E-mail Responses

The E-mail Responses page enables you to configure user response options for notifications. Response options can appear as links or buttons in a notification message, which enable the recipient to transition an item without logging in.

For example, you can create a notification that contains "Approve" or "Reject" links that a Kathy Manager can use to quickly approve or reject a vacation request while it is in the Pending Approval state. She does not need to provide any login credentials to invoke these transitions. Instead, she simply approves or rejects the request directly from the notification message by clicking one of the response options. This launches a new browser window, and a confirmation message appears if the transition succeeds. If the item is no longer in an applicable state, a failure message appears.

You can optionally configure an e-mail response to transition an item with a Reply To message. This enables a manager to approve a request by replying to the e-mail with a simple phrase like "OK" or "Yes". For details on setting up an e-mail response using the Reply To method, see solution S142339.

Note the following important information:

To create a new e-mail response:

  1. Open the E-mail Responses tab, and then click Add new response.
  2. Enter a Name for the response. Take note of the name that you enter for each e-mail response that you will configure—you will use them with the $EMAILRESPONSE() tag when you customize to the notification e-mail template later.
  3. Optionally, select the check box next to the Name field and enter one or more aliases for the response in the Alias field. The aliases that you enter correspond to one or more replies that the recipient could use to transition the item. For example, to execute the Approve Request transition, create a new response named Approve, and then enter likely replies that the recipient might use, such as:

    This enables the recipient to approve the request by replying to the e-mail with any one of the words that are listed above. If you are using multiple languages, enter aliases in each language here as well.

    By default, the body of the reply is used as the source field to scan for aliases. To have SBM search the subject field for aliases instead, select Subject in the Alias source field drop-down list.

  4. Select the Initial State. This determines which transitions are available.
  5. Select a Transition to Execute. Select the Quick Only check box to see only quick transitions.
    Tip: Click Show Workflow to view a diagram that shows each state and all available transitions.
  6. Enter a Priority number if you are creating multiple responses and using aliases. The response with the highest priority will be executed first in the event the recipient replies without specifying one of the defined aliases.
  7. Click Save to save your changes.
  8. If you selected a regular transition, click the Mappings button to open the Transition Mappings page and map any required field values in the transition. Select Required Only to see only required fields in the transition; select Read Only to limit the list to read-only fields.

    Select the Show e-mail fields check box to map e-mail fields to SBM fields. For example, you can map the From field in the e-mail reply to your Approver field in SBM. If the value in the From field does not match an exact Approver field value, SBM uses the closest match it can find. As you map fields, you can use a combination of values by selecting the check box to use e-mail fields or clearing the check box to use SBM field values.

    You can optionally have the Mail Client parse field-value pairings that are included in the message body of the reply. For example, if a manager receives a notification with response options, he or she can reply with fields and values in the body and the Mail Client will use those field values in the associated transition. This means a manager can reply with an alias like "Yes" in the subject line, and then include field values in the body as shown in the following example:

    Description: This request has been approved.
    Manager: Bill
    Exception: Yes
    Number of days: 5

    When the Mail Client receives the reply, it executes the Approve transition and maps the values that the manager included in the reply portion. Note that any mappings that you define in Application Administrator (for required fields or otherwise) override the values that are sent with the reply. The following field types are supported in the message body:

    • Numeric
    • Text
    • Binary/Trinary
    • User and Multi-user (separated by commas or semi-colons). Users can be specified by display name, login id or e-mail address.
    • Single selection
    • Date/Time (specified in the same format as the corresponding Date/Time field in SBM)
    Note: If a field name or field value does not have an exact match in SBM, SBM uses the closest field and value it can find. The threshold that determines how many characters can differ for each field and field value is controlled via a properties file that is located on the Notification Server machine. For details on configuring the matching threshold and logging information, refer to solution S141931.
  9. Click Add new response to add another response, if necessary.
  10. After you add responses, you must add the $EMAILRESPONSE() tag to your notification template and reference the response options that you created. For details, refer to Notification Tags.

After you ensure that your notification is using the template that contains the $EMAILRESPONSE() tag and your response options, test the notification to ensure the setup is complete.

Tip: You can customize the success or failure message template that appears in the browser. On the Application Engine server, navigate to installDir\SBM\Application Engine\templates, edit the emailapproval template as necessary, and save your changes. Open SBM System Administrator and perform a Put Files in Database operation to save the modified template in the database. For more information on customizing templates, see the SBM System Administrator Guide.