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I have a custom list button on case that processes the selected case records and sends out an email using SingleEmailMessage. The email sends fine, but I was expecting the outbound email to be related to the case as an EmailMessage record. However, no EmailMessage record is created and related to the case.

I set the whatId to the case: mail.setWhatId(c.Id);

I can create the EmailMessage record in the apex code and set the parentId to the case, but I was hoping that there would be a way to attach the outbound email using SingleEmailMessage as an EmailMessage record on the case. Is that not possible?

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There is no direct way of doing this. You need to create a separate record of email message object and need to populate all details to get record in email related list under case.

 EmailMessage emailMsg = new EmailMessage(); // Created a EmailMessage and copy all details.
 emailMsg.ToAddress=(emailList[0].getToAddresses())[0];
 emailMsg.Subject=emailList[0].getSubject();
 emailMsg.HtmlBody=emailList[0].getHtmlBody(); 
emailMsg.ParentId = case_temp.Id; //Attach with the case
 emailMsg.MessageDate = system.now(); emailMsg.Status = '0
Insert emailMsg;
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