One of our TAP customers, Alexsander Popov, came up with a clever way to handle review activity approvals in email. The Exchange Connector requires that an email be sent with the work item ID in square brackets in the subject and some configurable keyword that represents approve or reject in the body. I’ve recommended using [Approved] and [Rejected] in the body. Normally you would have to provide instructions to the reviewer on what to enter when they reply to the email. Alexsander removes some of the chance for user error by using a mailto: handler in the email body. When he sends emails they look like this:
Each of the links is actually a mailto: link so that when the user clicks on the link it will open a new mail and populate the subject and the body with the required text like this:
He did this by creating a notification template which has an <a> tag around the Approved and Rejected links. The <a> tag has an href attribute that is set to:
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Approved]
It should look like this in the template:
<a href="mailto:email@example.com?subject=[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Approved]">Approved</a>
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Rejected]">Rejected</a>
We’ve tested this approach in Outlook, OWA, and Windows Phone 7 and it works great!
Thanks for sharing that creative solution Alexsander!
Thanks for the follow up. Something else I just noticed. When sending an email to Service Manager it does include [Failed] which does not update the status for failed Changes, it also resends the Activity email to the Activity Implementer. Is this expected behavior and will all failed changes have to be actioned in the client?
Yes, for now.
Hi, this is great, I am trying this with the reviewer as a mail enabled AD security group. Everyone in the group gets the email, but unfortunately the reply approve/reject doesn't register. My guess is this process wont work iv the reviewer is a group. Any thoughts on that?
It makes a lot more sense to add groups to some of these processes especially when doing templates.
That's by design for now. It only works with individual reviewers not groups. I've had a couple of requests for that so maybe we'll add support for that at some point in the future. It's a little tricky to implement.
Hi Travis, that would be an awesome improvement. Currently I'm trying to create a run book with orchestrator which will read the users from an AD security group and then add the individual users as Reviewers but I cant quite get it working right. It adds the Reviewers, but they don't display correctly and the emails don't get sent out. Having the connector handle it would be great. Here's hoping it gets in a future update!
please, this is only available for SCSM 2012? or is it possible in SCSM 2010?
You can use Exchange connector 2.0 for SCSM 2010. Exchange connector 3.0 is for SCSM 2012.