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  #1  
Old 07-04-2013, 01:21 AM
hchow hchow is offline
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Default Mailbox Without Users?

Our current system is using separate Mailbox and User for Parcel Management and Trading Partner Management for each of our customers. We want to rewrite our app to use one master User (with MailboxID of 0) to perform both Parcel Management and Trading Partner Management.

I understand that we need to create new Mailboxes for the new customers that come on-board with our company. My question is, do we need to create a new user for each of the Mailboxes? Can we have Mailboxes with no Users in them?

When we try to add the new customer to ECGrid as a new trading partner (by calling TPAddEx()), I understand that we need to pass in the NetworkID of our company (1007). What about the MailboxID? Can we use 0 or should we use the new MailBoxID that we created for our customer? What's the downside of using 0 as the MailboxID? Will it defeat the purpose of creating new mailboxes for our customers if we use 0 as the MailboxID in TPAddEx()?

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:52 AM
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Todd Gould Todd Gould is offline
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Hong, great to have you here in the forum and using ECGridOS to integrate into your application.

You do not need a separate user for each Mailbox. The NetworkAdmin or NetworkUser level user can access everything in every Mailbox, allowing you to do exactly what you want.

You can either assign the Qualifier/IDs (QIDs) to the Root (MailboxID:=0) or to separate customer Mailboxes, the data will route fine either way. Routing only occurs at the Network level, and then is sorted at the Mailbox level (confusing, I know).

However, I highly recommend that you assign customers their own Mailboxes and assign their QIDs to their mailboxes. This will allow you to produce all sorts of reports, alerts, etc. in the future with much less programming effort than if you were to just dump them all into MailboxID:=0.

If you are going to dump them all into MailboxID:=0, then there is no real reason to set up Mailboxes for all your customers as they will not contain any data.

A little history on this, that might help makes some sense of it. The original ECGrid did not have the concept of Mailboxes, it only had Networks (or Nodes as they were called at the time). All our customers routed all their data through the single Network connection and then did all their own parsing by customers/QIDs.

When we created ECGridOS, we added the concept of Mailboxes. We needed to be backwards compatible with all our existing traffic, so we created this "Root" mailbox (MailboxID:=0) for every Network. This allowed current customers to tap into ECGridOS as their systems currently operated and new customers could use the power of Mailboxes.

Then our current customers wanted to use Mailboxing for reporting, but continue to use their single connection to upload/download all data. We then came up with the concept of Managed and Unmanaged Mailboxes, which allows for this if they were using an alternative communications channel (e.g. FTP, AS2, etc.) rather than ParcelUpload/ParcelDownload.

What we ended up with is a robust system that allows you to send/receive how you want and still retain the reporting aspects of Mailboxing.

-=tg=-
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:17 PM
hchow hchow is offline
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Default NetworkID and MailboxID

Todd,

Thanks for taking the time to explain the history and concept behind Networks and Mailboxes! I was quite confused by the the concept of Mailbox at first, but things are starting to make sense now.

We are in the process of centralizing our operation and consolidating our logins. We are also trying to simply our Parcel Management and Trading Partner Management. Since we are already parsing the parcel files by our customer's QIDs, we feel that the concept of Mailbox is really not needed on our side because it will only add more complexity to our existing design.

We will be using one master login (with NetworkID 1007, MailboxID of 0, and AuthLevel of NetworkAdmin) to perform Trading Partner Management, Interconnect Management, and Parcel Management.

By using a Master login with MailboxID of 0, we will not need to add/manage new Mailboxes when new customers come on-board. When we add our customer to the Network as a trading partner, we can just call the traditional TPAdd() instead of TPAddEx(). With TPAdd(), it automatically uses the logged in user's NetworkID (1007) and MailboxID (0). With TPAddEx(), our app will have to prompt the user for the MailboxID, which might introduce human errors.

Our app does not use any of the Report APIs for now. Even if we do use them in the future, we can continue to parse out the data by QID without the help of MailboxID.

I understand the reason why the concept of Mailbox was introduced to ECGridOS. It's used by your clients for reporting purposes because it's too tedious to break things up by QID. However, since our app was already equipped with the capability to break things up by QID, we feel that taking Mailbox out of the picture will help reduce complexity of our user interface.

Thanks again for your prompt response!
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