Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preventing Emails Sent to ‘Everyone’ from Creating Cases in FogBugz Mailboxes with a Simple Gmail Filter

The Setup

The company I work for uses Google Apps for the Enterprise and FogBugz (for bug tracking).

We have several dedicated Google Apps email addresses for logging bugs so that users can just send an email to fix___@ourdomain.com. These are configured in the Mailboxes section of FogBugz.

We currently have 5 email addresses configured as FogBugz mailboxes.

The Problem

We have a group for everyone@ourdomain.com, created by an administrator in the ‘Manage Domain’ > Groups panel. This group has a membership of ‘All users within domain’. You cannot selectively remove individual accounts.

You can't selectively remove addresses from the 'everyone' group.

So, when someone sends an email to everyone@ourdomain.com, it automatically sends it to our addresses that are reserved for creating FogBugz cases… and each reply potentially creates additional cases (if users change the subject line). <insert sad face>

That means that for each email sent to everyone in our domain (eg: company announcements), five or more new cases are created in FogBugz that we have to go in and close, since it is not possible to delete cases. This is rather very annoying.

I contacted FogBugz support and they discussed this scenario with me and made a few recommendations. Unfortunately, their suggestions weren’t practical for our situation. But, a brainstorming session with our internal Google Apps guru guy yielded this option: create a filter in each Gmail account to delete the message on arrival, before it even gets to FogBugz.

The Solution

I logged in to each email account in Gmail that we have reserved for using as a FogBugz mailbox. I set up a filter to delete all messages sent to everyone@ourdomain.com.

This was my test filter.

Note: As shown above, I first tested to make sure the filter would work by blocking any emails from my own email address. (I figured it would be better than testing by sending a fake email to everyone in the company.)

Just as I expected, my email message ended up in the trash and no case was created. Success!

It worked!

After this successful test, I updated the filter to what I really wanted: any messages sent to everyone@ourdomain.com, delete.

The actual filter

I added this filter to all 5 of our email accounts that reroute to FogBugz by logging into them separately via our domain.

This was a fairly simple way to resolve an issue that had been bothering me for at least a year. Yay!

Additional Resources

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: all things Google, Remember the Milk, Salesforce.com, Inbox Zero, Etsy, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com
Twitter: @RatherGeeky
Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

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