How to start processes by email

You can initiate a process by receiving an email message and this is possible using the HEFLO Mail Connector.

Step 1 – Include a message initiator

Before adding the initiator make sure that the process has the automation feature enabled. So, go to the properties tab and activate the switch “Automated Process”.

To instantiate the process include a initiator with the message trigger.

Web service initiator

  1. In the process editor, locate the “Start” element in the BPMN Toolbox.
  2. Within the item “Start” drag the item called “Message” to the drawing area or process lane.
  3. Select the message initiator and go to the right properties tab.
  4. In the “Connector” field, enter “Mail”.
  5. Complete the process modeling.

Step 2 – Generate the incoming mail box

In the next step, you have to create a mail box that will serve to receive the messages that will generate the process instances.

Every new message sent to this mail box will produce a new process instance. So, be careful in disclosing this address. Avoid, for example, leaving the address public on a web page.


  1. Select the initiator per message and go to the properties tab on the right.
  2. In the “Execution” group, click the anchor icon indicated in the figure below.

Create a mail box to start a business process

After clicking on the anchor icon, it will generate mail box address.

Mailbox address to start a business process by email

Step 4 – Testing

The tests are performed within the process editor itself.

  1. Select the process initiator.
  2. Right-click the initiator, click on “Tests,” then click “Start new work item” (for HEFLO a “work item” is a process instance).
  3. In the work item execution dialog, fill in the fields and advance in the flow.
  4. Test all possible paths of your flow to ensure the quality of your implementation.

Step 5 – Publish automation

After completing all the tests, publish the process:

  1. Select the actions tab at the right side of the process editor.
  2. Click “Publish Automation.”

You can use the Workspace page to view all work items generated by emails. Inside the work item dialog, use the Conversations tab to read the content of these messages.

Conversation of business process instances

Click on the item to view the contents of the message that initiated the process instance.

How to get the sender’s email address

Follow these steps to store the email address that started the process in some process field.

  1. Select the initiator.
  2. Click the “Configure Email Fields” button.
  3. In the “Configure Email Fields” dialog select a field in the “Value” control.

See on the image below the content of this field:

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles