Updating issues in IT Service Manager by email

This document explains how to update and manage existing issues in IT Service Manager via email.

In addition to creating new issues (tickets), existing issues can be updated via email.  As an agent in the IT Service Manager system, you can respond to an email notification and have your response added to that issue. The body of the message is scanned for lines that match 'FIELDNAME=VALUE'. Fields like Status, Assignee and custom fields can all be updated via email. 

To respond to an email notification:

  1. In your email client (e.g., Outlook or OWA) reply to an IT Service Manager email notification. 
  2. Type your response above the line that states “When replying, type your text above this line.” IT Service Manager only takes the latest information that you add, thereby eliminating duplication in the Description field.  IT Service Manager does not append anything added below the line to an existing Issue. 
  3. Do not touch the subject of the email; it contains important information about the Issue including the Issue ID and Workspace IDs, which are both needed to update the correct Issue. (Note: Only IT Service Manager Agents can update form fields other than Description via email.)

To update an IT Service Manager field using email:

  • The update must be in the form of FieldName=data (included in the body of the email), where FieldName is the name of the field and data is the field data which you wish to insert. (Note: If the field is not recognized (or the value is not acceptable) the update will be added to the Description field.)
  • Using this method will allow multiple fields to be updated within one email reply.  Please make sure each FieldName=data is on a single line.
  • You may need to replace special characters with IT Service Manager encoding equivalents (see table at the end of this solution).
Example: Service Family=Hardware & Software

To update the “Status” of an Issue using email:

  • Must be in the form Status=x (included in the body of the email), where x is the new status that you would want the ticket to have. 
  • Status choices: Open, In Progress, Pending Customer, Pending Vendor, Pending Other, Completed 
  • IMPORTANT: If you are changing the status to “Completed”, you will also need to include the appropriate “Completion Code” value.

Status=In Progress

To update the “Status” of an Issue to Completed using email:

  • Customers will only receive email notifications when an issue is in Open, Pending Customer or Completed status.
Example: Status=Completed
  Completion Code=Resolved__bSuccessfully

To Update a Multi-line form field using email:

  • If you want to update a multi-line workspace field, you will need to input the special “END FieldName” command after all required text.
Example: Internal Notes=This is a multi-line post where you need to include multiple lines of text and have it post to one field within the ticket
END Internal Notes

To add/remove the Assignees on an Issue using email:

  • Agents can add a single assignees to an Issue using the following syntax: assignees=NetID
Example: assignees=NetID
  • Agents can add multiple assignees to an Issue by leaving a space between the NetIDs: assignees=NetID1 NetID2 NetID3
Example: assignees=NetID NetID NetID
  assignees=abc123 bcd999 xyz333
  • Agents can remove a single assignee from an Issue using a minus sign in the syntax: assignees=-NetID
Example: assignees=-NetID
  • Agents can remove multiple assignees from an Issue using a minus sign in the syntax: assignees=-NetID1 –NetID  -NetID3
Example: assignees=-NetID NetID NetID
  assignees=-abc123 -bcd999 -xyz333
  • Agents can also add and subtract assignees in the same email using the following merged syntax:  assignees=+NetID1 -NetID2 +NetID3 where the Assignee’s added are NetID1 and NetID3.  NetID2 would be removed from the assignee list.
Example: assignees=+NetID -NetID +NetID
  assignees=+abc123 -bcd999 +xyz333


To update assignment groups on an Issue using email:

  • Agents can add or subtract assignment groups using the same syntax as they can for assignees. (Note: When using the assignment group name, replace all “-” characters with “__u”, for example: When an Agent wants to change the assignment group on an Issue (NUIT-TSS-SupportServices) via email, use NUIT__uTSS__uSupportServices.)
Example: assignees=NUIT__uTSS__uSupportServices

(Note: Team names are case sensitive. For example, to add Team1 and Team 3 and remove Team 2, the syntax might be: assignees=Team1 -"Team 2" +"Team 3")

To create an Issue on behalf of someone else using email:

  • Agents can create issues for customers just by submitting an email.  Agents will need to include the syntax "sender= alias@domain.edu " within the body of the email. (Note: If sending on behalf of a customer, you will only be able to update the title and description of the issue since IT Service Manager will make the update using the customer account, and customers have restricted edit access.
Example: sender=alias@northwestern.edu

To change the contact on an Issue using email:

  • Agents can change the contact on an Issue if they know the customers email address.  Use the following format contact=data, where contact is the keyword, and the data field is the email address of the customer.
Example: contact=alias@northwestern.edu

Special Character Handling:

  • If a workspace field value has any of the below special characters (including spaces), replace them with the code below it when updating via email.
Char Space ' " ` @ . - ; : ) ( # $ % ^ & * ~ /
Code __b __a __q __t __m __d __u __s __c __p __P __3 __4 __5 __6 __7 __8 __0 __f

Char \ ? ] [ > < ! { } = + | ,  
Code __F __Q __e __E __g __G __B __W __w __C __A __I __M  


Additional Information:

  • Field information about the layout for the IT Service Manager workspace can be obtained by sending an email to the default email address (it.service@northwestern.edu) with the subject line: 
    • getschema
  • Alternatively, to receive an email form with all necessary field information, simply send an email to the default email address (it.service@northwestern.edu) with the subject line: 
    • HTML form

See Also:

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or via email at consultant@northwestern.edu.

Keywords:Footprints ticket tickets "update issue"   Doc ID:70147
Owner:TSS IT Service Management .Group:Northwestern
Created:2017-01-23 19:34 CDTUpdated:2019-02-04 11:59 CDT
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