Just wondering say someone has installed one of you managed packages. Part of this managed packaged emails a email address in your org. Does the path of the email ever leave the force.com cloud? How would I know?


  • Out of curiosity, may I ask your interest? From a governor limit point of view? @dublintech – bigassforce Mar 12 '13 at 14:47

You could:

  • speculatively measure the latency of an internally handled vs externally handled email,

  • in your handler, dump the headers and envelope and compare internal / external data for clues,

  • reach out to Salesforce directly (via premier support... or perhaps Pat Patterson / metadaddy)

I believe internal HTTP requests (eg as used by PageReference.getContent) don't leave the Force.com cloud. When outbound requests exit Force.com, they are subjected to Remote Site Settings and traverse via a SQUID proxy. Interesting if a similar system exists for SMTP traffic.

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If you're talking about a personal email address, since "the force.com cloud" does not offer email hosting, your email address would have to be hosted somewhere external to the cloud. Therefore, the email would ALWAYS leave force.com as part of its delivery pathway.

If you're talking about an @salesforce.com email service address that is processed by your org, you'd need to get a Salesforce technical resource to clarify for you. I know that Salesforce runs their own SMTP servers for outbound, at least by domain, so that would suggest that it wouldn't need to leave "their cloud".

If this is a compliance issue, you'll most likely need to engage with Salesforce presales or pro serv to get some technical info on email delivery. Email is such an inherently insecure medium that I wouldn't use it for any data that is compliance-sensitive. So if you are talking about a @salesforce.com email service, I'd think about replacing it with something more secure like authenticated web services.

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  • Neat that you mention compliance/security - unlike HTTP callouts requiring a prominent Remote Site Setting, an evil installed package can sure 'leak' plenty of data over SMTP! Are there any platform handlers other than On-Demand Email-to-Case and Email Services? – bigassforce Mar 13 '13 at 0:55
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    Inbound? You've got standard Email-to-Salesforce, if that counts. From a security standpoint, though, since there are so many ways a managed package can trigger an outbound email (Apex, workflow, stack trace notifications), you are basically putting that concern in the hands of the Salesforce security team unless you get your vendors to agree to a source code review. – jkraybill Mar 13 '13 at 1:00

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