Using FogBugz to Check POP3, IMAP, and EWS Mailboxes



FogBugz uses mailboxes to turn incoming emails into cases automatically. Mailboxes can be used to handle customer support emails through FogBugz, or you can use them to allow submitting quick and easy bug reports. This article provides information on how to use FogBugz mailboxes, the supported protocols, the essential functions, mailbox configuration, and how to process incoming emails.





Supported Protocols

Each FogBugz mailbox corresponds to one incoming POP3, IMAP, or EWS mailbox where FogBugz receives mail. FogBugz provides one email account to get you started. You can set up as many mailboxes as you want, such as,, or

  • FogBugz regularly checks for new messages based on the Check Interval setting.
  • When messages are available in the mailbox, it downloads (including the attachments) and turns them into cases.
  • Once an email is successfully turned into a case, it is deleted from the POP3 and EWS mailboxes, unless the server is configured to preserve a copy of the message. In that case, FogBugz marks the mail message as Read. Gmail is set to preserve the downloaded messages by default. With IMAP, FogBugz only downloads Unread messages from the Inbox of the IMAP account (not from the other folders) and marks them as Read. If you enable the option in FogBugz, it also deletes them from the IMAP account.


FogBugz Is Not Creating Cases for All the Incoming Emails

If you detect that a mail message did not create a case in FogBugz, and you have discarded all the possibilities of failure, check if the mailbox can be accessed by a third party. The mailbox can be inadvertently marking the email messages as Read, which blocks FogBugz from converting them into cases.

Once an email message is marked as Read (at the mailbox level), FogBugz can not fetch the message and convert it into a case.


FogBugz Is Suddenly Creating Cases From Old Emails

If you detect that FogBugz is suddenly creating cases from old messages, check the Read status of those messages in your mail server. If you re-synchronize your Gmail account, it causes the system to "forget" about previous fetch attempts, which allows FogBugz to re-download those messages and re-create new cases for them. Also, if you move a previously fetched message back to Inbox, i.e., to Unread status, it can cause FogBugz to create a new case for that old email.

If you mark an email message as Unread (at the mailbox level), FogBugz attempts to fetch the message and convert it into a case.


Basic Functions

Fogbugz is used to handling all customer interactions over email. With the creation of a FogBugz account, a default mailbox is created with the email ID "", where xxx is your custom URL. All incoming messages are sent to this new default email account unless a secondary one is provided.

Once a case is created in Fogbugz, it is automatically sorted using the FogBugz Autosort system. Autosort is not just a Spam filter. It is a probabilistic sorting engine that can learn how to sort different kinds of emails into different areas within the Inbox project. It can save a lot of work if different teams are working in the Inbox.

By default, FogBugz sends a confirmation email automatically. This email contains a link to a public view of the case page.


Configuring a New Mailbox

To create a new mailbox, please review this article on Setting up a New Mailbox.


Processing Incoming Emails

To tell FogBugz what to do with the incoming emails, you can use the following configuration options.


Automatic Replies

Automatic Replies allow you to customize the content to be sent as an immediate automatic reply when users send a request into the mailbox. FogBugz only auto-replies to emails that create new cases.

To learn more about configuring automatic replies, please review this article on Extended Use of the FogBugz Mailbox.

Auto Replies are the only emails that FogBugz sends without explicit action from a FogBugz user.


Due Date

To ensure that an email is responded to promptly, FogBugz can automatically set a due date for every mail message that comes into a new case or reactivates a closed case. Open cases have their due date changed. This is to prevent a case from being postponed when there is still work to be done.

When you set a due date, you can set it in absolute time, e.g., 4 hours. But realistically, unless you provide 24×7 customer service, setting due dates in working hours or days makes more sense. Any Administrator user can define the business hours as well as any holidays by editing the Working Schedule.


Sorting Messages

FogBugz can sort messages automatically. This function includes Spam removal.

To learn more about the message sorting function, please review this article on Spam Filtering: FogBugz Autosort Training.


Message Template

You can set up a signature that is automatically inserted at the bottom of every reply you send in the mailbox. In addition to the special variables provided by Automatic Replies, you can also include the current user’s name with {username} and personal email with {useremail}.


"Delete Spam After" Function

To prevent Spam emails from filling up your FogBugz database, any message that is either resolved as Spam or moved into the Spam area is permanently and irrevocably deleted after the number of days you set. The default value is 7 days. If you do not want to delete Spam emails, leave the field blank.

Deleting Spam emails is handled nightly by the FogBugz Maintenance Service.


"Delete Inquiries After" Function

If you do not wish to keep a permanent record of the incoming email, you can set up FogBugz to delete the complete case history of all the closed inquiries after a certain number of days. Keep in mind that the term “Inquiries” here refers to one of the built-in categories that a case can belong to (the others being Bug, Feature, and Schedule Item).

Deleting old inquiries is handled nightly by the FogBugz Maintenance Service.


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