BCC Mail Manager™ is a robust program, but like any software platform, there are simple maintenance steps that need to be performed regularly to maintain a consistent performance level. This articles delves into basic steps that can be taken within the software to maintain and improve performance. All of these focus on files and folders that are essential to BCC Mail Manager’s processing and are often left to gather years’ worth of data, resulting in slowdowns when accessed.
Let’s Discuss: Open List Menu
The Open List menu reads from a file called MailList.DBF in your Data Files folder and stores a database of all the lists currently available to your BCC Mail Manager installation. Nearly every process in BCC Mail Manager touches this file in some way to reference back to the list files that particular process needs. If this is not regularly maintained, your system can see small slowdowns during nearly every task, which really add up over the course of a day when you likely run through dozens of jobs and hundreds of individual operations. The best way to clean this up is by deleting or packaging and deleting lists. The File menu from the BCC Mail Manager toolbar contains both options.
Packaging the list will allow you to delete it and save an archived copy that can be used to recover the list in the event you need to return to it. In both cases, you are offered three deletion options. The first, labeled “Delete from list of lists only,” will do the trick but will leave your lists folder with extra data to sift through. For best results, the third option, labeled “Delete BCC Mail Manager FS associated files, as well as database files,” will clear things out of Open Lists and your Lists folder. This can be done every couple of months in one large purge, or added as the capstone step to your normal process. You should also look to clean up any lists that are deemed missing either by locating the correct .DBF file or removing the list by deleting it.
Let’s Discuss: History Table
Another file that sees a large amount of use, but not much maintenance, is the History Table. This file, History.DBF in your Data files folder, tracks nearly every change made to every list within BCC Mail Manager. This file makes it possible to go back and look through the processing of a list to see if something might have been done out of order or which user might have performed a specific operation. Each entry takes up very little space but by sheer volume of operations, it all adds up. By going to Configure > History Table and then selecting “Archive old records,” the current size of that file can be checked, and the user will see options for cleanup.
This file is used to record the order and details of every process performed in the platform, so once it gets too large, it can put a strain on the system. The “Archive Records older than…” option will allow you to set a number of recorded days to keep, and anything older than that will be moved to the history archive. Alternatively, you can set it to automatically archive the table when it exceeds a certain number of MB – ten should be an effective cutoff. One thing to note is that when it is archiving, we recommend not processing lists or using the program on any other machine.
Let’s Discuss: Sort Folder
Another common culprit of slow processing is the Sort folder. This folder contains temporary files used to create presorts, encode, craft documentation, and use Enhanced Merge/Purge. The location of this folder defaults within your MM2010/FS directory but it can be adjusted under Configure > Preferences > File Names/Folders.
If possible, it is best to have this on a separate drive from your main program. This ensures that both are able to fully utilize the read/write speed of their respective drives without having to share. It also may be worth looking through this folder to remove old data files as most are temporary files so should not prove troublesome if removed. Just like with the History Table, it is best to do this while the program is not being utilized.
Let’s Discuss: Jobs Folder
The Jobs Folder stores all of TaskMaster™ scripts and their logs. This folder can eventually become quite large and lead to problems while using TaskMaster. Specific things to look for are massive log files from scripts that get used over and over again and sheer volume of files. Once log files get to a certain size, writing back to them as the script processes starts to take longer. The delays themselves tend to be small but when they occur at the end of every task it can add unnecessary time to job processing overall. Similarly, with too many files in that folder having to reference back to logs and scripts starts to take longer and longer.
Let’s Discuss: Indexes
Indexes, the handy organizational tools, are absolutely too useful to give up, but they can eventually lead to slowdowns if used over and over again, especially when the same template Is used to make multiple lists, and each list relies on the saved indexes from those templates. This can lead to eventual slowdowns during certain operations.
When done regularly, these small maintenance steps will serve to keep BCC Mail Manager running as efficiently as possible. If you experience any difficulties with any of these maintenance steps, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Customer Support team at 800.624.5234.