Planning for the TaskWise Outlook E-mail Processing
It is very important that you plan how you will implement the TaskWise Outlook E-mail Processing before proceeding to the
Implementation tab. This feature is flexible and allows for implementation in several ways, so you must come up with a plan that
will meet your goals or you may not get the results you expect. There are 4 main questions you should answer during planning. Once
you've answered those questions, the implementation should be simple. The 4 main questions are:
What E-mails Do I Want To Include in TaskWise?
Which Methods Do I Use to Filter E-mails?
Which Mailboxes Do I Use?
How Do I Handle E-mail Attachments?
How Do I Activate E-mail Processor?
SouthWare WorkFlow Examples
1. What E-mails Do I Want To Include in TaskWise?
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Consider what your goal is for having e-mails created as tasks. You can choose to archive sent e-mail, received e-mail, or both.
Once you have a goal in mind, you will be able to setup the TaskWise Outlook E-mail Processor to reach your goal!
Archiving Sent E-mail
If you would want to archive e-mail sent from your company so that you will always have correspondance sent to your customers
accessible from TaskWise, you should choose to implement "Sent E-mail". By implementing filtering methods, you can archive only the
e-mail messages that you want and can change those filtering methods at any time. Below are some examples of how you can implement "Sent
E-mail" (using various filtering methods):
- Archive All Sent E-mail
- Archive Sent E-mail to a certain contact or relationship
- Archive Sent E-mail from a particular employee
The archiving of sent e-mail offers easy access to important messages and ensures they don't get lost in various outboxes in your
company. In addition, it will be part of your system's valuable data that is backed up and will remain accessible even if the
employee who sent the e-mail is no longer with the company. If keeping track of this correspondance is important to you, you should
consider archiving sent e-mail.
Creating Tasks from E-mail Received
If you have specific e-mails that you receive that should be automatically created as tasks, you should choose to implement
"Received E-mail". Be careful what you ask for when creating tasks from received e-mail. If you choose to implement received e-mail,
consider limiting this to something very specific such as mail sent from a website form or mail to a particular e-mail address for
a purpose (such as email@example.com). Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of tasks that you don't want.
Another thing you want to consider when processing received e-mail is whose e-mail do you want processed. You have the ability to
process multiple e-mail boxes (overrides) and assign them to various operators or groups. Is there a specific operator or group that
you want to implement this interface for? Are there more than one?
2. Which Methods Do I Use to Filter E-mails?
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What e-mail messages do you want to archive? After Step 1, you should have a goal for which e-mails you would like included in
TaskWise. To include only the e-mails you want to include, you need to implement rules so that you will have tasks for just
the e-mail messages that you want to include.
There are 3 main ways to implement rules for how e-mail messages are considered by the e-mail processor. You can use any
combination of these methods to create the best scenario to meet the goals for your company. The Mailbox Processor is
simply going to read every message in the mailboxes it processes and attempt to create a task. Implementing these
rules will enable you to create tasks for only the messages you desire.
This method is the most powerful for narrowing down the amount of e-mails considered for creating tasks. If you have expertise
manipulating e-mail delivery via Outlook rules, this may be the method you want to use almost exclusively. Using Outlook
rules, you have great control of where e-mails are delivered to mailboxes. It is possible that Outlook rules could deliver only
the messages that you want to the mailbox that the E-mail Processor will check, thus making the other rule methods unnecessary.
SouthWare WorkFlow Rules
This method is the next step of rules used (after Outlook Rules). If the message passes the Outlook Rules,
SouthWare Workflow rules are applied. Workflow is actually used to create the tasks using task templates at
flowpoints within the Mailbox Processor program (TWOLKTSK). You can apply Workflow rules by creating simple or complex "IF"
statements within these flowmods. Many of the fields on the e-mail are available to you so that you can further specify which e-mails
are included as tasks. (Click here for some examples of WorkFlow Rules.)
Does it seem impossible to setup the various Outlook or Workflow rules to accomplish your goal? A very simple and sometimes
necessary method is to use good old fashioned human intervention. You could simply create a "dropbox" for someone to place
e-mails into when they need to be processed through the Mailbox Processor. For example, if a help desk employee has
been entering tasks for questions that come via e-mail, you could just choose human intervention as your rule and instruct
that employee to place the e-mail into the "dropbox" to be processed.
3. Which Mailboxes Do I Use?
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During the implementation process, you will be required to inform SouthWare which mailboxes to process. For each mailbox you define,
there will need to be an accompanying "processed" mailbox. Based on what you've chosen for Steps 1 and 2, you should determine how you
define your e-mail mailboxes.
Remember when you create the mailboxes that they should be accessible from the system that will be running the E-mail Processor. If
you choose to implement overrides (per operator or group), consider that you may have to execute multiple e-mail processors in order
to access all of the mailboxes that you setup. SouthWare recommends using the SouthWare Server to execute the e-mail processor and
it will typically require multiple SouthWare Servers to execute those multiple e-mail processors.
4. How Do I Handle E-mail Attachments?
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Many e-mail messages come with attachments. Some of these are embedded images and others are documents or other files.
One of the many advantages of archiving your e-mail messages is so they will be accessible in TaskWise and so the
information will be included in your backup of company data.
If you choose to store attachments with the e-mail tasks,
you have 3 options of how to do this. For any of the options, you should choose a network location where the attachments
will be stored. This location should be accessible from the TaskWise E-mail Processor as well as from SouthWare
clients using TaskWise.
Save Entire E-mail Message (Recommended)
You can specify to have the entire e-mail message saved and attached as a note to the
task. This message can be opened in Outlook and will be identical to the original e-mail message sent. It will include
the formatting of the e-mail and any attachments associated with it. If you choose this method, there is usually not a
need to handle attachments in another way, but you can. The entire e-mail message will be stored in the attachment
directory as one file.
Save All Attachments
You can save each attachment as a note to the task (both embedded images and other document
attachments). This method allows you to have a separate note attachment on the task for each e-mail attachment. Each
file will be stored separately in the attachment directory. WorkFlow Rules can be applied to this process to keep certain
attachments from being created.
Save Specific Attachments
Using SouthWare Workflow Rules, you can limit the attachments that are
created as notes attachments to the task. You can easily specify whether to include just embedded images or document
attachments. In addition, you can come up with other ways to use WorkFlow Rules to save specific attachments.
Each file will be stored separately in the attachment directory.
(Click here for some examples of WorkFlow for attachments.)
5. How Do I Activate E-mail Processor?
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The E-mail Processor (TWOLKTSK) is the "engine" that needs to be running in order for e-mail mailboxes to be processed. Depending
on how you implement this feature, you will have to determine the best way of activating the e-mail processor. The e-mail processor
must have access to the mailboxes you want to process. You can execute multiple e-mail processors if needed.
Where to Execute E-mail Processor
The e-mail processor must be executed with a runtime where it can access SouthWare data. In addition, it must be able to access the
mailboxes you intend to monitor. Some possible places to execute this would be your mail server, your SouthWare server, or maybe
even on a workstation on your network.
How to Exceute E-mail Processor
You can execute the e-mail processor in any way you'd like. To execute it, just perform a program call - TWOLKTSK. SouthWare
recommends using a Scheduled Action (created by default) and a SouthWare Server session. The SouthWare server can run on any
workstation (but uses a SouthWare seat) and it processes scheduled actions. The scheduled action has an interval set for how often
it should run. You can manually execute the E-mail Processor by just typing TWOLKTSK from a SouthWare menu. There is also an object
called TWEMAIL that simply performs this same program call.