US Government - issues using Affixa

We encountered an issue impacting US government customers using Affixa Enterprise and Affixa Desktop. This impacted state, city and county-level bodies.

In Affixa Enterprise, the problem presented itself as a repeating loop of authentication attempts. In Affixa Desktop, the problem presented itself with a 401 error.

We're pleased to report that the problem is now resolved.

Affixa Enterprise - What you need to do next

Have you deployed the Affixa Enterprise Google Library manually?

If you deployed the Affixa Google Library in addition to the Client application, you'll need to download the new version of the library and install it on your computers.

You can find out whether you deployed the Google Library or not by looking at the list of installed applications:

If you didn't deploy the Library manually

Your computers should find the update automatically and download the new version without you lifting a finger. It could take up to 48 hours for this to happen. If you need to update urgently, you could choose to deploy the Google Library mentioned above.

Affixa Desktop - What you need to do next

Simply download either the EXE or MSI installer and update your installation of Affixa.

A big "thank you"!

Thanks to all of you for your patience and assistance with this issue. We've been in the awkward position of having to kill a bug we couldn't reproduce, but your cooperation made this positive outcome possible. Many thanks indeed!

Previous Updates (History)

We've identified what the problem is and know how to fix it. The actual root cause is that US Government accounts now expect a TLS 1.2 SSL connection whereas Affixa is trying a lower version by default (the default behaviour of applications written in C#). When we force Affixa to use TLS 1.2, everything works normally. We'll get a new version ready for you to try over the weekend.

Written: 8 April 2022 at 18:49 UK Time

We performed further tests today, as scheduled. We also now have an email account against which we can perform our own tests, so hopefully we will get some swifter progress from here onward.

Written: 8 April 2022 at 16:45 UK Time

Google have requested additional detail that we've actually already provided, so we just need to resolve any confusion there. We've got further tests scheduled tomorrow and we'll provide those details to Google once complete.

Written: 7 April 2022 at 16:43 UK Time

The tests undertaken by our customers suggest that the issue may be related to service accounts accessing the Gmail API. When using a user access token, we've managed to create a draft message successfully; however, it should also work for service accounts. We have fed this back to Google.

We have further tests planned later this week to confirm that the problem is indeed related to service accounts and not our software. These tests will be undertaken on Friday.

Thanks for your patience while we work through this. As a non-governmental organisation, we're having to work in cooperation with our customers to try and diagnose the problems and collect evidence since we can't reproduce these problems ourselves. Our customers have been incredibly helpful and we're very, very grateful. 

Please understand that we're doing our utmost to move things forward as quickly as we can given we're completely dependent on other parties for progress.

Potential Workaround: if your need to send / create draft messages is urgent, you could consider using Affixa Desktop temporarily. Our tests today indicate that this should continue to work as this doesn't use a service account.

Written: 6 April 2022 at 16:55 UK Time

Google have requested additional details and we are waiting for some of our customers to carry out a few tests so we can provide feedback to Google.

Written: 6 April 2022 at 10:12 UK Time

Google requested further clarification from us which we have provided. We are now awaiting further feedback from Google.

Written: 5 April 2022 at 17:43 UK Time

In addition to the Issue Tracker ticket, we have now also approached support via Google Workspaces. Both routes into a Google are now working through an initial triage process prior to further investigation.

Written: 4 April 2022 at 16:41 UK Time