Error in Get IBM Notes Mail Messages

Hi, I am facing an issue while using the activity Get IBM Notes Mail Messages. I’m getting an error “Source: Get IBM Notes Mail Messages; Message: An invalid character was found in the mail header: ‘.’.; Exception Type: System.FormatException”. Does anyone know why this error comes and how to resolve it. Thanks in advance.

Hi @prabirs,
Can you show your workflow (please remove/hide sensitive data)? It will be easier to find the issue.

Hi Pablito,

I was just exploring the activity. I just dragged the activity and provided the required parameter like mail folder name, top (no of mails to retrieve) and output parameter. When I am trying to retrieve mails from Sent or Draft folder, it is working but if I change the folder name to Inbox “($Inbox)”, the error comes, Error Message: An invalid character was found in the mail header: ‘.’.;

Hi @prabirs,
This problem may be related to configuration of Lotus. We had some users which were not able to retrieve mails because their ID file for Lotus was not located in same catalog where lotus executable file is (default configuration).

We had also very similar problem here:

EDIT: OP just shared with us the solution which helped him solve the problem

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hi prabirs
I’m facing the same problem. Have you got solution of that?

I tried that way. But It seems not work for me

No it’s not resolved yet.

Hello, I have same problem, any body help?


Can anyone please suggest.
I am also facing the same.

Does this problem happens to any email or any specific mails? Are there any special characters different than leters and numbers in the email subject?

This error seems to trigger for specific mails. It will work fine for some mails while reporting the error for some others. However, I have not found any unusual characters in the subject for those that trigger this error.

It would make sense to dive deeper into the header collection to see where the trigger lies, and would appreciate some tips into how to look into that. For now the .Header method doesn’t return any property for accessing its list members.

But for now, the error is highly inconvenient for development, and seems to be a common issue.

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Hi @PhilT

Welcome to our UiPath Forum! :slight_smile:

Thank you for more information. Would you be willing to share some of the less sensitive emails that do not work to help us debug the issue? This issue is related to the fact that Lotus emails are generally less detailed (which results in missing headers).

It seems like the issue is known, but difficult to reproduce. This is why any help here would be appreciated :slight_smile:

An ideal scenario would be if you could take an email that does not work, and keep forwarding it to yourself while simultaneously stripping it off some potentially troublesome content until it works.

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Hey @loginerror

Thanks a lot for the response. It’s good to know that you guys care.

Unfortunately the project we are on is very keen on security and sharing any email in its entirety would constitute a breach. Furthermore, since it’s impossible to get the “erroneous” mails in the first place within UiPath, I’m not able to access its header information in UiPath. And I have not found a good solution to access that information in the Lotus Notes client either.

On another note, I’m able to use MailMessage.Header.Item(Index).ToString to see some header info, but only for those mails that can already be accessed by the UiPath method.

Any advice going forward would be appreciated.

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I suppose, the way to fix it on our end would be to know as much as possible about a problematic email.

The way I would go about it would be to try and compare two emails - one that is not being fetched and one that is, both as similar to each other. The comparison can happen in Lotus instead of Studio.
To do so, I would take a problematic email and try to modify it until it starts working with Studio. The simplest test would be to forward a problematic email but delete all its body first.

Once again, this error says about issue with headers, but it might not be related to headers at all :slight_smile:

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I’ve just heard from the tech support. They’ve got this to say:

Hi Philip,

Thank you for reaching out to us!

Can you please check the version of your IBM Lotus Notes?
If the version is below 9.1, then this is the expected behavior as UiPath.Mail.Activities package is not compatible with any of the IBM Lotus Notes version lower than 9.1.

You can refer to the following official document and the screenshot for the same.

So I guess that’s that huh. My version is 8.5 so… GGWP?

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It seems so, unfortunately. I’ll try to dig around if there are any plants to bring the support for lower versions, but I wouldn’t bet on it as of now.


Since the project is unable to update the Lotus Notes to a newer version, I’m currently exploring solutions involving automating the get-mail process via front end UI automation.

Notes 8.5 supports bulk saving emails to a local folder via drag and drop (to .eml files). It seems like locally saved files can be processed normally. But the main hurdle now is to deal with a highly unreliable UI that seems to never point to the correct thing.

So I would like to:

  1. maintain a robot-specific mailbox and folder, 2) keep the client and specified folder open on the “robot computer”, 3) refresh the client before operation begins, 4) click on a point in the region containing the mails, 5) hotkey “ctrl-A” to select all mails, 6) perform a drag and drop to the (already open) folder

That’s the solution I deem most viable at this point, but it remains quite unacceptable in a development environment. Way too many things can go wrong mainly due to just how unstable the 8.5 interface is (One of them being that dragging and dropping over a hundred mails could simply result in the action not being performed). ANY more actions in the Notes client will result in disaster.

While legacy systems like these remain in the market, we the developers just have to find ways to work with them or around them. If anyone out there is still struggling with the problem, please reach out for further discussions.

For the drag and drop, please see my example here:

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