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The earliest versions of RT worked almost exclusively by email, and it is still possible to interact with RT almost entirely by email. By default, RT has scrips that send mail when interesting things happen. Whenever correspondence comes in for a ticket, that correspondence is sent to each Watcher by email. This behavior is controlled by a scrip that can be disabled or extended by the RT administrator. Simply responding to this email will record the response in RT, attached to the same ticket. This makes it easy to stay in the conversation about a ticket without having to continually go back to the browser. This also allows people external to the organization to access RT, without the need to open holes in the corporate firewall.
The mail administrator can set up specific email aliases for creating tickets.[*] By sending an email to such an alias, you create a ticket directly in RT. Such email aliases can be very convenient for non-interactive processes that know how to send mail, such as cron, or as destinations for web forms. Many users also find it easier to create tickets by mail, especially when they are outside the corporate firewall.
The format of the messages that RT sends out is completely customizable by the RT administrator and varies based on the type of transaction. For example, when you create a new ticket, the default message looks like this:
Greetings, This message has been automatically generated in response to the creation of a trouble ticket regarding: "My frobnitz is broken... again", a summary of which appears below. There is no need to reply to this message right now. Your ticket has been assigned an ID of [RT Essentials #5]. Please include the string: [RT Essentials #5] in the subject line of all future correspondence about this issue. To do so, you may reply to this message. Thank you, ------------------------------------------------------------------------- My frobnitz appears to be broken again. This is the third time this week, is there something that can be done about this? Thanks!
Mail triggered by correspondence looks slightly different, and it contains information about the ticket and about the type of action that was taken.
To add correspondence to a ticket, reply to one of the messages that RT sends out. Your response will be recorded automatically as part of the ticket history and possibly remailed out to the other watchers, depending on how RT is configured.
Out of the box, RT limits what can be done by email, since reliably establishing identity with email is difficult and generally involves using cryptography (with PGP or S/MIME certificates). Most organizations don't have the necessary infrastructure for this, so ticket attribute changes are not allowed via email. Enhanced versions of the RT mail gateway that allow attribute changes are available as add-ons to RT.
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