KBA-01605: Email is ‘On Behalf Of’ the Sender


Why does sfPMS add On Behalf Of… to the email sender name?
Can I make the emails that sfPMS sends be from the actual sender?


The short answer is NO.  If you enable sfPMS inbound email, you cannot have the emails sent by sfPMS appear to be from someone else.

Attempting to do so is shortsighted.  Let’s look at a scenario:

  1. John Smith is the Project Manager.
  2. sfPMS sends and receives emails using the address PMSystem@SpitfirePM.com.
  3. John routes an RFI to Nick@YorkArchitects.com

sfPMS will send an email to Nick with the sender On Behalf of John Smith. Replies will go to the email address assigned to sfPMS and automatically update the RFI. Yes, John ( the on behalf of sender) can get a notification or an automatic copy of the reply.

Sometimes, John thinks he’d prefer the emails from sfPMS to display just his name (John Smith) in Nick’s email client inbox.

This is a horrible idea, because:

  • This would violate Internet standards for when a service sends email on someone’s behalf.
  • Far worse (and a large part of WHY the standard was established) is that what seems “smart” or clever to the SENDER will cause the RECIPIENT to be utterly confused.

In our example, Nick will have multiple emails that look like they are from John Smith, but Nick will never know without careful inspection which is *actually* from John Smith and which is from the PM software service.  Poor Nick will randomly pick an email from his inbox to use as the source of a new email and get inconsistent results, sometimes reaching John and sometimes not.

Alternative to On Behalf Of…

See KBA-01391.  You can switch from the On Behalf of prefix to a suffix.  The default suffix is “via Project Management“.

  1. Check the RouteConfig | NotOnBehalfOf rule.
  2. Optionally, set the RouteConfig | EmailSenderSuffix rule to alternate text to replace via Project Management

The shortest possible suffix is 2 characters; some use “– PM” or “(PM)
If shorter, then “via Project Management” will be used.

Additional Comments:

It works this way on purpose!

External References

  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2782380/best-practices-sending-email-on-behalf-of-users

KBA-01605; Last updated: July 19, 2021 at 16:28 pm;
Keywords: sender spoofing