Parsing emails that contain base64 encoded text

September 14th, 2012 by Richard Felix

As we work to improve Dispatch, we’ve been engaging in conversations with prospective users and talking to them about their needs. One that we’ve discovered recently is that there is a demand out there for email parsing that works with base64 encoded text.

base64 is a way to encode text or binary data. In the case of binary data, it’s used to pass things like images using a plain text representation. This allows for people to pass data along in a format that will be unaltered by virtually all email clients because they’ll just pass the block of base64 encoded data through as text. Then, on the other end you can reassemble the data into its intended format, whether it’s an image, audio file or something else. That’s the base64 use case that I was previously aware of.

However, today I learned that it’s also used by some email clients and services to pass formatted text data along as well. From what I understand, there are some email parsing services that have issues when they try to parse data in these formats, but not Dispatch. Dispatch was built on reliable, cutting edge email processing, and then we built a custom text parser from the ground up that is part of the heart and soul of the product. Dispatch eats base64 encoded emails for breakfast. If you have a need for that, check it out!

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