If you find that emails are not being transmitted as expected then this checklist of likely causes should be reviewed as these problems are normally caused by security settings or network restrictions.
expense@work, forms@work and time@work can be configured to send email alerts and notifications to employees to advise them of certain events (such as new Timesheets or Expense Forms to review or complete) and also to remind them of actions they have not yet carried out (for example forms to authorise or transactions to approve).
Sometimes you may find that emails are not being transmitted or some employees are reporting that they are not receiving emails.
In order to find the cause of the problem it is vital that the underlying problem is properly diagnosed. Lets start by considering the different types of email notifications that can be sent.
Types of Email Alerts
- Transmission Texts – These emails are sent by the system when certain trigger events happen. For example and employee submits an expense claim or timesheet and an email goes to their manager to advise them that they have to authorise the document. These emails are are normally triggered following a form submission via the web or a mobile device and require interaction between the IIS Server and the SMTP/Exchange Server.
- Notifications (Task Scheduler) – These emails are sent by the Task Scheduler at regular intervals (defined in the setup) to remind people that they have actions to perform. For example a reminder that last weeks timesheet still needs to be completed. These notifications are entirely separate from Transmission Texts and if they are being generated by the Task Scheduler will require interaction between the Server where the Task Scheduler is installed and the SMTP/Exchange Server.
- Notifications (Maintenance Application) – These emails are sent when an Administrator runs the Overdue Notifications option from inside the Maintenance Application. In effect this mirrors the functionality of the the Task Scheduler described above. However when run manually this will require interaction between the Administrator Machine where the Maintenance Application is running and the SMTP/Exchange Server. In the event that Maintenance is being run on a Citrix Server or via Remote Desktop then it is that remote machine that will be interacting with the SMTP/Exchange Server.
Diagnosing The Email Problems
Problems with emails tend to fall into one of 3 categories and its vital that you are clear on which of the 3 scenarios below is taking place:
- No Emails are being received by anyone – If this is the case then it is likely that either email notifications have been turned off (System Parameters) or the SMTP/Exchange Server is blocking relays from the IIS Server or the machines where the Maintenance Application and/or Task Scheduler is installed. Additionally it could be that anti virus software on these machines is blocking the communication to the Exchange Server.
- Some of the 3 email types (Transmission Texts, Notifications via Task Scheduler, Notifications via Maintenance) are being received by everyone and some of the 3 email types are being received by nobody. For example it may be the case that no Transmission Texts are being received when an employee submits a form or timesheet. However when the administrator or Task Scheduler run the notifications option then the emails are being sent – Problems of this type occur when for example email communication between the IIS Server and Exchange Server is being blocked so no Transmission Texts are sent but communication with the Task Scheduler is OK and thus Notifications are being sent.
- All email types are being received by some people but others are reporting that they are receiving no emails – This is the most common scenario and in almost all cases is caused because emails being sent to these individuals are being caught in their spam folder or being intercepted by an Outlook/Exchange rule or anti virus software on their machine.
Additional Things To Check
- time@work, forms@work and expense@work have an SMTP engine which will try to send emails on Port 25 of the machine running the Maintenance Application or Task Scheduler. Most anti-virus and firewalls will block this by default and so you need to configure your security software to allow time@work and expense@work to access port 25. One way you can check whether this connection is being blocked on your server is to use telnet. To do this you should undertake the following simple test:
- – Obtain the SMTP server name from System Parameters.
- – Open a DOS Command Line
- – Enter “telnet SMTPSERVERNAME 25 (where SERVERNAME is the name found in System Parameters)
- If there is no response then the problem is likely to be in SMTP server configuration.
- In the System Parameters screen within expense@work, forms@wor and time@work, the Folders Tab must be configured to include the IP Address or Name of your mail server. You should make sure that this screen is completed correctly. Most mail servers will block email from servers which are not authorised or on their “whitelist” (this is sometimes known as relay blocking) so you should ensure that this is not the case. You need to make sure that the server running expense@work or time@work or any PC running the maintenance application has been given permission to relay messages through your mail server.
- We have developed an SMTP tool which you can request from our Support Department and install on any PC or Server running the Maintenance Application. When you run this application you can configure it to send an email to another user on your network (make sure you use exactly the same server information held in the Folders Tab of the System Parameters section of the Maintenance Application. If an email cannot be sent then it points to blocking by your server or anti virus software.