to check, one of which was that the activation message was actually arriving in the mailbox.  So I checked the Inbox’s deleted items cache for one of the mailboxes…nope.  I use a third-party utility called IMF Tune to augment the functionality of the IMF, so I have detailed logs of messages processed by the IMF. (To read a case study regarding my company’s use of IMF Tune, go here.)

The logs showed that the activation messages were being deleted/archived at the gateway because their SCL ratings were above the threshold.  Some even were being redirected to the Junk E-mail folder (JMF).  I was wondering why this was the case since I have never had a problem with the activation messages being flagged by the IMF.

Then I remembered that I had updated the IMF definition files on January 18 with the 01/11/07 update, which is right around when the issue started.  For whatever reason, the IMF is now being more discriminatory against the activation messages.  To resolve the issue, I white listed the subdomain the activation messages come from: *  And when it happened again today, I discovered that that user is in Europe and EA messages from those users come from a different subdomain: *

So if you BES and the IMF, be careful that your gateway and store thresholds don’t keep the activation messages from reaching the inbox.  And if they do, white list the sender domain.  I didn’t want to just white list all of, so I am using the subdomain that activation messages originate from.  If there is yet another contintental subdomain out there (for Asia Pacific, perhaps), I might just chain the white list filter to be AND the subject begins with RIM_.

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