User Subscriptions and Mailing Lists

The Message Boards app notifies users of message boards activity via email in two ways:

  • User subscriptions
  • Mailing lists

User Subscriptions

In the user subscriptions mechanism, the Message Boards app uses its configured Email From address to send email notifications to subscribed users. The app can also import email replies to message board notifications directly into the message board. Then, users can interact on the message board via email without logging in to view the message board directly. This is disabled by default. To enable it, add the following line to your file:


The user subscription mechanism uses the POP mail protocol. When the Message Boards app receives an email reply to a message board notification, it posts that reply to the message board and then deletes it from the mail server. Deleting the message from the mail server is the POP protocol’s default behavior and the Message Boards app assumes that your POP mail server behaves this way. Most POP clients offer an option to leave mail on the mail server after it downloads, but you shouldn’t exercise this option. If you configure mail to be left on the mail server, the Message Boards app sends copies of each retained message along with each new email notification it sends to subscribed users.

When enabling Message Boards to import replies to email notifications, you must decide whether to handle notifications with a mail server subdomain. By default, the following property setting is specified in the portal properties:


This property creates a special MX (mail exchange) subdomain to receive all virtual instance related email (e.g., If you don’t want to use this approach, unset this value in a file:


Doing so tells Message Boards to use the Email From address specified in the Message Board’s configuration to receive message board notification email replies. For example, the Email From address could be set to

If you’re not using a mail subdomain, Message Boards parses the message headers of emails from the Email From address to determine the message board category and message ID. If you keep the pop.server.subdomain=events default, the email notification address takes the following form:


In this case, Message Boards parses the email address to find the category and message ID. Parsing the email address is safer than parsing message headers, since different email clients treat message headers differently. This is why the events subdomain is enabled by default.

You can also configure the interval on which the POPNotificationListener runs. The value is set in one minute increments. The default setting is to check for new mail every minute, but you can set it to whatever you like:


Mailing Lists

Alternatively, the Message Boards app can use mailing lists to send email notifications. Any category in a message board can have its own mailing list. The mailing list mechanism, unlike the user subscription mechanism, supports both the POP and the IMAP protocols. POP is the default, but each message board’s mailing list is configured independently. If you choose the IMAP protocol for a category’s mailing list, make sure to configure the IMAP inbox to delete messages as they are pulled by the email client that sends messages to the users on the mailing list. Otherwise, each email message retained on the server is sent to the mailing list each time there’s a new post or update in the category.

When a mailing list is enabled for a message board category, Message Boards listens to the specific email inbox that’s configured for the mailing list. Enabling the mailing list function lets users on the mailing list reply to the notification messages in their email clients. Message Boards pulls the messages from the email inbox it’s configured to listen to and automatically copies those replies to the appropriate message board thread.

To enable the mailing list functionality for a category, follow these steps:

  1. Set up a dedicated email address for the category.

  2. Click the category’s Actions icon (Actions) and select Edit.

  3. In the Mailing List section of the form, set the Active slider to YES. Several options then appear. Fill these out as follows:

    Email Address: The email address of the account that receives the messages.

    Protocol: Select POP or IMAP.

    Server Name: Your mail server’s host name.

    Server Port: The port on which your mail service is running.

    Use a Secure Network Connection: Whether to use an encrypted connection if your server supports it.

    User Name: The login name on the mail server.

    Password: The password for the account on the server.

    Read Interval (Minutes): How often to poll the server looking for new messages to post.

    Email Address (Outgoing): The email address originating messages from this category. If you want your users to be able to reply to the categories using email, this should be the same address as the incoming email address.

    Use Custom Outgoing Server: Use a different mail server than global default. Fields appear for configuring the server’s name, port, user name, password, and secure connection.

  4. If you want to let emails from anonymous users post to the message board category, set the Allow Anonymous Emails toggle to YES.

  5. Click Save when you’re finished.

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