iTop integrates a notification system linked to the life cycle of the objects. This allows administrators to define email notification rules when an object of a given class enters or leaves a specified state, when a new object is created, when an update occurs from the portal or when certain thresholds are reached.
The notification mechanism is divided in two parts:
Triggers define when notifications have to be sent. Example: when a ticket reaches the state “assigned”.
Actions define what will be done. In the current version of iTop, the only available kind of action consist in sending an email.
For a given trigger you can define several actions to be executed, and their sequence. Also, a given action can be executed by several triggers.
Use the link “Notifications” in the “Admin tools” menu to manage triggers and actions:
The “Triggers” tab displays all created triggers.
The “Actions” tab displays all Actions
Creating an action
Before creating a useful trigger, at least one action must be defined. Email actions are templates for formatting the messages to be sent, the define the content of the message as well that the subject, sender and recipients.
To create a new action, go to the “Actions” tab and click on “New…”. The following wizard appears:
The mandatory fields for an email action are:
Subject: the subject of the message. May be built dynamically by using placeholders as described herebelow.
Body: the body of the message. May be built dynamically by using placeholders as described herebelow. By default iTop sends all the messages with the MIME Type text/html for the body of the email.
From: Either a static email address or a placeholder like
$this→agent_id→email$. Note that some email servers will reject the message if the “from” address is not valid.
Description: free text to identify the purpose of the email action. Not sent within the email message.
In production: email are sent to people retrieved by To, Cc and Bcc queries
Being tested: email are sent to
Test recipientemail address
Inactive: email are not sent
Test recipient: email address used instead of To, Cc and Bcc when the status is
Reply to: Either a static email address or a placeholder like
$this→team_id→email$. This a standard attribute of an email message. It is used automatically by mailing tools as the address to use, when the user does “reply” on the email in his mailer. If omitted the
fromaddress is used.
The contacts to be notified in the “To”, “Cc”, and “Bcc” are defined by an OQL query. This allows to specify multiple recipients for the notification, like “all the contacts attached to a ticket” or “all the contacts on the impacted site”. (Refer to Object Query Language Reference for more information about writing OQL queries)
This OQL query must return a list of objects containing an email attribute, namely:
For instance, to notify all persons whose name starts with John, the To field can contain:
SELECT Person WHERE name LIKE 'John%'
The query can contain placeholders that refer to the current
object for which the notification is being sent. The syntax is
For example, to send a notification to the person who is the “caller” of a ticket, the To field will contain:
SELECT Person WHERE id= :this->caller_id
The query can contain placeholders that refer to the current
contact which has done the action at the origin of the event (might
be an issue if the user is not linked to a contact). The syntax is
For example, to send a notification to the agent only if he did not triggered the event himself, the To field will contain:
SELECT Person WHERE id= :this->agent_id AND id != :current_contact_id
Since iTop 2.3 this syntax works also:
:current_contact->id which is equivalent to
:current_contact_id and even in a more generic manner:
If the list returned by the query is empty no email will be sent.
SELECT Person JOIN lnkContactToTicket AS L ON L.contact_id = Person.id WHERE L.ticket_id = :this->id
Message contents and placeholders
Starting with iTop 2.3.0, the message body is now edited using a WYSIWYG HTML Editor.
The “Subject” and “Body” parts can be build dynamically by using
placeholders. The syntax to be used for such placeholders is
There are several types of placeholders:
$CONSTANT$refers to a fixed value named constant.
$this->function()$refers to a built-in function executed within the context of the object that triggered the action.
$this->attribute$refers to the field attribute of the object that triggered the action.
$this->attribute_external_key->attribute$refers to the field attribute of the object pointed by attribute_external_key it-self being a field of the object that triggered the action.
$this->representation(attribute)$refers to a built-in representation of the field attribute of the object that triggered the action. Ex:
Check here the details of those various types of placeholders
To test a new action, you can use the status “Being tested” and fill “Test recipient” with a test address. In that case, the notification will be sent to this latter address. Once the notification have been tested, change its status to “In Production” to have notifications flow to their actual recipients.
If you want to de-activate an action, just set its status to “Inactive”.
Creating a trigger
To create a new trigger, click on “New” in action drop down list for the given category in “Trigger” tab. The following wizard appears:
You have to select which type of trigger you want to create:
When a new object is created = Trigger (on object creation)
When an object enters in a given state = Trigger (on entering a state)
When an object leaves a given state = Trigger (on leaving a state)
When an object is updated from the iTop portal = Trigger (when updated from the portal)
When a given threshold for a Time-To-Resolve (TTR) or a Time-To-Own (TTO) is reached = Trigger (on threshold)
More Trigger can be added by specific extensions such as:
Trigger (when log is updated) brought by extension Email Reply
Trigger (when updated by mail) brought by extension Ticket Creation from eMails
Once you have selected the type of trigger you get the following form:
Any type of trigger requires you to specify three parameters:
Description is left to you to further identify the purpose of this trigger.
Class defines the class of object for which this trigger is applicable.
Filter restrict the objects to which the trigger applies. It is an OQL query returning all the objects that would activate the trigger. Leaving it blank means: all the objects of the expected class.
Depending on the type of trigger, you will have to define additionnal parameters:
On entering/leaving a state both require the state. The value to be entered for the “state” is the internal code of the state, as defined in the data model. State codes can be seen in the “Life Cycle” tab of the “Data Model”, section “Transitions”. The value code is the value listed between parentheses.
On threshold requires a stop watch and a threshold. The expected value for the stop watch is an attribute code. User Requests and Incident tickets come with two stop watches: tto and ttr. The threshold is a percentage of the goal of the stop watch. With the standard data model you can use 75 or 100.
The “Triggered Actions” tab defines which action(s) will be executed when this trigger fires. Remember that one action can be linked to several triggers, so it's possible to reuse some actions. The “Order” field determines in which order, for a given trigger, the actions are executed (actions are launched in ascending order).
Test your Trigger
You can see which notification had been sent for a given ticket (User Request, Incident, Change) using the tab “Notifications” in the details of the ticket.
sendmail_path = "/usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i"
Depending on your actual environment, the configuration may be different. For example it is also possible to use SSMTP as a proxy to the actual email server, as explained in the following link: http://tombuntu.com/index.php/2008/10/21/sending-email-from-your-system-with-ssmtp/
SMTP = <smtp server> smtp_port = 25
In order to test email notifications you can use, the “Test Page” (follow the link from the “Notifications” pages) or type:
http://<itop server location>/setup/email.test.php
The test page performs a number of checks on the PHP configuration and allows you to send a plain-text email to the recipient of your choice. This is useful for validating that the PHP configuration of the server is indeed correct for sending emails.
iTop 2.0 supports two methods for sending emails: the built-in
email_transport determines which method is used for
sending eMails from iTop. If the value of the
email_transport parameter is
(which is the default value), then the built-in
function is used. If the value is
SMTP then the SMTP
transport of Swift Mailer is used.
When using PHP's
When using the SMTP transport, the following parameters can be set in the iTop configuration file:
|Configuration parameter||Type||Visible||Description||Default Value|
|email_transport_smtp.encryption||string||No||tls or ssl (optional)|
|email_transport_smtp.host||string||No||host name or IP address (optional)||localhost|
|email_transport_smtp.password||string||No||Authentication password (optional)|
|email_transport_smtp.port||integer||No||port number (optional)||25|
|email_transport_smtp.username||string||No||Authentication user (optional)|
Notifications and application responsiveness
Sending emails is a relatively slow operation. Depending on your
email server, sending one email may take several seconds
(establishing the connexion to the server, sending the data, etc…).
When a Ticket is created or updated in iTop, several emails may be
emitted, depending on the notifications configured. This can take a
few seconds to complete. To improve the responsiveness of the
application, the notifications can be sent asynchronously by a
process running in the background on the web server. To activate
the asynchronous sending of notifications, set
'email_asynchronous' ⇒ true, in the configuration file
and make sure that the background process
is up and running.
SMTPtransport is generally a bit faster than PHP's built-in mail function (
PHPMail), so it may be worth the extra configuration effort.