How does notifications, Inbox, To:Me, and Todo mailboxes work?

OpenERP V7 Social Network module introduces an unified messaging system inside OpenERP. How can I control what I receive in my Inbox ? What's the purpose of To: Me, Todo and Archive ?

The first thing is to understand how the notification feature works in OpenERP. Here are the main step of the notification system in OpenERP V7:

  • you have 2 kinds of recipients: the document followers, and partners that you explicitly added as recipients using the compose wizard (opened using the down-right button of the reply composer). Note that when the message is an automatic system notification, such as stage change for opportunities, you obviously do not have any specific recipients, only followers.
  • the message itself is linked to a subtype that indicates the overall purpose of the message. For example, Discussions is the subtype related to all user input, such as messages that are posted using the Chatter or messages coming through the mail gateway. Stage Change is the subtype related to any stage change for documents that go through a business pipe, such as opportunities or tasks.
  • followers are notified of a new message on the document if the message subtype matches the subtypes they are following. This is controlled on the document form view. Here is a figure of a typical subscription on an opportunity. I am following Discussions, Stage Change and Opportunity Won subtypes.

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Knowing that, it is simple to define the Inbox. Every notification you receive goes into the Inbox, until you do something with it. There are two kind of actions to perform :

  • mark as read: the message is no longer visible in the Inbox, but can be found in the Archives. Note that marking a thread header (the first message of a discussion) as read sets the whole thread as read.
  • mark as todo: the message goes into the Todo mailbox. This mailbox contains messages that require something to be done, such as a longer reply, contacting someone, completing a task, ...

Note that when you have notifications in your Inbox, there can be 'read more' links that fetch the remaining of the thread. This allows you to fetch the whole context of the discussion without having to go on the document itself. This does not set those messages back as unread. They are displayed in your Inbox until you refresh your Inbox or click on a link.

The To: Me mailbox contains messages that were specifically sent to you. Remember you have 2 kinds of recipients, followers and specific partners. This means that you were put into the specific recipients of the message. Those messages are usually more important, because someone asked you to receive them independently of all your preferences.

Emails for notifications

When you receive a notification, an email containing the notification content and a link to the OpenERP instance can be send to your email address depending on your 'Receive Feeds by Email' preference value. You can see those values in the figure below, all from the user Preferences. For example choosing Comments and emails will make OpenERP forward to you all inputs from users and the mailgateway, but not automatic system messages. This impacts only the email send from notifications, not notifications themselves.

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