Using Email Piping For Instant Ticket Creation

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Our Help Desk hosted users benefit from minimal technical configuration – once you sign up, you are ready to use all features of the software. For example, setting up email parsing (email-to-ticket creation) is a step that downloaded users must configure before email ticket submissions work.

If you’re a hosted user, you don’t have to worry about this – you can immediately start having emails sent to email@youraccount.activehosted.com (change “youraccount” to your actual account name), which will be converted to new Help Desk tickets.

For downloaded users, I’ll shed some light on how easy it is to set up email piping on your server.

Overview

With Help Desk there are two ways to retrieve incoming emails, and convert them to tickets:

1. POP account polling
2. Piping

POP account polling involves our software routinely scanning a POP inbox for new emails. In this manner, any emails sent to the designated address will arrive to the POP inbox just like you’d expect. Then, instead of a human checking that inbox for new emails, the Help Desk software performs this check and automatically creates new tickets for any emails it finds.

This process works well, but relies on a middle-man (the actual email inbox), and is not 100% real-time (the POP account scan typically runs every 15 minutes).

While we do support and recommend POP account polling, a better way is to use email piping.

Email piping is a method of sending emails to a script instead of an inbox. As soon as the mail server receives the email, it is forwarded to a script that reads and processes the email. This concept removes the middle-man (email inbox), and any subsequent processing happens almost immediately.

When using email piping with Help Desk, tickets are created as soon as emails are received, rather than having to wait until the next time the POP account is scanned.

Setting up email piping

Email piping is configured on your web server. If you are using a web hosting company like Host Gator, you can find email piping under a section titled, “Email Forwarders.”

With Host Gator, it’s as simple as forwarding incoming email to a script, as illustrated in this screenshot:

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Now, any email sent to support@yoursite.com will be forwarded to Help Desk and converted to a ticket!

Other resources

If you do not have access to an easy-to-use web panel such as Host Gator, you can still configure email piping directly on your server. Our help documentation is a good place to start.

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