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Disabling "reply-between-the-lines" in incident responses
Answer ID 2017   |   Last Review Date 11/23/2019

How do I disable the "reply-between-the-lines" feature in incident responses?


Email Response Messages


It is possible to configure your application so that it is no longer required that end-users reply between lines in order to update an incident via email. That is, your site can be configured so that you do not have to require users to include their update between the lines below:

[===> Please enter your reply below this line <===]

[===> Please enter your reply above this line <===]

You can also configure your application so that users can click Reply in their mail client and reply to the incident response via email without having to specifically enter the text between pre-configured lines in the response.

When receiving email replies, the techmail utility uses features within the email to distinguish between the new reply and content and the original message thread. Depending on how the user replies to your message, new replies can be added to the incident as a new entry in the discussion thread, while old content from the response sent to the end-user is discarded.

With this configuration, text emails include a line of numbers at the bottom of the email to indicate the block count associated with the email that was sent. For example, text emails sent from your RightNow application include a line similar to the following:


This allows the application to determine the original block count of the email that was sent. If the email message is HTML-enabled, the block count is still a part of the email, but is not visible to the end-user.


Two configuration settings, EGW_REPLY_BETWEEN_ENABLED and EGW_QUOTE_CHARS impact how replies to emails are handled:

EGW_REPLY_BETWEEN_ENABLED: If enabled, the Reply Between the Lines text is included in outgoing email messages. If the end-user replies to the email, only text that is between the lines will be included in the incident update. If this is disabled (the default setting), the end-user’s reply is determined by excluding the block-quoted text from the email message. By default, this is set to No. 
EGW_QUOTE_CHARS: This setting defines a list of characters used to quote the original text in email reply messages. Most email clients will quote the original text by inserting a greater-than symbol (>), or a vertical bar (|) at the beginning of each line of original text. If you receive email replies that use a different character, you can add that character to this setting. Quoted lines in the email reply will be excluded from the incident update. The default value is >|.

Path to setting(s): Select Configuration from the navigation area > Site Configuration > Configuration Settings > and search by Key.

After editing the Value field, click Update. If necessary, click another setting, edit the Value field and click Update. When finished editing, click Commit and Exit to register your changes.

For more information on accessing the Configuration Editor and editing settings, refer to Answer ID 1960: Editing Configuration Settings.


Methods for Detecting Reply Content for Emails

When an end-user replies to an email, there are several ways the user can include content in the reply, depending on how your site is configured:

Reply Between the Lines

If the configuration setting EGW_REPLY_BETWEEN_ENABLED is enabled and the Force Reply Between the Lines option is selected in the Service Mailbox, techmail processes replies by updating the incident with the content that was entered between the lines. Other content from the reply does not get updated in the incident. This functionality is consistent with previous versions of Oracle B2C Service.

Block-quoted Text Indicators

Most email clients mark or "block quote" the original message when someone replies to the message. In text messages, the original text is block quoted by inserting a greater than symbol (>) or a vertical bar ( | ) at the beginning of each line of the original text. In HTML messages, the original message is usually enclosed in block quote HTML tags (<blockquote>). Parameters in the block quote HTML tag indicate how the message should be displayed, for example, each line might begin with a vertical bar or an indent. When EGW_REPLY_BETWEEN_ENABLED is disabled, techmail determines the block quoted content and determines how to update the incident based on how the customer replies to the message.

Message with No Block-quoted Content: If no block-quoted text is found, techmail includes the whole message in the update. Since some email clients allow the user to specify a block-quoted text indicator, you can define additional characters as indicators in the EGW_QUOTE_CHARS configuration setting described above. 
Updated Content Outside of Block-quote: If the user's reply includes text that is only above or below the block-quoted text (or both above and below), then only the "new", updated content is included in the update to the incident.

In this case, techmail is able to distinguish the new content as being outside of the original content of the message. As a result, the content outside of the block quote is updated in the incident.
If you have an automatic signature that appends to the end of your email responses, this signature will get updated within the incident since it is outside of the block quote section.

Note: In this case, the user cannot enter text within the block-quoted content. They can only add content outside (above or below) the original content. 
Updated Content Intermixed with Block-quote: If the user includes content that is interspersed within the original block of content, then the entire email reply is updated in the incident. In this case, the techmail utility cannot distinguish between the original content of the email and the content that was added within the original block of text.

For example, if the original reply includes a few questions and the user replies to those questions by providing the answers within the original text, the incident thread is updated with the entire email.

Note: If a word processor is used within the email client to create the reply message, such as MS Outlook or MS Word, then the incident will most likely be updated with the entire message. Word processors, specifically MS Word, includes the message update within the original message/byte count area. This indicates to RightNow's email parser that additional content has been added within the byte count area.

As a result, all incoming messages using MS Word as an editor will insert the entire thread. Similarly, Hotmail and Eudora modify the message in the same way. There is no work around for these email clients within the current product design. If you determine that too many of your incidents are getting updated with the entire incident, you may decide to re-enable the reply between the lines feature.