Major Enhancement to Ticket Replies via Email

By Travis Austin

November 27, 2010

Email2at is built atop the technologies provided by Autotask’s WebServices API. This API allows Email2AT to create new tickets, update tickets, add notes to tickets, and even lookup Accounts and Contacts from an Autotask database.

Like any technology, the Autotask API has a few quirks, some of which directly affect Email2AT. In particular, the API acts “on behalf of” a particular Autotask Resource, so all actions performed by the API actually appear to have been done by the user who originally setup Email2AT for the Autotask company.

This behavior is perfect for interactive applications such as dashboards or other interfaces to Autotask since the user is indeed the person performing the action.

In automated systems such as Email2AT, though, this behavior can be troublesome. For example, when a customer replies to an Autotask email notification, Email2AT adds the reply as a note to the existing ticket. The ticket history will show that the person who added the note was the Autotask Resource who setup Email2AT, when, in actuality, the person adding the note was the customer who sent the email.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we have overcome this quirky behavior in Autotask’s API.

Here’s the skinny.

Email2AT now has the ability to add notes via Autotask’s Client Access Portal interface instead of just using the WebServices API. This means that notes added via a reply email can now be displayed in the ticket history as being added by the actual person who sent the email. This makes the ticket history much easier to read and follow, and helps to drastically reduce confusion among Autotask users and customers alike.

This change also fixes another quirky behavior: dual workflow notifications.

Previously, Email2AT had to call the API twice when a customer replied to a notification: once to edit the ticket status to something like “Customer Added Note”, and then again to actually add the reply as a note to the ticket. This would cause Autotask to fire any pertinent workflow rules twice which would generate redundant notifications from Autotask.

Now, Email2AT can add a note via the Portal interface instead of the API, and the Portal can change the ticket status. This means that Email2AT doesn’t make any API calls, and that the workflow rules fire only one time. Autotask users who receive these notifications will be much happer as they will have much fewer emails from Autotask.

This new feature is enabled by default on all new Email2AT inbound addresses. To enable this on your existing addresses, simply edit the Email2AT inbound address and change the pull-down “Create notes via” to “Client Access Portal”.

  1. Love this feature. We’ve been using it for some time in the prerelease beta group and it’s been flawless. Having this level of integration does create a large amount of contacts, however, we have a tool that takes care of this. Travis knows what it is so I’ll let him decide about posting it on his site. I will say that the 2 tools working together are fantastic!

    Thanks Travis!


  2. This seems to work and is great.

    If I go into a note to delete the pages and pages or quoted text, disclaimers and other rubbish it’s then saved as a note from me which is slightly annoying!

    I’m going to see if I can figure out some way to remove all the rubbish from the emails before they get passed to Email2AT – any suggestions appreciated


  3. Hi Travis, I just stumbled accross this and it look sreall yinteresting. You mention that the enhancement uses the “Client Access Portal” note added notification template. Will this only work if the client contact is enabled for the the portal?

    1. Hey Robert,

      The short answer is that you do not need to create any portal users. We’ll create them as we need them, and just set their passwords to some long 24-digit random password.


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