Installing and Configuring the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent

Introduction

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent allows you to trigger a task to run based on the receipt of an inbound email. The agent communicates with the TaskCentre Server and also enables the contents of emails to be captured and processed by a task.

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent must be installed on a machine that is running the SMTP Virtual Server. It is recommended that the agent is installed on the same machine as the TaskCentre Server where the Email Trigger (SMTP) Server can be installed.

The agent is then registered with the TaskCentre Server before it becomes operational.

Incoming mail that you require to trigger a task is then simply re-directed from your mail server to the machine where the Email Trigger (SMTP) agent and the SMTP Virtual Server are installed. This will enable the emails to be picked up by TaskCentre.

The TaskCentre Server installation is always the first step in a new deployment, for further details please see our knowledge base article for installing and configuring the server:

Installing and Configuring the Server

In this knowledge base article the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent is installed and then configured.

Planning an Installation

What do you need to do before installing the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent?

This checklist will help to plan a successful installation.

CHECKLIST – Email Trigger Agent

  • The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent is supported on the following versions of Microsoft Windows Server:
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2 32bit/64bit
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 64bit
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 64bit
    • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 64bit
  • Ensure the SMTP Virtual Server is installed and running on the machine where the agent is to be installed. Be aware that Windows Server 2012 onwards will require IIS 6.0 legacy components to be installed; found under server roles.
  • Obtain the server name or IP address of the TaskCentre server so the agent can be registered with the server.
  • Obtain the administrator password for the TaskCentre server in order to complete the registration.
  • Plan for a reboot of the server where you’re installing the agent (though it’s not normally required).
  • Check ports 4222 and 4223 are open on the TaskCentre server machine so the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent machine can see it. *only required if the agent is on a remote machine*

Installing the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent is selected as a feature to install from the TaskCentre installer.

The install of this agent can be carried out during the initial install of TaskCentre if both the TaskCentre Server and the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent are to exist on the same machine.

If you require the agent to be installed on a separate machine then a standalone install of the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent can be completed without the need for another TaskCentre component to be present.

Configuring the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent

The TaskCentre Configurator must be used to register the agent with the TaskCentre Server. This will allow the agent to notify the server of incoming emails.

A prompt will appear after install and if accepted the Configurator will load. You can deselect this prompt if you want to carry out configuration at a later time.

You can open the Configurator from the Start -> Programs menu or for newer operating systems you can select the Configurator app from the start screen.

Locating the Settings

When installing the agent for the first time the Configurator will take you straight to the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent component.

Otherwise, it can be located under the Event Agents folder in the navigation pane on the left. Located here will be the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent sub-folder.

Once the agent has been configured, clicking this folder will display where the agent has been registered.

Checking the Prerequisites

One of the functions of the Configurator is to check and report whether the required software and settings are in place for the agent to operate correctly.

The Configurator will make various checks to ensure the SMTP Virtual Server is running and a supported version of Microsoft Windows Server is in use.

Selecting the Prerequisites node will display a list of requirements in the pane on the right.

  • A tick icon Tick indicates that prerequisites are in place.
  • A cross icon Cross indicates that an aspect of the required environment is missing or not running and action is required before the feature will work properly.
  • A warning icon Warning indicates that a configuration issue exists but the feature may still be usable.

SMTP Virtual Server Installation

The SMTP Virtual Server must be installed and running.

Versions of Internet Information Services (IIS) are integrated within each Windows Server version. However, unlike IIS 6.0 the more recent releases do not have SMTP Server built in.

For example, IIS is integrated in Windows Server 2008 as IIS version 7.0 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 as IIS version 7.5. Both these versions of IIS do not have the SMTP functionality as standard.

Therefore, if you need to create an SMTP environment on any of the TaskCentre supported Winders Server platforms, you will require IIS 6.0 to run in compatibility mode on that server in order to provide the functionality. The SMTP Virtual Server is available as a snap-in in the IIS 6.0 Manager.

Please refer to Microsoft web resources for details on how to achieve this using the IIS 6.0 Manager.

SMTP Server registration

The SMTP Server registration check reports whether the SMTP virtual server is correctly registered in IIS.

SMTP Server running

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent cannot function without the SMTP Virtual Server running correctly. This can be checked in the IIS 6.0 Manager where the service can be started and stopped. Alternatively, you can use Telnet to check for a response from the SMTP Server which would verify that it is listening.

Telnet is a communication tool which allows a user to pass messages to the server and receive responses. To do this, you specify the IP address of the SMTP server and the port number it is listening on.

When using Telnet on a server to be used to host the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent, an adequate test for an SMTP response is to type the command ‘TELNET Localhost 25’ in a command window and wait for the response from the server.

Telnet

NOTE: On Windows Server 2008 and later, there may be security implications when using Telnet. By default Telnet is not installed. For further details please check the Microsoft TechNet library.

Registering the Agent

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent needs to be registered with the TaskCentre Server. This will enable the agent to provide notifications to the server when an SMTP event is identifiedthis will in turn trigger a task to run.

The Registration Settings node allows you to check or change the server that the agent is registered with. By default, the current machine name will be displayed with the agent name as ‘Email Trigger (SMTP)’.

The name of the TaskCentre Server machine is entered into the Server field. Alternatively, you can use the server IP address.

You can leave the Agent Name as it is or enter any name of your choice. Having a unique name to identify the agent would be beneficial if you were to have multiple Email Trigger (SMTP) agents across your network.

You click Save to continue.

Authentication Required

The Configurator will then prompt you for the password of the TaskCentre Administrator account to complete the agent registration with the TaskCentre server.

You must ensure that you are not logged on elsewhere with the Administrator account, this will prevent the registration from being completed.

This completes the process of configuring the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent and registering it with the TaskCentre Server.

Installing and Configuring the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent: In Summary

The Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent is one of several Event agents that can be installed as part of a TaskCentre deployment. It is responsible for identifying SMTP events so that tasks can be triggered to run on the TaskCentre Server.

The agent must be installed on a machine running the SMTP Virtual Server. It can be installed alongside the TaskCentre Server or standalone.

To install the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent you select it as a feature within the TaskCentre installer. You carry out configuration of the Email Trigger (SMTP) Agent using the Configurator application which opens immediately after the install, alternatively it can be opened at any later time.

The main configuration involves registering the agent with the TaskCentre Server, after which it will become operational. The Email Trigger (SMTP) tool can then be used to trigger a task based on the contents of incoming or outgoing mail sent via the virtual SMTP email server.