Awhile back I announced that there would be a “resource kit” for Service Manager which would include a bunch of things that we already had put out on the blogs like…
and some new things…
We’ve decided that instead of packaging up all of this stuff as one downloadable “resource kit” package we would create a Tools/Downloads page on TechNet. Then we can add to it whenever we want and point to all kinds of locations like CodePlex, third party software vendors, blogs with tools attached, and microsoft.com/downloads to get releases from Microsoft. It will be one convenient place to get all the tools and solutions available for Service Manager and we can update it continuously without the overhead of a release.
While it will take just a couple more weeks to set up the Tools page on TechNet….
I’m pleased today to announce the release to microsoft.com/downloads the Exchange Connector and the Send Email solution! You can get it from here:
Note: allow up to 30 minutes from the posting of this blog post for worldwide replication on the microsoft.com/downloads site.
It’s taken awhile to build these solutions because I had them thoroughly tested by about 15-20 customers. These customers found bugs and submitted feature requests that I went ahead and implemented to expand the scope of the Exchange connector to include a lot of additional capabilities beyond the scope defined originally. The Exchange Connector now features the following capabilities:
The Send Email solution is a separate solution that I’ve packaged with the Exchange Connector for convenience, but it can be deployed with or without the Exchange connector technically. When you have both of them deployed and configured correctly you can enable the end-to-end lifecycle for emails around incident management. For example, an analyst can be looking at a ticket and click a ‘Send Email’ task to request additional information from the affected user. When the user replies to that email with the additional information, the incident is automatically updated.
Lastly a big, huge thank you to all the community testers that made this possible. You know who you are. I really appreciate the effort you put in to test these solutions, provide feedback, and report bugs! Thank You!
Update: Chris Ross put together a nice demo video of installing, configuring, and testing the Exchange connector . Thanks Chris!
The Workflow Account and the email address you specified in the Exchange connector wizard must be the same and of course a mailbox must be provisioned on the Exchange server for that account. Can you please double check both of those things for me?
I am testing the connector now, sending mails from outlook and generating new incidents - it works fine. Attachments fx. word docs and stuff - also fine appears as attached files under related items. BUT - if i copy a screendump into my outlook mail, and sends it to my servicemanager - it appears as a new incident without attachement and without showing the screendump at all...
Do i need to set something up, or is this a non-supported feature :-)
Images in the message body itself will not be added as attachments in the released version. I didnt enable it because I didnt want to have a large number of file attachments being created by images in peoples email signatures. I've already fixed the code to allow this and will provide an option to create attachments from inline images in the next release. I'm also going to look into providing a configuration option to ignore certain filenames so that images in corporate standard signature templates can be ignored.
To answer your next question... When will the next relaese come out? Answer: I dont have a date in mind. I'm going to see what other feedback comes in and respond to that in a single future release.
Any suggestions on how to notify assigned users that the affected user has replied to their "additional information request". I am also unable to find the affected user reply in the console, I can see the reply in the portal logged on as the affected user, but is the email reply not accessible from the console?
Regardless of the above, I love both features, keep up the good work!
My suggestion for how to notify the anlyst when the user has replied is to do the following:
1) Create a new incident status list item (aka enum) called 'Updated by user'.
2) Create an incident template that sets that value.
3) Select that template as the one to be applied when the incident is updated in the Exchange connector configuration.
4) Create an incident event workflow that is triggered by the incident status changing FROM not equal to Updated by user TO Updated by user. Send the notification to the assigned to person.
You should be able to see the reply in the main console on the incident form in the action log. Make sure you refresh the incident if you already have it open.
Great stuff! exactly what I needed.
Quick question: when sending email out, I don't seem to be able to add carriage returns (CRLF) to the email message (unless I add the HTML <br/> code).
Is there anyway to correct this?
Thanks again for your fantastic work
Are you asking how to add line breaks without using HTML?
When adding a line break by using "ENTER", it doesn't do it in the final email.
The workaround is to add <br/> in the message itself, but the helpdesk guys have already complained :-)
Choose not to use HTML formatting.
Put a <pre> tag at the beginning of your email notification template and enter the plain text of the email as you would like it to appear including line breaks.
The <pre> tag will not be shown if you are using Outlook as a client and the line breaks will be preserved
works like a charm!
Thanks a million for your help
Great blog! Thanks a lot.
Our Service Manager is in a different domain than the Exchange server with no AD trust, but DNS secondary zones to resolve names. I receive this event: "No matching Autodiscover DNS SRV records were found." (Exchange 2010 uses AD autodiscover and no DNS SRV record?!). Does it work with non trusted domains?
Thanks a lot
Sorry I dont know much about how the Exchange Autodiscover service works. I think it tries to use DNS as well. Your configuration sounds a little unusual so I'm not sure what to expect there. There are some troubleshooting guides referenced in the Exchange connector documentation that might help you sort it out.
Travis, just wanted to say thanks for your suggestion on how to notify the assigned user/analyst of a affected user reply. Works well!
In deployment guide:
"If you are going to use the Exchange Connector to process incident email replies make sure you include the Work Item ID in square brackets in the subject."
I dont using exchange connector, but intersting in sendmail solution.
All subjects in replied emails have square brackets, for example:
RE: Incident [IR10]
However this incident not updated and created new incident with id IR11.
Is that solution works only with exchange connector?
@maxserg - yes.