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1. Is the email reply with Approve or Reject action from Outlook, suppose to make the BPM Process continue ? Without any login to the application ? Is my understanding correct ?
Answer -> Yes Absolutely. If you perform any Actions (Approve, Reject etc) from Outlook Client, the BPM Process should Continue. There is no doubt in it. And yes, there is NO need to login into BPM Workspace. It's not only from windows outlook client, but even from Smart Phones like IPhone, it should work fine. Like in our case, we send actionable emails. Some big shots will just approve it from IPhones and the process continues. Ofcourse we configure outlook client in IPhone to get emails.
2. Is it required to configure the incoming mail server also in the Oracle Enterprise Manager console ?
Yes, absolutely. You should configure a fully valid Email address in EM Console to receive any Actionable Emails. This means, in outlook create a new email account like DevWorkflowActions@yourmaildomain.com with some password. In EM Console, now give this email id, smtp email host (server), port, email username, password etc. This is must. If you have different environments like DEV, QC, UAT, PROD, make sure to create different email accounts. Because in any company there is only one Email Exchange Server for all employees. But you may have different SOA/BPM Domains for each Env. Do not use same email id for all different domains and it may end up with weird issues.
3. If you are on BPM Suite 11.5 + FP (or latest), just one small extra note. You can have a totally different customized TaskDetails page to show on Emails. Generally we create task details page with lots of content/data like payload data, history, comments/attachments etc. By default this same task details page is shown in any Actionable Emails and it is mostly non user friendly (its plain html) without any CSS etc. And also imagine, people using IPhones, they can never see whole content properly. So we can create a simple more user friendly with less CSS and have very bare minimum fields just needed to decide to Approve/Reject. Name this like taskDetailsEmail.jspx. Now under Web-Inf/yourTask_TaskFlow.xml file, add a Router with 2 paths. One to Email and one to normal task details. Use one out of box property to do the switching -> pageFlowScope.bpmClientType == 'notificationClient'. This bpmClientType value is automatically set by framework with value as "notificationClient" when any task details is opened from Non Browser like outlook or smart phones etc. I configured this and it is working fine from any emails with more simple task details page.