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Microsoft Research: E-mail Loss Detection Add-in (ELDA) Getting Started

E-mail Loss Detection Add-in (ELDA) Getting Started

For the most part, ELDA works in the background and there is no need for any active management on your part. ELDA will simply notify you about delayed and/or lost e-mails by sending you an e-mail that tells you who the mail was from and when they sent it. You can then either contact the sender yourself, or you can use the ELDA Pane to generate a resend request.

To access the ELDA Pane, on the View menu, click Show MSR ELDA Pane.

The ELDA Pane will appear docked on the right side.

To hide the ELDA Pane, on the View menu, click Hide MSR ELDA Pane, or click the Close button on the pane itself.

The ELDA Pane shows the version number of the add-in in the title ("v2007.10.1.0" in the image above) and has three items in its menu:

  • Find By ID
    Each mail sent while running ELDA is given a unique ID. If you know the ID of a mail you can search your entire mailbox for this mail using "Find By ID". Delayed/Lost notifications mails will always include the ID of the missing mail. The Find By ID menu command is disabled whenever connectivity to the mailbox is lost.
  • Events [nnn]
    This will show you all the ELDA events that have happened during the current Outlook session. An event is any noteworthy condition and includes information events as well as error events. The "[nnn]" ("[13]" in the shown screenshot) denotes the current number of events in the log.

Settings

You may not like the way ELDA works "out of the box", so you can customize various aspects of how ELDA behaves by changing one or more settings.

Tip A description of each setting is shown by clicking on or hovering your mouse pointer over the ? in the Settings dialog box:

The tree in the ELDA Pane shows you the people you have ELDA protection with. You only get ELDA protection when e-mailing with someone who is also running ELDA. People (users) are added implicitly as a natural consequence of your e-mail exchanges with them. When a user is first added their primary SMTP address is shown in the tree in orange (for example, "suremailtest@gmail.com" in the screenshot above). After receiving 4 more mails from the user, their address will turn green indicating that you now have ELDA protection for mails you receive from this person.

When you initially install ELDA, the only user in the tree will be you.

The various nodes in the tree have each have a right-click menu:

Root node

  • Show Recently Received Mail [On] Normally the tree only shows delayed/lost mail items, but with this option turned on it will also show the most recently received mails.
  • Show Non-Notifying Users [On] Normally the tree only shows users who you want notifications to be generated for, but with this option on you can see all users.
  • Discard All Mail State Clears data regarding the state of mail received mail all users. Use only if ELDA is behaving oddly for all users.
  • Reset All Add-In Data Resets ELDA (on your client) to its "factory" settings. WARNING: Use only as a last resort to fix systemic user pairing problems.

User node

  • Outlook Properties If you are using an Exchange server and the user is an Exchange user, click this to see the Exchange properties of the user.
  • Notifications [On] Controls whether you will be notified about delayed/lost mail from this user. The address turns gray when notifications are off.
  • Discard Mail State Clears data regarding the state of mail received mail from this user. Use only if ELDA is behaving oddly for this user.
  • Delete User Deletes the user and triggers an automatic reciprocal delete of you by the deleted user's client. Used to fix "user pairing" problems.

Mail node

  • Find Searches your entire mailbox for this mail.
  • Request Resend If the mail is in a Delayed or Lost state, click this to request the sender to re-send it to you.
  • Ignore [Consider Received] If the mail is in a Delayed or Lost state but you don't care about it, click this to mark it as Received.
  • Copy Mail ID to Clipboard Copies the ELDA unique ID of this mail to the clipboard. Note that clicking Print Preview on the File menu will also show you the Mail ID, if present, of any mail.
  • Debug: Delete [Simulated Loss] If the mail is in a Received state, deletes the state data for this mail so that it will be declared delayed/lost when a subsequent mail arrives. You will also need to permanently delete (SHIFT+DEL) the received mail, and the target mail must be one of three most recently received.

It is important to note that even with the Show Recently Received Mail option turned on, the tree does not show all mails you have received from ELDA users. The tree only shows delayed/lost mail, and — optionally — the most recently received mails.

If a mail is not in the Received state it goes though the following state transitions: In-Transit » Delayed » Lost.

By default it takes 30 minutes from the time sent for a mail to be declared delayed, and 8 hours (480 minutes) to be declared lost. These values can be easily adjusted in the "Settings" dialog.

If mail has been delayed/lost from a ELDA user, that user is shown in red in the tree, and a number is shown next to the address indicating how many mails are currently delayed/lost (see figure above).