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CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

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CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby carl » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:49 am

It seems like there may be some compatibility issues between the latest 4.5.x releases and the Outlook Rules Extension. Messages are no longer being moved to their topic folders via the custom action. Also, certain messages that trigger custom actions now cause Outlook to completely crash when they arrive.

I haven't been able to pin down exactly which messages/rules are causing the crash. I'm running WinXP with Outlook 2003 SP3, and CC 4.5.2. Is anyone else seeing this issue?

Thanks,
Carl
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby carl » Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:31 pm

Some additional info... The problem is 100% repeatable (at least on my configuration). It seems to happen with any CC Custom Action that uses the "File Immediately" option. Here are the steps:

1. Create a very simple Outlook Rule... Start from a blank rule to check messages when they arrive. For any message sent from your own email address, perform a custom action.
2. Have the custom action assign the email to some CC topic and file immediately
3. Send yourself a message. It doesn't matter whether or not you have a CC topic assigned to your outgoing message.

The message comes into the Inbox, then after the defined CC processing delay, Outlook crashes. If you remove the "File Immediately" option, the custom action/rule will no longer crash Outlook.

One additional question: It seems that the topics list is no longer populated in the "Assign to Topic" drop down selector when defining the custom action. I have to manually type in the topic name. Was this a change in behavior, or I am not correctly remembering how this used to work?

Thanks,
Carl
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby ClearContext Support » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:17 pm

Carl:

I've been trying to figure this one out all day. I initially saw this in testing, but during the course of troubleshooting the problem righted itself. I don't know if it was due to a reboot or some other change, but the Rules Extension is working perfectly in test environments now. Are you seeing the problem every time or sporadically?

Is anyone else seeing this issue?

To answer your other question:

One additional question: It seems that the topics list is no longer populated in the "Assign to Topic" drop down selector when defining the custom action. I have to manually type in the topic name. Was this a change in behavior, or I am not correctly remembering how this used to work?


At one point in time this did load the Topic list, but not since we released v4.0, I think. We have an open feature request to change this behavior.

Thanks.
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby carl » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:32 pm

ClearContext Support wrote:Are you seeing the problem every time or sporadically?

If I perform steps 1 - 3 listed in my previous post, I get the problem every time. This is especially frustrating if a particularly busy email chain is triggering a custom action that includes filing. There were periods of time where Outlook crashed every 3-5 minutes as responses to the thread came in. I have since removed the "file immediately" selection from all of my custom actions, but I'd like to be able to add it back.

ClearContext Support wrote:Is anyone else seeing this issue?

I'm not sure how many people are using the CC Outlook Rules Extension with "file immediately" enabled on their ClearContext actions. Anyone willing to try steps 1-3 above? :-)

Thanks,
Carl
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby deva » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:19 am

carl,

This is something we'll investigate in our labs regardless of how many people see it. Hopefully we get some more data points to help us track down the issue, but users like you who push the edges of ClearContext functionality are so valuable to us in putting out the most useful product we can -- thanks!

Having said all that - other folks using the Outlook Rules Extension --- please let us know if you are seeing similar issues!!! thanks!!!!!!
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby ClearContext Support » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:00 pm

Carl:

An update... After extensive testing, we can now reliably reproduce. It's a little tricky - the problem occurs when multiple messages are received at the same time, where the message that meets the rule is succeeded by another message. For example, if I receive a message that meets the rule followed by any other message the crash occurs, but if I receive the message that meets the rule last with no subsequent messages, there is no crash. That's why it was sporadic during our initial testing.

Reproducing it is just the first step to fixing it, but at least we're on the right track. I'll update this thread when we have a solution.
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby carl » Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:49 pm

Thanks for continuing to look into this - Glad to hear you've had some success.

Just to clarify, the crash on my system happens as soon as the incoming message (which triggers the custom action) is processed. There is no need for multiple messages, or a second message immediately following the first. I just confirmed again that this was still the case using the 3 steps above.

Even though my symptoms are slightly different, I'm hoping that the root cause is the same and whatever fix you come up with will address what I'm seeing here.

Thanks again!

Carl
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby ahunter » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:37 am

I experienced th same crash situation. I was having difficulty with notification managers and rather than lose all the folder reorganization I went through I used the rules extension to attempt to assign a category, assign to the notification topic and move to the notification folder, so I could use the notification manager views etc to see this..

A great plan I thought - giving me multiple rule notification manager capability but all my devious circumventing came to crashing halt as outlook bluntly said "Uh-Uh I don't think so" (ok it really said "outlook has experienced a serious problem and needs to close" and went bye-bye) Having add a category on the autoassign would have been a get-out-of-jail free card here but alas no free bail-out for me - should have been a bank!

So now I have a great set of organized topics and folders and categories poised to really help me ..... when I can get either notification managers working or the rules extension to help me out and sweep away the slew of not-quite-but-almost junk mail.

Andrew
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby ClearContext Support » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:11 pm

Sorry about that Andrew. We have this on our list to fix, but until then we don't recommend using this module. It has been removed from the download page.
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby pwmiller » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:59 am

Can you give us an estimate on when it will be back? I very much need a more powerful rules engine than the simple one that is currently in CC4.5.x.

Thanks,
Phil
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Re: CC4.5.x + Rules Extension Crashes Outlook

Postby ClearContext Support » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:12 pm

I don't have a current estimate for repairing this module. I do not expect a fix in the next major release. Thanks for the feedback.
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