This documentation applies to the 8.1 version of Service Desk, which is in "End of Version Support." You will not be able to leave comments.

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Record creation and updates by email

This topic provides conceptual information about how to use email to create incident requests and to add work information to incident requests, problem investigations, known errors, tasks and work orders. If your environment runs BMC Change Management, you can also approve change requests using email. For more information about setting up email-based approvals, see Configuring email-based approvals.

Depending on how your system is configured, you can create or update the following record types by using your email service:

  • Incident request (create and add work information)
  • Problem investigation (add work information only)
  • Known Error (add work information only)
  • Work Order (add work information only)
  • Task (add work information only)


You can add attachments to these email messages.

For step-by-step procedures that describe how to create incident requests or add work information using email, see the following topics:

Before you start

To create and update records by email, the following processes must be completed by a system administrator:


For you to create or update records using email, you must have your own email address recorded in the Email Address field of your People form record. Ask your system administrator to ensure that your People form record includes your email address.

Email record creation workflow

After the email message arrives in the BMC Remedy Email Engine mailbox, the Email Rule Engine evaluates the message based on a set of rules that are provided both out-of-the-box and by your system administrator. The email message must pass two sets of checks. The first check determines if any text that appears in the subject line of the email message is on the Excluded Subject list. For example, if the subject line contains Delivery Error, the email message is rejected, because that phrase is on the Excluded Subjects list.

If the email message passes the check for excluded subjects, the Email Rule Engine then evaluates the content of the email message according to the Email Rule Engine use cases. The Email Rule Engine use cases are configured by your system administrator. When the Email Rule Engine matches the email message with a use case, it processes the message according to the rules associated with the use case. When the email message is matched to a use case, the Email Rule Engine stops the checking process; it runs only one use case against any given email message, even if other use cases might apply. If an email message does not match any of the configured or the default use cases, the Email Rule Engine rejects it.

The following diagram illustrates the workflow.

Click the image to enlarge it.

Example of creating a request and updating it by using email

In an environment that is configured to create and update records using email, an Email Rule Engine use case is defined as follows:

  • The key words are locked and ID.
  • If the key words are in the subject line, the Email Rule Engine creates an incident request from the Locked User ID template (this is an example template name; your system might have different templates).
  1. A customer submits an email message with the following text in the subject line: "incident request, locked ID for user singhr". When the email message arrives at the BMC Remedy Email Engine mailbox, the following events take place:
  2. The Email Rule Engine runs the following tasks:
    1. Scans the Subject field for excluded subject and finds none
    2. Evaluates the email message according to the configured use cases
    3. Discovers that the content of the Subject field matches the criteria in one of the use cases
    4. Creates an incident request, using the Locked User ID template
    5. Copies the details of the email message into the incident request's Work Information form.
  3. The Incident Management assignment rules assign the new incident request to a help desk analyst.
  4. The help desk analyst:
    1. Opens the new incident request, reviews the details, and has a question about some of the information in the request.
    2. Sends the question to the customer directly from the incident request, using the Email function.
  5. The customer:
    1. Receives the email message and reads it.
    2. The customer answer and sends the response to the Help Desk Analyst.
    1. The Email Rule Engine adds the response to the incident request as a work information entry.
  6. The Email Rule Engine 
    1. Scans the subject field.
    2. Subject field matches the criteria.
    3. Retrieves the incident request.
    4. Adds the response to the Work Info.
  7. The help desk analyst:
    1. Opens the incident request and reviews the work information.
    2. With the information provided by the customer, the help desk analyst can close the incident request.

The following diagram illustrates this example.

Click the image to enlarge it.

Related topics

Configuring the Email Rule Engine — provides step-by-step procedures for enabling your system to create and update records by email
Troubleshooting email record creation and updates — tells you where to look for information that will help you to troubleshoot this feature
Configuring email-based approvals — describes how to configure your system for email-based approvals, if you are running BMC Change Management or another BMC application that features approvals

This version of the documentation is no longer supported. However, the documentation is available for your convenience. You will not be able to leave comments.


  1. Dirk Hasloewer

    Hi, how does the Help Desk analyst gets aware of new Work Info entries?

    Sep 27, 2013 05:06
    1. Bruce Cane

      Hello Dirk,

      Currently, there is no mechanism in Service Desk to alert a Help Desk Analyst that a new Work Info entry was added to an incident request.

      However, if you feel this is an important need, consider voting on a corresponding Idea in the BMC Remedy community. See:

      Sep 27, 2013 10:14
  2. Laurent Matheo

    Hi (smile)

    Is it still true with 8.1 SP1? I didn't see (or I missed it?) any news on the SP1 about it, but you're supposed to be able to create Change / workorder now using the emails, and workinfo?

    Apr 17, 2014 12:05
  3. Laurent Matheo
    Apr 17, 2014 12:07
  4. Laurent Matheo

    But it would be good to have it in the release notes from SP1, I don't think I saw the new RBE functionality there (question) (I could be wrong (smile)).

    Apr 17, 2014 12:09