Issue Notifications

Issue notifications are automatically generated based on events that occur within an issue. When an event occurs, emails are sent to users based on the role they hold on the issue. This document goes over those notifications and how they can be modified within Issuetrak.

The Outgoing Email page controls several settings related to email notifications. See this article (particularly steps 10-14) for information on those settings.

The "Email to Initiator" setting is toggled off by default. The reasoning behind this is that it is assumed that, as the initiator, you know about the action you took.

Outgoing Email must be enabled and configured properly in order for Issue Notifications, Task Notifications, and Custom Messages to appear in the Settings lightbox and operate as expected. You can learn how to enable Outgoing Email here.


 

Glossary

Before we go into information on configuring email notifications, we need to establish the basics of this feature.

Roles - A named user or member of a group on an issue. Roles are “who” Issuetrak sends email notifications to. The roles that appear as options to receive email notifications are:

Role Description
All Task Assignees Owners of steps within the issue process / workflow.
Assignee Owner of the issue.
Enterer Person logging the issue into Issuetrak.
Next Action Secondary owner of the issue.
Submitter Person with the problem that the issue is for.
Default Used to set up pre-selected options when adding additional email notification lists.

Events - Actions that happen on an issue. Events trigger email notifications.

Default Email Subscribers - Defines which roles get notified on each event across all issues.

Email Subscribers - An additional set of email notifications beyond the default list that can be sent when issues contain specific information. Subscribers may be defined at the Organization, Department, Location, Issue Type, Subtype, or Priority of the issue.


 

Issue-Based Distributions

Notifications can go out based on specific issue-related events.  You and your users may add notifications at the issue-level using Subscribers options within an issue record. For example, a sales associate may add themselves to the Subscribers on a particularly difficult issue so they know what progress has been made by your Support Team when speaking with the customer.

Steps:

  1. Open the issue record in View or Edit mode.
  2. Select the View / Maintain Subscribers link. This will open the Subscribers List screen. The current Default and value-based Distributions that apply to this issue are displayed in read-only format at the bottom of this screen.
  3. If you want to add a new Subscribers member, click Add new user button. In the Select User window that appears, click the user’s Display Name. This window will then close, the new member will appear in the List, and a confirmation message will appear.
  4. If you want to change an existing Subscribers member’s notification settings, click the edit link next to their Display Name. In the Edit Notification window that appears, make your changes and click Update. This window will then close and a confirmation message will appear.

Users added to an issue's Subscribers will make the issue available on their issue lists, including dashboard and search results if it would otherwise not appear due to access limitations.


 

Task-Based Subscriptions

It is possible to set notifications to go out on specific task-based events. These events include:

  • Task Add
  • Task Assign
  • Task Available
  • Task Complete
  • Task Cancel

The email distribution for standard user roles is determined by the values contained in the Default Email Notification List. 

In order to make changes to task notifications, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > Click Task Notifications beneath Email.
  2. Select edit on the row you want to make adjustments to.
  3. In the pop-up window that appears, add or remove the selections relevant to your notification preferences.
  4. Click Update.

Note that Issuetrak supplies initial default values for these task-related user roles. However, these values may be changed according to your needs. Be advised that these default values determine email notifications for standard user roles on every Issuetrak Issue.


 

Entity Value-Based Subscriptions

Issuetrak fires notifications based on events, such as submitting, updating, and closing an issue. Each time one of these events occurs, the system checks the issue for any field values that are specially configured to fire notifications. There are Subscribers options for system-wide notifications based on specific issue values, such as Issue Type, Organization, Priority, Project, Escalation, etc. For example, a manager may be added to the Priority = Critical Subscribers for On Submit and On Escalate so they stay informed of all Critical issues submitted or escalated.

Here's how to configure notifications to fire based on values that have changed in an issue.

Steps:

  1. Open the item’s record (e.g. Issue Type, Organization, Location, Priority, Project) in View or Edit mode.
  2. Select the View / Maintain Subscribers link. This will open the relevant Subscribers List screen.
  3. If you want to add a new Subscribers member, click Add new user. In the Select User window that appears, click the user’s Display Name. This window will then close, the new member will appear in the List, and a confirmation message will appear.
  4. If you want to change an existing Subscribers member’s notification settings, click the edit link next to their Display Name. In the Edit Notification window that appears, make your changes and click Update. This window will then close and a confirmation message will appear.

 

Sending Email Notifications via SMS

Every cell phone carrier (such as Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) has a special email address set up so that their subscribers can receive text messages sent as emails. Since Issuetrak sends out emails, this means Issuetrak can send text messages.

Example:

If you use Verizon, and your cell phone number is 757-555-1212, then anyone can send you a text message by emailing 7575551212@vtext.com.

If your carrier was T-Mobile, it would be 7575551212@tmomail.net.

Here is a site that lists all of the cell phone carrier email domains. It is necessary to scroll down to get to the carrier info.

Once you have the email address for the mobile device you can use the steps below to add the address to the user record in Issuetrak, as well as enable Mobile notifications as needed.

Adding the mobile address to the user record

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click Users beneath Entities.
  2. Search for the user you need to add the address to.
  3. Click Edit when viewing that user record.
  4. Enter the email address for the mobile device in the Mobile/SMS Email field.
  5. Click Update.

Enabling Mobile notifications

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click Issue Notifications beneath Email.
    1. If you want to set mobile notifications for Issues, click Issue Default in the right context menu.
    2. If you want to set mobile notifications for Tasks, click Task Default in the right context menu.
  2. Click edit next to the Role that you need to modify.
  3. Check Mobile for each of the events the user should receive mobile / SMS notifications for.
  4. Click Update.

 

Customizing Notification Messages

You already know that Issuetrak provides the ability to send notifications. But you might not know that these notifications can be customized!

If you're an Issuetrak administrator and would like to follow along: click the gear icon in the upper right > click Custom Messages beneath Email. You will land on the Email Custom Messages screen.

On this screen, you see that a custom message consists of:

  • An Event that trigger a notification
  • Tokens, which make it easy to place specific information in a message
  • A Subject line, which contains tokens and verbiage that informs the recipient as to why they are receiving a notification
  • A message body, which contains tokens and verbiage that contains the context and "meat" of the notification

Let's get a little more information about events and tokens before we show you how to customize a notification.


Events

Events are actions that occur in Issuetrak that trigger a notification. Each event is pre-configured to send specific information in a particular order to subscribers by default. Some examples of events include:

  • Add note
  • Assign
  • Close
  • Escalation

We'll go over how to change the information that is included in notifications for specific events further below.


Tokens

Notifications make heavy use of a mechanism that we call tokens. In this context, tokens are short snippets of text that represent the placement of issue-related information inside of a notification message. Each token has a different purpose and contains different information about issues. While you are limited to the tokens displayed in the Tokens dropdown menu, tokens can be placed anywhere within the subject or message content of a notification.

Each token:

  1. Is enclosed in less-than and greater-than signs: <   >
  2. Has a label that is easily distinguished from other tokens
  3. Contains the @ prefix before the label

As an example, the token that represents the issue subject looks like this: <@IssueSubj>

When you click in either the Subject or Message box, you'll note that the list of tokens in the Tokens dropdown is different - each event has different tokens available for use in the message.


Subject

As an example, let's look at the subject for the "assign" event. The default subject verbiage for this event is:

<@IssueLabel> #<@IssueNbr>: <@IssueSubj> - was assigned

You can see that there are three tokens involved in the subject line of this event. Additionally, you can see additional text between and outside of the tokens, which is used to tie the subject line together and introduce the recipient to the notification. You can add or remove tokens, re-arrange tokens, and change the verbiage. You can add text to the front of the subject line to the effect of "ACTION REQUIRED" to draw additional attention.

The subject must contain the following string somewhere in order for Issuetrak to process replies and add them to the relevant issues:

@IssueLabel> #<@IssueNbr>

Message

Just like the Subject section above, we'll use the "assign" event as an example. The default message verbiage for this event is:

Please review the following <@IssueLabel> and take the appropriate action:
<@IssueLink>
<@IssueDetails>
<@IssueDesc>
<@AllNotes>

As with the subject, you can re-arrange the tokens and verbiage to suit your needs.


Making Your Customizations

Let's take a look at what's involved in customizing notifications.

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click Custom Messages beneath Email.
  2. Select the Event message you want to change. The current Subject and Message content for this event will then be displayed.
  3. Click inside the Subject text box. If desired, you can change the verbiage or change/add/remove tokens placement. You can select a token from the Tokens dropdown menu, then click "Insert in Subject" to insert that token where your cursor is positioned.

The Subject and Message have different “Tokens” options. These options adjust depending on where you’ve clicked on this screen.

  1. Click inside the Message text box. If desired, you can change the verbiage or change/add/remove tokens placement. You can select a token from the Tokens dropdown menu, then click "Insert in Message" to insert that token where your cursor is positioned.
  2. When you have made the changes you want, click Update.

A confirmation message will appear when this process is complete.


Rich Text and Embedded Images

In order to include rich text embedded images within email notifications, the following steps need to be performed:

Steps:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right > click Custom Messages.
  2. Choose the type of notification to embed an image into by choosing the event.
  3. You can add images to the notifications by adding HTML image tags to the message.
  4. You will need the URL for each image that you want to add to properly build the image tag.

    Here's an example of an HTML image tag:
     
    <img src="https://support.issuetrak.com/Graphics/Issuetrak.png" alt="" />

 

Issue Default Email Subscribers

The Default Subscriptions settings let you control system-wide notifications based on user roles in issues and tasks, such as Submitter, Assignee, Task Assignee, etc. For example, with the Submitter Default Distribution set to On Assign, On Note, and On Close, all submitters will be notified when their issue is assigned, updated with notes, or closed.

The Default Email Subscribers can be viewed by navigating to the gear icon in the upper right > Click Issue Notifications beneath Email.

Roles are listed in the left column and the Events are listed across the top. The checkmark where the event and role cross means the notification is active.

For example, for the Assignee role, the checkboxes indicate they get notified when:

  • An issue is automatically assigned to them at the time of submission
  • The issue assignment changes to them at any point in the issue lifecycle
  • Someone adds a note to the issue they’re assigned to
  • Someone closes the issue they’re assigned to

 

Closing Thoughts

If you have any questions or would like the assistance of our product experts, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.