For any business, customer is of the highest priority. Maintaining continuous and prompt communication is therefore very important to keep the relationship going. Most commonly used format for official communication are emails.

With business expansion, the communication process needs to be automated to provide the best possible service in certain situations. One of these scenario is automatic creation of a support request and sending acknowledge to the customer with the associated information.

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Cases in SugarCRM

SugarCRM come an inbuilt with Case module. The module is used for tracking the support request raised by client usually for post sales operations. As a case is opened, worked on, and resolved, its progress will be denoted by the ‘Status’ field of the case. Each case can be related to other customer related records like Calls or Contacts, making it easy to get the full picture of a customer’s issues and history. Cases in SugarCRM can be created manually directly in CRM or automatically from the incoming emails.

Preconditions for using Case module within SugarCRM

Following are certain prerequisites for cases to work fine within SugarCRM. They are listed below.

  • Logged in user must have administrative rights or access to case module.
  • A team of users must be setup and the case could be assigned the case.
  • Outbound email must be configured in the SugarCRM.
  • Schedulers, specifically the Inbound email scheduler, must be running. Learn about schedulers within SugarCRM out here.

Steps for configuration

Having understood the requirements, let us look at how to configure the same in a step by step manner.  Configure the inbound email account that the system will monitor.

    • Navigate to Admin > Inbound Email
    • Choose ‘New Group Mail Account’

Screenshot of New Group Mail Account in Sugar

  • Configure the fields in the Mail Account Information section
NameA descriptive name for the group email account
StatusSet as Inactive until you have completely configured the group account details
Mail server AddressEnter the monitored email accounts incoming email server web address
User NameEnter the username for the email account that will be receiving the email message
PasswordEnter the password for the email account that will be receiving the email message
Mail Server ProtocolSelect between IMAP and POP3
Mail Server PortCommunication port number used for connecting to the email server
Monitored FoldersSelect the mailbox that needs to be monitored (usually INBOX)
  • Configure the fields for the Email Handling Options
Assign To TeamTeam that should have access to the email account in SugarCRM
From NameFor the sent emails that may be triggered by an action, this name will appear in the “From” address
From AddressUnique email address to appear in the “From” address
Create Case from EmailSelect this option to automatically create case records in SugarCRM from incoming emails
Distribution MethodDecide how Sugar should assign case records
  1. Before saving click “Test Settings” to verify your entries
  2. Set the record’s Status to “Active” (when ready ) and then “click” Save


When a customer sends an email to the email id set in step 2, Sugar will create new case record and notify the assigned user as well as the customer that a case has been created. The subject of the received email will be imported as the name of the new case and text in the email body will be imported as the case description. Base upon the senders email id the case will be automatically assigned to the Account record the email is associated with.

Customization to handle status and email attachments

Following are the customization which are needed to handle status for a new case and to handle to attachments within the inbound email.

Case status for new cases

By default, SugarCRM does not set the case Status field to a particular value.  However this can be achieved by implementing customization to the sugar, using the following steps.

    • Locate the file in sugar directory ./modules/InboundEmail/InboundEmail.php
    • Make a copy for the above file into the custom directory
    • In the file ./custom/modules/InboundEmail/InboundEmail.php locate the function handleCreateCase()
    • Before the line $c->save().
      Add the line $c->status = “New”
    • Save the file
    • Run a quick repair and rebuild

Email attachment as Case document while email to case conversion in SugarCRM

By default, SugarCRM does not bring the email attachment to the case, but this can be achieved implementing customization using the following steps

Customize Inbound mail process

    • Locate the file in sugar directory ./modules/InboundEmail/InboundEmail.php
    • Make a copy for the above file into the custom directory
    • In the file ./custom/modules/InboundEmail/InboundEmail.php locate the function handleCreateCase()
    • Find the line $c->save()
    • Retrieve all the attachment to the email bean, the attachments received are of type ‘Notes’ bean.
    • Create new ‘Documents’ type bean for each ‘Note’
    • Attach the new created ‘Document’ to the ‘Case’

Setup custom inbound email files in BeanFiles

    • Create new file ./custom/Extension/application/Ext/Include/EmailToCaseAttachments.php

Add following line of code to the above created file

Copy to Clipboard

Save the file

    • Run a quick repair and rebuild

When a client sends an email to the monitored email account, it is important that the acknowledgement to the mail is sent out as soon as possible, and in parallel the concerned team is notified about the request. With SugarCRM taking care for the generating and assigning the case raised via email, the process expedites the amount of time before the support team can begin working on the case.

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