Configuring the Notification Server

This section describes configuration settings for the Notification Server. For distributed installations, you configure these mail server settings directly on the servers where the Notification Server is installed. You can change these settings any time after installation by running SBM Configurator in utility mode.

To configure the Notification Server, select the Enable Notification Server check box and then select an option in the E-mail server type drop-down list. Select E-mail Disabled to disable notifications and e-mail messages that users can send from items. (You can select this option to prevent e-mail from being sent, though the Notification Server can still be used to create links to items from folders or automatically execute scripts.)

Note: The Advanced button is used by Support for troubleshooting purposes only.

SMTP Options

Many servers commonly use SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Anytime you send e-mail through the Internet, mail routes via one or more SMTP Servers. Setting up an SMTP connection is quick and easy—you do not need to install any additional software and you only need the IP address of your SMTP Server.

To configure the Notification Server to use SMTP, provide the following:

Field Description
Host Enter the IP address or host name of the SMTP Server. This is typically an IP address, such as; however, your company might use a network name supplied by a DNS Server, such as Contact your network administrator to find out the name of this mail server.
Port Enter the SMTP server port number of the SMTP Server. The default SMTP port is 25.
Enable VRFY Select this option if the Notification Server should issue the SMTP VRFY command when it sends e-mail messages. Some SMTP servers support the VRFY command, which can be used to validate that the e-mail address is valid before sending e-mail. If the Enable VRFY check box is cleared, the Notification Server will not issue the SMTP VRFY command when it sends e-mail messages. Note that this setting is disabled by default:
  • Older servers do not support the SMTP VRFY command. If you are using a server that does not support this command, clear this setting.
  • Your SMTP server may have the verification command already disabled. If this option is selected, the Notification Server tries to verify the address with the SMTP server. Because the verification command is disabled in the SMTP server, mail is not sent.
Use SSL Select this option to send and receive messages through a secure connection.
Port is SSL dedicated Select this option if you know that the server requires an SSL-dedicated port. Otherwise, to use SSL encryption in the standard way, clear this check box.
Domain Enter the domain name of the SMTP Server, such as Some SMTP Servers require a domain name for user authentication purposes.
Use authentication Select this option to use SMTP authentication as defined by RFC 2554. You might need to use this option if your SMTP server does not allow relaying.

By default, many SMTP servers do not allow relaying. This prevents SBM from sending e-mail messages to users outside the local domain. For example, if your SMTP server belongs to the domain, then the SMTP server might not send messages to users who do not belong the same domain.

Authentication mode Select LOGIN, PLAIN, or NTLM from the list, and then enter credentials for a system user on the SMTP server. You can also type another protocol as long as you have properly encoded the password for the target authentication protocol before enabling SMTP authentication in SBM.
Send test e-mail Use this option to test the connection to your mail server. In the dialog box that appears, provide an e-mail address to send the message to and enter the number of seconds to wait for a success or failure notice to appear.

If you use a self-signed SSL certificate, you must add the certificate to the Java VM truststore. Use the Manage Trusted Certificates option on the Tomcat Server tab to add the certificate.

Exchange Options

Use the Exchange (via Web services) option to communicate directly with an Exchange server using the MS Exchange Web services API. You might use this option if your company does not allow connection through SMTP. If no such restriction exists, consider using SMTP because it enables faster connection speeds than MS Exchange.

To configure the Notification Server to use Exchange, provide the following:

Field Description
Exchange version Select the current version of your Exchange server.
Service URL Enter the service URL for your Exchange server. For example: https://serverName/EWS/Exchange.asmx.
Login Enter the login name for a system user on the Exchange server.
Password Enter the password for the user account.
Confirm password Enter the password again to confirm it.

If the Exchange Service URL is secured by SSL, you must provide the certificate authority (CA) chain that signed the endpoint certificate. This means that you must add the public certificate of each CA in the certificate chain to the Tomcat truststore. If the endpoint is secured via SSL, use the Manage Trusted Certificates option on the Tomcat Server tab to import the certificates and trust the chain that signed the endpoint's SSL certificate.

Notification Server Options

To configure Notification Server settings that apply to both server types, provide the following:

Field Description
Subject max length

Enter the maximum number of characters that should appear in the subject line for each notification. The default is 200 characters. If the subject line contents are greater than the max length that you specify, the subject line is truncated.

When the subject line is truncated, the last three characters are replaced by ellipses (...). For example, if the maximum length is set to 100, the subject line will contain 97 characters followed by ellipses.

If the subject line contains a TTID string, it is preserved and inserted before the ellipses even if the TTID string is located in the excluded portion of text.

Retry period Enter the number of seconds in which the Notification Server should attempt to send a failed message. The default value is 10800 seconds (or three hours).
Retry count Enter the maximum number of times the Notification Server should attempt to send a failed message. The default value is five times.
Sender that appears in e-mail subject or body Enter a text string that will appear in the subject and body of messages to indicate the sender of the notification. The default is "SBM Notification Service."

This setting is only applicable after the $SENTBY() tag has been added to the notification e-mail template in use. For details on using this tag, refer to the SBM Application Administrator Guide.

Start date Enter a start date for mail delivery to begin. The start date is recorded in the database as specified in SBM Configurator and does not adjust according to the server's time zone; Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is used instead.

If you need to re-send notifications because of a mail server failure, you can set the Start Date to an earlier date to send messages that were not sent. However, use caution because the Notification Server will reprocess existing change history and resend all the messages that have been created since that date.

Enable inline images Select this option to include images from Rich Text fields in notification messages and e-mails that are sent from the browser. Use the check box to toggle this option on or off globally (for all notifications), or optionally toggle it on or off for specific notifications using SBM Application Administrator. Note that this option is enabled in SBM Configurator and on every notification by default.
Review your notifications and determine if this setting should be enabled globally, or if individual notifications should have the setting enabled instead. A notification that contains a large embedded image and several hundred subscribers could negatively affect notification server performance.

In the Link Settings section, configure the server URLs that appear at the bottom of Notification Server messages.

Note: The Link Settings options are only applicable to notification e-mail templates that contain the $LINK() tag. For information on notification template tags, refer to the SBM Application Administrator Guide.
Field Description
Web Server Enter the Application Engine host name that should appear in the URL.
Tip: This setting also controls the host name that appears in the URL that is returned with items in Application Engine Web service calls.
Port Enter the SBM Application Engine Web Server port number. The default port value is 80.
Address for external links Enter the name or address of your external Application Engine that should appear in the URL.
Port Enter the external Application Engine port number.
E-mail response with external virtual directory

Select this option to use the e-mail response feature with Windows Domain (NTCR) authentication. This allows users to execute transitions in notification messages while outside of the domain and without authentication credentials.

This option uses the external directory that you specify on the Authentication | Other Settings tab for both internal and external e-mail response links in notification messages.

Enter your Web server host name or IP address and port in the fields that appear.

Show item link in preferred e-mail client

Removes the item link from messages that are sent by users from their preferred e-mail client.

In the From and Reply-to Addresses section, specify e-mail addresses for replies to messages that are sent from the Notification Server.

These settings can be overridden for projects in SBM Application Administrator.

Field Description
From user who runs transition
Inserts the e-mail address of the user who performs a transition in the From: field. For example, if Bill transitions an item that generates a notification, the notification appears with Bill's e-mail address in the From: field. For escalation notifications, the From: field contains the user who triggered the initial notification.
Tip: Select this option to ensure that the From: address contains the user that performed the transition (as opposed to the user who made the last change to an item).
Reply to last modifier

Inserts the e-mail address of the user who last modified the item into the Reply To: field in the message header.

Default reply to address

The default address that is inserted into the Reply To: field in the event there is no "last modifier".

From last modifier
Inserts the e-mail address of the user who last modified the item in the From: field. Note that this address is also used as the default From: address for scheduled report e-mail notifications.
Note: The Default from address specified at the project level in Application Administrator overrides the Default from address that is set in SBM Configurator.
Default from address
The default address that appears in the From: field in the event there is no "last modifier". This also determines the default From: address that is used for scheduled report e-mail notifications. The logic that determines which address to use is as follows:
  • If a From address is set at the project level in Application Administrator, that address is used for any scheduled report notifications that are generated for that project.
  • Otherwise, the default From address in SBM Configurator is used for all scheduled report notifications.
  • Otherwise, the From address that is specified in the scheduled report e-mail template is used.
  • If that value is cleared, the e-mail address of the author of the scheduled report is used.
  • If that is not specified, the value is read from the file.
Default from address for SLA

The default address that appears in the From: field for SLA notification messages.

Display name in e-mail address for notifications
Includes the user name in the From: field:
From: Bill Admin <>
Otherwise, the From: field only displays the e-mail address:

In the Expired Notification Messages section, configure how the Notification Server handles messages that have not been successfully delivered.

Field Description
Expiration time Enter the number of days that should pass between the first failure of an e-mail notification and the expiration period. By default, failed e-mail messages are deleted after seven days.
Log expired messages Select this option to enable logging for failed e-mail notifications. To delete expired notifications without logging them, clear the check box.

The expiredmessages.log file is located here:


E-mail messages with an invalid e-mail address that are not sent by the Notification Server remain in the database until the Expiration time has passed. If the log indicates that messages failed to send due to an invalid e-mail address, update the user's e-mail address in Application Administrator. This will update the notification message in the database, and the Notification Server will send the message to the correct address on the next cycle.

In the Expired Notification Tokens section, configure the amount of time that e-mail response URL tokens are valid. E-mail responses enable users to transition items directly from a notification message without having to log in. For more information, refer to the SBM Application Administrator Guide.

Field Description
Expiration time Enter the number of days and hours that should pass before the token expires. Once the token expires, the recipient must log in to transition the item. The default value is three days.

In the Work Center Notifications section, configure the number of days to display Work Center notifications.

Field Description
Delete notifications from Work Center after (n) days Enter the number of days for which notifications should appear in SBM Work Center. The default value is thirty days. Notifications that are older than this value are purged from Work Center.

In the Attachments section, use the following options to define the attachment and note size limit for notification messages:

Field Description
Maximum attachment size (in MB)

This setting limits the size of the attachments that are included with notification messages. For example, you may decide that 3 MB is the maximum size for all attachments that are included with outgoing e-mails.

  • If the total size of all attachments exceeds this limit, then no attachments are included with the message and instead a link to view the attachment is sent.
  • The default (and maximum value) is 5 MB.
  • Attachments are only sent if e-mail template includes the $ATTACHMENTS() tag. For details, refer to the SBM Application Administrator Guide.
  • The Notification Server only includes attachments if they are stored in the database (not on the file system). For more information, see Chapter 7: "Customizing SBM Settings" in the SBM System Administrator Guide.
Inline note size limit

Enter the size limit (in characters) for notes that are sent as part of an item notification.

  • This size limit applies to all notes that have been added to the item (either by the E-mail Recorder or in the item directly).
  • The default is 10000 characters.
  • Notes that exceed this size limit will appear as attachments in the e-mail, rather than being placed inline.
  • Notes are only sent if the e-mail template includes the $NOTES() tag. For details, refer to the SBM Application Administrator Guide.

In the Browser E-mail Template section, select or edit the e-mail template for messages that users send from SBM items.

Field Description
Browser E-mail Template

Select the default .txt or .htm file, or edit the template to create your own template.

  • Users can format e-mail text using a Rich Text Editor; if you want this text to render correctly in the e-mail message that is sent, you must choose a .htm file.
  • If Notification Server and the SBM Application Engine are installed on separate servers, you must restart IIS from the Manage Services tab after you change the browser e-mail template.
  • For information on customizing e-mail templates, refer to the SBM Installation and Configuration Guide.

In the Plugins section, you register plugins to create additional notification channels in SBM. Notification channels enable you to send notifications to your users through different messaging mediums in addition to standard e-mail. The plugins are .jar files that contain libraries for the messaging service that you want to add. Once you add your desired plugins, you can add and configure new channels that consume the plugins in Application Administrator. For details, refer to "About Channels" in the SBM Application Administrator Guide.

Important: If you install and configure multiple instances of the notification server, you must register the same plugins on each server.
The following sample plugins are available with SBM:
  • Console

    Add this plugin and create an associated channel in Application Administrator to have notification messages written to the notification server log file ns.log. (Click Open Log to view logging information).

    Tip: This plugin is useful if you want to create a channel that simply writes messages to the notification server log. This allows you to test notifications without actually sending e-mails.
  • RSS

    Add this plugin and create a channel in Application Administrator to have notifications sent to an RSS feed.

  • Twitter

    Add this plugin and create one or more associated channels in Application Administrator to have notifications broadcast to a specific Twitter wall that users can view.

  • XMPP

    Add this plugin and create a channel in Application Administrator to have notifications sent to specific users in an IM client like Google Talk.

To register the sample plugins:

  1. Click Add.
  2. Browse to the following directory:
  3. Select a plugin .jar file, and then click OK. The plugin name and description appears in SBM Configurator.
  4. Click Apply to register the plugins with SBM. After the services are restarted, the plugins are available from the Channels view in Application Administrator.

Certain plugins require authentication credentials to receive messages from SBM. If you configure a social network plugin for Twitter or Facebook, you must create a new account and an associated application by visiting the corresponding developer Web site (Twitter or Facebook). For more information about creating and registering plugins, visit and search for solution S139424.

In the Common Options section, configure the following options that apply to both the Notification Server and the Mail Client.

Field Description
Web services authentication user

Specify an SBM user account that the SBM Application Engine Web services should use for authentication when the E-mail Recorder receives an e-mail from a non-SBM user.

This account is also used by the Notification Server to execute scripts and Web services for notifications without subscribers.

If you plan to enable External Communication with non-SBM users, ensure that this user account has the Add Notes to Any Item and Add Attachments to Any Item privileges. This enables replies from non-SBM users to be added to items. For details, refer to "Enabling External Communication" in the SBM Application Administrator Guide or help.

Logging Level Select a logging level option that is appropriate for your needs. Click Open Log to view the current log.
Mail Server connection timeout Use this option to set the number of seconds that should pass before connection attempts to your mail server time out. The default value is 120 seconds.
Web Services invocation timeout Use this option as necessary to define the amount of time that is allotted for SBM to create your scheduled reports. The default value is 60 seconds. Note that if you increase the value to ensure that processing finishes, a greater timeout value will not affect processing time for smaller reports.

The Notification Server and Mail Client ns.log file is located here:


The Collect Log Files button at the bottom of SBM Configurator captures the latest version of the log.

Consider increasing the logging level to help troubleshoot issues you encounter with sending notification messages or failures with e-mail submit and the E-mail Recorder feature. The following logging levels are available from the drop-down list:

  • Information

    Displays the data source information and basic Notification Server actions such as reading change records, creating events, and sending messages. Use this option regularly to investigate problems with specific messages such as whether a condition has occurred for a notification to be sent and to whom the e-mail notification was sent. For Mail Client purposes, select this option if you want to log detailed information about e-mail submission, such as when a submission occurs.

  • Error

    Displays more information related to the processing of the Notification Server and Mail Client. Problems with stopping and starting the service, thread counts and hangs, or other problems with running the services themselves are displayed here. Use this level to troubleshoot problems with sending messages and running the services.

  • Debug

    Displays the most information and enables the SBM development team to troubleshoot problems. All of the details above are logged, in addition to more verbose logging for troubleshooting purposes.

For further help with diagnosing problems with the Notification Server and Mail Client, run the tests in the Diagnostics tab in SBM Configurator. These tests are helpful because they not only report problems, but also present solutions when possible. For more information, see Static Diagnostics.

In the Send Notification to Administrators on Errors section, configure the following options to enable your administrators to be notified when problems occur.

Field Description
Admin e-mail list Enter a comma-separated list of administrator e-mail addresses.
Check errors every (in seconds) Enter the number of seconds that should pass before the system scans for errors and e-mails the list above. The default is 60 seconds.
Send warning e-mail after a number of errors Enter the number of errors that must occur before the system e-mails list above. A warning message is sent at the end of the check period if the number of errors that occur is greater or equal to the number of errors that you specify here. The default is 100 errors.