The support forum

Perhaps beyond the scope of Bvckup, but a notification feature ?

nwpsys :

Nov 20, 2013

Hi Alex.

I'm sure this might go beyond the remit of Bvckup, but have you ever given any thought to adding a email notification feature, allowing a message to be sent to a specified email address with a copy of the log upon completion of the job ?

I'm probably blinkered a little by how I plan on using this app with my customers, but me knowing that their backup has succeeded or failed is incredibly useful.

In my case, I would also need SSL connection to the SMTP server as I use Google mail servers for my business. Not asking a lot, am I ? ;-)

Or if there is any other way you can think of where a 3rd party can be notified of the backup status, that would be great.

Many thanks,

Nigel

genl :

Nov 20, 2013

In my case, I would also need SSL connection to the SMTP server as I use Google mail servers for my business. Not asking a lot, am I ? ;-)

I'd say implementing SMTP client for minimalistic backup application is a huge deal.

See this https://bvckup2.com/support/forum/topic/93

Alex Pankratov :

Nov 21, 2013

@nwpsys - Yes, this is planned. It is certainly a very useful thing to have, especially in unattended setups.

Just so that we are on the same page - you would configure bvckup to log into a gmail account under your control and send an email. This means that bvckup will need to store the password in its configuration - what are you thoughts on this?

@genl - Unlike a full-blown MTA (mail transfer agent) that needs to understand all quirks of all other MTAs, SMTP *client* is rather simple to implement. It's more a matter of doing it with as few dependencies as possible, e.g. trying to get by without OpenSSL for SSL connections.

tommyla :

Nov 23, 2013

notify when something fails would be nice too

Methanoid :

Nov 24, 2013

How about a simple "run an external program" with parameters. Saves coding specific functionality. Personally I dont want email notifications but WOULD want my Server to Growl a notification ;-)

genl :

Nov 24, 2013

That's my point exactly, see the mentioned thread. Running external apps is already supported with parameters. It can be used to send e-mails too, there are command-line tools for that.

Alex Pankratov :

Nov 25, 2013

@Methanoid - This is already supported. Surprise! :) - https://bvckup2.com/support/forum/topic/98

Incidentally, I actually had Growl support on the ToDo list, but ended up dropping it, because I couldn't find a single person but myself interested in.

@genl - It's a matter of convenience. Personally, I would consider sending email alerts from the command line to be too much hassle, leave alone non-IT users. But it is still a useful feature to have for both them and I.

nwpsys :

Nov 25, 2013

@Alex Sorry for the slow reply. Yes, you're right. Using Google email servers means that my Gmail credentials would need to be stored on machines outside of my control. This means it would need to be in something other than plain text, which I imagine causes extra complications ?

Triggering an external program might be an option, but it would start to remove some of the elegance of the solution if I needed to install additional programs on customer machines to generate the email. And I agree, I'm happy in the command line, but the convenience would certainly be enhanced with this function built it.

Alex Pankratov :

Nov 25, 2013

which I imagine causes extra complications ?


Not on the implementation side. There's a standard Windows service for storing sensitive material, but since the password needs to be read back in order to be used, it's always possible that some other (rogue) app will fetch it for its nefarious purposes. It's possible to further obscure the password, i.e. to use Windows protection and the app's own obfuscation, but there's still always an opportunity to recover the password if someone makes it his goal.

nwpsys :

Nov 26, 2013

If push comes to shove, I can always use an alternative email address or SMTP service where I don't care so much about the credentials being at risk.

simenson4 :

Nov 26, 2013

Many good points here. So thought i'd summary alittle with my dreams and possibilities. :)

I don't expect this to be included in nearest future. But would be nice to have someday. I can only hope there is some pre-made libraries for these protocols that you could use. Would be a hassle to re-inventing the wheel just for this feature.

1. Integrated SMTP, POP3 and IMAP email support. Encrypted stored email information inside .ini file (Hopefully AES-256).

Specific emailing options
* Send when gone wrong
* Send every backup
* Send at specific time intervals (every xx hour, day, month)
* Send only when no backup has occurred after xx days

Create your own email layout.
* $backup_name
* $backup_source
* $backup_destination
* $backup_totalsize
* $backup_sizetransferred
* $backup_success_failed
* $backup_fail_reason
* $number_of_files
* $number_of_files
* $number_of_files_and_folders
* $time_start
* $time_duration
* $time_completion
(Probably more, just don't want to create too long list.)

2. Use external commanding with 3rd party email application. Secure but not much possibilities for "When it should send email". But could add options for the email layout. $time_start etc like I've written about above.

Regards,
Sim

Alex Pankratov :

Nov 28, 2013

Good stuff, Sim. Copy-pasted to project notes, thanks.

srappaport :

Apr 18, 2014

Just casting another vote for simple email capability.  
All I typically look for is inputting a From address, To address, and SMTP server.  Then, all I would need is the program to send an email after each job with a subject line containing "Success" or "Failure" with the job log attached.  This can be scripted now using the Post Backup External commands, however, I don't believe there is a separate log file for each job.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I would have to email the entire log file, which contains previous jobs too.
Thanks.
Steve

JacobMoreagles :

Apr 18, 2014

For users that might want to do this now, Here's my setup:

1. In the 'post backup' section write   cmd /c "c:\mailsend.bat"
   -This tells bvckup2 to run a .bat file located in your c:\ directory after it's finished with your backup

2. Then in your C:\ directory install mailsend.exe and copy this .bat file: http://pastebin.com/JBQL1PPd and name it "mailsend.bat"
   -This runs and app called mailsend which sends an email through your email server. It's highly customizable, but for simplicity it's setup to give you some basic info about your backup.

You'll have to fill in the options as per my pastebin instructions, but I've been using this for awhile now on my Window$ 2008r2 boxes and it works great.

Alex Pankratov :

Apr 19, 2014

@srappaport - Yep, I will be adding this shortly.

One thing I am not clear on though is the mailing of the logs. For larger backups these can easily be in a range of several or even tens of megs. Granted they compress well, but then it's still more of a band-aid than a real solution. I'm thinking that only errors (and their context) are of an actual interest, right?

@Jacob - thanks, that's a good interim solution.

srappaport :

Apr 23, 2014

@Alex - Great.

I think errors only in the per-job log would be fine, plus perhaps total statistics, such as this: http://pastebin.com/XxXf8vPE
Thanks very much.

Alex Pankratov :

Apr 25, 2014

Aye, OK.

srappaport :

May 13, 2014

@JacobMoreagles - Many thanks for that script.  That is working well for now.

tommyla :

May 19, 2014

here is a email notification example mail mockup thats fairly simple

Machine: Gaming PC
Status: Backup Successfully/Failed
Time:  date time
Duration: 00:04:40
Plan:  name of plan Files:  Total/new Size: TotalGB/newfilesGB
Plan:  name of plan Files:  Total/new) Size: TotalGB/newfilesGB)
Log files attached to mail

here is an example

Machine: Gaming PC
Status: Backup Successfully
Time:  20.05.2014 02:51
Duration: 00:14:40
Plan: Docs  Files:  Total/new Size: 40GB/2.4GB
Plan: Pics    Files:  Total/new) Size: 100GB/14.4GB
Log files attached to mail

tommyla :

May 19, 2014

FYI: @alex can you add edit option in forums? :P

Alex Pankratov :

May 20, 2014

@tommyla - Thanks. The summary is not a big deal. What I don't understand is how to handle the logs. If it's a larger backup, there they could easily be in megabytes, even compressed.

Re: editing posts - I hear you, will do soon-ish.

srappaport :

May 20, 2014

@Alex - regarding logs for email reporting - what if you kept the logging you have now and build separate log files specifically for the email reporting?  So, if someone checks the option for email notification on a job, they have the option of 1. no log attached, 2. error-only log attached, or 3. full log attached with a warning that it may be quite large.
I'm not sure how feasible it is, I'm just sort of thinking out loud.

JacobMoreagles :

May 20, 2014

I'm not sure why you'd need a full log really. You can always get them from the app itself if you really needed to. It's one of those things where if it's working you don't really need to bother with it much.

I'm personally using a summery (see above), but I'd like to see what threw an error as well, anything beyond that is just extra space taken up in my email.

srappaport :

May 22, 2014

I agree, Jacob.  I would not require a full log either, just any abnormal results.  That's why I was suggesting possibly building a separate log file for just email notifications when that option is selected.

Alex Pankratov :

May 22, 2014

Three options that you listed above is a very sensible idea, I like it and I think it's a good starting point.

But, generally speaking, I think emails should really be just the summary. If you need email notifications *with logs*, then it probably implies a professional deployment. And a proper way to support such deployment is to have a central management console that would do the log aggregation and remote access among other things.

nwpsys :

May 23, 2014

Just to say, as the OP, I have been watching this thread and am liking the direction it is taking :)

srappaport :

May 27, 2014

@Alex: Yes, my scenario is more of a professional deployment.  The email notifications go to a helpdesk type of address where it is monitored by many different people.  I like having the error portion in the email so the helpdesk staff can tell right away if any errors were to be expected.  This eliminates having staff unnecessarily log into that box.

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 01, 2014

Aye, OK.

tommyla :

Jun 11, 2014

@alex meybe only include failed stuff in the logs that way they are alot smaller
and only include last run not everything

Alex Pankratov :

Jun 11, 2014

Yup, that's exactly what I am converging to as well.

tommyla :

Sep 21, 2014

any progress?, i just had a machine that i taught was backed up was not backing up, mainly because  the hdd was disconnected, and i didnt know it

would be real nice if email notify was a high priority feature

luckly i use a online backup software too, just in case

Alex Pankratov :

Sep 22, 2014

@tommyla - working on it as we speak. It will be in the next release, which is 2 weeks away (give or take).

tommyla :

Sep 22, 2014

real nice, keep up the good work :)

Peacecamper :

Sep 24, 2014

Great news. However this is also a good example that this forum needs timestamps. ;)

Alex Pankratov :

Oct 15, 2014

Just a quick post to say that I am half way through adding email notifications - https://bvckup2.com/wip/15102014 - will be in R71

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