Email Conversation and Notifications

I can’t imagine any Service Desk Express implementation that doesn’t involve a business rule that sends an email to a client when a ticket is logged in their name and I remember back in 2003 my first ever business rule did exactly that. The thing was that I was also asked to create an Incident Detail that recorded the fact that the email had been sent along with the content of that email.

So what’s the point. Roll forward five years and we now have Service Desk Express complete with Email Conversation. Email Conversation out of the box, allows support staff to click a button from inside a ticket and send an email using a web based interface. Out of the box, the fact that the email has been sent is recorded as an Incident Detail complete with the content. Out of the box, if a client replies to said email, an Incident Detail is automatically created containing the content of the reply and an email is sent to the support staff the call is assigned to. The point is – you can programmatically create an Email Conversation record via a business rule and consequently you automatically get all this functionality – out of the box.

If you want to use Email Conversation programmatically then you need to create a new Email Conversation form through Form Customisation. The important fields to include on this new form are:

  • Module # – This field determines which module the email conversation refers to e.g. Incident, Work Order, Purchase Request etc. It is important to understand that you need to use the Sequence number of the module concerned NOT the module name. In the case of Incidents, the Sequence number is 24. You can find out the Sequence number for other modules using:
    • SELECT SEQUENCE, VIEWNAME FROM _SMDBA_._MODULE_ ORDER BY VIEWNAME
  • Record # – This field determines which record in the above module this email conversation is linked to. So in our case this will be linked to the Incident # of the incident raised.

An example new email conversation form is shown below:

Once you have done that you can go ahead and create your very simple business rule.

Shameless Plug
If you haven’t downloaded a copy of Nashco’s Business Rule Print Preview do so. You can get it from here. It is a very cool little executable that adds additional functionality to the Business Rules Manager window and Business Rule Customisation window allowing for the printing/documentation of business rules. It also works with Client-Side Business Rules too.

The simple business rule required is shown below thanks to the above Nashco Business Rule Print Preview application:

With a rule like this replacing you standard notifications, the client essentially ends up with the same email but you automatically get all the added functionality mentioned above for free.

As always, hope this helps. Keep your feedback coming (positive or negative) – I really value it.