AOL refusing mail - PROBLEM FOUND (maybe)

Discussion in 'General Web Coding' started by antic, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. antic

    antic Perch

    Ok, I'm gonna go out on a big fat limb here, and explain something I've discovered about Jodo's mail servers, which MAY OR MAY NOT be the source of all our AOL delivery woes.

    Firstly, a quick background... I was sending out a mere 40 emails earlier today, in an ASP script that uses CDO. Note, the script uses CDO drop-mail folders, it does NOT specify an SMTP server. Therefore Windows SMTP Server of that machine is taking over the sending to Jodo's mail servers - or they send out directly, I don't know which. I suspect all mail goes through designated servers.

    Anyway, out of a mere 40 sendouts, we got 3 bouncebacks!. That's huge! We're sending to some BIG corporate clients, you see, and they have spam filtering up to their armpits, like AOL does.

    All the bounces came back with variations on the following error message:

    Code:
    Reporting-MTA: dns;abjhwin1-kgnrv5
    Received-From-MTA: dns;abjhwin1-kgnrv5
    Arrival-Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 18:00:03 -0500
    Final-Recipient: rfc822;[email protected]
    Action: failed
    Status: 5.5.0
    Diagnostic-Code: smtp;504 <abjhwin1-kgnrv5>: Helo command rejected: need fully-qualified hostname
    I looked up error 504, and it says here, among other places, that the mail was rejected because the sending server has no FQDN (qualified domain name). For some reason, that server of Jodo's has the string "abjhwin1-kgnrv5" as its "FQDN"... which is course is completely wrong.

    This implies that the mail servers at Jodo aren't set up properly, DNS-wise. I checked the IP address of where the mail was being sent from on Jodo's network: http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/ptr.ch?ip=204.14.108.84

    Lo and behold, no PTR records, no reverse DNS possible. Read the print at the bottom of that page: Note that all Internet accessible hosts are expected to have a reverse DNS entry (per RFC1912 2.1), and many mailservers (such as AOL) will likely block E-mail from mailservers with no reverse DNS entry. Bingo I think. I suspect this is why AOL and other anti-spam systems reject mail sent from Jodo's servers.

    Sooooo.... Jodo, a solution please! Can we get those servers set up properly with PTR/FQDN so we can send mail in peace? :) There's not much point in having "Sender ID" options set up, if a major issue like DNS is outstanding. It would probably lower the risk of you getting your mail servers blacklisted too, since they would currently be put into the "very suspicious" category of any spam monitoring systems, since they have no reverse DNS.

    So the big question... Am I on the right track here or talking complete bollocks? :)
  2. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    No we can't put a FQDN on this, that is why you must specify a DNS server with CDOSYS or another object supporting SMTP auth.
  3. antic

    antic Perch

    Okay.... how do I specify a DNS server in CDO? Or do you mean an SMTP server?

    Edit: Can't you just tell the Windows SMTP Server to use authentication with the "smart host"? Would that then allow CDO to work properly?
  4. antic

    antic Perch

    Ok well it seems the only alternative is the use of SMTP with authentication, using mail.yourdoman as the smtp host, etc etc...

    But I can't stress enough that CDO would reduce a LOT of load on the servers, if you could set it up properly. My mailout script took less than a second to run through and send mails using CDO, whereas after going back to ASPEmail/direct SMTP method, it took almost a minute and that's for less than 100 emails. ASP isn't made to sit hogging resources for minutes on end doing SMTP work.

    CDO is there to be used; it's efficient, fast, good for the servers, good for Jodo, good for everyone... why can't they be set up with FQDN?
  5. snooper

    snooper Perch

    dont know about FQDN or not, but i have noted that sending with CDO with authentication is MUCh slower than ASPmail, for example.
  6. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    We are working on a much better long term solution but it is not ready yet.
  7. antic

    antic Perch

    Thanks for the PMs Stephen, and yep that solution sounds brilliant, it's an excellent move.
    Good to know you guys are on the pulse! :thumb:
  8. snooper

    snooper Perch

    Do share!!
  9. antic

    antic Perch

    aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! :p

    Well, Stephen only mentioned the details after much grumbling and griping from me about the current state of the reverse DNS's on outgoing mail. So I don't know if it's supposed to be public knowledge yet - it may fall into the realm of competetive advantage or something (in which case he was very trusting telling me)... so I don't want to say anything I shouldn't. So he will either volunteer the info, or you can also try hassling him over PM! lol Poor Stephen! :)
  10. Yash

    Yash Bass

    hmm.. is this about having a separate SMTP server for Windows?
  11. antic

    antic Perch

    Like I said, Yash, only special people can know this... :D
  12. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Yash, it is somewhat about that, :) I only shared with one person some long term plans :D

    I just can't commit to dates or times, so did not want to mention anything here publicly.
  13. antic

    antic Perch

    Yes it's true... Stephen and I are getting married.

    :preggers:
  14. bro

    bro Perch

    Same old story; love 'em and leave 'em. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
  15. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    :D is all I can do
  16. KCWebMonkey

    KCWebMonkey Perch

    you guys crack me up...
  17. antic

    antic Perch

    How do you Auth with ASPEmail? I thought that was a "premier" function, and we only have the free version installed....?

    Darling... err.. Stephen can u answer this one?
  18. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Maybe he has an account on win14 where premium is still functioning?? Thats all I can think now
  19. antic

    antic Perch

    So premium is not normally offered, I assume?

    So if we need to Auth our email, the only option is to use CDO, is that right? Is that the recommended method for authing a mailout?
  20. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Correct, only the free aspemail is offered. CDOSYS is best for Authed email

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