Configuring processing rules

Updated in 8.4

On the Processing tab of the Mail Connector window you can view, modify, or create how the Mail Connector process incoming e-mail. Processing rules are grouped in two sections:

  • Operations - These workflow operations define how the Mail Connector creates objects from new e-mail messages and updates objects (for example, adds entries to the object's Activity Log) when the e-mail message is part of an object's communication thread. These operations are performed through workflow Service Actions configured for the Mail Connector.

    NOTE: When the Mail Connector creates or updates objects, it extracts attachments from incoming e-mail message and adds them to created objects or object Activities. This behavior is hard-coded and does not depend on Service Actions.

  • Incoming E-mail Handling - These options define how the Mail Connector treats original e-mail messages after processing.

To access the Mail Connector window, from the Sidebar, navigate to E-Mail Processing > Mail Connector and click New to create a new job or double-click an existing one to modify it. The Mail Connector window appears.

Configuring workflow operations

When you create a Mail Connector job, Alloy Navigator automatically populates the Operations section of the Processing tab and places existing Service Actions for the Mail Connector in the default conditional statement.

The first criteria (IF %[EML ObjectRef]% is not blank) checks whether the message is part of a thread initiated for an existing Alloy Navigator object, i.e. whether the system parsing rule has detected the ID of an active object in the e-mail Subject. If the first criteria return TRUE, Alloy Navigator checks the nested IF and ELSE IF criteria to find out the class of the object to update, and updates that particular object using the corresponding Update Service Action. If the first IF criteria return FALSE, Alloy Navigator creates a new object using the corresponding Create Service Action.

NOTE: The ObjectRef virtual field contains the ID of an active object. When the object is inactive (closed Ticket, retired Computer, inactive Person, etc.), its ID is placed in the InactiveObjectRef virtual field.

TIP: Click the plus icon (+) to expand and the minus icon (-) to collapse a node in the statement. To expand or collapse all nodes, click Expand All or Collapse All.

In addition to operations in the conditional statement, the Mail Connector creates new Person records when the message sender cannot be matched to an existing Person record.

  • ClosedTo specify the Service Action for updating existing objects:

    Alloy Navigator updates objects if the first IF criteria returns TRUE.

    1. In the group of nested criteria, click the IF or ELSE IF criteria that returns TRUE for the desired object class and click New > Update Object. The Update Object window opens.

    2. In the Update Existing drop-down list, select the class of objects to update.

    3. In the [Object Class] field, view the default expression %[EML ObjectRef]%, which returns a reference to the particular active object whose ID the system parsing rule extracts from incoming e-mail.

      NOTE: If you need to customize the default expression, click the Expression Builder button and make your changes using the Build Expression window. To insert a placeholder for an e-mail field, use the E-mail Fields category of placeholders. In addition to standard e-mail fields such as To and Subject, this section contains virtual e-mail fields that you have defined in the Parsing section.

      NOTE: The ObjectRef virtual field contains the ID of an active object. When the object is inactive (closed Ticket, retired Computer, inactive Person, etc.), its ID is placed in the InactiveObjectRef virtual field.

    4. Click the ellipsis button in the Using Action field and double-click the Update Service Action for the Mail Connector that you want to use.

    5. Click OK to close the Update Object window.

  • ClosedTo specify the Service Action for creating objects:

    Alloy Navigator creates objects if the first IF criteria returns FALSE.

    1. Click the ELSE criteria and click New > Create Object. The Create Object window opens.

    2. In the Create New drop-down list, select the class of objects to create.

    3. Click the ellipsis button in the Using Action field and double-click the Create Service Action for the Mail Connector that you want to use.

    4. Click OK to close the Create Object window.

  • ClosedTo disable or enable workflow operations:

    • To temporary disable the execution of a Service Action used in the IF...ELSE IF...ELSE...END IF conditional statement, right-click the operation and choose Disable Operation from the pop-up menu. To re-enable disabled operations, choose Enable Operation.

  • ClosedTo modify the default conditional statement:

    • You can modify any of the default IF or ELSE IF criteria, change the execution order of operations or statements, remove operations or statements, or create your own IF...ELSE IF...ELSE...END IF statement, if you need to. For instructions on building conditional statements, see Building IF...ELSE IF...ELSE...END IF conditional statements.

      NOTE: To insert a placeholder for an e-mail field, use the E-mail Fields category of placeholders. In addition to standard e-mail fields such as To and Subject, this section contains virtual e-mail fields that you have defined in the Parcing section. For details, see Configuring parsing rules.

  • ClosedTo specify the Service Action for creating Persons for new senders:

    Alloy Navigator creates Person records when a message sender cannot be matched to an existing Person record.

    • Click the ellipsis button in the Create Persons field and double-click the Create Service Action for the Mail Connector that you want to use.

  • ClosedTo attach the original e-mail message to corresponding objects:

    • Select the Attach original e-mail message to object/activity check box.

      When the Mail Connector creates objects, the message will be attached to those objects. If it updates objects by adding entries to the object's Activity Log, the original e-mail message will be attached to the respective Activity records.

      NOTE: Regardless of the check box state, the Mail Connector extracts attachments from incoming e-mail message and adds them to created objects or object Activity records.

Configuring incoming e-mail handling

Depending on the type of e-mail account you use (POP3, IMAP4, or Microsoft Exchange), the Mail Connector differently treats original e-mail messages after processing. The Incoming E-mail Handling section of the Processing tab displays the default e-mail handling. If needed, you can customize these default options.

  • ClosedTo configure POP3 e-mail handling:

    1. Under When an object is created or modified successfully, the only available option is Delete the message from the mailbox. This means that once e-mail messages have been successfully processed and converted to objects, they are permanently deleted from the inbox.

    2. Under When a workflow item rejects the message, select the Delete the message from the mailbox check box if you want to delete failed e-mail messages. Otherwise, rejected messages will remain in the inbox.

  • ClosedTo configure IMAP4 or Microsoft Exchange e-mail handling:

    1. Under When an object is created or modified successfully:

      • If you want to mark processed e-mail messages as read and keep them on the mail server, select the Mark the message as read check box. Otherwise the Mail Connector will attempt to process those messages again next time the task runs.

      • If you want to mark processed e-mail messages as deleted, select the Mark the message as deleted check box. Otherwise they will remain in the mail folder in Read state.

    1. Under When a workflow item rejects the message:

      • If you want to mark failed e-mail messages as read and keep them on the mail server, select the Mark the message as read check box. Otherwise the Mail Connector will attempt to process those messages again next time the task runs.

      • If you want to mark failed e-mail messages as deleted, select the Mark the message as deleted check box. Otherwise, it will remain in the mail folder in Read state.

    1. To purge deleted messages from the mailbox at the end of the session, select the Purge the deleted messages at the end of session check box. Otherwise, messages marked for deletion will remain in the mailbox’s Deleted folder.

Next Steps

After you have configured processing rules for the Mail Connector job, you can test the job and check its results to make sure it works correctly. You can test even a disabled job. For instructions, see Checking Mail Connector job results.

You may have multiple Mail Connector jobs that process several e-mail accounts. By default, all Mail Connector jobs run using the Automation Server startup account and connects to the database using the Automation Server database connection. If you consider having all resources available under the same Automation Server startup account a security risk, you can configure to use a dedicated Windows account for every job. For instructions, see Configuring Mail Connector settings.