How to complete a task via email using Reply-to-Complete

In LiveCycle Process Management, it is possible to complete a task via email. Traditionally a user would receive an email with the form as an attachment. They would open the form and submit the data back to LiveCycle.

You can refer to the following blog on how to set that up:

But since ES2, you can also participate via email using a technique we like to refer as Reply to Complete.

This technique allows you to put links in the body of the email to complete a task. The attachment (if there is an attachment) is only there for reference. When a user clicks on the link, an email is sent back to LiveCycle to complete the task.  The encoded data in the DO-NOT-DELETE section is used to complete the task.

Now let’s see how we can get that to work.

1)      Configure the SMTP settings for LiveCyle

We need to make sure LiveCycle is configured to send and receive emails. Refer to the “Configure the SMTP settings for the LiveCycle server” and “Add an email endpoint to the Complete Task service” section from the blog referenced above.

2)      Configure the email templates

We need to configure the email templates so they contain the links for the different actions.

The actions are the ones specified in the Action tab from the User activity.

There are two ways we can configure the email notification templates:

  1. From adminui

It’s possible to configure the email template for all tasks (all User activity) using adminui. Go under Services/LiveCycle Process Management ES2/Server Settings/Task Notifications. Then select Task Assignment in the Notification Type section and check the Enable Task Assignment option in the Task Assignment section.

You’ll notice the notification template becomes available with predefined text. Now just drag and drop the Actions variable from the Variable Picker section. The template will then contain @@actions@@.

This is going to get replaced at run time with the list of actions coming from the User Actions property from the User activity.

  1. From the User activity

It’s also possible to configure the notification templates for each user activity by modifying the Custom Email Templates property of the User activity.

In the drop, make sure to select Task Assignment. Then, select Customize. If you select “Use Server Default”, it’ll use the template configured in adminui.

When you click on “Edit Email Template”, you can create the email notification template. If you click on @@, you’ll be able to add some predefined variables that will be replaced a runtime. Again select Actions to add the list of actions in the body of your email.

When a user receives the email, they can click on the link to generate a response. The new email will contain the name of the chosen action with the DO-NOT-DELETE section.

As the name says, do not delete the DO-NOT-DELETE section as it contains valuable information (like task id) for LiveCycle to complete the task.

You could also just hit reply on that email and enter either the name of the action (Approve) or the number it corresponds to (1) for LiveCycle to complete the task. This is what people need to do when using a BlackBerry since the email just comes as plain text and the links won’t work .

1)      Configure the User activity

The User activity contains a setting that’s enabled by default that will prevent the task completion.

Make sure the “Must open the form to complete the task” is NOT checked. Since we are completing the task via email, we don’t want to force the user to open the form.

This is all that should be needed to complete task via email using Reply To Complete.


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2 Responses to How to complete a task via email using Reply-to-Complete

  1. James says:

    I use Reader X, and Mozilla Thunderbird as my default email.

    When I click on the “Approve” link, it pops up Thunderbird and all is fine.

    When I open the attached PDF form and click Submit, it gives me a warning about I don’t have Outlook configured.

    How do I get Reader to use my default email client?


  2. Honza says:

    I set up everything as it’s written in blog mentioned above. When a task is assigned to me, I received an email notification with actions (accept, deny). After that I replied with action “accept”. Then I received email with subject “Errors from LiveCycle ES”:

    LiveCycle ES has tried to process your request and encountered the following error:

    com.adobe.pof.POFRuntimeException: Transaction is not active: tx=TransactionImple ; – nested throwable: (javax.resource.ResourceException: Transaction is not active: tx=TransactionImple )

    This response to your original email
    Subject:RE:Task Assignment – Process: Test/Email_Test. Task 13 has been assigned to you.
    Date Sent:Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:17 PM


    In log appeared this following error:
    Caused by: ALC-DSC-215-000: com.adobe.idp.dsc.DSCRuntimeException: None of the Auth Provider could authenticate the user. Authentication Failed
    at com.adobe.livecycle.notification.TaskNotificationServiceImpl.processEmailComplete(

    Can you me please? I have no idea what to do to succesfully complete task via email endpoint. Thanks