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Incoming Mail Connections

SINCE VERSION 8.0.0

Comparison of Mailbox Management in Jira and Email This Issue

Email This Issue now manages connections to Mail Accounts to override limitations in Jira's IMAP/POP3 management.
Problems/Limitations in Jira's legacy Mailbox management
How Email This Issue tackles them
Emails removed from mailboxes
Email This Issue does not delete the emails from your mailboxes, it simply marks them "read".
Huge latency (even hours) in incoming mail processing when there are many emails in the mailbox.
Email This Issue's mailbox management is more intelligent than its predecessors' as it continues downloading emails at the point where the last iteration has left off.
No insight of emails being downloaded or processed.
Email This Issue includes Incoming Mail Queue and Incoming Mail Log components that allow admins to monitor what happens with the emails received from the mailbox
Emails are in-memory (once emails are downloaded, they are stored in memory and passed to a handler). If Jira crashes while processing a message, the message is lost.
Email This Issue downloads the emails from the mailboxes and stores them in the database persistently.
If the download is interrupted by a malfunction of Jira, Email This Issue attempts to download it again.

Incoming Mail Connections

To see the list of mailbox connections go to INCOMING EMAILS ADMINSTRATION --> Incoming Mail Connections.
Incoming Mail Connections page has a set of mandatory and options attributes. The new Protocol Attribute is used to specify if the connection to the provider is based on password authentication or on OAuth2.

Add a new Incoming Mail Connection with Password Authentication

To add a new Incoming Mail Connection, click the Add button.
If you’re working on a production account that already has emails in the inbox (read or unread), remove everything you don’t want to be processed. This is needed because at the first processing round we download every email from the target folder. Later on, we only download those that have not been processed yet.

Add a new Incoming Mail Connection with OAuth2 Authorization

When using the OAuth2 connection protocol, a reduced set of fields are shown because attributes like host, port, password are not required.

Microsoft OAuth 2.0 host settings

For OAuth2-based Microsoft365 IMAP connections, the hostname "outlook.office365.com" is used by default, when connecting to the mail server. However, in certain scenarios, the use of a custom hostname might be required. In such cases, there is a possibility to override the default value by enabling the respective "Override default host setting" toggle and selecting the desired host from the "Host" dropdown appearing below.
The dropdown contains a pre-defined set of hostnames, which are globally available. If you have even more specific needs, please contact our support team.

OAuth2 Authorization

If you want to connect to an email service using OAuth2, after specifying the OAuth Credential and Username, you must start the authorization process by clicking the Authorization button.
The authorization is specific to the service provider. The procedure is detailed here:

Shared mailbox settings

A shared mailbox is a mailbox that multiple users can use to read and send e-mail messages. You can read more about them here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/collaboration/shared-mailboxes/shared-mailboxes​
To use a shared mailbox you just have to enter the username and password (or use OAuth) of the account you want to log in with, then enable the "Use a shared mailbox" option and enter the alias of the shared mailbox in the field that appears:
Shared mailbox settings for Incoming Mail Connection

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Incoming Mail Connection attributes

Attribute
Description
Applicable to Protocols
Mandatory
Name
Unique name of the IMAP or POP3 connection
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
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Description
A longer description of the purpose of this connection
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
Protocol
Specifies the protocol to use when connecting the service. Values are:
  • IMAP
  • POP3
  • Google OAuth2
  • Microsoft OAuth2 (coming soon in version 8.1.1)
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
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OAuth2 Credentials
This is a new attribute that is used when OAuth2 authorization is activated. It selects the OAuth2 Client Credential to be used when connecting this service.
OAUTH2
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Encryption
Supported encryptions:
  • No encryption
  • SSL/TLS
  • STARTTLS
IMAP/POP
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Host
The hostname or IP addresses of the IMAP or POP3 server or for Microsoft O365 OAuth2
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
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Port
Optional, if not specified, we use the default ports. Leave blank or 0 for default (for POP3 plain: 110, SSL/TLS: 995; for IMAP plain:143, SSL/TLS: 993).
IMAP/POP
Interval
The period in minutes the Incoming Mail Connections are connected to mailboxes.
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
Timeout
IMAP or POP3 connection timeout in milliseconds, valid value: 1-30000 ms. Leave blank or 0 for default (30000 ms).
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
Folder
The Folder in the mailbox from which the emails will be downloaded. If left blank, emails are loaded from the INBOX folder.
The Folder attribute is only used when the protocol is IMAP.
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
Username
Connection credentials.
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
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Shared mailbox alias
Connection credentials.
IMAP/POP OAUTH2
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Password
Connection credentials. Please note that the password should only contain ASCII-characters.
IMAP/POP
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Decide what to do after Emails are downloaded

SINCE VERSION 8.1.1
By default (and up to version 8.1.1) Incoming Mail Connections mark downloaded emails as "seen" (i.e. "read") in the mailboxes. Since version 8.1.1 administrators may configure Incoming Mail Connections to remove messages from the mailboxes after they have been successfully downloaded.
In case of POP3 connections settings on Email client's side might override Email This Issue settings.
Note: If you are using Microsoft Exchange, you can create a rule to directly copy each incoming mail into a separate folder (e.g. “Jira Archive”).
Instead of using the setting “Mark messages as seen”, set the After download function in the Incoming Mail Connection to the “Delete messages” option. This way the inbox is kept clean and empty, but you still have a copy of all your emails.
Processing time in large mailboxes is reduced to seconds instead of minutes with this little workaround.

Test Connections

It is possible to test the connection before actually saving the connection itself, it is also highly recommended to do so in order to check if there are any errors in the configuration.
After pressing the test connection button, the following pop-up comes up if the connection is successful:

How to use Incoming Mail Connections

These Incoming Mail Connections cannot be used with Jira's built-in Incoming Mail Handlers, only with our app's Next Generation Mail Handlers.
Important: We highly recommend keeping the inbox only be accessible by the app and not manually by users. If any users read the emails from the inbox before we get to process them (and they will be marked "read") we will not be able to process the emails. If this happens though, do the following:
1. Move the "read" emails out of the folder.
2. Make them "unread".
3. Move them back into the folder manually.

Enabling Incoming Mail Connections

By default, all new Incoming Mail Connections are created as disabled. To enable a connection, select the "Enable" option from the connection's menu.
From the app's point of view, when initializing a new or re-activating (re-enabling) a previously used ("known") mailbox - provided that there is a matching enabled mail handler for the connection at hand - there is a good chance that a bunch of messages will be subsequently downloaded from the mailbox and processed by the app (by creating or updating issues).
Depending on the contents and the current state of the mailbox, such an action might entail some risks though:
  • lots of emails might be processed inadvertently (which may take a while, while also changing messages' state on the mail server by marking them as SEEN or DELETED)
  • under certain circumstances (depending on the mail server's and the app's settings), duplicate issues might be created
To avoid the undesired download of a large number of emails upon enabling a connection, the estimated number of 'new' messages within the target mail folder is assessed and an informational dialog is popped up if an acknowledgement is required before acting.
Searching for new messages (in progress):
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If there are any new messages to download, the following text is displayed:
Clicking on the Enable button will change the connection's state and trigger other processes as indicated by the appearing flag:
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Depending on the selected connection mode (and the underlying protocol) about the mailbox's current state, the exact number of 'new' messages (from the app's point of view) might not be possible to be determined within a reasonable amount of time. Consequently, the accuracy and confidence level of this estimation might vary in different use cases and situations.
The displayed message count may be affected by several factors, including but not restricted to the following:
  • whether it is a "brand new" or an "already known" mailbox for the app
  • the total number of (unread or all) messages within the mailbox
  • the number/ratio of known and new messages (stored message UIDs)
  • the number of already processed, but “manually reset” messages (being set unread again)
  • various mail server settings (session-level restrictions)
Moreover, it is also hard to verify the outcome in graphical email clients (Gmail/Outlook/etc. browser/app), as they may still keep track of read and deleted messages differently by hiding some details from the end user.
Despite all these considerations, the estimation can be classified as pretty much exact or at least as fair and reliable in most cases.
There is one notable exception though - POP3 connections, where the "mark as read" post-download action is selected. Here, both the accuracy and the confidence level of the estimation result may be extremely low. Nevertheless, we highly discourage you from using this unfortunate option (or rather combination) in real-world (i.e. production/production-like) scenarios, as the performance of the message download will also erode over time (as facing an ever-growing mailbox, where all the messages must be considered and handled as "potentially relevant" by design).