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Sending URL in SMTP Email body producing errors

7 - Meteor


I am testing running workflows with conditional Email output.


I set up a really simple workflow for testing purposes using a text input tool. In field A, the content looks like this:

Support link:


When I input this to the SMTP tool as "Body: Use Field Ticked : A"

I get this error: 

Error: Email (2): Exception parse error line: 7 column: 68 Unterminated entity reference, 'id'


If I hardcode the exact same text into the SMTP tool config in the Body section, it goes through fine.


It seems like the SMTP parser needs to not treat the contents of an incoming text field as part of the parsable script. It is a perfectly normal thing to want to send a failure email e.g. with a documentation link, report URL or similar to the error recipient.


Strangely, if I choose "Subject: Use field ticked : A", it goes through no problem - it just seems to be the body where Alteryx chokes on the URL.


Attached:  input file





17 - Castor
17 - Castor

Hi @SrucBI 


The problem lies on the "&" before "id" character of your link (Support link:


I guess "&" is considered as a special character in the XML language and it messes up the syntax of the tool XML configuration


I'm not so sure what would be the workaround in this case, but I'll dive into this to try to find some solution.


At least we have the root cause of the problem.


17 - Castor
17 - Castor



Looks like using "&" instead of "&" would be a way to escape the special character.


Could you give it a try?


This way:


Support link:




7 - Meteor

Thanks, that is a good workaround.


I would still like to report this as a bug - imagine I have a dataflow with some kind of complex text , XML or even an image within it which I want to put into the body of the email - I would need to go through the entire text and parse it, search and replace for anything which Alteryx might not like - the contents of the data field should not cause a component to fail because of characters it can't handle. That does not seem like a feature!

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

Alternatively I would use the EscapeXMLMetacharacters(String) function in the formula tool - this helps as well

5 - Atom

'Exception parse error line: 7 column: 12 Expected entity name for reference’


This error also came up for me when i was attempting to put punctuation into the subject of the email body. It didn't seem to like an '&' in the body of the email message (i created a subject in the formula tool and then attached it to the email). My subject of the email also had some HTML in it and it wasn't happy with the '&'. I changed it to 'and' and it was fine.