Email Notification module

MaaS360® uses the Email Notification module to support real-time email notifications for iOS and Windows Phone devices.

As a part of the MaaS360 Productivity Suite, Secure Mail provides an office productivity app with email, calendar, and contacts that your employees use to securely collaborate with colleagues while preserving the mobile experience on their corporate or personal devices.

Through authentication and authorization, only approved and valid users can access sensitive email messages and data. Using policies to control the flow of data, you can restrict sharing by users, forwarding of attachments, and copying and pasting. Devices that are lost, stolen, or compromised can be selectively wiped to remove the secure email container, all attachments, and profiles.

iOS and Windows Phone do not allow an app to continuously run in the background, which creates a challenge for Secure Mail. Because of this design, Secure Mail on iOS or Windows Phone does not notify users about new email messages in their inbox. The Cloud Extender® fixes this issue by using Exchange Web Services (EWS) to subscribe to email notifications for users and delivers those notifications from the MaaS360 Cloud to enrolled iOS or Windows Phone devices configured with Secure Mail.

Note: Email notifications might take up to a minute to display on iOS devices.

How the module works

The Email Notification module works in the following way:
  1. The user enrolls an iOS or Windows Phone device in MaaS360. Based on the corporate policy, MaaS360 pushes configuration down to set up email in the MaaS360 app and subscriptions for real-time email notifications.
  2. When the user completes the email configuration, MaaS360 app calls a Web Service on the MaaS360 Cloud to register this device for notification subscription.
  3. MaaS360 then notifies the Cloud Extender to register for notifications.
  4. The Cloud Extender uses listener accounts to interact with Exchange Web Services (EWS) and subscribes to email notifications for user mailboxes.
  5. When the user receives a new email message in their inbox, EWS notifies the Cloud Extender with basic details of the new email message, such as Subject and Sender.
  6. The Cloud Extender notifies the MaaS360 notification proxy to deliver this alert to the user's device.
  7. The notification proxy uses the Apple Push Notification service (APNs) or Windows Push Notification Services (WNS) to notify the user about new email messages on the device.
The following diagram illustrates the architecture for the module:
Email Notification module architecture

Supported versions of Exchange

This module supports the following versions of Exchange:
  • Exchange 2010 (must have at least Update Rollup 4 for Service Pack 2 applied)
  • Exchange 2013+ (must have Auto Discovery configured)
  • Office 365 (must have Auto Discovery enabled)

Requirements and scaling

The MaaS360 Portal provides a Cloud Extender Configuration Tool at Setup > Services > Enterprise Email Integration that you can use to set up Cloud Extender for email notifications. The following table provides general guidelines:

Table 1. Scaling requirements for the Email Notification module
Item Requirement
Less than 15,000 devices CPU: 2 cores
Memory: 4 GB
.NET 3.5
More than 15,000 devices CPU: Use more Cloud Extenders
Memory: N/A
  • Supports installation on multiple instances of the Cloud Extender, but does not support High Availability (HA).
  • Install on a dedicated Cloud Extender, but cannot enable on Cloud Extender with other services enabled.

For accurate scaling of your environment, see the Cloud Extender scaling document at Setup > Services > Enterprise Email Integration.

Network traffic

The Cloud Extender uses Exchange Web Services (EWS) to subscribe to notifications for user's mailboxes. The Cloud Extender is notified several ways when the user receives an email. The Cloud Extender uses Streaming Notification and Push Notification methods for the integration.

Streaming notifications
  • The Cloud Extender uses this approach for Exchange 2010/2013+ and Office 365 integration.
  • Streaming Notification is a callback mechanism. The Cloud Extender contacts the Exchange server when something relevant changes on a user's mailbox.
  • All connections from the Cloud Extender are outgoing HTTPS. No inbound ports need to be open.
  • These connections are persistent and remain open for the lifetime of the subscription.

Notifications through the Apple Push Notification service (APNs)

MaaS360 uses Cloud Extender to send notifications to intended devices through the Apple Push Notification service (APNs). When you enable remote notifications, notifications are delivered to the device even if the device enters the background or is terminated.

Push notifications through APNs