DB- and Filestore-based Composition Spaces deprecated

Mail headers and (textual) content

Mail headers and the textual content of a mail are stored in database in table compositionSpace.

That table offers individual columns for important mail headers such as From, To, Cc, Bcc, and Subject. But it does also hold meta-data for a mail that is needed to e.g. remember that a mail is a reply for a certain message.

Moreover, the textual content of a mail is stored in database. This could be plain text or HTML content. That associated column is of type MEDIUMTEXT and thus allows at max. approximately 16MB.

Mail attachments

An important change is the feature of instant attachment uploads. In contrast to former mail compose API, attachments are now stored and held in a distributed storage as long as associated composition space is alive.

This storage is typically a registered filestore but will fall-back transparently to database if capability filestore is not set! Follow instructions below if this applies to your deployment.

As occupying space in storage is a crucial element for administrators/operators, there are a few relevant configuration options that influence composition spaces and used storage.

  • com.openexchange.mail.compose.maxSpacesPerUser Specifies the max. number of concurrently opened composition spaces that are allowed for a single user. Default is 20. This configuration option is config-cascade aware and reloadable.
  • com.openexchange.mail.compose.maxIdleTimeMillis Defines the time span in milliseconds a composition space may be idle before it gets deleted. If zero or less than zero is specified, composition spaces may be idle forever. Can contain units of measurement: D(=days) W(=weeks) H(=hours) M(=minutes). Default is 1W (1 week). This configuration option is config-cascade aware and reloadable.

Those two configuration options specify how many composition spaces are allowed to be created and how long they are allowed to exist (when idling).

Default (context-associated) storage

By default, uploaded attachments are stored in context-associated file storage, but without affecting its quota. Meaning, attachments are managed in context-associated file storage regardless of any quota limitations that were specified during context provisioning. This is the appropriate choice for installations, in which the registered file storage has plenty of space and has not been space-wise restricted according to quota usages.

If the context-associated file storage is used, the checkconsistency command-line tool cares about orphaned/non-existent references.

Dedicated storage

To have a dedicated file storage that is supposed to be used for uploaded attachments to not use the context-associated one, there is the opportunity to specify following configuration option:

  • com.openexchange.mail.compose.fileStorageId Specifies the numeric identifier (the one returned by the registerfilestore operation) for a dedicated file storage that is supposed to be used for mail compose attachments. By default that option empty, but config-cascade aware and reloadable.

Register a dedicated file storage

To register a dedicated file storage that is supposed to be solely used for mail compose attachments, please use the registerfilestore command-line tool.

To prevent the application from using that storage for contexts and/or users, ensure that the -x|--maxcontexts option is set to 0 (zero).


$ registerfilestore -A oxadminmaster -P secret -t file:///var/opt/filestore -s 2000000 -x 0

Registers a file-backed file storage mounted to /var/opt/filestore and a max. size of 2,000,000 MB (~ 2 TB) having max. number of entities set to 0(zero). Thus it is not used for e.g. newly created contexts/users.

Ensure consistency of dedicated file storage

Once a dedicated file storage is used, the checkconsistency command-line tool is not effective for caring about orphaned/non-existent references. Instead, there is a dedicated tooling available:

deleteorphanedattachments -A <masterAdmin> -P <masterAdminPassword> [-p <RMI-Port>] [-s <RMI-Server]
                                 [--responsetimeout <responseTimeout>] | [-h]
 -A,--adminuser <adminUser>       Admin username
 -f,--filestores <filestores>     Accepts a comma-separated value of one or more file storage identifiers
 -h,--help                        Prints this help text
 -p,--port <rmiPort>              The optional RMI port (default:1099)
 -P,--adminpass <adminPassword>   Admin password
    --responsetimeout <timeout>   The optional response timeout in seconds when reading data from server (default: 0s;
 -s,--server <rmiHost>            The optional RMI server (default: localhost)

The command-line tool for deleting orphaned references from mail compose for specified file storage identifiers

Database storage

If filestore capability is disabled, mail compose attachments will be stored in User DB in table compositionSpaceAttachmentBinary in a column of type LONGBLOB. It is strongly recommended to NOT operate App Suite in this mode! We strongly advise to use a dedicated filestore to handle mail compose attachments in such environments!

Especially with Galera Cluster this can cause issues due to potentially large transactions caused by attachment blobs. If it can't be avoided, we recommend to set UI setting io.ox/mail//features/instantAttachmentUpload = false to reduce number of stored attachments. This will effectively restore the former attach-on-send/save behavior, despite inline images, vCards and Drive files which are still directly uploaded/copied into the database. All non-inline attachments like attached PDFs etc. will however be kept out of your database.

Still it might come to issues due to attachment sizes and max_packet_size setting of MySQL. The only reasonable way to circumvent that is to adjust max_packet_size according to MAX_UPLOAD_SIZE in App Suite. Note that our default recommendation for max_packet_size is 16MB for usual environments and your MySQL instance is probably configured accordingly.

Whether you are affected by that problem can be determined by error log entries:

2020-06-19T12:07:32,692+0000 ERROR [OXWorker-0032698] com.openexchange.ajax.requesthandler.DispatcherServlet.logException(DispatcherServlet.java:734)
Error processing request.
com.openexchange.exception.OXException: MSGCS-0002 Categories=ERROR Message='An SQL error occurred: Packet for query is too large (19963161 > 16777216). You can change this value on the server by setting the max_allowed_packet' variable.' exceptionID=594293590-3689527
    com.openexchange.exception.locale: en_US
    at com.openexchange.exception.OXExceptionFactory.create(OXExceptionFactory.java:182)
    at com.openexchange.exception.OXExceptionFactory.create(OXExceptionFactory.java:172)
    at com.openexchange.exception.OXExceptionFactory.create(OXExceptionFactory.java:145)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.CompositionSpaceErrorCode.create(CompositionSpaceErrorCode.java:221)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.rdb.RdbAttachmentStorage.saveData(RdbAttachmentStorage.java:136)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.rdb.RdbAttachmentStorage.saveData(RdbAttachmentStorage.java:118)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.AbstractNonCryptoAttachmentStorage.saveData(AbstractNonCryptoAttachmentStorage.java:389)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.AbstractNonCryptoAttachmentStorage.saveAttachment(AbstractNonCryptoAttachmentStorage.java:442)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.security.CryptoAttachmentStorage.saveAttachmentEncryptedOrNot(CryptoAttachmentStorage.java:243)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.security.CryptoAttachmentStorage.saveAttachment(CryptoAttachmentStorage.java:238)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.AttachmentStorages.saveAttachment(AttachmentStorages.java:247)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.AttachmentStorages.saveAttachment(AttachmentStorages.java:224)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.CompositionSpaceServiceImpl.addAttachmentToCompositionSpace(CompositionSpaceServiceImpl.java:1659)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.CryptoCompositionSpaceService.addAttachmentToCompositionSpace(CryptoCompositionSpaceService.java:226)
    at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:748)
Caused by: com.mysql.jdbc.PacketTooBigException: Packet for query is too large (19963161 > 16777216). You can change this value on the server by setting the max_allowed_packet' variable.
    at com.mysql.jdbc.MysqlIO.send(MysqlIO.java:3638)
    at com.openexchange.mail.compose.impl.attachment.rdb.RdbAttachmentStorage.saveData(RdbAttachmentStorage.java:133)
    ... 41 common frames omitted