Hotmail handles attachments differently at SMTP level

I discovered a problem in some email processing code recently.  Circlebox has an email forwarding service where an end user can send an email to an address like groupname@cbcircle.com and that message is then sent to each group member’s email address according to their subscription preferences.

A user was sending a message with an attachment from a Hotmail address but the attachment wasn’t being forwarded to the end users. It turned out to be a difference in the headers.

Here are the relevant headers from a message sent from an Exchange Server.

Content-Type: application/vnd.ms-excel;
name=”Directory.xls”
Content-Description: Directory.xls
Content-Disposition: attachment;
filename=”Directory.xls”; size=64512;
creation-date=”Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:58:23 GMT”;
modification-date=”Sun, 23 Feb 2014 13:58:23 GMT”
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

Here are the relevant headers from an identical message sent from Hotmail:

Content-Type: application/vnd.ms-excel
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=”Directory.xls”

My code was expecting the Content-Type header to have a Name parameter that contained the attachment filename. As you can see, this is in the first set of headers, but not in the second one.

This seems to be the direction things are heading in. RFC 2183 defines this and it looks like most mail servers are currently using both the Name parameter of the Content-Type header and the Filename parameter of the Content-Disposition header, but Hotmail is only using Content-Disposition.

Using iText to generate PDF from Html using HtmlWorker

Someone asked this on Google+ and I had a program that did it so I decided to turn it into a quick blog post.  I stripped away the application specific logic, but this is the gist of the iText code. (Technically this is iTextSharp, but I’m guessing it will work in iText as well.)  The trick is to use the HtmlWorker. (If I remember right, there’s a newer XMLWorkerHelper object that’s newer/better.)

This returns the PDF in a memory stream (useful for sending to the Response object to send to a browser):

using iTextSharp.text;
using iTextSharp.text.pdf;
using iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser;

public static Stream RenderPDF()

{

    Document document = new Document(PageSize.LETTER, 36F, 36F, 36F, 36F);
    MemoryStream memoryStream = new MemoryStream();
    PdfWriter writer = PdfWriter.GetInstance(document, memoryStream);
    document.Open();

    HTMLWorker htmlWorker = new HTMLWorker(document);
    var sectionTitleFont = new Font(Font.FontFamily.TIMES_ROMAN, 24, Font.BOLD, BaseColor.BLACK);
    var sectionTitleParagraph = new Paragraph(“Title text”, sectionTitleFont);

    document.Add(sectionTitleParagraph);

    document.NewPage();

    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    string strBody = ”

This is the paragraph body

“;
    sb.AppendLine(strBody);
    sb.AppendLine(“”);

    htmlWorker.Parse(new StringReader(sb.ToString()));
    document.NewPage();

    writer.CloseStream = false;
    document.Close();
    memoryStream.Position = 0;
    return memoryStream;

}

PayPal IPN integration from .Net

Note: I recently put a C# version of this code on GitHub at https://github.com/jtrotman10/PayPalIpnWebFormsDemo

It’s easy enough to integrate your site with PayPal so that you can send shopping carts to get paid for. Since the communication is via a POST, it did take me a couple of minutes to get an ASP.Net page to post to something other than itself via a postback. I ended up using an ImageButton (using a PayPal logo image) and set the PostBackURL property to https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr. The static fields (like “business” to pass the email address that is my PayPal user id) were sent by putting a HiddenField control on the WebForm. The dynamic fields (like shopping cart items) were added to the form in code (in the PageLoad event) like this:
Dim h As HiddenField

h = New HiddenField
h.ID = “shopping_url”
h.Value = “http://www.mysite.com/shopping.aspx”
Form.Controls.Add(h)

It’s a little more complicated to get PayPal to tell your site that you’ve been paid.  PayPal has a feature called Instant Payment Notification, or IPN.  It took me a little while to get it debugged and working so I thought I would post a simple, but working, IPN solution that uses ASP.Net, VB.Net and SQL Server.

First, create a table in SQL Server. Here’s a script generated from SQL 2005 that will create a table with a field for each value that PayPal passes to you via IPN:

/****** Object:  Table [PayPalPayments]    Script Date: 08/06/2008 23:35:36 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
SET ANSI_PADDING ON
GO
CREATE TABLE [PayPalPayments](
[PayPalID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL,
[verify_sign] [varchar](255) NULL,
[address_city] [varchar](40) NULL,
[address_country] [varchar](64) NULL,
[address_name] [varchar](128) NULL,
[address_state] [varchar](40) NULL,
[address_status] [varchar](15) NULL,
[address_street] [varchar](200) NULL,
[address_zip] [varchar](20) NULL,
[first_name] [varchar](64) NULL,
[last_name] [varchar](64) NULL,
[payer_business_name] [varchar](127) NULL,
[payer_email] [varchar](127) NULL,
[payer_id] [varchar](13) NULL,
[payer_status] [varchar](15) NULL,
[residence_country] [char](2) NULL,
[business] [varchar](127) NULL,
[item_name1] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity1] [smallint] NULL,
[item_name2] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity2] [smallint] NULL,
[item_name3] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity3] [smallint] NULL,
[item_name4] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity4] [smallint] NULL,
[item_name5] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity5] [smallint] NULL,
[item_name6] [varchar](127) NULL,
[quantity6] [smallint] NULL,
[receiver_email] [varchar](127) NULL,
[receiver_id] [varchar](13) NULL,
[custom] [varchar](255) NULL,
[invoice] [varchar](127) NULL,
[memo] [varchar](255) NULL,
[auth_id] [varchar](19) NULL,
[auth_exp] [varchar](28) NULL,
[auth_amount] [smallmoney] NULL,
[auth_status] [varchar](10) NULL,
[num_cart_items] [smallint] NULL,
[parent_txn_id] [varchar](19) NULL,
[payment_date] [varchar](28) NULL,
[payment_status] [varchar](25) NULL,
[payment_type] [varchar](10) NULL,
[pending_reason] [varchar](20) NULL,
[transaction_entity] [varchar](10) NULL,
[txn_id] [varchar](19) NULL,
[txn_type] [varchar](25) NULL,
[mc_fee] [smallmoney] NULL,
[mc_gross] [smallmoney] NULL,
[settle_amount] [smallmoney] NULL,
[settle_currency] [varchar](3) NULL
) ON [PRIMARY]

GO
SET ANSI_PADDING OFF

Here’s a script to create a stored procedure to insert a record into the table:

/****** Object:  StoredProcedure [addPayPalPayment]    Script Date: 08/06/2008 23:39:27 ******/
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
GO
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
GO
CREATE  PROCEDURE [addPayPalPayment]
@verify_sign varchar(255),
@address_city varchar(40),
@address_country varchar(64),
@address_name varchar(128),
@address_state varchar(40),
@address_status varchar(15),
@address_street varchar(200),
@address_zip varchar(20),
@first_name varchar(64),
@last_name varchar(64),
@payer_business_name varchar(127),
@payer_email varchar(127),
@payer_id varchar(13),
@payer_status varchar(15),
@residence_country varchar(2),
@business varchar(127),
@item_name1 varchar(127),
@quantity1 smallint,
@item_name2 varchar(127),
@quantity2 smallint,
@item_name3 varchar(127),
@quantity3 smallint,
@item_name4 varchar(127),
@quantity4 smallint,
@item_name5 varchar(127),
@quantity5 smallint,
@item_name6 varchar(127),
@quantity6 smallint,
@receiver_email varchar(127),
@receiver_id varchar(13),
@custom varchar(255),
@invoice varchar(127),
@memo  varchar(255),
@auth_id varchar(19),
@auth_exp varchar(28),
@auth_amount smallmoney,
@auth_status varchar(10),
@num_cart_items smallint,
@parent_txn_id varchar(19),
@payment_date varchar(28),
@payment_status varchar(25),
@payment_type varchar(10),
@pending_reason varchar(20),
@transaction_entity varchar(10),
@txn_id varchar(19),
@txn_type varchar(25),
@mc_fee smallmoney,
@mc_gross smallmoney,
@settle_amount smallmoney,
@settle_currency varchar(3)
AS
INSERT INTO [PayPalPayments]([verify_sign], [address_city], [address_country], [address_name], [address_state], [address_status], [address_street], [address_zip], [first_name], [last_name], [payer_business_name], [payer_email], [payer_id], [payer_status], [residence_country], [business], [item_name1], [quantity1], [item_name2], [quantity2], [item_name3], [quantity3], [item_name4], [quantity4], [item_name5], [quantity5], [item_name6], [quantity6], [receiver_email], [receiver_id], [custom], [invoice], [memo], [auth_id], [auth_exp], [auth_amount], [auth_status], [num_cart_items], [parent_txn_id], [payment_date], [payment_status], [payment_type], [pending_reason], [transaction_entity], [txn_id], [txn_type], [mc_fee], [mc_gross], [settle_amount], [settle_currency])
VALUES(@verify_sign, @address_city, @address_country, @address_name, @address_state, @address_status, @address_street, @address_zip, @first_name, @last_name, @payer_business_name, @payer_email, @payer_id, @payer_status, @residence_country, @business, @item_name1, @quantity1, @item_name2, @quantity2, @item_name3, @quantity3, @item_name4, @quantity4, @item_name5, @quantity5, @item_name6, @quantity6, @receiver_email, @receiver_id, @custom, @invoice, @memo, @auth_id, @auth_exp, @auth_amount, @auth_status, @num_cart_items, @parent_txn_id, @payment_date, @payment_status, @payment_type, @pending_reason, @transaction_entity, @txn_id, @txn_type, @mc_fee, @mc_gross, @settle_amount, @settle_currency)

Create a new web site (I used VB.Net 2005) and paste this code into the Page_Load event of default.aspx (you’ll need to add a ConnectionString to the SQL Server where you created the table and the stored procedure in Web.Config. Name the ConnectionString “xyz”):
Dim connectionStrings As ConnectionStringSettingsCollection = WebConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings
Dim connectionString As String = connectionStrings(“xyz”).ConnectionString

Using cn As SqlConnection = New SqlConnection(connectionString)
cn.Open()
Using cmd As SqlCommand = cn.CreateCommand
cmd.CommandType = CommandType.StoredProcedure
cmd.CommandText = “addPayPalPayment”

Dim strVal As String
Dim decVal As Decimal

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“verify_sign”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“verify_sign”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@verify_sign”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_city”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_city”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_city”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_country”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_country”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_country”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_name”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_name”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_name”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_state”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_state”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_state”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_status”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_status”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_status”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_street”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_street”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_street”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“address_zip”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“address_zip”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@address_zip”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“first_name”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“first_name”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@first_name”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“last_name”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“last_name”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@last_name”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payer_business_name”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payer_business_name”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payer_business_name”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payer_email”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payer_email”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payer_email”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payer_id”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payer_id”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payer_id”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payer_status”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payer_status”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payer_status”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“residence_country”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“residence_country”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@residence_country”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“business”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“business”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@business”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name1”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name1”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name1”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity1”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity1”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity1”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name2”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name2”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name2”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity2”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity2”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity2”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name3”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name3”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name3”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity3”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity3”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity3”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name4”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name4”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name4”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity4”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity4”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity4”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name5”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name5”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name5”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity5”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity5”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity5”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“item_name6”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“item_name6”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@item_name6”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“quantity6”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“quantity6”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@quantity6”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“receiver_email”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“receiver_email”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@receiver_email”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“receiver_id”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“receiver_id”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@receiver_id”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“custom”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“custom”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@custom”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“invoice”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“invoice”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@invoice”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“memo”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“memo”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@memo”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“auth_id”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“auth_id”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@auth_id”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“auth_exp”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“auth_exp”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@auth_exp”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“auth_amount”)) Then
decVal = 0
Else
decVal = CDec(Request.Form(“auth_amount”))
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@auth_amount”, decVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“auth_status”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“auth_status”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@auth_status”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“num_cart_items”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“num_cart_items”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@num_cart_items”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“parent_txn_id”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“parent_txn_id”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@parent_txn_id”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payment_date”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payment_date”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payment_date”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payment_status”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payment_status”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payment_status”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“payment_type”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“payment_type”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@payment_type”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“pending_reason”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“pending_reason”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@pending_reason”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“transaction_entity”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“transaction_entity”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@transaction_entity”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“txn_id”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“txn_id”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@txn_id”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“txn_type”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“txn_type”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@txn_type”, strVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“mc_fee”)) Then
decVal = 0
Else
decVal = CDec(Request.Form(“mc_fee”))
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@mc_fee”, decVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“mc_gross”)) Then
decVal = 0
Else
decVal = CDec(Request.Form(“mc_gross”))
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@mc_gross”, decVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“settle_amount”)) Then
decVal = 0
Else
decVal = CDec(Request.Form(“settle_amount”))
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@settle_amount”, decVal)

If IsNothing(Request.Form(“settle_currency”)) Then
strVal = “”
Else
strVal = Request.Form(“settle_currency”)
End If
cmd.Parameters.AddWithValue(“@settle_currency”, strVal)

cmd.ExecuteNonQuery()
End Using
cn.Close()
End Using

End Sub

That’s it.  When you post to PayPal, use the “notify_url” variable to point back to the address that you publish this site to.  When you someone completes a payment, PayPal will post back to this page will all of the transaction details and this page will call the addPayPalPayment stored procedure which will create a record in the PayPalPayments table.  The value that you send with the cart in the “custom” variable will be returned via IPN. Use this field to hold an order number or something like that and then you can apply the PayPalPayment (which will have the value stored in the Custom field) to the order.