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I haven't worked on configuring email to case before and there are basically two options. (Email to case and On demand email to case)

I found a few links listing the differences in terms of features(email attachment limit, firewall, installing agent etc)

But I was hoping to see some good working guidelines on how we can choose between the two. Overall I felt that the "On demand email to case" seemed to be a better option but I am not sure if there are any gotcha's with implementing it.

I also did not fully understand the distinction between the firewall aspect. From the help: https://help.salesforce.com/HTViewHelpDoc?id=customizesupport_email.htm&language=en_US "This lets you keep all email traffic within your network’s firewall ". What implications does this have on choosing a solution?

There have been some pretty good similar questions that others have benefited from. So thats why I am asking this.

Thanks!

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The email to case is a java process that reads all of the data in the email and then assigns pieces to various fields in SF and then does an Insert or Upsert into the SF system. Because the email is completely handled 'behind your firewall' and the data is directly inserted into SF, some people consider this a bit 'safer'. You also get more flexibility since you can control what is extracted from the email and put into the various SF fields.

The on demand version runs on the SF platform itself and there is not much you can do to customize it directly. You can add in additional workflows that run after the fact to do some cleanup if necessary, but basically it handles all of the heavy lifting for you automatically (looking for replies, contacts, extracting subject and descriptions, etc) for you.

There is actually a third option also available - create a 'Email Services' class that implements Messaging.InboundEmailHandler and it requires that you do all of the work yourself (such as reading the message, looking up contacts, determining if the message is a reply to an existing email, etc), but because it runs at a 'lower level' than the email2case, there is much more that you can do.

  • Thanks a lot. Can you please tell me if there are any specific concerns about the security aspect with on demand email to case and if there are any best practices? It looks like the risk is the same as any other email communication to/from salesforce. – Richard N Sep 17 '14 at 21:19
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    The only real security concern that I can see is if you don't want email leaving your location and being handled by the SF servers. If you are dealing with sensitive data that you would not normally ever want to send via email, then you may want to stay with the email2case that runs locally. In this way, all of your data stays behind the firewall and is only sent to SF via HTTPS, so you are never exposing the unencrypted data to the prying eyes of the Internet :-) – MarcDBehr Sep 18 '14 at 10:19
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On-demand email to case is a good option if you know

  1. Email attachments (if any) won't be greater than 25MB in size
  2. You are not concerned about keeping the emails traffic within your firewall
  3. You won't be required to install an email-to-case agent behind your firewall

For further clarification, you may want to play a little with each of them by using them both. This is a good guide that should help you understand the differences better and let you decide "when to use what".http://help.salesforce.com/servlet/servlet.FileDownload?file=01530000001x32vAAA

Firewall will filter any un-authorized/blocked email addresses from your system. Following image should explaing more clearly Email-to-case functionality. As for on-demand email-to-case, like MarcDeBehr explained, is internally handled by SF.

Email to case

  • Thanks I had read this but I want to know more about the implications about keeping emails behind the firewall. So if I use on demand email to case, does it mean there is a chance that emails are not securely sent to Salesforce? – Richard N Sep 17 '14 at 14:50
  • Richard, well my edit should explain more clearly. – Mahmood Sep 17 '14 at 18:50

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