Enabling the Email Client

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Note
Note: This article applies to Fuji. For more current information, see Email Setup at http://docs.servicenow.com

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Notifications
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1 Overview

The ServiceNow email client enables you to send email directly from any record (such as an incident, change request, problem, or user record). By default, this functionality is disabled. Administrators can enable the functionality by changing the dictionary entry for each appropriate application.

The email client can be useful in cases where you want to send an email:

  • To engage more people in a piece of work.
  • That includes Cc and Bcc recipients.
  • That includes personalized comments.
  • To a third party who doesn't have an account in your ServiceNow instance.
  • To someone about an incident where you don't have an email notification set up to do exactly what you want.

2 Enabling the Email Client

The email client is enabled by default, starting with the Fuji release. If it is not enabled, you can enable the email client for a specific table, such as Incident, by adding the email_client attribute.

  1. Open a record in the appropriate application. For example, open any incident record.
  2. Right-click the header bar and select the appropriate option for your version:
    • Fuji or later: Configure > Dictionary
    • Eureka or earlier: Personalize > Dictionary
  3. Select the first record in the Dictionary Entries list. This has the record type collection and does not have any entry for Column name.
  4. In the Attributes field, enter email_client=true. If there are any other values in the field, be sure to use a comma as a separator character.
  5. Click Update.
Email client dictionary entry

Note
Note: This capability is not inherited by tables that extend the current table. For example, enabling the email client on the Task table does not enable it for the Incident or Problem tables.


3 Using the Email Client

After you enable the email client for an application, users see an email icon in the header bar for each application record.

Email icon

Click the email icon to launch the email client as a pop-up window. If the window does not appear, verify that your browser is not blocking pop-ups.

Email client interface

Note
Note: The Subject field on the email client allows a larger character count than the default setting for the Subject field on the Email table. If the subject text from the client is being truncated, increase the Max length value for the Subject field on the Email table. See Modifying Dictionary Entries for instructions.


Note
Note: Make sure that your users have their notification device configured in their user settings.

3.1 Toolbar

Use the controls in the toolbar to send the email, attach files, insert quick message text, or check spelling.

Email client toolbar

Note
Note: The email client only displays the Quick Message selector if you have already created quick message records.


3.2 User and Group Autocomplete

When you begin typing an email address, an autocomplete list displays any users and groups that match the text. The autocomplete list only displays users and groups from domains you (the logged in user) can view. After you select a user or group from the autocomplete list, the system adds the email address to the current address field.

Email client autocomplete

3.3 Keyboard Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts can be used:

  • Alt+S: Send email
  • Alt+A: Open the attachments interface

3.4 HTML Support

The email client always uses the multipart/mixed content type and supports HTML markup in the message body. See Email Notifications for more information.

Note
Note: Line breaks do not appear for multi-line fields such as ${description} and ${comments} in the email client template.


4 Customizing the Email Client

The email client has the following default properties and values:

Property Default Value How to Customize
ACL access Defaults to allowing only users with the itil role to access the email client. Change the ACL rule to control access to the email client.
Email icon Allows only users with write access to the current table to see the email icon.
Autocomplete Defaults to only displaying a user's first and last name. A system property controls what columns the email client autocomplete displays. If your organization has several users with the same name, consider adding company or email address columns to help distinguish between users.
From Defaults to hiding the field. A system property can display the field on the email client. The From setting defaults to the values in the User email (glide.email.user) and Outgoing email display name (glide.email.username) system properties.
Reply to Defaults to hiding the field. A system property can display the field on the email client. The Reply to field defaults to the values in the User email (glide.email.user) and Outgoing email display name (glide.email.username) system properties.
To Defaults to the email address of the caller.
Cc Defaults to the email addresses of the user who opened the incident and all users in the watch_list.
Subject Defaults to the incident number and short description.

4.1 Controlling Access to the Email Client

Only users with the itil role can access the email client.

To change the ACL rule for the email client, edit the following ACL:

Name Type Operation
EmailClientProcessor processor execute
Note
Note: Because the visibility of the email icon is determined by whether the current user has write access to the table, it is possible that a user may be able to see the email icon and still not open the email client.


4.2 Creating Email Client Templates

The email client uses its own email templates to define default values for fields. You can create a different template for each table that uses the email client.

  1. Navigate to System Policy > Email > Client Templates.
  2. Click New.
  3. Fill in the fields on the Email Client Template form.
  4. Click Submit.
Note
Note: If the Client Templates module is not visible, enable the module.


Field Description
Name Enter a unique template name.
Table Select the table that the template applies to. You must enable the email client for the same table.


Note
Note: The list shows only tables and database views that are in the same scope as the template (starting with the Fuji release).
To Enter a comma-separated list of either field names that contain user email addresses or specific email addresses.
Cc Enter a comma-separated list of either field names that contain user email addresses or specific email addresses.
Bcc Enter a comma-separated list of either field names that contain user email addresses or specific email addresses.
Subject Enter a description of the email. The description can contain a comma-separated list of field names or specific values.
Body Enter any text or mail script that you want to appear in the message body.

Here is a sample template for the Incident table that you can use in a mail script: template.print("Incident number -" + current.number + "\n");
Here is how the template populates an incident email.

Email client window populated by a template

4.3 Configuring Email Client Autocomplete Search Results

To control the email client autocomplete search result behaviors, navigate to System Properties > UI Properties and set these properties.

Email client autocomplete properties

Property Description
glide.ui.email_client.autocomplete.count Set the maximum number of autocomplete matches.
glide.ui.email_client.autocomplete.group Specify whether groups are included in autocomplete results.

4.4 Displaying Additional Information in the Email Client Autocomplete

Administrators can add a system property that allows the Email Client to display additional columns from the User [sys_user] table in the autocomplete list. Defining this property can help distinguish between individuals who have the same first and last names and ensures that users select the proper recipient for an email.

Property Description
glide.ui.email_client.email_address.disambiguator Sets the columns from the User [sys_user] table that the autocomplete list displays. Separate each column name with a semicolon character (;). See the system dictionary for a list of available column names. For example, to add the sys_user.email and sys_user.company columns, set the property to: email;company.
  • Type: string
  • Default value: name
  • Location: Add to the System Property [sys_properties] table
Email client autocomplete displaying additional columns

4.5 Enabling the SMS Delivery Option

The Subscription Based Notifications plugin activates the following system property:

Property Description
glide.email_client.show_sms_option Specify whether a check box appears in the email client for sending the message to the user's SMS device. If no SMS device exists, the email client sends the message to the primary email device.
Email client with SMS option active

4.6 Displaying an Editable From Field

By default, the email client does not display a From field. Instead, it uses an email address computed from the combination of two email properties:

  • Outgoing email display name (glide.email.username)
  • User email (glide.email.user)
Email properties that determine default From address

For example: IT Service Desk <it_service_desk@<instance name>.service-now.com>

To display an editable From field in the email client:

  1. Navigate to System Properties > UI Properties.
  2. Select the Yes check box for Override the email 'From:' address in the email client (glide.ui.email_client.from).
    System Property to display the From field

4.6.1 Setting the From Address with an Email Client Template

Use an email client template to set a default value for the From field if it should be different from the system default. For example, you can dynamically set the From field to the email address of the current user.

  1. Navigate to System Policy > Email > Client Templates.
  2. Select an existing template or create a new one. For example, select the Incident Template record.
  3. Configure the form to add the From field.
  4. Enter a script to add a default value to the From field.

For example, the following script displays the current user name and the current user email address.

javascript:gs.getUserDisplayName() + " <" + gs.getUser().getEmail() + ">"

The email client dynamically generates the email address, as shown.

Email client displays values based on the email client template

4.7 Displaying the Reply To Field

By default, the email client does not display the Reply to field because users cannot change this address. The email client always uses the same Reply to address as that defined for email notifications. This ensures that the email has a valid watermark and can generate inbound email actions as normal. If you want to change the global reply-to address you must configure your instance to use your own SMTP server.

To display the Reply to line in the email client:

  1. Navigate to System Properties > UI Properties.
  2. In the Override the email 'Reply to:' address in the email client (glide.ui.email_client.reply_to) field, select the Yes check box.
    System property to display the Reply to field

4.8 Removing the Email Icon

You can use access control rules to hide or display the email icon. Users with write access to the current table can see the email icon. To remove the icon, remove the user's write access to the table. Typically you do this in one of two ways:

  • Make the user an Employee Self-Service (ESS) user. ESS users do not have a user role, and without a role they do not have write access to the Incident table. Making a user an ESS users, therefore, hides the email icon on the Incident form.
  • Create a custom ACL rule and user role that does not have write access to the table. The default ACL rule for the email client checks to see if the user has the itil role. If you grant users a custom role other than itil, then any such users will not see the email icon.

5 Quick Messages

Quick messages allow you to insert predefined text into the message body of the email client. Selecting a quick message fills the Message Text field with the body specified in the quick message. After you define one or more quick messages, the Quick Message selector appears in the email client. You can reference variables directly in quick messages. Use the following syntax: ${variable_name}.

Note
Note: If you add attachments to the Quick Message templates, the attachments are not sent as part of the email distribution.


To define quick messages:

  1. Navigate to System Policy > Quick Messages.
  2. Click New.
  3. Fill in the Email Client Canned Messages form.
  4. Click Submit.
Field Description
Title Enter a name to appear in the Quick Message selector.
Active Select this check box to make the quick message available for selection. Clear this check box to remove the message from the Quick Message selector.
User Select the user who has access to this quick message. Selecting a user restricts access to that user only. Leave the field blank to have no user-based restrictions.
Group Select the group whose members have access to this quick message. Selecting a group restricts access to members of that group only. Leave the field blank to have no group-based restrictions.
Body Enter the text you want to insert into the Message Text field. By default, the field supports HTML format.
Email Client Canned Messages form for defining quick messages

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