Tricky Way to Handle Review Activity Approvals with the Exchange Connector

One of our TAP customers, Alexsander Popov, came up with a clever way to handle review activity approvals in email.  The Exchange Connector requires that an email be sent with the work item ID in square brackets in the subject and some configurable keyword that represents approve or reject in the body.  I’ve recommended using [Approved] and [Rejected] in the body.  Normally you would have to provide instructions to the reviewer on what to enter when they reply to the email.  Alexsander removes some of the chance for user error by using a mailto: handler in the email body.  When he sends emails they look like this:


Each of the links is actually a mailto: link so that when the user clicks on the link it will open a new mail and populate the subject and the body with the required text like this:


He did this by creating a notification template which has an <a> tag around the Approved and Rejected links.  The <a> tag has an href attribute that is set to:[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Approved]

It should look like this in the template:

<a href=”[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Approved]”>Approved</a>


<a href=”[<insert the work item ID here>]&body=[Rejected]”>Rejected</a>

We’ve tested this approach in Outlook, OWA, and Windows Phone 7 and it works great!

Thanks for sharing that creative solution Alexsander!