XtraBanner Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about XtraBanner, U-BTech's E-mail enrichment and campaign management solution for Microsoft Exchange servers.

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Can the XTRABANNER platform work on emails inside my organization as well as emails going outside of it?

Yes it can. With the appropriate rules and configuration, both your internal and external emails can be enriched with XTRABANNER’s enrichment platform.

I know nowadays, a lot of email clients block pictures and even classify messages with advertisements as spam. Should this concern me when using XTRABANNER?

XTRABANNER doesn’t modify your email messages’ text, so unless you intentionally send textual content that can be considered as spam, this shouldn’t be a problem. Regarding the pictures, images and links are added by XTRABANNER as inline attachments embedded inside the e-mail message itself and not linked to an external server, so while different email clients may behave differently, the image banners shouldn’t be blocked.

Using the XTRABANNER platform, where can I add the banner images or text so they don’t interfere with the original email message? Do you have any size and dimension recommendations for images?

XTRABANNER supports image banners as well as text banners. Both can be added in 8 different locations:

  • Top Left, Top Middle, Top Right
  • Left, Right
  • Bottom Left, Bottom Middle, Bottom Right

While XTRABANNER has an option to enforce size and dimensions using the configuration file, you can choose whatever suits your needs and requirements. Just be sure to use the preview feature to verify everything looks good :-).

I’d like my banners to be added only by a specific set of rules and conditions, is that possible?

It certainly is. XTRABANNER allows you to configure a variety of rule based conditions and exceptions to make sure only certain email messages will be enriched with a graphical or text banner.

I'm running XTRABANNER version 2.0 or higher. How can I measure the efficiency of my advertisements?

Starting with version 2.0, XTRABANNER integrates with Google Analytics for measuring campaigns efficiency. Please review our XtraBanner Google Analytics Integration Guide, or review this help file topic for implementation details.

I'm running XTRABANNER version 1.x. Is there any way for me to measure the efficiency of my advertisements?

Yes. XTRABANNER, using live statistics, allows you to see the number of impressions (total recipients and unique recipients) per campaign. For click count information, you can use a web analytics service, such as Google Analytics, to get this information. To use an analytics service with XTRABANNER, follow these steps:

  1. Configure your landing pages to use the analytics service
  2. Add custom campaign parameters to each of your URLs in the XTRABANNER management console. The Google Analytics URL Builder can be helpful for this step.
  3. Use the web analytics' interface to view number of visitors, unique visitors and more.

Consider upgrading to XTRABANNER v2.0 or higher, which integrates with Google Analytics.

How does XTRABANNER handle non HTML messages?

When XTRABANNER encounters an email message it cannot enrich, such as a plain text message, it simply skips it. The message will then be sent "as is", without being modified.

Will all email clients be able to view the advertised content? Even smartphones?

Yes. Any email client who supports displaying html-based email messages should be able to see the banners without any problems or issues. We’ve tested the platform successfully using Gmail, Outlook 2003-2010, Outlook Web Access, Yahoo, Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail), iPhones, Blackberries and Windows Phones.

I don’t want to harass my clients with an excess of banners and commercial information. Should I be worried?

We have thought about that and your clients’ satisfaction is very important to us. That’s why, once an email message has already been handled and enriched by the XTRABANNER platform, additional banners will not be added again to that message or any correspondence following it (Replies and Forwards).

My Microsoft Exchange environment is mission critical to the organization. Will the XTRABANNER platform have any negative effects on its availability or performance?

At U-BTech Solutions, we specialize in IT as well as software development and we are well aware of the importance of the messaging infrastructure to any organization. We’ve taken all the required steps to make sure the XTRABANNER platform is developed in the most Exchange-friendly way possible, with little to no effect on performance, redundancy and stability.

Does the XTRABANNER platform require its own dedicated server?

While you can install some of the components on dedicated servers, the XTRABANNER platform can be installed on existing servers without any additional costs. One of its components (The Exchange Transport Agent) must be installed on all your existing Exchange 2007/2010 Hub Transport servers.

Do I need any specialized knowledge or expert help to install your product?

Not at all! The XTRABANNER platform can be installed by anyone who knows his way around any Windows operating system. No specialized Exchange knowledge is required.

Your product sounds amazing. Can I use it, even if I don’t have an Exchange server installed in my organization?

The XTRABANNER platform was developed and optimized only for the Microsoft Exchange messaging environment, but if you’re using a different messaging solution, you can always install the XTRABANNER platform on a dedicated Exchange server and configure it as your mail relay server.

What are the minimum requirements for installing the XTRABANNER platform?

The XTRABANNER platform can be installed in an All-in-One configuration or on entirely separate machines. These are the requirements for each of the components:

  • Exchange Transport Agent: Must be installed on all Exchange 2007/2010 Hub Transport Servers (64bit only)
  • Configuration Point: Can be installed on any Windows XP SP2 machine and above with .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile installed. In a large organization where more than a few people use the XTRABANNER platform, we recommend installing the CP on a Windows Server.
  • Management Console: Can be installed on any Windows XP SP2 machine and above with .NET Framework 3.5 installed.

I'm running XTRABANNER version 2.0 or higher. Do I need any special permission to manage and configure Campaigns?

XtraBanner version 2.0 and higher installs with the following default security settings:

  • Members of the built-in "Users" Windows group are assigned to the "Campaign Viewers" application role, which can only view rules and campaigns settings.
  • Members of the built-in "Administrators" Windows group are assigned to the "Administrators" application role, which have full permissions for all campaigns and application settings.
  • Members of the "Campaign Managers" application role can view, add, modify and delete rules and campaigns. By default, no Windows users or groups are assigned to this role.

You can change the above defaults by running the XtraBanner management console as a member of the "Administrators" role, and clicking "Application Security" on the actions pane. You can easily add/remove members to each application role, create new application roles and change the permissions assigned to each role.

Notes:

  • Non-domain users will not be able to use the XTRABANNER management console.
  • When you run the Management Console on the server where the Configuration Point component is installed, you implicitly receive full application permissions.

I'm running XTRABANNER version 1.x. Do I need any special permission to manage and configure Campaigns?

By default, any user in the Active Directory forest can manage the XTRABANNER platform. Once everything is setup and works as expected, we recommend limiting access by editing the ‘BannerTransportServiceHost.exe.config’ configuration file under %ProgramFiles%\U-BTech Solutions\XTRABANNER with this setting:

<setting name="AuthorizedGroup" serializeAs="String">
   <value>DOMAIN\GROUP</value>
</setting>

Once the AuthorizedGroup setting has been changed, the following steps are required as well:

  1. Creating the specified security group in Active Directory.
  2. Adding user accounts that should have management access as members of this group.
  3. Adding all computer accounts for your Exchange HUB transport servers as members of this group.
  4. Restarting the "XTRABANNER Configuration Point" Service.

Note: non-domain users will not be able to use the XTRABANNER management console, even when the "AuthorizedGroup" setting has not been set.

I'm running XTRABANNER version 1.x. How can I configure advanced application-wide settings?

By editing the configuration file

BannerTransportServiceHost.exe.config

under the folder

%ProgramFiles%\U-BTech Solutions\XTRABANNER
  • The LoggingLevel setting will allow you to change the detail level of messages the XTRABANNER platform writes to the log file:
    <setting name="LoggingLevel" serializeAs="String">
      <value>Information</value>
    </setting>
    Available values are (most to least details): Debug, Information, Warning, Error and Critical. The default and recommended setting is "Information".
  • The ImageSizeLimit setting will allow you to configure a limitation on the maximum image size for banner images:
    <setting name="ImageSizeLimit" serializeAs="String">
      <value>64</value>
    </setting>
    The default limit is 64KB.
  • The ImageDimensionsLimit setting will allow you to configure the allowed image dimensions for each location a graphical banner can be inserted into:
    <setting name="ImageDimensionsLimit" serializeAs="Xml">
      <value>
        <ArrayOfString 
    	    xmlns:xsi=http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance 
    	    xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
          <string>TopLeft,1000,200</string>
          <string>TopCenter,1000,200</string>
          <string>TopRight,1000,200</string>
          <string>SideLeft,200,1000</string>
          <string>SideRight,200,1000</string>
          <string>BottomLeft,1000,200</string>
          <string>BottomCenter,1000,200</string>
          <string>BottomRight,1000,200</string>
        </ArrayOfString>
      </value>
    </setting>
    Values need to be configured with the location, as seen above, and the X, Y values for width and height in pixels.

I've set up everything correctly and according to best practices but for some reason, emails with graphical banners are going out with a placeholder for banners, but no banners. Is there anything further I can do

Your Exchange connector's TNEF configuration may be set incorrectly. To fix this, run the following command on one of your Exchange servers using Exchange Management Shell:

Get-RemoteDomain | Where-Object {$_.TnefEnabled –ne $false}

For each of the relevant domains in the list, run the following command:

Set-RemoteDomain –Name:DomainName -TnefEnabled:$false

Replace DomainName with the name of the required domain from the list in the previous step.

I've configured Google Analytics integration according to the guide. However, my Configuration Point server is not directly connected to the Internet, and must use a proxy server for Internet access. How can I configure XtraBanner to use my proxy server

Edit the file

BannerTransportServiceHost.exe.config

in the XtraBanner installation folder (C:\Program Files\U-BTech Solutions LTD\XTRABANNER by default).

Uncomment the <defaultProxy> section and modify the value of the proxyaddress attribute with your proxy server's address and port.

How can I find if there are any updates available for my XTRABANNER installation?

Most of our tools are installed in secure server environments where Internet connectivity cannot be taken for granted. That’s why we don't provide any automatic updating functions in our products. This might change in the future but for now all you have to do to find out if there is a new version available is to visit our website. Customers who purchased our retail products are automatically added to our mailing list and receive email notifications about updates and news.

I need to activate my product and I don’t have a working Internet connection from my server or workstation, what can I do?

You can use our offline activation web page https://activation.u-btech.com where you can use your purchased serial code and unique machine code to activate your license and receive an offline activation code. The serial code is your proof of purchase and the machine code, which will be provided by each of our products on its offline activation dialog, is our way of verifying the use of the license on a single machine.

I still can’t activate my license and I’m having some problems using the offline activation web page. Any other help you can offer?

You are welcome to contact our support staff. Please send your information and machine code to Support@U-BTech.com, and we will activate the product for your purchased license and send you back your license code.

I need more time with the Trial version of XTRABANNER. Who should I contact?

You can contact our sales department at Sales@U-BTech.com . They will consider each request and decide whether to provide you with a trial extension key.

XTRABANNER looks great and I’m really interested in purchasing it. What is the licensing scheme for it?

XTRABANNER is licensed on a per mailbox basis in your Exchange organization.
The following bundles are available:

  • Up to 75 Mailboxes
  • Up to 100 Mailboxes
  • Up to 200 Mailboxes
  • Up to 400 Mailboxes
  • Up to 600 Mailboxes
  • Up to 1000 Mailboxes
  • Up to 2000 Mailboxes

For a mailbox count larger than 2000, please contact our sales department at Sales@U-BTech.com, to request a quote.

The following support options are available:

  • Standard Support: Every purchase of the product automatically entitles the client to a year of free email support and upgrades.
  • Silver Support: Grants an additional year of technical support to every U-BTech Solutions customer from the moment of purchase for a total of two full years of E-Mail support. Free product upgrades are available for one year from the moment of purchase.
  • Gold Support: Grants an additional two years of technical support to every U-BTech Solutions customer from the moment of purchase for a total of three full years of E-Mail and Phone support. Free product upgrades are available for one year from the moment of purchase.

I am getting an error attempting to connecting to office 365 "Connect-MsolService : Method not found" how can i fix it?

 

In order to successfully connect to office 365 this software must be installed:

  • Copy the folders called MSOnline and MSOnline Extended from the source

C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\

to the folder

C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\

TransportAgent installation fails with error: "The TransportAgentFactory type must be the Microsoft .NET class type of the transport agent factory."

After installation of Service Pack 1 (SP1) also known as Cumulative Update 4 (CU4) on Mailbox role MS Exchange Server 2013 machine (build 847.32): 

  • the XtraBanner fails to install the Transport Agent.
  • Manual agent installation from Exchange Management Shell returns an error:
The TransportAgentFactory type "UBTech.XtraBanner.Agent.XtraBannerAgentFactory" doesn't exist. The TransportAgentFactory type must be the Microsoft .NET class type of the transport agent factory.
  • Event viewer log files reveal error events:
Failed to create agent factory (...), Failed to create type ‘UBTech.XtraBanner.Agent.XtraBannerAgentFactory' from assembly (...)

Solution:

To solve the problem described please run this Microsoft fix tool - KB2938053 or update the Exchange Server 2013 version to the CU 5 or newer.

Can I still keep using the product, even if my licensing agreement has expired?

If you’ve exceeded your mailbox quota, XTRABANNER will stop enriching your emails with banners. But other than that, you don’t need a valid support agreement to keep using the product.

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