Why Are E-mail Attachments Disabled in AgilePoint NX OnDemand?

Symptoms

In AgilePoint NX OnDemand (public cloud), you can not upload files as attachments in e-mail templates or e-mail notifications.

Prerequisites

Cause

The restriction related to e-mail attachments in AgilePoint NX OnDemand supports security, compatibility, and performance. E-mail attachments must be stored and downloaded from one specific file location to another specific file location. Like most cloud-based platforms, AgilePoint NX OnDemand uses a system of tenants within a shared physical environment. This means that e-mail attachments would share the same physical storage space among all OnDemand tenants. This creates vulnerabilities that would not serve AgilePoint NX OnDemand customers in the long run. This list gives a summary of the issues:

  • Risk of viruses - AgilePoint NX OnDemand is a shared environment, and it also has a Virus-Free Software Policy as part of the license agreement. If a user attaches a file to an e-mail as part of an application, it must be downloaded to the shared AgilePoint NX cloud servers. If the file has a virus, the data for all AgilePoint NX OnDemand customers is at risk. This is different from providing links to cloud-based storage systems, where the AgilePoint NX cloud servers are bypassed when a file is accessed from an e-mail.
  • Risk of downloading an incorrect, corrupted, or unsafe files - If a file for an attachment is stored on a shared server, there is a risk that a file could be attached that does not belong to the tenant owner. This puts sensitive customer data at risk, as well as their local file systems if the file is downloaded.
  • Standards compliance - E-mail servers store copies of downloaded files. Because AgilePoint NX OnDemand includes a built-in e-mail server, this puts AgilePoint in possession of customer data. This puts at risk AgilePoint's (as well as AgilePoint NX OnDemand customers') compliance with government regulations, such as GDPR, and quality standards, such as ISO.
  • Cost of bandwidth - In cloud-based environments, bandwidth is regulated and charged. If users attach large files, or files are frequently exchanged through e-mail attachments, this will raise the cost of the AgilePoint NX OnDemand platform.
  • Impacts on e-mail server bandwidth - All AgilePoint NX OnDemand tenants share a common pool of bandwidth on the SMTP server. Transferring large files through this system can affect the e-mail bandwidth for other AgilePoint NX customers.
  • SMTP server reputation - Every SMTP service and domain has a reputation rating, which is affected by the types of e-mail attachments that are sent. If one AgilePoint NX OnDemand user in one tenant attaches files with unusual or blacklisted file names, the reputation rating goes down for all customers using the SMTP server, and e-mails for all OnDemand users may be subject to junk or spam filters.

Resolution

In AgilePoint NX OnDemand, instead of attaching a file directly to an e-mails, use download links to files stored on cloud-based systems. Links to cloud-stored files are more secure and do not put OnDemand customer data or performance at risk.