Archive for February, 2007

18 Feb 2007

Special Notice for SMJK Schools

Migration of Qmail Accounts to Gmail

We had successfully migrated all the Qmail accounts to the new Gmail service under the Gmail for SMJK Schools Project.

For schools that had provided us  all the necessary user account informations, we would had created all these accounts in Gmail, a copy of the User Account Notification Letter in PDF format had also been forwarded to all respective School Administrators, for their onward distribution to all individual users in the schools.

How to Log in to the new Gmail
All users can proceed to log in to the new Gmail at

How to read my old emails?
You can still access your old Qmail at

Your old Qmail will be kept for a period of two months from the date of migration, for you to continue access and reference, if you need to migrate all these emails to the new Gmail, we do provide detail steps in the migration section

My School did not provide email services to my Teachers or Students previously, how do I do it now?

For Schools that wants to extend this service to all your teachers and students, please download the following PDF guide for more details, the Guide provide information for the user account creations, including fast-track migration from your School Management System, and user management through the SMJK Web Portal.

Please download the SMS User Account Migration To Gmail

My School Had not join this project, who do I contact? 

For schools that had yet to join this project, please contact the SMJK council for arrangements at council @

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  • Filed under: Gmail, Migration

  • 6 Feb 2007

    SMJK email Service Migration

    The following are the instructions for the coming weekend email migrations

    1 Google Hosted Apps for Education

    In view of the limited mailbox space of the existing Qmail service for the SMJK School users, first launched in 2003, we had worked with Google in recent months and had obtained approval from Google for an initial allocation of 200,000 Google Hosted Gmail accouns, under their Google Apps for Education services.

    We had proposed to the SMJK Council for the adoption for the Gmail to replace the existing limited email accounts for the teachers. At the same time propose to extend these Gmail services to all the 130,000 students in the 78 SMJK schools.

    We began to look at the various migration issues from the existing email servers, Accounts administrative issues for the 130,000 users, as well as further API programming and integration with our Web Portal and School Management System, so that the SMJK users can later have a single-sign-on common ID and password for the various ICT services.

    1.1 What is being Offered

    Under the Google Apps for Education sponsored beta test, Google had allocated 200,000 Gmail accounts for the SMJK school users, each having 2GB of mailbox space, 100 time bigger than the existing 20MB mailbox and each of the users will also be offered the Google Talk client as well as the Google Calendar.

    Gmail service will be offered free of charge to the existing school domains,, however, the existing administrative functions coming with the Gmail is only suitable for small number of user populations, for us to manage a user population of 130,000, we need to add a user management functions in the existing School Web Portal, so that the administrative and management of School Users will be handled by the respective School Administrator in each school.

    1.2 What do we need to Do?

    We propose to migrate the existing Qmail service to Gmail on the 9th of February 2007, Friday, at 5pm for all the existing users, with minimum interruptions to the email services.

    After the initial migration, we will open up the Gmail services to schools that want to extend to all teachers and students in the schools.

    1.3 Will there be Interruptions to my existing email services?

    When we change the system setting on the coming Saturday, all incoming emails will be directed to the Gmail service, however, due to the nature of Internet, some of your existing email may still end up on the Qmail servers, and the whole transition period may take up to a maximum of 48 hours, that’s why we are doing the migration during the weekend, to avoid interruptions to your day-to-day email service.

    However, having recently migrated for similar services to Gmail, most of the new incoming emails would had been received 4-8 hours after the switching, leaving very minimal email still coming in to the old email service.

    1.4 What happen to my existing email archives, if I want to keep them?

    a) If you are currently using email client like Outlook, Outlook Express or Thunderbird to retrieve your email

    If you are already using the PC Client email software to read email, that would means all your email had already been download to your PC for you to keep; once we make the switch, we will provide the new system configuration for you to make changes to your email client, so that you will continue to read the email from the same email client.

    b) If you are currently using the Web Mail to retrieve your email by accessing the

    Once we had switched to the new Gmail service, you will start with a blank folder, where you will receive all your new emails coming in after the switch over. However, if you want to move your Addressbook and email content from the old server, we will also provide steps for you to do it on your own, so that all these content will be move to the new Gmail service.

    1.5 Would I be able to Log-in to the Web Portal after the Migration?

    Currently, both the Web portal and email are sharing the same ID and passwords, once we had migrated the email service, you will still use the same ID and password to log in to the Web Portal. However, you will be using the new password to log-in to the Gmail service. For you to avoid confusion, you can have both the Web Portal and Gmail password to be the same, when you change the passwords.

    However, we are currently finalizing the new version of the School Portal, which will have a lot of new Web 2.0 features, we are targeting to launch the new portal in February – March this year, once they are migrated, all Web portal authentication will be using the same passwords as the Gmail.

    1.6 Where do I get support and more information on this project?

    Please visit the project site –

    2 The Migration Activities

    2.1 Introduction

    We will provide some background to the migration activities, so that all schools will be clear on the migration steps.

    2.2 Type of Email Accounts currently used by SMJK communities

    There are two types of SMJK email accounts for the existing SMJK users:

    a) Main Domain Accounts

    These are accounts created with the main domain e.g. that were allocated for the SMJK council members and support personnel.

    b) School Domain Accounts

    These accounts were issued to users using the individual school’s sub-domain e.g.

    2.3 What is going to happen to the user accounts

    For the migration of all SMJK email account from the existing Qmail to Google’s Gmail, all the accounts will be standardized to be using ONLY the main domain, i.e. all user accounts will only carry the domain name, all the school sub-domain convention accounts will be drop, since Google only offer the 200,000 accounts on one single domain.

    The rules:

    a) Since we had been approved for a maximum of 200,000 email accounts from Google, and for all users to use the, all user IDs created will need to be unique, so that we can differentiate each and everyone of the user in this community;

    b) All creations of users, in terms of user IDs, will be on a first-come-first-serve basis, i.e. if a user ID had already been allocated to any previous user, an alternative ID will need to be created e.g. petertan -> petertan1, petertan2 etc.

    c) All users accounts created on Gmail will remain, even after the user had left the schools, unless the SMJK council make a ruling for these accounts to be deleted from the database;

    d) All existing common accounts in schools like,, will be discontinued, as it is not possible to uses these naming convention since only one domain is used;

    The school will need to use re-assign different new email accounts for these common accounts, e.g. -> -> ->

    e) If you school had created any mailing list e.g., please forward the list to us, so that we can re-create the list for you.

    e,g, ->

    2.4 The New Naming Convention

    In order to identify the user from the new ID created, the SMJK council had created a new naming convention to distinguish where the user came from. The new email ID will have the following convention:

    name = existing user ID, either already used in SMS, or generated by our program;
    P = State code, currently propose to use the car registration code (Car Plate) by Road Transport Department, W= Wilayah, A = Perak etc
    II = School initials

    e.g Mr Tiong Ting Ming’s new ID will be

    A list of the new school codes are available in section 4 of this document.

    2.5 What is coming for this weekend?

    a) Main Domain Accounts

    All main domain account users will first be migrated, all existing users will still keep their email ID as it is, e.g., with the new school code added – . However, since the existing passwords on the Qmail system is encrypted and there is no way for us to retrieve them, we will create a new email password for you.

    All new passwords will be sent to you before the system migration, you can proceed to log-in to the new Google Apps service first, change you password ( you can choose to change the password to be the same as your existing one, to avoid confusion), and wait for the system migration.

    b) School Domain Accounts

    All existing users who are having the school-domain account, will have their new ID created, following their existing ID created for school domain, with the new school initials added

    e.g. ->

    All these new SMJK Gmail user accounts will be created, based on the user IDs that had been created on the existing SMJK portal, school by school, and sent to the School Administrator before the migration date.

    At the school, the school administrator will help to dispatch these IDs and passwords to all the users in the school.

    All school users can start using the new Gmail accounts, after the migration date. School users can choose to read their existing school domain accounts on the Gmail too.

    The existing Qmail service will be kept for another two months after the migration to Gmail, for all existing users to inform their friends and contacts of the new email ID. After the transition period of two months, the Qmail service will be shut down.

    As the domain changeover will take a maximum of 48 hours for the MX records to propagate throughout the Internet, some of the email may still end up in your Qmail server. However, in our recent cutover of similar exercise, 80% of the email had been received on the new Gmail service 6 hours after the MX record changes.

    After the successful cutover of the system this weekend, the old Qmail system will be available at for a two months period, after which, they will be decommissioned.

    All users will need to inform their existing friends and contacts of the change in their email accounts within these two months.

    2.6 What happen after the existing email account migration?

    Since this service is being given free from Google, however, to manage a 130,000 users centrally is very huge an effort, especially when we need to authenticate each and every users, when we need to issue IDs and Password, or to re-issue them at a later stage when users forget their passwords.

    After the initial migration of all existing Qmail accounts to the Google’s Gmail, the school will need to decide whether to offer the Gmail service to all teachers and students in the school.

    a) Creations of Accounts in Batches – School with SMS

    For schools that had implemented the School Management Systems (SMS), we had provided a utility in the SMS for you to extract the list of necessary user information like user’s name, IC, date of joining etc, together with a suggested user ID for the user.

    This user list will be forwarded to the support personnel at Perridot, where we will upload to the SMJK Web portal, where we will first check for the unique ID in a central database, if the list provided do have clashes in User ID, an alternative ID will be created. These user lists will then be used to create the Gmail accounts on Google Apps.

    b) User Management – School without SMS

    For Schools that do not have the SMS implemented, we will give them standard Spreadsheet templates, for them to key in the respective information required and submitted to us for our Gmail account creation purposes.

    After the list is given to us, we will proceed with the Gmail account creations, also on a first-come-first-serve basis, where duplicate IDs will be replaced with the next available options.

    c) Accounts Disbursements

    Once created, the appointed School Administrator in individual schools will log in to the SMJK Web Portal, where they will be able to print a notification letter in PDF format for each user. The Notification letter will provide the log-in instructions, together with the User ID and password for the user.

    d) How to create a new user after the Batch conversion?

    After the migration exercise, subsequent new account request and creation will all be handled by the respective School Administrator of each school.

    School Administrators of the respective schools will need to log into the Web Portal, where they will submit the new user accounts request by entering the necessary info required.

    Because the current Google API do not allow us to create the account in real-time, and the volume of works that need to be handled, these new requests will be consolidated on a daily basis, and will only be uploaded to the GMail service at the end of the day for account creations.

    Account will only be created after the end-of-day batch submission to the GMail services.

    e) Account Suspension and Freezing

    From time to time, school may want to suspend the email accounts due to abuse on usage, similarly, they will need to go through the School Administrator in the school, where a end-of-day batch process will be run to freeze the account.

    f) What happen if a school user forgets their password?

    All school users will need to approach the School Administrator, who can log into the School Web Portal, and re-issue the password for the school user.

    We are taking this precaution steps, as we will not be able to authenticate the true identity of a school users when they call in to our support centre or using a third party email account requesting for password re-issued. The School Administrator will be in the best position to identify whether the user is from the school.

    g) What happen if the School Administrator forgets their password?

    We will continue with our current authorization practice, the school will need to use their School Letterhead, with request sign by the School’s Principal for authentication, before we can re-issue the School Administrator’s Password.

    2.7 Things to watch out after the cutover

    a) Since there is a new set of Spam filtering rules being deployed by Gmail, some of your legitimate email may end up in the spam folder, please check through the “Spam” folder and see whether there are any email that had been incorrectly been identified as spam, if there are, just click on that email item, and tag it as “Not Spam”, so that it will be moved back to the INBOX. Check the SPAM folder regularly to see if there are other email

    b) Gmail is using Labels to identify and manage emails, instead of folders, please read the support site to get familiar with them;

    c) You can also use Gmail to read other email services, by creating a separate account under “Settings” -> “Accounts”, for you to read all your email under one interface;

    3 The New School Initials

    The following new school initials had been approved by the SMJK council to be used in the new email IDs


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  • Filed under: Gmail