Manage system emails

Administrators open this window using Tools menu ➔ Email Management... The menu command is shown when the user's role has Manage as administrator marked.

Settings§

The PDXpert Application Server—not the PDXpert client—uses the email account on this window to send email notices.

Setting up the email account§

The PDXpert server computer name is used as the hostname. The server computer name must contain only ANSI Basic alphanumeric and hyphen/minus ("-") characters, and cannot start or end with a hyphen. RFC 1123, Section 2.1: <let-or-digit>[*[<let-or-digit-or-hyphen>]<let-or-digit>].

If notices have been sent before an email account is set here, the queue may contain emails. Before configuring the email account, review the Queue email list and delete any obsolete notices.

  1. Get a new email account, such as PDXpert.NoReply@MyCompany.com or possibly use a third-party email service like PDXpert.MyCompany@gmail.com.

    Ensure that the email account can forward all outbound notices. SMTP servers may place limits on the source or destination of the emails, or the total number that can be forwarded within a given time.

    Ensure that emails sent from the account do not fill up the account storage and prevent new emails being forwarded.

    If your SMTP server accepts connections only from known senders, confirm that the PDXpert server computer is whitelisted.

    To help recipients know the true email sender, use a dedicated email account rather than a personal email account.

    PDXpert does not handle any inbound email traffic, and won't respond to replies by email recipients. Consider adding an auto-responder notice to the account.

    Although a "forwarding only" account can be used, you won't receive test confirmations at the end of this setup procedure.

  2. On the Settings, enter the email address into the Email address for sending notices textbox.

    If the email account uses a common service (like @outlook.com @gmail.com) but you're unsure of the settings, try the Auto Configure button after entering the address. You'll be prompted to provide the account password. The PDXpert Application Server tests typical service settings like ports 587, 465 and 25; and SSL/TLS enabled/disabled. This may take a couple minutes. If useful settings are discovered, the settings are saved and a test email is sent from PDXpert to your email account.

  3. Enter the email account values. You should first specify the Outgoing mail server (SMTP) of your outbound email (SMTP) server. An SMTP server is an internet domain, often with a sub-domain prefix, such as mail.mycompany.com or smtp.office365.com, or an IP address like 192.168.23.105.

    • If the PDXpert Application Server is installed on a computer that has a local Windows SMTP server enabled, you can use the value of localhost.

    • You can obtain the SMTP server name from your IT administrator, or look in your email client (such as Microsoft Outlook) for the server your own email account uses.

    • To get the SMTP settings for a commercial email service, search the web for outgoing smtp settings for service, such as outgoing smtp settings for Office 365 or outgoing smtp settings for gmail.

    • You can enter the IP address of your Microsoft Exchange server. If you don't know the Exchange server's IP address, but you do know its machine name, you can determine its IP address by "pinging" it from the Windows command line: Start ⏵ cmd, and then type ping servername where you substitute your Exchange server's computer name for servername (for example, ping msexchange or ping mailserver). The screen shows the IP address for that server in the first line, between the square brackets. In the following example, the IP address of myserver is 192.168.23.105:

      C:\>ping myserver

       

      Pinging myserver [192.168.23.105] with 32 bytes of data:

      Reply from 192.168.23.105: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

      ...

  4. If your SMTP server does not use the default TCP port 25, enter the server's preferred Port number (for example, 587).

    Your PDXpert server computer's firewall and other software (antivirus/antispam) must let a TCP connection through this port.

  5. If your SMTP server requires an encrypted connection, mark Use encryption with explicit SSL/TLS [STARTTLS]. For example, mark this checkbox when using smtp.gmail.com with port 587.

    There are two types of SSL authentication for SMTP, explicit and implicit.

    The Microsoft .NET mail client used by PDXpert supports explicit SSL/TLS in accordance with internet standard RFC 2228. Explicit SSL/TLS connects to a normal SMTP port (typically 25 or 587) in plaintext. The .NET mail client then issues a STARTTLS to start encryption.

    Implicit SSL is an unofficial protocol that begins immediate encryption using an agreed port (often 465). By design, the Microsoft .NET mail client used by PDXpert does not support implicit SSL/TLS. Some email service providers will accept port 587 instead of their preferred SSL port.

  6. Specify the account Name for the email account that is used to send notices to PDXpert users.

  7. Enter the account Password for the email account name provided in the Name textbox, and re-type it in the Confirm password textbox.

  8. Click on the Save Settings button, then click the Test Settings button. An email notice is sent from the email account that you've specified back to that same account. A new email in the account's in-box confirms that the account settings are correct.

    Test email example

    Test emails are relayed from the SMTP server to the same email account. To make sure that the test notices are being correctly received, look in the inbox of the email account. If the receiving POP account is unable to store and show the test emails (for example, it's a forwarding-only account and there's no inbox), then you won't be able to directly examine the emails.

Common email issues§

  • To receive a workflow notice, each recipient must have a valid email address entered into the Persons member record. Ensure the email address has the correct spelling.
  • A person who processes a change knows about it; to reduce email inbox clutter, the system normally won't send the workflow notice. If you prefer to receive these emails, open the Tools ➔ User Settings... and mark Copy me on email notices that I trigger.
  • The change form's workflow must be configured to send notices to identified users during the expected workflow event. For example, if observers should be sent email notices when a change form moves from Accepted to Released, then the Observers checkbox on template workflow path 24 must be marked and all observing persons must be shown in the change form's Observers list.
  • Some email servers are configured to distinguish between email addresses inside and outside the company.
    • If PDXpert is using an outside email account (like PDXpert.MyCompany@gmail.com), confirm that the account is allowed.

    • If emails sent to addresses within your company (User1@MyCompany.com) are successful and emails sent outside your company (User2@gmail.com) are not, or vice versa, then check the email server's domain forwarding rules.

  • PDXpert may be configured to send many notices to many recipients, so appropriately configure any limits on the email account (such as the maximum SMTP relays).

  • If you have an enterprise anti-spam list, whitelist PDXpert's email address in the spam filter definition file. Users with individual anti-spam filters must also whitelist this email address.

  • New email notices are added to a queue that PDXpert checks every ten minutes; the email server may have an internal queue with its own delay.

Templates§

PDXpert sends email notices when certain events occur. For example, when a new user account is made, the person may get an email showing how to download the PDXpert client application, and log into the new user account. Other notices are sent to a user who must act on a change form, or who is an observer to the change workflow action. And, there are emails related to tasks assigned by one user to another user.

PDXpert uses a standard set of email templates. Emails always have a plain-text Subject line and HTML-formatted Content.

Instructions are online to:

  • Adjust the content of emails sent to new user accounts, as defined in the PDXpert Server service configuration file.

  • Replace PDXpert's standard workflow and task email templates with your own templates.

Search the web for PDXpert email notice templates setup.

Queue§

Sometimes email notices cannot be sent because, for instance, the email SMTP server is unavailable due to system maintenance, network interruption or other issue. The PDXpert Application Server holds the email notices in a queue and tries to re-send them every 10 minutes for up to 24 hours.

The list shows the status of each unsent email:

 Email ready: The email notice is in the queue and is sent during the next connection to the SMTP server. If the email remains unsent for more than 10 minutes, then the email settings and user email address should be reviewed.

 Email blocked: The email notice has not been sent, typically because the SMTP server is unavailable. The system continues to attempt to send blocked notices for up to 24 hours.

 Email failed: When all attempts have failed, the system will stop trying to send the email notice. A failure often occurs because (1) the current email settings are not correct; or (2) the  Persons collection member's email address is blank or invalid.

If the email server has been unavailable for a while, unsent emails may no longer be useful to their intended recipients. In this case, delete selected (or all) notices from the email queue before re-enabling the email server.

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