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Email SMTP Troubleshooting

Community Data Engineer
Community Data Engineer
Created on

The Email Tool is a tremendously useful shortcut when it comes time to disseminate your analyses and other results straight from your workflow. However, in order to do so, it must communicate using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), which is often restricted by IT infrastructure and firewalls to protect organizations from spam. As a result, many users excited to try the tool get the direct, yet demoralizing, error below (among others):


“SMTP Failed.”

 

smtp1.png

 

That’s why we’ve detailed in this article the steps you can take to investigate what, exactly, is giving you trouble:


Manually-entered SMTP server

 

  • First make sure a colon and port number are appended to the server name:

smtpwhoops.png

  • Does this SMTP server use SSL/TLS or require username/password authentication?

Unless the SMTP server uses windows authentication you won’t be able to use the Email Tool, as SSL and TLS are not yet supported through the tool. You can, however, look into other approaches to sending emails in the Designer that can accommodate those requirements.

 

  • If not, do you have the required ports open in your network firewall? You can check with your IT team for port numbers and statuses, but the default ports you can check yourself are usually 25, 445, 465, 587, and 993:

You can check to see if a server and port are open using the Telnet utility; if you have Telnet installed, open the command prompt and simply type telnet.

 

smtp2.png

smtp3.png

 

If you do not see the second prompt above then you’ll have to install a Telnet/SSH third party client like PuTTY.

 

From either the Telnet prompt or client, you can open a connection to the server and port to test:


In Telnet, connect to the server and port using the command below.

 

smtp4.png

 

In PuTTY, opening the port will look like the following.

 

smtp5.png

 

Either approach will then send you to the following prompt.

 

smtp6.png

 

Then use these commands (<CRLF> is the enter key) to send a test email that, if received, will indicate that your port is open.


HELO <CRLF>
mail from:<mail from address><CRLF>
rcpt to:<mail to address><CRLF>
data<CRLF>
subject:<email subject here><CRLF>
<CRLF>
<type the body of the message here> <CRLF>
.
<CRLF>


To send the email, you must end the body by hitting the enter key (<CRLF>), then period, then enter again (please note that after specifying your subject you must also press the enter key twice – not doing may neglect the message body argument). The test should look something like the below:

 

smtp7.png

smtp8.png

If the email sends and the mail to address confirms receipt, then your port is open. Otherwise, you should receive an error that should help your IT team diagnose why the traffic is being blocked.


Use the steps above to determine likely causes for the error and you’ll be able to take steps to get the Email Tool unrestricted in your network. Once that happens, bid adieu to whatever repetitious emails you might have to send in the future!

 

smtp9.jpg

Comments
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Is there any reason why the e-mail tool is sending the same e-mail over and over again?  I set up according to your example and got 465 of the same e-mail before I stopped the workflow.

 

It was trying to send me a file with 2548 records in it.  Was it sending it once for each record?

 

Alteryx Email.PNGSanitized Tool Annotations

Alteryx
Alteryx

@Tbrown9 

 

Yes, by design, the email tool sends one email for each record it receives.  Although that might be counter-intuitive, it is literally stated in the very first line of the Help for that tool.