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Agent 3.2 Release Notes

Summary Notes


Agent will upgrade your data automatically to take advantage of the new features in Agent 3.2.


Define how you want to be known to the outside world. Use personas to define your name, email address and other settings for the various ways you send email and post Usenet messages.

Composition Window

We have added a number of features to Agent's composition window to give you more power and more flexibility when composing messages.

Custom Message Fields

Create your own message header fields.

Folder Properties

Folder Properties have been extended to email folders. And we've improved how Agent allows you to set properties for multiple folders.

Multiple POP Accounts

Configure as many POP accounts as you like. Set properties and filing folder for each account.

Multiple SMTP Servers

Configure as many SMTP servers as you like. Make your outbound server part of your persona or specify a server for each individual message.

SSL Support

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is used be many news and email service providers. Simply check a box and Agent will connect using secure communications.

Checking for Updates

Agent 3.2 can check the Forte web site and notify you if new versions of Agent are available. You can check manually or have Agent check automatically for you.

Other Changes

Other minor features and bug fixes.

Detailed Notes


As with any upgrade, you should first back up your existing Agent data. Agent 3.2 introduces personas. As part of the upgrade process Agent will create one or more personas based on your existing folder properties.

If for some reason you want to revert to Agent 3.0 or 3.1 you may do so, but after doing so you should check your settings for posting messages in the Options dialog and the Folder Properties dialogs. You should also review the settings for any pending messages in either the Drafts folder or the Outbox folder.

Important note if you're upgrading from Agent 2.0 or Agent 1.x: Agent 3.2 is not backwards compatible with Agent 2.0 and 1.x. If you are upgrading from Agent 2.0 or 1.x, please refer to our Getting Started - Upgrade Users section in the online help.


In previous versions of Agent you could define a single user identity which was used to specify your email address and, optionally, your name, organization and Reply-To address for messages you composed and sent. In Agent 3.2 you can now create personas to define identities to use when sending different types of messages (email, Usenet and email replies to Usenet posts) to different recipients.

A persona can consist of a number of different properties, including the identity items mentioned above, plus signatures, outbound email server and custom message fields. Because signatures are now a component of a persona there is no longer a single default signature. Rather Agent will use the signature from the persona used when composing a message, or the signature you specify directly on the composition window.

The persona you use is a folder property so you can define default personas for each message type and override these defaults for selected folders. The persona being used is displayed on the composition window (see below).

Composition Window

We have updated the composition window to take advantage of the new features in Agent 3.2.

  • The persona name is displayed, along with the From address and signature. If you change your persona you'll see that the From address and signature are updated automatically.
  • The Filing entry (where your message will be filed when sent) reflects the folder property setting specified in the Folder Properties dialog.
  • You can customize what fields appear on the composition window, using the View menu. You can also show or hide the action buttons using an option on the View menu.
  • The Save command has been renamed to Save As Draft.
  • Add, Edit and Delete buttons replace the "All Fields"edit controls.
  • New help tip dialogs will launch for various actions explaining the new changes and alternate means of performing the actions.
  • The Message Properties dialog has been extended to allow you to set all message properties in a single dialog. This dialog is now resizable.

We made these changes to the Options dialog Composition Window panel.

  • The Show buttons on composition window checkbox has been removed, since this this function is now controlled by the new Show Action Buttons option on the View menu, available when the composition window is open.
  • A new check box, Use the TAB key to move directly from the Subject to the Text window, has been added. This can save you time by skipping over any other fields in the tab order.
  • A new check box, Use the letter O as the accelerator for the To field, has been added. When this option is unchecked, the letter T is used.

Custom Message Fields

You can now customize message fields. When you create a persona or when you define properties for folders, in addition to using built-in message fields you can create your own message fields and assign them whatever value you like. You can create custom fields from the Folder Properties dialog or from the Add Personas dialog. For specific messages you can define custom fields using the Message Properties dialog.

Folder Properties

Agent 3.2 supports folder properties for email folders. As with newsgroup folders you can set default properties and override these properties for selected folders. (Previously email options were global options only.) In addition to giving you much more control over email properties, the following problem has been addressed:

With the release of Agent 3.0 it became possible to file your Usenet postings in the same newsgroup folder in which you downloaded newsgroup messages. When you then downloaded new headers for the group you would have 2 copies of your message, the one you saved and the one you downloaded. This problem occurred because the "File replies in same folder as original message" was a global property, so if you wanted to have this feature enabled for email you also had to have it enabled for Usenet messages. With Agent 3.2 you now have folder-specific email properties, and the "File replies in same folder" option can be specified on a per-folder basis and a per-message-type (email or Usenet) basis.

We've also changed how Agent treats Properties for Selected Folders when multiple folders are selected. The new behavior should be much more intuitive and natural for the situations you're likely to encounter.

To make the options on the Folder Properties dialogs more clear we have reorganized the options and added several new options to support personas, custom fields and other changes to support the expanded functionality of folder properties.

Multiple POP Accounts

You can now define and use as many POP (inbound email) addresses as you like. Define the accounts using the Create Email Accounts and Servers Wizard. The list of accounts appears in the Servers and Accounts dialog (Options menu).

Settings are displayed on the Inbound Email Account panel for each account you define. Each account can have its own default inbox, as well as its own settings for leaving messages on the server and restrictions on message size. Formerly these options were on the Checking for Email panel on the Options dialog.

When you define inbound email accounts you indicate if they are enabled for regular email retrieval. If so, then each time you do a Get New Email command from the Action menu, or each time Agent automatically checks for email, these accounts are checked. You can set the order in which accounts will be checked.

Agent now provides the Get New Email Special command on the Action menu. This allows you to check accounts on an ad hoc basis at any time.

Multiple SMTP Servers

You can now define and use as many SMTP (outbound email) servers as you like. Define the accounts using the Create Email Accounts and Servers Wizard. The list of servers appears in the Servers and Accounts dialog (Options menu). Settings are displayed on the Outbound Email Server panel for each server you define.

One of your SMTP servers will be used as the default server. Just click the Set as Default Server button on the Outbound Email Server panel for the server you want to make the default. Agent will use this server to send email unless you override the setting using a persona or setting the outbound email server for a specific message, using the Message Properties dialog.

SSL Support

With Agent 3.2 you can connect to secure email and news servers using SSL communications. For each news and email (POP and SMTP) server you define, on the specific server panel check the box The server requires a secure connection (SSL) to enable secure communications with that server.

When you enable SSL for a server, Agent will automatically set the correct port number. You can check this using the Advanced Settings button on the panel defining settings for that server.

If you are running Windows 98 or Windows 95 you must have Internet Explorer 5.0 or later installed.

Other Changes

Double-clicking in the task status area of the status bar will open the Task Manager window. Right-clicking in this area will bring up a task-related context menu.

The Servers and Accounts dialog has the following changes:

  • Multiple inbound and outbound email servers are listed.
  • Disabled servers are preceded by a new icon.
  • A right-click context menu appears for each item (folder and server name) listed in the panel on the left of the dialog.
  • The options for sending email using MAPI have been moved to the Options dialog, Posting Messages, Posting with MAPI panel.
  • If you have created a news or email server and attempt to cancel the Servers and Accounts dialog, Agent will ask you if you're sure you want to cancel these changes and not create the new server.

Because signatures are now a component of a persona there is no longer a single default signature. Rather Agent will use the signature from the persona used when composing a message, or the signature you specify directly on the composition window.

Signature data has been moved from the sig.dat file to agent.ini.

We simplified the Create News Server wizard. It has fewer panels and allows you to enter your server settings in a single panel.

We added the word "Pick" to the Pick Addresses button on the composition window.

Bugs Fixed

The following GPF (program crash) items have been fixed:

  • Adding a sixth news server that carries any message header found in five other servers.
  • If there was no result in the Find Global result list. (Did not occur consistently.)
  • Closing a Save File dialog. (Did not occur consistently.)
  • Opening an outbound message for editing if the message was blank or corrupt.
  • Viewing an address book entry that was corrupt.
  • If a font-size parameter in agent.ini specified a point size of zero.
  • Retrieving email which contains a message digest. (The error occurred when bursting the digest.)

Getting bodies in one group, then getting headers in another group and moving this Get Headers task to the top of the task priority list, could cause the body task to download the wrong messages or to report that the message was no longer available.

If a non-fatal error occurred when downloading a single-part binary, the subsequent automatic retry of the task would not retrieve the binary correctly.

In some cases Agent was displaying more than one instance of the same message header.

Agent was not recognizing the character set "iso646-us". It's really an alias for the us-ascii charset, so we added the alias.

If a folder name was enclosed in brackets and had a hyphen in the name (e.g. [This-Folder]), you could not move or copy a message to that folder using the All Folders dialog.

When you changed various settings, such as your signatures or the default values for message header fields, the changes were not reflected in any open composition window. To see the changes you had to save the message, then close and re-open the window.

Check Addresses did not work for Usenet messages if you enabled MAPI for email.

Agent was not getting new headers from

"Disable filter for this folder" (Properties | Usenet Filters panel) did not work if you selected more than one folder.

Agent would not connect to SMTP servers which sent multi-line 220 greetings.

Message views were getting changed incorrectly in the following situations:

  • View the results of a Find Global operation. Open and close either of the Folder Properties dialogs and the Find Global view would refresh and be lost.
  • Views in separate browser windows were not independent. For example, change the view in a folder in one window, then refresh the view in a folder of the same type in the second window and the second window would now show the view from the first window.

Saving an attachment automatically would not overwrite the existing file if the filename already existed.

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