Technical Support Agent

The technical support agent (TSA) is an agent monitoring connecting regularly to the mail server and consulting the emails sent by Product name - ev itsm.png (via workflow steps or wizards) or by an external application (via a message system), to two types of mailboxes defined for the IT support:

  • Mailboxes receiving the messages of users announcing an incident or sending a request to the IT support;
  • Mailboxes receiving the automatic alert messages about detected failures, converted into events.

Each email can include information via predefined variables which determine the process which it must carry out:

  • Create a new object defined by the subject associated with the message or if not available the subject associated with the mailbox;
  • Update an existing object, where the reference is specified in the message: modification of fields passes as parameters, actions On Hold/Reopen/Solution (With the creation of an event in the history), processing of an email replying to an approval/refusal (With the creation of an event in the history and storage of attached documents)...

Once processed, the email is deleted from the mailbox.


  • When the technical support agent is deactivated, the mailboxes will not be consulted any longer even if they are active.
  • For security reasons, the password will not be displayed when you open a form technical support agent but it is stored in the database. It is not necessary to re-enter the password.
  • The emails received by the technical support agent may include certain information related to the incident/request/event:
    • The information is inserted into the message by the use of predefined variables placed between @ characters.
                Example documentation icon EN.png  Event generated at @DATE@
    • Each value of the variable needs to be put between apostrophes.
               Example documentation icon EN.png  @ASSET@='P04319'
    • If a variable includes several values, each one must be placed between curly brackets { }.
               Example documentation icon EN.png  @FIELDS_TO_UPDATE@={COMMENT=Internal Problem} {ASSET_TAG=ZS_010}
    • If the variable allowing to identify the incident/request number is completed, the existing record is updated; otherwise a new record will be created.
               Example documentation icon EN.png  The incident @RFC_NUMBER@)='100622_000027' has been updated.
  • The email having been received by the technical support agent and the attached documents to the message can be attached to the incident/request/event; they can be accessed via the Documents tab in the forms.
    • You need to enable the other parameter {TSA} REPLY_TO_ADDRESS.
    • In this case, the instructions @OPERATION@='MAIL' and @RFC_NUMBER@='Object reference' are automatically inserted at the end of the email and the return address of the technical support agent is automatically defined as return address.
  • All joined pieces to the message are attached automatically to the incident/request/event; they may be accessed via the Documents tab of the forms.
  • The topic and the message body are automatically reported to the Description field of the incident/request/event.
  • For each email processing, the technical support agent will update a log file, allowing checking the history of the operations executed by the service SmoServer. In order to generate this file:
    • On the application server, open the file smoserver.ini;
    • Complete the variable Log_Type=lt_All.


Sending an email to a mailbox monitored by the technical support agent

An email is transmitted by a user to the mailbox for incidents of the IT support, with the default topic Front Office Incident.

  • Title: Description of the problem on my Palm
  • Message: Impossible to start the application. See the attached screen captures
              Attached pieces: document.txt

==> An incident is automatically generated dated 02/07/2009, with a High urgency, for the equipment P04319.

  • The variable @CODE_CATALOG@ is completed, the default topic Front Office Incident of the mailbox is replaced by the category Incidents/Equipment/Other Peripherals/PDA of the incidents catalogue.
  • This category is related to the workflow Immediate Solution that is automatically triggered at the end of the incident creation.
  • The document document.txt is attached to the incident, in the Documents tab.

Processing an approval/refusal email

An approval/refusal email contains two hyperlinks: Accepted ; Refused. The user must click on one of the links to indicate automatically his response to the technical support agent.

         mail Approval Refusal.png

==> How to configure the email?

1. Proceed to an approval step of a workflow.
2. In the field Return address, enter the mail address of the technical support agent.
3. In the field Warning Message, enter your message (Open url.png  see the best practice): click on Switch wysiwyg icon.png to switch to Html mode by, then create the 2 hyperlinks by inserting the instructions defined below:

  • Accepted hyperlink:

             Accepted hyperlink.png,%20you%20only%20click%20on%20the%20button%20sending%20the%20email.%20Do%20not%20change%20the%20text%20below%20%0A%0A@OPERATION@%3D%27SOLVE%27%0A@RFC_NUMBER@%3D%27S160824_000001%27%0A@CHOICE@%3D%271%27
  • Refused hyperlink:

             Refused hyperlink.png,%20you%20only%20click%20on%20the%20button%20sending%20the%20email.%20Do%20not%20change%20the%20text%20below%20%0A%0A@OPERATION@%3D%27SOLVE%27%0A@RFC_NUMBER@%3D%27S160824_000001%27%0A@CHOICE@%3D%270%27


  • Office 365 and Outlook Web Access (OWA) clients have limitations regarding html interpretations. To make sure your emails are interpreted by all the email clients, respect the best practice

Best Practice big icon.pngBest practice

  • Check that the parameters starting the technical support agent are correct -  Open url.png  Installation Guide > description of EasyVista Monitoring parameters
  • Create a mailbox to receive the different incident types and associate a default topic quit general such as Incident Front Office. Once the message has been analyzed, the technical support has the possibility to re-qualify the incident more precisely (Example: Incidents / Equipment / Laptop / Battery).
  • To ensure that the body part of the approval/refusal emails is correctly interpreted by all the email clients:
    • Replace spaces by %20, except for the values of the predefined variables.
          Example documentation icon EN.png  
      • To refuse  ==>  To%20refuse
      • 21/10/2008 14:30  ==>  21/10/2008 14:30
    • Replace = characters by %3D.
    • Replace quotation marks ' ' by %27.
          Example documentation icon EN.png  @CHOICE@='1'  ==>  @CHOICE@%3D%270%27
  • Some email clients can read quotation marks.
    • In this case, only use ' character (right quotation mark) and never character (left quotation mark). 
    • Specific warning: If you do a copy-paste from Word or Outlook, right quotation marks are automatically replaced by left quotation marks. You will have to replace them back to right quotation marks for them to be correctly interpreted. 

Screen description

        Technical agent support.png

Access menu: Administration > Technical Support Agent

Mailbox: Description identifying the mailbox dedicated to the IT support and which is watched by the technical support agent. 

Enable Active Mailbox Scan: Specifies if the mailbox is enabled and can receive messages (checkbox checked) or is not enabled (checkbox unchecked).

Type: Protocol type used by the mail server. 

  • Only the version POP3 of the POP protocol is authorized.
  • Only the version IMAP4 of the IMAP protocol is authorized.

Mail Server: Address IP of the mail server. 

Login / Password: Login and password allowing accessing the mailbox. If you have opened an existing form, the password will not be re-displayed but it remains stored in the database.

Port: Port number opened when the mail server is accessed using a protocol. Normally this is port 110 when the mail server uses the POP protocol.

Read Interval (in Min): Frequency, in minutes, in which the mailbox is opened to see if new messages have arrived. 

SSL: Specifies if the connection mode to the mail server is a secured connection via SSL (checkbox checked) or is not secured (checkbox unchecked).

Default Topic: Default subject of the incident/request/event that is generated. 

Origin: Origin specifying by which means the incident/request / event has been reported to the IT department (Example: Phone, email). 

Create the Requesting Person Automatically: When the transmitter of the message is unknown in Product name - ev itsm.png (Note: The search is done via the email address of the transmitter), specifies if the transmitter is created automatically in Product name - ev itsm.png (checkbox checked) or not created (checkbox checked).

Redirect unknown Emails to: When the transmitter is unknown in Product name - ev itsm.png and the automatic creation is not enabled, redirects the message on another email address. This allows the technical support agent to ignore spam, but also to keep the unknown messages a certain time (The hotline can check this redirection mailbox to be certain that no support request has been misrouted). 

Procedures and Wizards

How to implement the technical support agent

1. Proceed to the page Administration  >  technical support agent.

2. Create as many mailboxes as necessary to process the incidents/requests/events:

  • Click on Add icon.png;
  • Complete the parameters of the mailbox;
  • Complete the default topic; 
  • Activate the mailbox by checking the checkbox Enable Active Mailbox Scan; 
  • click on Save icon.png.

3. Enable the technical support agent via the wizard Enable.

4. If you use the POP3 protocol, check the telnet connection -  Open url.png Installation Guide > Troubleshooting POP3 connections

5. Check that the necessary parameters launching the technical support agent are correct -  Open url.png Installation Guide > description of EasyVista Monitoring parameters:

  • Connect to Easyvista Monitoring: http://SERVEREZV/Monitoring/
  • Proceed to the page Easyvista SGBDR > Parameters > Edit table A_PARAMETERS
  • Select the connection EZV_ADMIN (For SQL Server) or EVO_ADMIN (For Oracle)
  • In the section [OTHERS] (Not specified in a_parameter.ini), check and update if necessary the value of the parameter ASTSERVER:
    • ASTSERVER = name NETBIOS (or IP or DNS name) of the system hosting the service SMO Server
    • If there are several network interfaces, only use the IP address to which the service SMO Server listens
  • Click on [ SAVE CHANGES ]
  • Re-start the service SMOServer

6. Each message received in one of the mailboxes monitors by the technical support agent is processed and then deleted automatically. The log file is automatically updated.

How are stored the answers received by the technical support agent

1. Proceed to the page Administration > Parameters > Other Parameters.

2. Select the parameter {TSA} REPLY_TO_ADDRESS and launch the wizard Update.

3. In the Value field, select the option True and click on [ FINISH ].


Enable: Activates the technical support agent. Only active mailboxes will be scanned by the agent (Checkbox Enable Active Mailbox Scan checked).

Deactivate: Deactivates the technical support agent. All the mailboxes associated will not be consulted any longer.

Delete: Deletes the mailbox. 


Predefined variables

Variable Operation type Description Possible Values
@ASSET@ Creation Equipment code concerned by the incident/request/event
@CHOICE@ Solution Used for approval/refusal emails as variable parameter @OPERATION@='SOLVE' 0: Creates a Refused link ; 1: Creates an Accepted link
@CI@ Creation CI name concerned by the incident/request/event

Category (Topic) of the catalog to which is attached the incident/request/event

If no category is defined, the default topic of the mailbox will be applied automatically

@DATE@ Creation Date/Hour of the incident/request/event creation
@DATE_FORMAT@ Solution Format to apply to the variables @START_DATE@ and @END_DATE@
@END_DATE@ Solution End of intervention of the incident/request/event
@EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@ Creation Identifier of the incident/request/event in the external application at the origin of the message
@FIELDS_TO_UPDATE@ Modification

Detail of the variables to update for the incident/request/event

Each variable corresponds to the physical name of the field in the database and must be placed between curly brackets { }

@GROUP_NAME@ Solution Name of the IT support group handing the incident/request/event
@OPERATION@ Modification; On Hold; Restart; Solution Operation type to execute on the incident/request/event UPDATE: Modification; STOP: On Hold; RESTART: Re-opening; SOLVE: Solution ; MAIL: Storage of email replies and attached documents
@PARENT_INCIDENT@ Creation For an incident/request, incident/request number of the related incident
@RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@ Modification; On Hold; Restart; Solution Number of the incident/request/event in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the incident/request/event in the external application at the origin of the message
@START_DATE@ Solution Start date for the intervention on the incident/request/event
@URGENCY@ Creation Urgency level of the incident/request/event



Create an Incident:

  • @ASSET@='P04319'
  • @DATE@='02/07/2009'
  • @URGENCY@='1'

Update an Incident:

  • @RFC_NUMBER@=’I080104_000003’

Request On Hold:

  • @RFC_NUMBER@=’R090529_000001’

Retrieval of an Incident:

  • @RFC_NUMBER@=’I0000001’

Solution of an Incident:

  • @RFC_NUMBER@=’I0000001’
  • @GROUP_NAME@=’Network France’
  • @START_DATE@=’21/10/2008 11:30’
  • @END_DATE@=’21/10/2008 14:30’
  • @DATE_FORMAT@=’dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm’

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