How to: Create Well-Formatted Email Notifications in Deploy


As a part of your Deploy automation strategy, you might want to have Deploy send out emails during some state changes of the deployment process. Deploy uses FreeMarker templates to format and deliver emails when triggered in the deployment process. Deploy can provide emails to various groups in your organization. The emails can be customized to different audiences in your organization as well. In this article, I will show you how to configure Deploy to send out emails during the deployment process. For each deployment, we want to collect some additional information that we are going to put in these emails.


To start, we need to make some changes to the synthetic.xml file as follows.

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We can also use some of this information to determine if a deployment can continue in its' pipeline. Once the changes are made to the synthetic.xml file, restart the XL Deploy server. We will need to tell XL Deploy where there is an SMTP server that emails can be set to. In my environment (Linux) I can create my own SMTP server and configure it as follows:

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We can call the mail server DefaultSmtpServer. Now we need to create a template for the email that will be sent out. Under Configuration, you can create folders for organization as you like, but then we will create a trigger.EmailNotification as follows:

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We don't need to change the From Address as that will be picked up from the mail.SmtpServer. We see a little bit of the FreeMarker templating in the subject line of the email. For now, notice that I selected the option to send the content of our emails as HTML. I'll talk more about this later. Emails are sent out on a triggered event. In order to set up a task trigger, we will need to carefully select the state transitions so our trigger will fire when we need it to. The transitions we will connect emails to today are as follows:

  • For Deployment Failure: States should be from EXECUTING to STOPPED
  • For Deployment Complete: States should be from ANY to EXECUTED

Next we will need to create a Trigger. Under the Configuration folder create a new Trigger as follows:

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Create a similar trigger for deployment failures. In the case of a deployment failure, not all of the steps will have been completed. For example, the completionDate property will not be set. The FreeMarker template will need to take that into account. We need to add the deployment triggers to the environments that should trigger emails. Let's configure a test environment to send out emails. In Deploy, we will navigate to our TEST environment and edit it.

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Add all of the triggers you want to fire during deployments to this environment. I have different triggers for Successful and Failed Deployments. The additional objects that were added to the synthetic.xml are now visible in the Deployment Checklist for the udm.DeploymentPackage. We can set these values manually or by a script. Now the application tab of the application version looks as follows:

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Now we can create the FreeMarker template for the emails Deploy will send out. These emails will contain information about the deployment as well as the information in the Deployment Checklist. In my environment, we're going to present a little information about the change tickets that may be created during the push of this version from one environment to the next. Let's say that all code moves will have a master change ticket associated with them and that each move will have a sub ticket number associated with it. In our HTML email template I can add the following:


This will create a little table with the change tickets. So this is how we can add some of the additional data about the deploy outside of the actual deployment steps. Now that we have this information in our email, let's add some information about the actual deployment steps. To do that we will add another HTML table with some of the deployment step information as follows:


This part of the FreeMarker document iterates over all of the steps in our deployment. We can now do a deploy and we should get an email as follows:

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You can find the synthetic.xml snippet and the full FreeMarker templates in my Blog Git Repo


  1. Deploy
  3. Deploy/4.5.x/rest-api/com.xebialabs.XLengine.api.execution.StepState.html
  4. Deploy/triggerPluginManual.html#task-state-transitions
  5. Deploy/triggerPluginManual.html#triggertasktrigger


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