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Agent 3.3 Release Notes

Database Recovery Tool

Agent now provides a tool for repairing damaged folders and recovering deleted messages to folders. The command Repair Selected Folders... is available on the File menu and invokes the Repair Selected Folders wizard.

Agent may not be able to restore all folder information or recover all deleted files. See the online help for full details.

Note: As a precautionary step you should back up your database files before running the repair utility. On the Properties for Selected Folders, Name and Type panel, Agent now displays the Windows file name (with full pathname) and size for the selected folder's database files. This can help you find the files you need to back up.

Secure Communications

For SMTP (outbound email) servers we have added support for the StartTLS protocol for secure communications. This is an addition to the SSL support first introduced in Agent 3.2. You now have the following options available when defining your SMTP server:

  • Do not use a secure connection
  • Connect securely on the standard SSL port
  • Connect securely with TLS, if available
  • Connect securely with TLS, fail if unavailable

See the Connection description on the Outbound Email Server panel (Servers and Accounts dialog) for details.

Also, attempts to send long email messages using SSL with Windows 98 would time out and the message would not be sent. This turned out to be a bug in the Windows 98 SSL library. We've implemented changes in Agent so this problem is avoided and users should no longer experience the timeout.

Critical Bugs Fixed

  • Internal errors occurred doing a number of different operations.
  • Agent would sometimes freeze for 10 seconds when you cancelled a task to retrieve email, or when the task failed for some reason.
  • Agent would sometimes crash when closing. In particular, this would happen if one of Agent's closing dialogs, such as the "You have queued email" query, displayed, you clicked "Yes", the send task failed and you then tried to close Agent again.
  • Agent would sometimes crash after you copied or deleted messages. The crash would occur if you managed to start the operation and then immediately caused Agent to switch the focus to a different folder before the operation got going.
  • Agent would sometimes crash doing simple navigation in the browser window.
  • Agent would crash if you pressed "Next" twice really quickly during the Upgrade Personas wizard.
  • Agent would crash if you attempted to read an address book entry which had no data.
  • If you opened the Newsgroup Directory window and then immediately closed it while the "Processing..." message was displayed, Agent would stall for 10 seconds.
  • If you pressed the X key while the Message pane had the focus and there was no message to display, Agent would lock up, using all available system memory.
  • At program startup the error message "An error occurred starting the online task manager (error: mutex timeout)" would appear, then Agent would freeze. This happened generally on older machines when a number of other programs were running.
  • When running Free Agent, Agent would crash if you closed the Servers and Accounts dialog when no outbound server was defined.

General Functionality

  • If you applied email filters to existing messages, and the messages had the Keep, Watch or Ignore flags set, and the filter moved the messages to a different folder, Agent would clear the flags. Now, Agent retains the current settings for the messages, unless the filter explicitly specifies a different setting.
  • When you did a Skip-to-Next-Unread operation and a folder contained unread messages that were hidden by the current view, Agent would nonetheless stop at that folder. Now, Agent will skip over a folder that has no unread messages in the view.
  • When running Free Agent, if you opened the Servers and Accounts dialog, and clicked on the outbound server panel, Agent would not let you leave the panel or save your changes if the host name was blank.
  • On the Manage Automatic Update Alerts dialog the Configure Proxy Web Server button now remains enabled even when you turn off auto-alerts.
  • The View Single Desk dialog, which appears if you have more than 19 desks and you select "More...", was too small. It can now be resized.
  • The shortcut key for the Address Book was "K" in the composition window but "B" in the main browser. Now it's "B" in all cases.
  • We changed the Agent properties description in Windows to say "Forte Agent." Previously it said "Agent" and this caused some confusion when other Windows programs reported errors.

Personas, Properties, Message Fields

  • For the purpose of selecting personas, Agent was categorizing forwarded Usenet messages as "Usenet email replies." This prevented you from using any email-only persona for the outbound message. Now, the program considers forwarded messages to be "New email" messages.
  • When replying to a Usenet message that has a Follow-up To field pointing to another newsgroup, Agent used the folder properties from the original newsgroup when initializing the reply message. Now Agent will attempt to user folder properties from the Follow-Up to group if that folder exists in Agent.
  • When sending a new copy of a message that was created prior to Agent 3.2 (when personas were introduced), the From address and other default fields (e.g. Organization, Reply-To) were not updated when you changed the persona.
  • Message fields were limited to 1024 characters. This limit has been removed.
  • The setup wizard (for new installations) would create an empty persona even though an email address was not specified for both email and Usenet messages. The persona created had the name " [2]".
  • The setup wizard (for new installations) was not checking for a valid email address when creating a persona. If the address was not in valid form Agent would create a persona with the name " [2]" which included the invalid email address. Agent now validates the address.

Task Management, Connections

  • For a body retrieval task, the number of active messages could grow without bound if Agent was configured to retrieve bodies from multiple servers and the first server did not carry many of the requested bodies. As the number of active messages increased, the task would get slower, and if the count got large enough, Agent could use up all available memory. Agent now limits the number of active messages in each body task. This is controlled by the agent.ini parameter [Online] MaxActiveBodies.
  • If a task retried after successfully connecting to the server at least once, then lost the connection and failed permanently during the re-connection or login phase, Agent would fail the task (and display the error popup, if so configured), but would not delete the task itself. The task would go into a paused state and remain that way until deleted.
  • If you turned off the "Stop Tasks" confirmation, Agent would still prompt for confirmation when you stopped an individual task in the Task Manager.
  • In the Task Manager the DEL key did not cancel the selected task.
  • The task progress indicator showed 0% after the email alert dialog was closed.
  • When closing a dial-up connection Agent closed all connections, not just those Agent had opened itself. You can now control this by checking "Only close connections opened by Agent" on the Options dialog, Dial-Up Networking Pane.


  • The algorithm Agent used to come up with a display name for new servers didn't work very well for non-U.S. names, such as "". Now, Agent uses a regular expression, stored in AGENT.INI, to extract a display name from the host name. Agent will now remove standard prefixes such as "news." "pop." and "mail.", and suffixes of the form ".<xxx>" and "<xxx>.<xx>". You can change the regular expression to meet your specific requirements. The new agent.ini parameters are [Misc]ServerRenamePattern and [Misc]ServerRenameIndex.


  • Agent would not send a Usenet message as an email if the To field was not filled in. Now the message will be sent if the To field is blank but the Cc or Bcc fields are filled in.
  • Agent would retrieve duplicate emails if the Get Email task failed twice. If the task failed only once, then Agent would correctly notice that it had already retrieved some emails and not retrieve them again. But after the task restarted, if it failed again, Agent would re-retrieve the messages already retrieved.
  • The "Have new email" status displayed prematurely if a mail task failed, then retried. If the task later succeeded the status would not be displayed.
  • When getting email from several POP servers, it was possible to report, incorrectly, that no email had been retrieved. This happened if the final server had no email and during the retrieval you did something to clear the status message reported from other servers (e.g. read an email).
  • Agent was not always clearing the "new email" indicator when you would expect it to. For example, if you received a single email message that happened to get the focus in the Message pane and was thereby marked read automatically, there would be no subsequent mark read operation that would clear the alert. Prior to Agent 3.3 Agent would clear the email alert indicator on the following events:
  • Marking an individual unread inbound email message read
  • Marking any set of multiple messages read
  • Deleting any inbound email message (read or unread)
  • Copying or moving any inbound email message (read or unread)
  • Now, Agent also clears the alert indicator on the following events:
  • Closing the new email alert dialog box
  • Performing any action that changes the message displayed in the Message pane and either the previously displayed message or the new message is an inbound email message

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