LISTSERV Maestro 9.0-10 Help

Table Of Contents

Define Recipients: Upload Recipients

  • To access the recipients wizard for a given standard mail job from the open job details pane, select the Summary tab and click on the Edit link in the Recipients section. If you are already on the workflow page of the mail job, simply click on the Define Recipients section.
  • To access the recipients wizard for a given A/B-split job, click the Edit link in the Recipients section of the A/B-split job details page.
Note: If the recipients do not have the desired type "Upload Recipients", you can change the recipients type on the source page.

The Define Recipients wizard allows the defining of recipients that will receive the email message specified in the job when the job is finally sent.

The wizard has up to five pages: Source, Source Details, Recipients Details, Advanced Settings, and Summary.

The top row of the wizard displays links to these five pages. The page that is currently open is highlighted. Depending on the choices made on some of the wizard pages, other pages may become disabled or may be shown in different versions. If a wizard page is disabled, then it means that this page is not necessary with the current choices and can safely be ignored.


Source Page: Upload File or Supply Path to Server File

This screen shows details about the origin of the file that is used to define the recipients.

  • Upload recipients now: Use this option if the recipients file exists on your local computer and if you want to upload the recipients while you are working in the wizard. The recipients will then be exactly those recipients that are in the file at the moment when you upload it. To select a file for uploading click the file select link at the bottom. Then on the next page, select the file from your local computer that you want to upload. If you select a text file (CSV file), you also need to select the file's character encoding from the drop-down menu. If you have already uploaded a file, then the file name is displayed on the Source page, as well as the date and time when it was uploaded.
     
  • Load recipients just before sending, from a server file: This option is only available if your account has the neccessary rights enabled to access server files at all.
    Use this option if the file exists on the LISTSERV Maestro server. The server will read the recipients from this file just-in-time before the mail job is being delivered. The recipients will then be exactly those recipients that are in the file at the moment when the mail job is being delivered. Therefore, it is possible to change the content of the file between the time when it is selected here in the wizard and the actual delivery time of the mail job. This option is especially useful if the file is created automatically by an external process, such as by extracting it from a different source.
    To select a server file, click the file select link at the bottom. Then on the next page, enter the full path name of the server file in the text box. Be aware that this path is interpreted by the LISTSERV Maestro server, and that your account must have the necessary rights enabled in order to access the file. (Check with the system administrator if you are unsure or receive an "Access denied" error.) If you specify a text file (CSV file), you also need to select the file's character encoding from the drop-down menu. If you already specified a server file, then the file name and path is displayed on the Source page.

Depending on the situation, either the Select a recipients file or the Select a different file link will be available. Click it to select the recipients file, either to upload it, or for just-in-time loading, depending on the choice you made above.

If the selected file is an Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet file (xls, xlsx or ods), and this spreadsheet file contains several non-empty datasheets, then after specifying the file, you also need to select the datasheet that contains the recipients. Only the recipients on this selected datasheet will be used as recipients of the mail job. Any other recipients on other datasheets (in the same spreadsheet file) will be ignored. The name of the selected datasheet will also be displayed on the Source page.

Changing the Recipients Type

Depending on the settings configured by the administrator for your account, this screen may show an additional section that allows you to change the general recipients type, i.e. to use another method of retrieving the recipients. Click the link in this section to open a dialog with options to choose the desired method:

Note: Your account may not have all recipient types described below available, depending on how the system administrator has configured your account. You can choose:

  • Send to a Recipient Target Group: This option assumes that the data administrator has configured one or more recipients target group(s).
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Send to a Subscriber List: This option assumes an existing subscriber list.
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Upload Recipients: With this option, you upload a file with the recipients into the system. The file can either be an Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet file (xls, xlsx or ods) that contains the recipients, or a text text file that contains the recipients in a "comma separated format" (also sometimes known as "tab separated format").
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Select Recipients From a Database or LDAP Directory: This option allows LISTSERV Maestro to use recipients that are stored in a separate database or LDAP directory.
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Send to a Classic LISTSERV List: This option assumes an existing Classic LISTSERV list with existing subscribers.
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Let LISTSERV Select Recipients From a Database or LDAP Directory: This option employs LISTSERV's capabilities to use recipients that are stored in a separate database or LDAP directory.
    Help pages for wizard of this type

  • Determine Recipients Based on Reaction to the Job: With this option, LISTSERV Maestro will determine the recipients based on the events that are stored in the LISTSERV Maestro database.
    Help pages for wizard of this type

Click [OK] to apply your selection to the recipients wizard.


Comma Separated Format Recipients Files

The term "comma-separated values" (or "tab-separated values" or "CSV") is often used as a catch-all term for all kinds of text-based data formats where the data is formatted in a line-by-line fashion. Each line contains one data record, and a number of columns per line, where the different columns are separated by comma, a tab, or some other separator character.

LISTSERV Maestro can correctly interpret comma separated text files in various formats as long as the following rules are applied:

  • Any character may be used as the separator character, although comma, tab, or semicolon is conventional.
     
  • The same separator character must be used in all lines for the entire file.
     
  • All lines in the file must have the same number of columns, which means the same number of separator characters.
     
  • Empty columns may be created in order that the same number of separator characters is present in every line of the file.
     
  • Having two separator characters in direct succession, without any characters in between, creates an empty column.
     
  • If a line begins with the separator character, LISTSERV Maestro assumes the line begins with an empty column.
     
  • If a line ends with the separator character, LISTSERV Maestro assumes the line ends with an empty column.
     
  • If the character that is used as the separator character also appears as part of the value of one or several of the column fields, then it is necessary to enclose the fields in quotation marks or another quote character.

The last rule listed above introduces the concept of "quoted values". As described, it is necessary to quote a value if the value contains the separator (because otherwise the separator would be interpreted as the start of another value). For LISTSERV Maestro to correctly know how to deal with quoted values, it is necessary to tell LISTSERV Maestro if the comma separated file contains any quoted values or not.

If a file does not contain any quoted values, then the additional rules explained below do not apply, i.e. even if one of the usual quote characters (for example quotation marks or the apostrophe) would appear anywhere in the file, they would be interpreted by LISTSERV Maestro as just another normal character.
However, such a file can also not have any value which contains the separator. If at least one value contains the separator, then this value must be quoted, and by this the file becomes a file with quoted values again.

If a file does contain quoted values (at least one of them), then it must follow these additional rules:

  • Any character, except for the separator character, can be used as the quote character (quotation marks or apostrophe are conventional). This character must be used both as the opening and closing quote and must be used for all quoted fields in the file.
     
  • A field must be quoted if it fulfills any of these two conditions:
     
    • If the field contains the separator character in the value, then the field must be quoted.
       
    • If the field contains the quote character in the value and this quote character is also the first character of the value, then the field must be quoted. (This however also means that if the field contains the quote character but not as the first character, then it is not necessary to quote the field.)

  • It is not necessary that all fields are quoted. Only fields that fall into one of the two cases described above have to be quoted. However, it is legal to also quote fields which do not fulfill these conditions.
    Usually one of two styles is used: One style quotes all fields (both the ones that have to be quoted and the ones which do not), while the other style quotes only exactly those fields which have to be quoted (all others are left unquoted). LISTSERV Maestro is able to understand both of these styles (and also mixes of the two styles, as long as the rules described here are followed).
     
  • If a field is a "quoted field" and the quote character also appears as part of the value of the field, then this character must be escaped. Escape the quote character by using it twice, in direct succession. The double appearance of the quote character will be interpreted as a single appearance that is part of the field value.
     
  • If a field is an "unquoted field" and the quote character also appears as part of the value of the field, then this character must not be escaped. Quote-escaping is only necessary in quoted fields!
     
  • A "quoted field" is parsed from the file as follows: The field starts with the opening quote and ends with the next appearance of a not-escaped quote character after the opening quote. (The end of the field must then be followed by a separator character or by the end of the line - trailing white space after the last field of the line is allowed.)
    The value of the field is the text between the two quotes, excluding the quotes. Any escaped quotes in the value will be unescaped.
     
  • An "unquoted field" is parsed from the file as follows: The field starts with the first character and ends with the next appearance of the separator character (or the end of the line). The value of the field is the text with this start and end, excluding the separator character.

Here are some examples:

Simple values, separated by comma, not quoted:

John,Doe,Chicago,USA
Lucy,Summers,London,GB
Karl,Hauser,Frankfurt,D

This will be parsed as follows:

John Doe Chicago USA
Lucy Summers London GB
Karl Hauser Frankfurt D

Simple values, separated by comma, not quoted, with empty fields:

John,,Chicago,USA
,Summers,London,GB
Karl,Hauser,Frankfurt,

This will be parsed as follows:

John   Chicago USA
  Summers London GB
Karl Hauser Frankfurt  

Values of which some contain a comma, separated by comma, quoted with <">:

Using the style that quotes all values:

"John","Doe","Chicago, Illinois","USA"
"Lucy","Summers","London, England","GB"
"Karl","Hauser","Frankfurt","D"

Or using the style that quotes only the values that have to be quoted:

John,Doe,"Chicago, Illinois",USA
Lucy,Summers,"London, England",GB
Karl,Hauser,Frankfurt,D

(The only values that have to be quoted in this example are the two values containing the separator character <,>.)

Both will be parsed as follows:

John Doe Chicago, Illinois USA
Lucy Summers London, England GB
Karl Hauser Frankfurt D

Values of which some contain a comma, separated by comma, quoted with <">, with empty fields:

Using the style that quotes all values:

"John","","Chicago, Illinois","USA"
"","Summers","London, England","GB"
"Karl","Hauser","Frankfurt",""

Or using the style that quotes only the values that have to be quoted:

John,,"Chicago, Illinois",USA
,Summers,"London, England",GB
Karl,Hauser,Frankfurt,

(The only values that have to be quoted in this example are the two values containing the separator character <,>.)

Both will be parsed as follows:

John   Chicago, Illinois USA
  Summers London, England GB
Karl Hauser Frankfurt  

Values of which some contain a comma and some the quote character, separated by comma, quoted with <">:

Using the style that quotes all values:

"John","Doe","Chicago ""The Windy City"", Illinois","USA"
"""Little"" Lucy","Summers","London, England","GB"
"Karl ""Big Boy""","Hauser","Frankfurt","D"

Or using the style that quotes only the values that have to be quoted:

John,Doe,"Chicago ""The Windy City"", Illinois",USA
"""Little"" Lucy",Summers,"London, England",GB
Karl "Big Boy",Hauser,Frankfurt,D

(The values that have to be quoted in this example are the two values containing the separator character <,> and also the first value of the second row, which starts with the quote character <">. In comparison, the first value of the third row does contain the quote character too, but not as the first character. Therefore this field does not have to be quoted and the quote character is therefore also not escaped.)

Both will be parsed as follows:

John Doe Chicago "The Windy City", Illinois USA
"Little" Lucy Summers London, England GB
Karl "Big Boy" Hauser Frankfurt D
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