business rule
Gary Sherman
September 12, 2017

A few years ago I wrote a post titled Getting the most out of your business rules. Most of the information in that post is still relevant today. 


In that post, I discussed how we can analyze the data inside our database to see which rules are firing and how often. We can do this using a Business Rule Usage Report. 

This report tells us what business rules are firing along with how often. Perhaps even more importantly, it allows you to see the rules that are not being fired. Perhaps those rules could be removed, or made inactive, therefore simplifying business rule administration. Or maybe they should be firing, and need further investigation.

These reports are now available within Dovetail Agent.  Makes sense to have

Gary Sherman
July 25, 2017

In a previous post, I covered the basics of Action Items, and how they can be used.

Here, I’ll illustrate how we used action items as a way of capturing user feedback within the Dovetail Agent app.


Within the page header in Dovetail Agent is a Send Feedback icon.


Clicking that opens a Send Feedback form.


It’s a very simple form – a dropdown for the subject: Suggestion, Bug, Compliment, or Question, and then a Feedback text box, where the user can type in some feedback.

This feedback mechanism allows our users to easily report a bug, ask a question, or send us a compliment about something within the app.

Upon submitting the form, the user gets a simple Thank You message.

And just like that – we’ve captured some

Gary Sherman
June 13, 2016

In my last post, I demonstrated how to create a custom action for Dovetail Task Manager – namely a GetStockQuote action.

Now, let’s see how we can invoke a custom action without using Task Manager at all.

We’ll invoke the same GetStockQuote code within Carrier, but, this has nothing to do with Task Manager. It’s simply a way to get Carrier to execute some custom code.

To invoke it, we’ll create a business rule, and have Rulemanager send this message into Carrier. (Recall that Dovetail Rulemanager version 2.0 added Carrier Message as a business rule action message type)



Here’s the overall process:




A New Carrier Message Type

Out of the box, Dovetail Task Manager fires a business rule with an action of Carrier Message.

The business rule action message content

Gary Sherman
April 22, 2015

Task Manager

Task Manager is an optional Clarify module that allows subcases and action items to be automatically created when a task set is selected from a case.

Task Manager and the Clarify Classic Client

Within the Clarify Classic Client, this process is started by clicking the Jobs button on a case, and then selecting a Task Set to be executed. The Clarify Client then evaluates the task set and creates the subcases and action items as needed.

Task Manager and Dovetail Agent

Within Dovetail Agent, this process is started by choosing the Workflow – Run Task Set menu item on a case, and then selecting a Task Set to be executed. User’s must have the Task Manager privilege in order to see this menu item. Dovetail Agent itself does not evaluate the task set

Gary Sherman
September 19, 2014

Here at Dovetail, we’ve evolved our use of group chat over the years. We used to use Campfire, then went to Hipchat, and now we use Slack.

Our dev and support teams are in Slack all day, and I find it much more enjoyable than email. I’ve noticed that the amount of email we deal with now is considerably less.

It’s integrated with Github, so we get notifications on Github issues and code commits.

And, of course, we post messages based on business rules from Clarify/Dovetail.  For example, a message is auto-posted when a case is dispatched and when it is accepted.


As a group, we often discuss a case to help the case owner get it resolved. And this discussion

Gary Sherman
October 25, 2013

I’ve posted in the past about how to notify the case owner when someone else logs a note to their case. 

I find this especially useful when a customer does something in SelfService, or responds to an email that is processed by Dovetail Carrier.

For example, if a customer logs a note to a case in SelfService, I want to know. If a customer responds to an email, and is automatically logged to a case (via Dovatail Carrier), I want to know.

This post recaps information in the previous post, and adds some additional niceties to the notification message.

Notification Email

Here’s an example of a notification received via email:



The business rule

Object Type: Case
Rule Name/Description: Notify the owner

Gary Sherman
August 5, 2013


I got a question today about how to close a case when all of its subcases are closed.


You could certainly add code to your application (such as the Clarify Client or Dovetail Agent), but to me, this sounds like more workflow automation, and we can do that with business rules. Plus, if you use multiple client applications (lets say the Clarify Client and Dovetail Mobile) – you don’t want to have to customize each of those apps.


To accomplish this task, we’ll create a business rule that fires when a subcase is closed. If all of its sibling subcases are also closed, then we can close the case.


First wrinkle: How do we know when all of a subcase’s siblings are also closed?


One way to do it is to look at

Gary Sherman
July 14, 2011

I’ve blogged in the past about how to customize your outgoing emails in Clarify/Dovetail, including using rule properties.

Using this same technique, we can include a URL back to the case automatically. For example, if you’re using a SelfService type application, such as Dovetail SelfService, or Clarify eSupport or WebSupport, we can include a URL back to the case so customers can easily get back to the case, where they can review it, add notes, view the status, etc. 

1. Export the existing Template form the database

You’ll need a directive file for the template. Here’s one:

Export it using ArchiveManager (DIET) or dataex:

diet -user_name USERNAME -password PASSWORD -db_server SERVER -db_name DATABASE -archive -export sendemailaboutobj.dat -dir email_com_template.dir

2. Edit the Template

All we need to do is modify the template, include the URL

Gary Sherman
January 6, 2011


A colleague asked me recently about an email he had received from the support department of one of our vendors. It looked something like:



Hello, Anne Teak,
A few days ago, our support staff has replied your inquiry at:


Since then, we have not received any response back from you, and would like to know if you consider this issue to be closed. If you have any further questions, please use the link above to post them. This issue will be automatically closed out in a few days if you choose not to respond.


To access this discussion thread, navigate to the following link:



Sincerely yours,
Some.Vendor Team




The gist of the process is that if a customer hasn’t responded after a certain period

Gary Sherman
November 18, 2010

Did you know you can use rule properties in your outgoing emails (log emails)?

I was recently asked this question, and I thought the answer was yes, but I wasn’t positive, so I decided to test it out (and of course document it here). Since you’ve read this far, you’ve probably figured out that the answer is Yes.

In this particular scenario, I simply wanted to include the case title in the email subject. By default, the subject of the email is Regarding Case Number XXX (where XXX is the case id number). Lets create a better email subject.

A little reminder before we get going – we’re talking about Log Emails that are actually sent out via RuleManager. No surprise, for my testing and usage, I’m using Dovetail RuleManager.

The send_email_about_obj template

When sending an email out, the

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