Frequently asked Questions

The following Sterling Global mailbox frequently asked questions and answers provide you general and frequently used or required installation, configuration, and replication-related information.

IBM Sterling Global Mailbox

Sterling Global Mailbox is available for IBM Sterling B2B Integrator and IBM Sterling File Gateway and is designed to work with IBM Sterling Control Center.

Companies need to exchange a variety of business files and documents across a wide variety of use cases – and do so in real-time. These demands put enormous pressure on IT departments to architect a B2B integration platform that is highly available and can execute the just-in-time exchange of critical business information and documents.

Read the following Sterling Global mailbox frequently asked questions and answers.

Global Mailbox can be enabled in the following applications:

  • Sterling B2B Integrator
  • IBM Sterling File Gateway
  • IBM Control Center

Global Mailbox provides a fault-tolerant architecture where incoming data is replicated in near real-time to other data centers. This allows for high-performing and scalable solutions or alternatively, an application-level disaster recovery solution that eliminates the need to develop solutions outside of the application.

Sterling Global Mailbox addresses these challenges by deploying private mailboxes, load balancing across data centers, frequent replication – and active/ active disaster recovery.

Global Mailbox administrators can manage mailboxes, messages, permissions, virtual roots, and event rules in the Global Mailbox management tool.

Global Mailbox administrators or users that are assigned to the following Sterling B2B Integrator permission groups can access the Global Mailbox management tool:

  • Mailbox
  • Deployment
  • Mailbox Administrators
  • Sterling B2B Integrator Admin

From the Mailbox Explorer page, Global Mailbox administrators can manage all messages, sub-mailboxes, permissions, and event rules for all mailboxes in the Global Mailbox system. The mailbox navigation tree allows Global Mailbox administrators to view all mailboxes and sub-mailboxes on the Mailbox Explorer page.

Mailboxes are a point of integration for applications to access the same message.

The following mailbox types are concepts that contribute to the operation between applications:

  • Traditional mailboxes – Sterling B2B Integrator mailboxes that are in one node, or instance of Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • Sterling File Gateway mailboxes are traditional mailboxes with advanced routing and visibility that is enabled by Sterling File Gateway
  • Global Mailbox can be configured in multiple data centers with replication of the data so that messages are stored in multiple data centers and are available even when one data center is offline or has an interruption in communication. Global Mailbox is an optional feature of Sterling B2B Integrator that enables mailboxes that can be distributed across multiple data centers.

Message replication is the replication of both the message metadata and the message payload. Cassandra handles the metadata replication transparently. If the payload of a message is inline, replication of the payload is handled by Cassandra. If the payload is not inline, its replication is performed by a replication server.

The Global Mailbox supports uploading and downloading messages with the same names (duplicate) through SFTP and FTP.

Multiple messages with the same message name are processed to present the correct message or messages to the user.

When multiple messages with the same message name are received in Global Mailbox, how they are handled depends on the following criteria:

  • Which application created this mailbox
  • Whether that application supports duplicate messages (a setting in the application)
    • If yes, lists all messages that match that message name, in the default order
    • If no, lists the most recently created message with the message name
    • If switched to No after previously setting Yes, lists the most recently created message with the message name

Global Mailbox is enabled by an architecture built of Sterling B2B Integrator nodes assembled into clusters in multiple data centers.

Trading partners interact with Sterling B2B Integrator or myFileGateway, to upload or download documents. The Global Mailbox system is not exposed to trading partners. The workflow and process for a trading partner remain unchanged.