YouTrack Standalone 7.0 Help

Mailbox Integration

The Mailbox Integration transforms incoming email messages into issues and comments in YouTrack.

Message Processing

This integration pulls email messages from a connected mail server. Each message is parsed and analyzed by YouTrack. The messages are processed according to the mailbox rules that are defined for the project.

New Issues

If YouTrack cannot find any values that associate an incoming message with an existing issue, a new issue is created. YouTrack uses the following information from an email message to create a new issue:

  • The message subject is copied to the issue summary.
  • The message body is copied to the issue description.
  • The mailbox rule that processes the email message determines which user is set as the reporter. The reporter can either be the message author or a default user.

Like any issue that is created manually, YouTrack assigns the issue an ID in the selected project.

Comments

When YouTrack detects that an incoming message is related to an existing issue, the body of the message is added to the issue as a comment. YouTrack matches an incoming message to an existing issue under the following conditions:

  • The values for the message-id/in-reply-to properties in the message header match a previously processed email message. This is a standard method of parsing MIME-encoded messages. YouTrack uses these values to thread comments when a recipient replies to notifications that are sent when an issue is created or updated in the project.

    If you move an issue to another project, the reply to a related message is processed as a new issue in the connected project, not as a comment in the original issue.

  • The message subject contains the ID of an issue in the same project.

Related Issues

In situations where the subject of an incoming message matches the summary of an existing issue, but the message does not contain any of the values that associate it with an existing issue a new issue is created. YouTrack processes these messages as follows:

  • The prefixes that are added to forwarded messages and replies (FW:, RE:) are ignored.
  • If the option in the mailbox rule is enabled, text that is set in square brackets is also ignored.
  • YouTrack creates an issue and sets the message subject (minus the text strings that are ignored) as the issue summary.
  • YouTrack finds the issue with the same summary that has the lowest ID number and adds a relates to link to it.

Setup

To process incoming email messages as issues in YouTrack, you must first enable and configure the Mailbox integration.

This procedure requires the following steps:

  1. Configure the project that you want to use to manage issues that are created by the integration.
  2. Set the schedule for fetching email messages.
  3. Connect to a mail server.
  4. Define the rules that are applied to incoming email messages.

Configure Your Project

Before you start, create a project or configure an existing project to manage issues that are created by the mailbox integration. Later in this setup, you create a mailbox rule that references the project.

To configure a project for use with the mailbox integration, set the Project 'from' email to the email address that you want to use to send emails. This setting overrides the Server 'From' Email that is used for notifications. Setting this value in your project lets you manage incoming and outgoing messages with a dedicated email address.

To set the from address for an existing project:

  1. Click the Projects link in the header.
  2. Select the project from the list.
  3. Click the Edit project link.
    • The Edit Project page opens.
  4. In the Project 'from' email input field, enter the email address that you want to use to send emails.

Set the Schedule for Fetching Email Messages

YouTrack fetches email messages from the specified mail servers according to a schedule. The default interval is every hour. You can change the schedule to a predefined interval or specify a custom interval with a cron expression. The schedule is not set independently for multiple mail servers. The same schedule is applied to all mail servers that are integrated with the YouTrack server.

To specify an interval for fetching email messages:

  1. In the Integrations section of the Administration menu, select Mailbox Integration.
  2. From the Fetching interval drop-down menu, select a pre-configured time interval. To specify another time interval, select Custom and enter a cron expression. For example, to pull fresh data every 45 minutes, every day, use the following expression: 0 0/45 * * * ?

    For details about cron expressions format, please refer to the cron trigger tutorial.

Connect to a Mail Server

To enable the integration, you need to connect to one or more mail servers.

Your mail server may require that you establish a secure connection over SSL. Before you can add your hosted server to YouTrack, you may need to import its SSL certificate.

  • If your mail server has a valid certificate that is signed by a well-known certificate authority (CA), the public key and certificate are already stored in the web browser. You should be able to connect to your mail server without importing its SSL certificate.
  • If the certificate for your mail server is self-signed, you need to import the certificate and public key to establish a secure connection.

If you want to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server, you have two options:

  • Open POP/IMAP and SMTP access to the Exchange Server. With these mail connectors enabled, you can follow the instructions below and establish a connection.
  • Establish a connection through an intermediate gateway server. This lets you connect to the Exchange Server with POP/IMAP and SMTP disabled. The DavMail exchange gateway, for example, converts proprietary Exchange formats into email protocols that YouTrack understands. For setup instructions, refer to the DavMail Gateway documentation.

To enable a secure connection between YouTrack and your mail server:

  1. Export the certificate and public key for your mail server as a DER-encoded file. These files use the .der, .cer, and .crt extensions.
  2. In the Server Settings area of the Administration menu, select SSL Certificates
  3. Click the Import trusted certificate button.
  4. In the Import Trusted Certificate dialog, enter a name for the certificate.
  5. Click the Choose file button and select the certificate file from your local directory.
    /help/img/youtrack/7.0/sslCertificatesAddDialog_thumbnail.png
  6. Click the Import button.
    • The certificate for your mail server is added to YouTrack.

To connect to a mail server:

  1. On the Mailbox Integration Settings page, click the Configure New Mailbox Server link.
    • The Mailbox dialog opens in the sidebar.
      /help/img/youtrack/7.0/mbxAddServer_thumbnail.png
  2. Enter values for the following settings:
    SettingDescription
    ProtocolSelect the protocol that is used by the mail server. The mailbox integration supports the POP/POPS and IMAP/IMAPS protocols.
    HostEnter the URL of the mail server. For example, mail.jetbrains.com.
    PortEnter the port that the mail server listens to. The default port is set automatically when you select the mail server protocol.
    LoginEnter the username of the account that authorizes access to the mail server.
    PasswordEnter the password of the login user account.
    SSL KeyIf your mailbox supports a secure connection, select an SSL Key from the drop-down list. The SSL Key must be imported into YouTrack. For instructions, see SSL Keystores.
    Connection TimeoutSet the maximum amount of time to wait for complete data transfer from the mail server before closing the connection. The default value is set to 60 seconds.
    Socket TimeoutSet the maximum amount of time to wait for a response from the mail server before disconnecting the socket. The default value is set to 60 seconds.
  3. Click the Test Connection button to verify the configuration. If the connection cannot be established, correct your settings and test the connection again.
  4. Click the Save button.
    • The mailbox integration settings are saved.

Repeat these steps to add connections to additional mail servers.

Define Mailbox Rules

Now that you have connected YouTrack to a mail server, configure the rules for processing incoming email messages.

Mailbox rules are processed sequentially.

  • If a message matches the filter that is defined in the first rule, it is processed according to the instructions that are defined in this rule. The message is not considered for processing by any subsequent rules.
  • If the message does not match the filter that is defined in the first rule, it is evaluated against the criteria for the second rule, and so on.
  • When a message does not match any filters, an internal record is crated to register that the message was received. No further action is taken. The message is still considered to have been processed, and is deleted from the mail server if the corresponding option is enabled in the mailbox rule.

You can create multiple mailbox rules that process messages in different ways. For example, you create a rule that scans the message body for words like "overdue" and "urgent" and automatically set the priority of the issue. You can then create additional rules to process the messages that don't contain these words.

To define a mailbox rule:

  1. On the Mailbox Integration Settings page, click the Configure New Mailbox Server link.
    • The Rule dialog opens in the sidebar.
      /help/img/youtrack/7.0/mbRuleMain_thumbnail.png
  2. Enter values for the following settings:
    SettingDescription
    MailboxSelect the mailbox from which YouTrack fetches email messages.
    ProjectSelect which YouTrack project is assigned to issues that are created from incoming email messages.
    MaintainerSelect the username of the user who is responsible for the integration. The maintainer receives notifications when a command is unsuccessful or the issue reporter cannot be resolved. By default, the user who creates the rule is set as the maintainer.
  3. Click to expand the Filter settings.

    These settings determine which emails should be fetched from the mail server. These settings are optional. If you want to process all incoming emails in YouTrack, continue with the next step.

    /help/img/youtrack/7.0/mbRuleFilter.png
    Enter values for the settings that are displayed in this section of the new rule:
    SettingDescription
    FolderSelect a folder to fetch only email messages that are delivered to this folder. If you don't select a folder, the integration fetches all email messages from the server except messages that have been permanently deleted. This includes messages in the sent, spam, and trash folders. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you select a folder, for example, the Inbox.
    'To' addressEnter an email address to fetch only email messages that are sent to this address.
    If you set a value here, use the same email address as the Project 'from' address in the project that is set as the Project for this mailbox rule. Otherwise, replies to messages that are sent by the mailbox integration are not added to issues as comments.
    To process all email messages in the specified folder, leave this field empty.
    Do not discard the contents of square bracketsEnable to include text that is set in square brackets in the issues and comments that are processed by YouTrack.
    Ignore auto repliesEnable to ignore email messages that are sent as automatic replies to messages that are sent from the YouTrack server. This setting prevents you from adding comments to issues when you receive automated out-of-office replies.
    Filter messages by patternsEnter a pattern to search for in the message subject or text. You can write the patterns as regular expressions. If the pattern is detected in the message subject or text, the email message is ignored.

    Enter multiple patterns on separate lines in the input field.
  4. Click to expand the Reporter settings. These settings define which user is set as the reporter for each issue that is processed from an incoming email message.
    /help/img/youtrack/7.0/mbRuleReporter.png
    Select one of the following options:
    OptionDescription
    Set email sender as reporter. If no such user found in YouTrack, create new account for senderYouTrack tries to find a user account with an email address that matches the author of the email message. If an existing account is not found, a new user account is created. Credentials for accessing YouTrack are sent to the author in the notification message that is sent when the issue is created.
    Set email sender as reporter. If no such user found in YouTrack, set default user as reporterYouTrack tries to find a user account with an email address that matches the author of the email message. If an existing account is not found, a default user account is set as the reporter. Select an existing user account from the Default user drop-down list.
    Always set predefined user as reporterWhen enabled, YouTrack automatically sets the specified user as the reporter for all issues that are created from incoming email messages.
  5. Click to expand the Postprocessing settings. These settings define how YouTrack handles issues and comments that are created from incoming email messages. These settings are optional. If you don't want to automatically update issues that are processed by YouTrack, continue with the next step.
    /help/img/youtrack/7.0/mbRulePostprocessing.png
    Enter values for the settings that are displayed in this section of the new rule:
    SettingDescription
    Command on New IssuesEnter a command to apply automatically to all issues that are created from incoming email messages. You can insert placeholders that reference values that are stored in the email message. For example:
    for [user] fromMail ${from}
    This command applies the following changes to any issue that is created from an incoming email message
    • The issue is assigned to the specified user.
    • The value for the custom field fromMail is set to the email address of the message author.
    For details, see Placeholders.
    Command On New CommentEnter a command to apply automatically when a comment is added to an issue from an incoming email message. You can also use placeholders in these commands. For details, see Placeholders.
    Watching issue for message recipient(s)Enable to add users whose email addresses are included in the To: and CC: fields of the email message as watchers for the issues that are created from the incoming email message.
    Delete fetched messages from mailboxEnable to delete all messages from the mail server after the corresponding issues have been created in YouTrack.
    Original timestamps (IMAP only)Enable to set the creation date of the issue or comment to the timestamp of the original email message. Otherwise, the creation date is set to the date and time when the email message was processed by YouTrack.
  6. Click the Save button.
    • The settings for the mailbox rule are saved.

Placeholders

You can use placeholders in the Postprocessing settings of a mailbox rule. These placeholders reference attributes in the original email message. The placeholder is replaced with the corresponding value in the message when it is processed by YouTrack. The following placeholders are available:

PlaceholderDescription
${from}The email address of the message author.
${reply-to}The value that is stored in the Reply-To: field of the email message header. This is the email address that is automatically inserted into the To: field when a recipient replies to an email message.
${to}The email addresses of all message recipients that are entered in the To: field of the email message.
${cc}The email addresses of all message recipients that are entered in the CC: field of the email message.

Troubleshooting

If you experience problems setting up the mailbox integration, see if any of the following conditions apply.

ConditionYou are unable to establish a connection to the mail server.
CauseThe external service is unavailable.
SolutionVerify that the your mail server is running.
CauseThe connection is blocked by a firewall.
SolutionOpen the ports in the firewall that are used by YouTrack and the mail server.
CauseThe connection to the external service is blocked by the proxy server.
You are trying to connect over the wrong port.
SolutionSet the system properties for your server that let YouTrack connect to other services through the proxy server. For instructions, see Proxy Configuration.
CauseThe mail server requires a secure connection.
SolutionImport the certificate for your mail server into YouTrack. For instructions, see SSL Certificates.
CauseYour SSL certificate for the mail server has expired.
SolutionRenew and import the updated certificate into YouTrack. For instructions, see SSL Certificates.
ConditionYou are unable to establish a connection to your mail server over an unsecure protocol. YouTrack returns the error bad_request.
CauseYour IMAP or POP3 server uses an extension that enables STARTTLS. YouTrack requires a secure connection to your mail server.
SolutionImport the SSL certificate for your mail server into YouTrack. For instructions, see SSL Certificates. If both YouTrack and your mail server run on a private computer network, you can generate and import a self-signed SSL certificate for your mail server.
ConditionIncoming email messages are not converted into issues in YouTrack.
CauseThe user that is set as the reporter for issues that are processed from incoming email messages does not have permission to create issues in the project.
SolutionCheck the Reporter settings for your mailbox rules.
  • If you set the email sender as reporter, grant a Reporter role to either the All Users or the Registered Users groups for the project that is connected to the mailbox.
  • If you set a default or predefined user as reporter, grant this user a Reporter role in the project that is connected to the mailbox.
ConditionIncoming email messages are converted into issues in YouTrack. Incoming replies are not added as comments.
CauseThe Project 'from' email uses an email address that is not processed by the mailbox rule or is not set. New issues are created from messages that are sent to the mail server, but replies to incoming messages are sent from another address. Replies to these messages are not sent to the mail server that is configured for the mailbox integration.
SolutionSet the Project 'from' email for the projects that are selected in your mailbox rule settings to an address that is processed by the mailbox integration.
Check the Filter settings for your mailbox rule. If you set the 'To' address, use the same email address as the Project 'from' address in the project that is set as the Project for this mailbox rule.
Last modified: 1 December 2016