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MindLink Email Connector

Version 16.0.0.1

Introduction

MindLink Email Connector is a utility to facilitate interaction between users and channels using Microsoft OCS/Group Chat and IMAP/POP3 Mail Servers. It allows users to post messages to channels by email and also receive notifications of new messages in channels by email.

MindLink Email Connector offers the following:

  •          Enables a user to post messages to specified chat rooms via email.
  •          Enables a user to subscribe to user selected chat rooms so he/she can receive email notifications when a new message has been posted to the specified chat rooms. The frequency of the email notification is based on the configurable time interval or configurable number of new messages (speak to your system administrator if you wish to change how frequently the email connector delivers its notifications).
  •          Maintains the subscription lists.

This guide describes the core functionality of MindLink Email Connector from the perspective of a regular user.

 

1   Terminology

Term

Definition

Subscription list

A list of users who will be notified via email when a new message is posted to the chat room they are associated with.

Bridged chat room

A chat room which is being monitored by MindLink Email Connector, with messages being forwarded to and from it via email.

Administrator

A Group Chat user who has been added to the management list of MindLink Email Connector administrator chat room.

Chat room manager

A Group Chat user who has been added to the management list of one or more chat rooms registered with MindLink Email Connector.

Chat room group

A named collection of chat rooms that can be used as shorthand for those rooms in the subject line of an email which should be forwarded to Group Chat.

 

 

2   Posting messages to Group Chat via email

To send a message to a chat room, a user should send an appropriately formatted email to MindLink Email Connector, which will then post the message to the appropriate chat room(s) on behalf of the user. The message will appear in the chat room as if it was sent by MindLink Email Connector.

 

2.1   Email subject line

By formatting the subject line of the email in an email, the user can specify the chat room(s) the message should be posted to. The table below elaborates on how the format of the subject line affects to which chat room(s) the message is posted to:

Subject Line

Result

chat_room_1

The message will be sent to a single chat room, here to ‘chat_room_1’.

chat_room_1, chat_room_2, chat_room_n

The message will be sent to multiple chat rooms, in this case: ‘chat_room_1’, ‘chat_room_2’ and ‘chat_room_n’.

@group_1, @group_2, @group_n

The message will be sent to all chat rooms contained in the groups: ‘group_1’, ‘group_2’, and ‘group_n’.

chat_room_1, @group_1

The message will be sent to both the specified chat room ‘chat_room_1’ and all the chat rooms in the chat room group ‘group_1’.

 

 

2.2   Email To

Instead of sending an email directly to MindLink Email Connector with a formatted subject line, the user can also post messages by sending it to a configured Distribution List. The users need to add a mapped distribution list to their contacts. By selecting the distribution list in the email TO field or CC field, the body will be sent to the chat room(s) mapped against the Distribution List.

 

Note 1: If an email sent to a mapped Distribution List contains chat rooms or chat room groups in the subject line, the Distribution List takes preference and the chat rooms from the subject line are ignored.

 

Note 2: So that the above (subject line or Distribution list) works, the user who is sending an email needs to be on the membership list of the chat room the message is being sent to. If the user is not listed in all of the required chat rooms membership lists, the message will be sent to the chat rooms the user is a member of, which ignores those with insufficient user permissions. This behaviour can be overridden, as the administrator can switch on the “NonMembersCanPost” setting, and thus the sender will be able to post to any bridged chat room.

 

2.3   Email Body

The body of the email should contain the message to be forwarded and needs to be followed by a delimiter to mark the end of the message (speak to your system administrator to find out what you should use as a delimiter – the default is two dashes ‘--‘). The email may also contain attachments which will also be posted to the specified chat room(s) and will appear there as links.

If the system administrators (who set MindLink Email Connector up) have set a maximum size limit on the messages that can be posted, the text in the email body will be truncated. This truncation will cause the message to be shortened to the required size limit and to be posted to the chat room(s) in its trimmed form but along with a link to the full message (in either .html or .txt form depending on the detected content format).

 

3   Forwarding Group Chat messages to email

When a Group Chat message (either text or an attachment) is posted to a chat room that is bridged by MindLink Email Connector, the message will be sent out as an email to all users that are listed on the subscription list for the chat room in question.

The emails will not necessarily be sent out immediately; this will depend on the digest mode that is currently being used for the chat room, as configured by the system administrator.

 

3.1   Subscribe to a bridged chat room

Those users who are members in bridged chat rooms can send IM commands directly to the bot in order to add or remove themselves to or from the subscription list of one or more chat rooms.

The syntax of the commands that are accepted by the bot is as follows:

  •          !subscribe #chat_room_name1, #chat_room_name2

This adds the user to the subscription list for the {specified} chat room(s).

  •          !unsubscribe #chat_room_name1,
  1.          chat_room_name2

     

This removes the user from the subscription list for the {specified} chat room(s).

Note: Users can choose to omit the # that precedes the chat room name as MindLink Email Connector will accept this as a valid command too.