Sharepoint Question…HELP!?

A while back I was experimenting with e-mail enabled lists and workflows

I had it setup so that when an email was received (a backup failure alert for example) it would go straight into a sharepoint email enabled list where it would then examine the contents and set some column information

The experiment went well and I left it at that with the plan to do something with it at a later date

That date ended up being today.

I create an email enabled list and had a workflow that examined the email and performed actions after. While I was testing I fired the workflow off manually and it all worked fine

I set it to run automatically and that’s where I had a problem. The workflow just wouldn’t fire

I found a knowledgebase article that indicates a security fix in service pack 1 stops workflows starting automatically

I followed the instructions and reset the application pool logon account which stopped SharePoint picking my emails up from the “drop folder”

So i set the Sharepoint timer service to the same logon account and this fixed that problem but it still wasn’t firing off the workflow

If I create a new item myself the workflow starts automatically as expected

So it’s only incoming emails it has a problem with

Further research suggests that it’s the anonymous nature of external e-mails (that are marked as created by the “SYSTEM ACCOUNT”) but this isn’t the case in this situation because if i send a message internally the workflow still doesn’t fire (and yes it is marked as created by the internal user)

Said research can be found here (read the comments) (read the troubleshooting system)

I found an entry on the managed newsgroups (do a search for “Workflow doesn’t start” and MANTAS) which recognised the problem. The end user suggested he could create an event handler to manually fire the workflow but this isn’t an option for me for two reasons

1) I’m not a sharepoint developer – this is a “no-code” solution

2) This needs to be easily deployable for other installations as it’s a really useful feature that used to work..and doesn’t now

Any help would be appreciated if you have run into this before. I’ll update the post of I find out anything else

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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11 thoughts on “Sharepoint Question…HELP!?

  • Hi Vijay

    I forgot to mention how it’s setup

    It’s WSS 3.0 and i’m creating the workflows in SharePoint designer

    Yes i’m doing it on my SBS box on a side-by-side install

    The thing is this HAS worked. When i tried this out i was quite pleased with myself for getting it up and running!

    A while after i noticed it had stopped processing but thought it was just because i’d been playing. On reflection it’s after the service pack

    The weird bit it the fact it’s only on e-mails i’m having the problem

    To be honest i spent the whole day staring at that sharepoint site so i’m hoping to go back to it tomorrow and pick up something stupid or spot something i didn’t test….fingers crossed!

  • The MS Doc on installing WSS 3.0 on SBS 2003 says that “The integration of incoming e-mail with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 does not work because of a conflict with Exchange.”. Quite what that means I am not sure as I haven’t tried that. But you say you had it working?

  • Yes it does…

    But you know me, when did something like that stop me? 😉

    What doesn’t work is Exchange / SMTP integration

    The “drop folder” functionality is just a normal folder that the sharepoint timer service monitors for new emails (.eml files)

    I have a script (not mine but it tweaked it for my purposes) that pulls the emails from a mailbox and drops them into that folder

    I have a post on it in my drafts which i’ll post soon

    As i said before it was working quite happily until the service pack install

  • As far as i can tell yes

    It 100% definitely worked previously.
    Granted I’m assuming it’s the service pack that has stopped this as i can’t think of anything else

  • Using an email enabled list, I found that both SPD and VS workflows would not kick off automatically when the list received an email. I also tried using an event receiver on the ItemAdded event to then fire the workflow or even update the item in the event receiver. The event receiver & workflow both started and apparently completed, they just didn’t execute any of the code that modified the item. There were no error messages.

    As usual it turned out to be so much easier than all of that. Here’s how I fixed it for my setup:

    – Set the Service Account to a domain admin account. Go to the Central Admin portal for your Sharepoint server, select Operations, Service Accounts (see for more info).
    – Set the Windows SharePoint Services Timer to log on as the SAME domain admin account. To do this go to Start -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Services. Find the Windows SharePoint Services Timer and open the properties. Go to the Log On tab and set the service to log on using the same account you used for the step above.

    Using this solution all of the following will run automatically & execute as expected when the list receives an email:

    – Event Receivers
    – Visual Studio Workflows
    – Sharepoint Designer Workflows

    Ahh Sharepoint. Gotta love it.

  • Skippy,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I did mention that knowledge base article in the post

    Did you fix this on an SBS setup?

    I’ve already set the timer service and the app pool to run under a domain admin account and it’s still not firing workflows

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