OEF
Outbound Email Filter

OEF is an add-on feature designed to selectively scan and filter ServiceNow outbound notifications, helping to ensure that non-targeted recipients do not receive outbound notifications (spam). 

To permit targeted test recipients in receiving test notifications in an isolated and controlled manner, TCloud Consulting has developed a customised Outbound Email Filter (OEF).   The OEF is an add-on feature designed to selectively scan and filter Service Now outbound notifications sent by any ServiceNow sub-production instances.  OEF uses a recipient’s exemption method to scan and filter out non-targeted email addresses from any notifications sent by sub-production instances thereby removing spam and enhancing the effectiveness of test processes. 

When using OEF, only those targeted recipients who are defined in a bespoke recipient exemption table would receive test notifications and therefore their email replies would be processed accordingly as is the case in a live production environment.

Why do you need it?

The nature of ServiceNow’s thorough and strict testing protocols means that certain limitations exist with outbound notification handling when test notifications are sent. 

To prevent test notifications being inadvertently sent to non-targeted email recipients, the ServiceNow sub-production instances can generally be configured to have all test notification emails sent (or redirected) only to specific test email addresses.

 

This approach can raise problems, however, if the relevant testing requires email replies to be tested as the emails were not sent to actual recipients and therefore their replies cannot be tested.  When a user responds to an email sent by ServiceNow instance, the inbound email processing engine matches the watermark to an existing task (such as an “incident” or “request”) or approval record and updates the existing record rather than creating a new record in circumstances where the targeted recipient replies. 

 

OEF addresses the following commonly faced challenges which businesses can face when performing email notification testing at the sub-production instance:

  • unable to provide approval or rejection of a specific request sent to a specified approver via email;

  • unable to update comments on existing incident or task records when sent via reply email;

  • unable to send test SMS notifications via email to SMS gateways, such as P1 notifications or password reset verifications; and

  • if redirection to a specific test email address is activated, all test emails are then sent to that same mailbox which results in complication of email identification and verification if various testings are undertaken at the same time.